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How to use electronic instruments with Kyma 7?

0 votes

Dear friends,

I'd like to know the best way to use my electronic (pickup) instruments with Kyma? Will I need to mic up an amp or feed an output from my preamp or can I go straight into my interface (Capybara?)

Given that the Capybara has a mic input, does that mean it contains a preamp with which I could use to boost the signal from my instruments? Alternatively, should I just apply gain with some sort of amp simulator within Kyma?

Also, can I use line level inputs such as a digital piano or synth with Kyma as well and do I need to tell Kyma to switch to line level input?

Basically, how does the Capybara deal with line, mic and instrument levels?

Thank you,

P.S, Please forgive my very limited and rusty audio engineeing knowledge




asked Nov 23, 2016 in Hardware & Interfaces by nuobu (160 points)

1 Answer

0 votes

Hi Nuobu,

I should qualify my answer by saying I have only ever used a Paca and not a Capybara.

According to the SymbolicSound spec page on the Capybara:

"Is it possible to connect a microphone to the Capybara without first going through a pre-amp?

The Capy expects a line-level input so you have to pre-amplify a mic signal before feeding it to a Capybara input."


I think the audio input on the back of the Capybara are balanced which is why they are 3 pin connectors and look like mic inputs, but it seems they are not. You should be able to plug in line-level devices like synths and digital pianos.

In my experience, Kyma doesn't have racks of virtual versions of the standard effects in the way other DAWs do. So there aren't long lists of amplifier simulations (not that I've found anyway). If you were looking for that kind of thing then another DAW or effects processor might be easier. Having said that what Kyma does give you is very powerful basic building blocks that let you "do anything". So although it might be easier to use an off the shelf virtual effect, it can be much more fun and educational to build it yourself in Kyma. I've just spent a couple of days building a distortion pedal for my bass in Kyma. Yeah, it took me two days! But I've learnt heaps and come up with a sound unlike anything I've heard before.

The paca is different from the capybara. It doesn't have a built in audio interface, you have to get a separate one for it and plug them together (usually using firewire). I've got a Konnect24D and that does have both line-level inputs (for synths etc) as well as phantom powered mic inputs. It's got good gain control on it so it's quite happy me plugging a guitar in there too.


answered Nov 23, 2016 by alan-jackson (Virtuoso) (15,840 points)
Thank you, alan-jackson, this answers my question.

I will route my mic level signals through my external audio interface.

Great work with the distortion plug! I want to build something which can analyse the pitch of the live input and match it with a sample, if possible.