Jump to content

Symbolic Sound Corporation Capybara 320

   (0 reviews)

Capybara-320 Sound Computation Engine is a multi-processor hardware accelerator for the award-winning Kyma software sound design environment. Based on the Motorola DSP-56309 chip running at 80 MHz, the Capybara 320 base unit provides a minimum of four DSPs (expandable to 28) with multi-channel I/O, synchronization to external clocks, and 96 MB of sample RAM (expandable to 672 Mb) in a low-noise, rack-mountable package connected to a desktop or laptop Macintosh or Windows PC.

This gives you 5 to 8 times more real time processing power than was previously possible. That translates into more polyphony, higher sampling rates, more I/O channels, denser textures, and more computationally intensive algorithms such as full-blown spectral analysis and additive resynthesis, all performed in real time.

Sound designers for music, games, film, and advertising have been using the Kyma software environment (commercially available since 1991) to design unique sound synthesis and processing algorithms that they can then fine-tune or perform in real time using the Capybara hardware accelerator (without having to rely upon the memory or processing resources of the host computer for sound generation.)

Hardware Specifications:

Basic Configuration

4 Motorola 56309 DSPs
96 MB sample RAM
12 expansion slots
I/O and external sync (see below)
External desktop or rackmount case (protects the DSPs and converters from the electrically noisy environment inside your personal computer, and leaves valuable slot-space free to use for other cards on your host computer)

Expansion Card

2 Motorola 56309 DSPs
48 MB sample RAM (per card)
Up to 12 cards can be added

Inputs and Outputs

4-8 channels
32-96 kHz sample rate
Balanced Analog & Digital (AES/EBU)

External Synchronization

Word Clock input
House Sync input
VITC & LTC Timecode input and output

Interface options

Requires only a single slot on your host computer (all 12 expansion slots are on the Capybara itself)

PC(MCIA) to laptop machines
ISA or NuBus for older machines
A Firewire interface was later designed as an option

Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: Additive, Distortion, Formant, Frequency Modulation, Granular, Karplus–Strong, Phase Distorion, Physical modelling, Resynthesis, Sampling, Subtractive, Vector synthesis, Wave Table
Oscillators: *
Waveforms: Additive, Pink Noise, Pulse, Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle, User Drawn, Wave Table, White Noise
Oscillator Notes:
Fully open ended modular system.
Sampling: 24 bit, 32 kHz, 96 kHz
Sampling Notes:
96 Mb RAM, expandable to 672 Mb, 32-100 kHz sampling rate, 24 bit.
Envelopes: Almost unlimited, scriptable envelopes
Envelope Notes::
Modules or user definable Envelopes, scriptable by CapyTalk or function generators.
Types: 6dB Slope, 12dB Slope (2-pole), 18dB Slope, 24dB Slope (4-pole), 36dB Slope, 48dB Slope (8-pole), All Pass, Band Limit, Band Pass, Band Reject, Band Stop, Comb, Formant, High Pass, Low Pass, Notch, Phase Warp, Resonance, Serial, Parallel, Parametric, Z-Plane
Filter Notes:
Many traditional and novel filters are provided. You can design your own modal filters from scratch.
LFO: Almost unlimited; System dependent.
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: *
Tuning: Atonal, Micro, Standard
User definable Arpeggiators
User definable Step Sequencers plus Kyma Timeline DAW-like environment for triggering modular patches and sounds. Layer and sequence your sounds by dragging them into the timeline. Each bar in the timeline represents a synthesis or processing algorithm — a program running on the Pacarana, starting at a particular time, perhaps running in parallel with other programs, and stopping at a specified time. You could think of the timeline as a "process scheduler". For example, you could create a timeline where each bar represented a different effects-processing algorithm applied to the microphone input — with each effect starting at a different time, some of them running in parallel and routed to different outputs, and some of them fading out before others.
Chips and Operating System
Kyma X (V 6.XX) — an environment for music, film sound, advertising, post production, sound design for computer games, the web and other immersive environments. Kyma is easy to get started with and impossible to outgrow. You can create rich and unique sounds straight out of the box. Then, over time, you can begin to take control over more and more of the details until Kyma becomes your own customized sound design environment.
If sound is an important part of your life — whether as a part of your profession or as your intense avocation — then Kyma is the ideal environment for developing and leveraging your sonic imagination.

With over a thousand library sounds and over 360 modules to choose from, you can start making incredible sounds in your very first session. But even more important is the way Kyma invites you to combine, to cross-synthesize, to modify, to modulate sounds with each other. You can get amazing results by simply dragging sounds from the browser into the timeline and by dragging effects from the Prototypes palette and dropping them onto individual sounds or track submixes. (Warning: this kind of combinatoriality is so much fun, it has been known to become addictive!)

Sound is generated in real time and is time-accurate down to the individual sample. Not only does this translate into highly responsive parameter tweaking, it means that you can bring Kyma on stage with you to process your instrument or voice, play the synthesis algorithms on a keyboard, and use the timeline to schedule different synthesis and effects processes at different times.

And you can save everything you create in the extensible sound library — not just samples, but the whole process by which you arrived at the result. So you can apply that same process to new material on your next project. Meaning that the environment grows with you, that the more you use it, the more powerful it becomes and the more it customized it becomes... until it becomes your own personal sound design playground.
Case: Desktop, Rack
Rack Size: 19", 3U, Full
Audio Output Connections: SPDIF, XLR, Stereo Main, Stereo 2, Stereo 3, Stereo 4
Audio Output Count: 8
Audio Output Notes: 4 - 8 outputs, expandable
Inputs: 8
DAC Bits: 24
DAC Frequency Rate: 32-100 kHz
Year Released: 1998
Year Discontinued: 2009
Used By
Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Composer Stephen James Taylor used Kyma for granular sample synthesis and microtonal tuning to build tension in his score for this current Warner Brothers film. Sound designer Francois Blaignan at Media Venture used Kyma for scary sounds and processed voices in a national ad campaign for Blockbuster Video this summer, and he used Kyma to morph from crickets to birds in a new CGI ad for Hollywood Gum directed by Tim Burton. Blaignan has also used Kyma to process the voice of the BORG for one of the Star Trek films and the voice of the cyber villain in Virtuosity. Atom Heart has used Kyma for freeze-framing and synthesis on several of his most recent albums including Schnittstelle and Naturalist. The Away Team are using Kyma for granulating voices, vocoding, and also more standard kinds of signal processing (like guitar distortion and reverb) for their Letters from Subspace album-in-progress. Pete Johnston, of the Tape Gallery in London, has used Kyma to produce eerily realistic audio morphs in advertisments for the EuroStar, Smirnoff, Malibu, ESSO, and Walkers Crisps. Mike Radentz at Technisonic in St. Louis used Kyma to morph from screams to pig squeals in the bumpers and opening music for a weekly television program covering motorsports for the Fox Midwest Cable Sports network, and to create an ethereal morph from women's choir to the sound of the wind in a beautifully-shot ad for Phillips. Greg Hunter (formerly sound engineer for The Orb) used Kyma for granular chopping and ringing vocoders on Artificial Dream, a track from Alien Soap Opera's latest album. Marcus Satellite used Kyma on his debut album, From On High, for microtonal tunings, distortion, sound collages, and simulated Devil Fish filters. Diane Thome, winner of the 1998 commission award from the International Computer Music Association, used Kyma to produce her composition, to be premiered at a dance concert on 3 October 1998 at the International Computer Music Conference in Ann Arbor Michigan. Autechre have been known to use a Capybara 360.
MSRP List Price: $3300 - convert

  Report Synthesizer

User Feedback

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.


  • Create New...