Kyma meets Pacarana


For those who don’t know, Kyma is a graphical modular software sound design environment accelerated by the software-reconfigurable Capybara multi-processor sound computation engine. Beware, it’s more or less the Ferrari of sound-design, so unless you’re one of the few that can shop for a Buchla modular system or a good set-up of analog vintage stuff, you probably can’t afford it.
Anyway, the US company Symbolic Sound Corporation who created this system in the nineties has just announced the long-awaited new product: it’s called Pacarana (from the name of a rare and slow-moving South American rodent, as Wikipedia gently tells us), and it’s shipping in 2-3 weeks.
As you could expect, it’s several times more powerful and less expensive than the previous model, but unfortunately it’s still a boutique item. In their words: “The flagship model Pacarana is 150% the power of a fully-loaded Capybara-320 for less than half the price. The entry-level Paca costs less than a Basic Capybara-320, but the new entry-level model is 5 times more powerful. “

A few specs:

– four processors and 2 gigabytes of sample RAM (for the professional model, Pacarana)
– two processors and 1 gigabyte of sample RAM (for the entry level model, Paca)
– a “warm and friendly” (?!?) OLED display, with a touch-based scrollable menu
– two FireWire 800 ports (to communicate with OS X and Windows computers, an 800-to-400 adapter cable is available too)
– 2 USB ports
– 100-base T Ethernet jack
– 1 rack-unit high
– Audio and MIDI input and output is handled via an external FireWire or USB converter. That means NO audio converters and no MIDI connectors on the unit. Keep in mind that, to this day, not all firewire interfaces work with Pacarana (this sounds inexplicably weird for a high-end piece of gear like this is supposed to be). The list of compatible audio cards is in progress, before ordering be sure to ask Symbolic Sound if your card is going to be supported.
UPDATE: the updated list can now be found in the product’s faq.

How much? $4402 for the Pacarana, $2970 for the Paca (add 150/200 dollars for shipping, at least for places like Uk, Germany, Italy + your import fees).
Given that modern cpus and ram are pretty cheap today, that most of the R&D work was already done and that there are no audio converters on the unit, Pacarana could have probably been cheaper, but you know, that’s why it’s called a Ferrari…

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