Digging in Kyma.
This is the very first post of my blog and as an introduction, I’d like to share the sound of my demo reel that you can watch at http://www.jedsound.com/. Type”kyma” for the password.
Everything started when I received a software called Kyma from Symbolic Sound. As I was reading Kyma X Revealed! by Carla Scaletti, I discovered many different ways to manipulate and process a sound that I never heard before. It took me over 6 months to dig into every aspect of the “prototypes” (the leaves of the big tree). Then I could build more complex patches (the branches of the tree) depending on my needs and write little scripts in kyma language to control my sounds algorithmically. For example, a sound can be just a parameter of another sound parameter that controls one parameter of a totally different sound. This was a very good learning experience that opened my mind on what a sound actually is: Frequencies and amplitudes are nothing else than a sequence of digits that can be modified mathematically.
- A mix of my favourite ones:
So, I downloaded a few trailers I found interesting in terms of visual texture and dynamic, converted them into quicktime DV, brought them up in a ProTools session and started to record while performing my sounds in real time on picture.
I really wanted to go further and use some fresh sounds instead of picking up from my libraries. I was so influenced by all those talented and dedicated sound designers, such as Chuck Russom, Nathan Moody, Tim Prebble, Michael Raphael, David Steinwedel etc. sharing their sound effects on the web, that I decided to go in the field too…
I got a lot of fresh sound materials recorded at 96kHz/24b that received metadata within soundminer. This includes spring coils and slinkies, electromagnetic fields recorded with guitar pickups, neonodium magnets, motors, servos, gadgets and gizmos, metal impacts and underwater metal impacts, wobble boards, car doors, washing machines, sewing machines, dumpsters, bungee cords, elastics, slingshots, balloons, wine glasses, chairs, winds dragging bags on carpets etc. that I will talk about later in other articles on this blog.
From all that stuff, I built around 10GB of processed elements in Kyma, Metasynth, Michael Norris Suite, IRCAM’s AudioSculpt and ProTools with Waves, Sound Toys, GRM Tools and Altiverb. Obviously, only a little percentage of that was used, because some of it was intended for some other projects.
For this article though, I’ll stay focused on the sounds processed in Kyma… (read more!)
- Frozen camera.
Check out the “Transformers ®” sequence during the Autobot Jazz transformation. I was going through my libraries listening to ratchets when I came down on an click of an old 35mm camera. I decided to record a recent Canon model click and tweak it in a sample freezer that I have previously built in Kyma. I record in real time a long performance that I cut on picture afterwards.
This patch allows to adjust the IN and OUT of a sample loop while I’m changing the rate. Kyma records the loop segment at each BPM (adjustable) in the RAM and as the IN and OUT move constantly, I can dial on any part of the sample and make the sound vocalizing.
- Running an engine through a Vocoder.
The vocoder has been used for decades and decades and is well known for making synthetic robot voices. I found interesting with Kyma how the vocoder could be clear and bright when you turn a lot of band-pass filters on. If you slide the frequency content of your source, it turns your engine into a turbine and I thought that was working really good for the motorbikes in the the Tron Legacy sequence.
- Evil echos and delays.
Echos and Delays are really fun to play with. Try to delay a sound under 30 ms and add a bit of feedback to it. Imagine now that you can control that delay in real time and change it from 5 ms to 30 ms, you’ll get a pitch-shifting effect. In order to get variations, multiply an amplitude envelope or a LFO to your feedback to make your sound interesting.
- Building your own blocks.
It happens that I like a plugin, but I feel there’s not enough controls to it or that I’d like to add something else. If you understand the logic of your plugin, you have a chance to reproduce it in Kyma. Here’s an example of a tool that I use a lot in real time… It contains a LFO with a modifiable waveform, a formant shifter, a flanger and a pitch-shifter with a pitch analyzer for better detection (because pitch-shift doesn’t work on noise). Everything runs in series but each block has his own bypass toggle. The input can receive any sound that I’d play back from Soundminer. It goes right away in Kyma and returns on a record track within Pro Tools. Very convenient!