The sound computation engines currently produced and supported by Symbolic Sound are the Paca and the Pacarana. The current software version is Kyma 7.
The Capybara series of sound computation engines is no longer being manufactured and sold by Symbolic Sound, and a Capybara-320 does not have sufficient program memory to be able to run Kyma 7. A Capybara-320 that you see for sale on the Internet could be as much as 18 years old (and there are older model Capybaras you may see for sale that are as old as 26 years old).
Kyma 7 on the Paca(rana) is easier to learn, easier to use, and includes several new synthesis and processing algorithms that are not available for the Capybara. Kyma 7 users benefit from free updates, bug fixes, online community libraries, and new software features, all available for download from the Help menu in Kyma 7.
Kyma X is the most recent version of Kyma that works with the Capybara-320. Kyma X development ceased with version 6.90 in December 2014.
The myth of the starter system
Is someone recommending that you should try Kyma X on the Capybara-320 to find out whether you would like Kyma? While we can understand why this might make sense for fixed-hardware synthesizer, it is not a logical statement for a software system.
We stopped manufacturing the Capybara-320, its expansion cards, and Flame FireWire interfaces in 2008. No new boards have been made since that time, so the only ones available now are used or refurbished.
As is expected for hardware originally designed in 1998, replacement parts for these systems has become increasingly difficult (and often impossible) to obtain. This means, for example, if you accidentally plug a Capybara-320 Flame FireWire interface into the wrong power supply, we would be unable to repair the unit, because we can no longer obtain replacement parts for this board.
Synthesis and processing algorithms
Kyma users have reported that Kyma sounds even better on a Paca(rana) than it did on a Capybara. That’s not too surprising, since all of the synthesis and processing algorithms were re-written in order to take advantage of the greater processor speeds, additional memory, and higher precision offered by the Paca(rana) over the Capybara-320. In the process, we also took that opportunity to make improvements to the sound quality of nearly every algorithm (most notably the additive synthesis and Psi algorithms) — improvements that were noticed and remarked on by Kyma users even though we never advertised these improvements.
The following control devices and protocols work with the Paca(rana) only:
- Kyma Control for iPad
- MPE expressive MIDI controllers
- Continuum Fingerboard using MIDI
- Wacom Pen and Pen/Touch tablets
- Open Sound Control (OSC)
- 14-bit MIDI continuous controllers
The following devices work with either the Paca(rana) or the Capybara-320:
- Wacom Pen tablets
- CM Automation MotorMix
- Delora software iPad apps (NB: Macintosh only)
- OSCulator (NB: Macintosh only)
- Continuum Fingerboard using FireWire
The following connections are available on the Paca(rana) only:
- FireWire 800 (1394b)
If you purchase a Capybara-320…
If you decide to purchase a used Capybara, please contact us so you can get access to the online forum, the kyma*tweaky, and the self-service technical support areas.