What is Kyra?
Kyra is a powerful FPGA-based synthesizer capable of producing a large number of complex sounds simultaneously.
What type of musician/producer is Kyra aimed at?
Kyra is aimed at the professional and semi-professional user in both live or studio environments. Live musicians will appreciate the big, floor-filling “wall of sound” and built-in effects that means Kyra can go straight to the mixer and venue amplification. Studio producers will appreciate the massive polyphony, multiple parts and ability to integrate completely with their audio workstations via multiple, balanced analog outputs as well as the high-capacity audio streaming via high-speed, class-compliant USB 2.0.
Why was Kyra created?
Kyra was created to fill a gap in the synthesizer market for a powerful digital, virtual analog synthesizer. Key to the design was to have no compromises on sound quality, ease of use, studio integration and raw power, all with a price tag that puts ownership within reach of producers working to a real-world budget.
How would you characterise Kyra’s sound?
It really is a wall of sound. With so many oscillators and voices, Kyra really does make an impact. Having said that, it is also capable of delicate sounds too. As Kyra is oversampled, there’s no rolloff at higher frequencies. Kyra has a crystal clear sound.
We are discovering new sounds on Kyra all the time and as more programmers create patches for it, we continue to be amazed at what can be achieved. Kyra’s sound is very complementary to other synthesizers in Waldorf’s range. It can be tame and remarkably smooth with very good emulations of classic analog synthesizers but it can also be big, bold and brash.
Tell me about this FPGA technology, what does it do for me as a musician?
Kyra is, as far we know, the first professional synthesizer to be based entirely on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). Even though this may be appear to be a technical detail it does have some real benefits for musicians. In particular, it offers the raw processing power of a very high end desktop computer but without the problems that are associated with such machines such as slow start up, unreliable operating systems and copious amounts of heat being generated. Even though Kyra has this sort of processing power, it starts up in under 4 seconds and uses less than ten watts of fan-free power (a typical high end desktop computer would use over 250 watts of power).
Another benefit to this technology is reliability. As all of Kyra’s audio generation, filtering and processing is done on a single chip, reduced component counts mean Kyra is less expensive to build and is more reliable.
What is unique about Kyra? Why should I buy it?
There are few synthesizers, if any, that are as powerful as Kyra. There are some notable features on Kyra that would usually be associated with much more expensive instruments such as a solid, all-metal chassis, 32 bit “Velvetsound” DACs, multiple balanced audio outputs and multi-part audio streaming over USB.
So Kyra has four stereo outputs? How is that useful to me?
Kyra offers four, balanced, stereo outputs that you can freely assign each of Kyra’s 8 Parts to. Studio producers will find this particularly useful as it means you can use outboard processing and effects, either connected directly or via bus sends on your mixer. With each of Kyra’s four outputs connected to your mixer, you can level, pan, EQ and process each of Kyra’s outputs as you wish. You can choose whether to use Kyra’s on board effects or to use your favourite outboard as you wish, on a Part-by-Part basis.
Virtual analog synthesis
All sound features can be used simultaneously
Oscillators per voice:
two Wave osc with 4096 waveforms
two Pulse osc
two Saw osc
two Noise osc
two Sub osc with several waveforms
Oscillator FM and Ring mod
Oscillators are in two groups for better overview
All osc per voice are available simultaneously
9 simultaneously available effects
6-slot Mod Matrix with multiple destinations per slot
2 filters: 12/24dB and LP/BP/HP in all configurations
3 envelope generators (EG)
3 LFOs with 128 shapes each
26 patch banks (A to Z) with 128 slots each
Arpeggiator with 128 preset patterns
Double Mode: layers the same sound two times and detunes them against each other
Sturdy full metal case
256x64 pixel OLED
USB 2.0 for MIDI and audio
5-pin DIN MIDI In/Out/Thru
8 balanced analog audio outputs plus Headphone out
Kyra can be used as an audio interface
Audio is transmitted to the computer via USB in up to 24bit/96kHz
Each Part is transmitted to the computer in stereo (16 channels in total)
2 audio channels from the computer can be played back through Kyra