Frequently Asked Questions
Real questions from real (and potential) Kyma users
USB Audio Interfaces
Are class compliant interfaces recognized?
Yes, any class compliant USB audio interface works with the Pacamara Ristretto.
How can I tell if a USB audio interface will be compatible?
- If you find it on this list of compatible audio interfaces.
- If it is advertised as a “class compliant” interface and does not require the installation of a driver on the host computer.
- If it is advertised as iOS compatible (for example, if an interface works with the iPad)
Can multiple interfaces, up to three, be connected at the same time and selected from the DSP Status panel?
Yes, you can connect an interface to each USB port (two USB 2.0 and one USB-C) and all three will show up as options that you can select in the DSP Status window. Only one interface can be selected at any one time, and it will be used as both the audio input and the audio output.
Can multiple interfaces be aggregated into one?
They can’t be aggregated in Kyma; however, you can create aggregate devices on the host computer.
Are multichannel interfaces supported? Is Kyma’s channel count still limited to 8 by 8, or will it scale to be able to access all available?
Yes. Kyma’s maximum number of audio outputs 8, but this upper limit is set in software; it is not a hardware limitation. (And yes, there are plans to increase the maximum output channel count in a future software update).
Does the Kyma DSP Status offer the input and output routing matrixes as is available for Pacaranas when using FireWire audio interfaces?
Yes, when you use Configure in the DSP Status window, it opens a grid or a matrix of checkboxes so you can route any of the Kyma inputs/outputs to the inputs and outputs of the attached audio interface.
What round trip latency is Pacamara able to achieve with a top quality USB interface (e.g. MOTU)? I’m interested in the delay from a Kyma output though the buffers and USB interface and then back into Kyma.
The delay as measured from microphone input to speaker output varies with the interface and the sample rate. For example, at 48 kHz and with the minimum input-to-output delay setting, the Pacamara’s input/output buffers introduce a round trip delay of 3.5 ms. USB transport and the audio interface introduce additional delay that varies with the interface.
Is the Host USB interface stereo only?
The Host USB interface channel count can be configured from 2 to 8, meaning that you can route up to 8 channels of audio in/out between the Pacamara Ristretto and the host computer. On the host computer, Pacamara appears as an audio interface.
In Kyma’s Speaker Placement preferences, I have it set to 4 channels / Quad. But when I select USB Host computer sees it as 4 in and 2 out.
In the Pacamara Configuration panel, you can set the number of audio outputs and inputs for the Host USB Audio interface. (It doesn’t automatically use the speaker preferences you have set in Kyma, because you may want to send a different number of channels to the Host USB interface). Routing Audio and MIDI on your Computer
In Pacamara Configuration, I set the Pacamara Host USB-C Audio to 2 input and 4 output. But in Audio MIDI setup on the Mac, it shows the Pacamara as having 4 ins / 2 outs.
The computer sees 4 inputs coming from the Pacamara — these correspond to the four outputs coming out of the Pacamara. Because you have the Pacamara set to receive 2 audio inputs from the USB-C interface, the computer will send two audio output channels to the Pacamara. Routing Audio and MIDI on your Computer
Is there any advantage to connecting a USB audio interface directly to the Pacamara, compared to sending audio via USB-C and using an audio interface connected to the Mac or PC?
A hardware audio interface (for example, a digital mixer with a class compliant USB interface) connected to the Pacamara can provide lower latency and more stable clock source synchronization with other devices. Going through a computer and one or more host computer audio apps inevitably adds input/output delays (each app has its own input/output buffer) which may or may not be relevant to your work.
Can you have two Pacamaras connected to the same computer via USB-C?
Yes. For example, you could have two Pacamaras, each connected via gigabit Ethernet to a separate computer running Kyma. Each Pacamara’s USB-C port is connected to a USB port on one of the computers. On that computer, you will see two audio interfaces: Pacamara 1 and Pacamara 2. In audio applications on that computer, you could mix the outputs from both. In theory, you should be able to route audio from Pacamara 1 through an effect running on Pacamara 2 and route the output through a high-quality audio interface connected to that computer.
I had the sample rate set to 48 kHz and was working in Ableton. But when I quit Ableton and open Logic, the DSP Status in Kyma flips back to 44.1 kHz. Why?
Try setting the sample rate of the Pacamara in Audio MIDI Setup. It’s likely that Ableton and/or Logic was overriding the sample rate in Audio MIDI Setup. Here’s how Apple says to set up Audio Devices in Audio MIDI Setup. To the macOS, the Pacamara is a “multichannel audio interface”. Here’s what Apple says about how to set the project sample rate in Logic Pro.
Can I install the Kyma 7+ software on my PC as well as the MacBook Pro and move the Pacamara to whichever I’m using? (In other words, can you have multiple Kyma installations)?
Yes, you can have multiple installations of Kyma 7 and use Kyma on any one of the computers at a time. In fact, if you have your computers and your Pacamara on a shared gigabit Ethernet network, you don’t even have to move cables to use Kyma on any of your computers. Just go to the DSP menu and choose Select DSP (see below).
Sharing one or more Pacamaras over a Local Area Network
How would I go about putting a Pacamara on a LAN at the game studio where I work?
To set this up, first connect your Pacamara to the LAN via Ethernet. Install a local copy of Kyma on each team member’s computer. Any computer on the LAN running a local copy of Kyma can control the Pacamara remotely. (The software license lets you install the Kyma software on multiple computers, but only one person can be controlling the Pacamara at any one time).
To hear the audio in each room, you could either connect a USB audio interface (or a mixer with a built-in class compliant USB audio interface) to the Pacamara, and route the audio outputs to each room. Or, if you’re using Dante, you could attach a USB-to-Dante bridge (for example, a Dante AVIO USB-Ethernet adapter) to the USB port on the back of the Pacamara. Then use Dante to route audio over Ethernet to each room.
To access Kyma from home or when on the road, you could run Kyma on a shared host computer that is connected to the Internet. Then you could use remote desktop software to control the Pacamara and send sound to your remote computer over the network. Jump Desktop, for example, sends stereo sound over TCP/IP and works on both Windows and macOS.
Of course, most people prefer to have the hardware directly connected to their own workstations, but putting a Pacamara on a local network can be an efficient way to share a system among several people (or when working from home or the road), as long as they don’t all want to use Kyma at the same time.
Bonus: in a game studio, post-production house, research group, or electronic music studio, it can sometimes make it easier to convince your boss or a funding agency to support your decision to get Kyma if you can tell them that you’ll be able to share a Pacamara among several sound designers over a local area network.
Transitioning from a Paca(rana) to the Pacamara Ristretto
Will I still be able to open my older files, exchange files with other Kyma users and work alongside others in the Kymakata chat room?
Yes! The Kyma 7 language works on both Paca(rana) and the new Pacamara Ristretto APUs. Sounds, Timelines, Multigrids and other Kyma files that you’ve created using previous generations of the hardware continue to function as before.
What are the pros and cons of the new Pacamara Ristretto compared to the Pacarana?
Pros: A Pacamara Ristretto is smaller, quieter, cooler, and more powerful. It has a faster connection to the host computer, its own Wi-Fi hot spot, support for multi-channel USB audio interfaces, a built-in stereo audio headphone jack, can be powered off a power pack battery, and makes it easy to integrate Kyma audio input and output with other audio software running on the host computer.
We thought about it, and the only potential con we could come up with is that there is no front panel OLED display on the new device (so we’ve moved the Quote of the Day into the Kyma software to ensure that you can still get your daily dose of inspiration).
Are you sacrificing the speed of FireWire by switching to Ethernet?
No! The Pacamara Ristretto connects to the host computer via gigabit Ethernet which is 20% faster than FireWire 800.
Will the Sounds, Timelines and Multigrids I create on the Pacamara Ristretto be playable on a Paca(rana)?
Anyone running the same version of Kyma can open the Sound files, Multigrids, or Timelines that you create in Kyma 7. However, you may inadvertently create a Sound that requires the power of a Pacamara Ristretto in order to run in real time. If you’re careful to restrict yourself to never using more than 40% of the available processing power and half of the available memory on the Pacamara Ristretto, then yes, your Sound will still run on a Pacarana.
For those who like to plan ahead, it’s worth noting that, while the current version of Kyma (Kyma 7) works on both older systems (Paca and Pacarana) and the new Pacamara Ristretto, future releases of Kyma will include new features and algorithms that are only made possible by the new hardware developments.
If there’s no OLED display on the front of the Pacamara, how will I be able to see the quote of the day?
The Quote of the Day is displayed on your computer screen when you first launch Kyma, so you won’t miss out on any (often eerily appropriate) messages.
I’ve been happy with my Paca(rana) and am not sure why I would want anything else. So more clarity around this new device would feel great to hear before purchasing.
It’s possible that what makes you happy with the Paca(rana) is the flexibility, unique set of algorithms, and combinatorial power of the Kyma 7 language. The Pacamara Ristretto is also powered by Kyma, and with the new APU, you can compute and control even more layers and more complex sounds in real time. We been using the Pacamara Ristretto at Symbolic Sound since July 2021 and (apart from compatibility testing and benchmarking) we’ve never had a desire to go back to the older hardware.