New Pattern Generator for Kyma 7.25

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Jun 122019

Generate sequences based on the patterns discovered in your MIDI files

Symbolic Sound today released a new module that generates endlessly evolving sequences based on the patterns it discovers in a MIDI file. HMMPatternGenerator, the latest addition to the library of the world’s most advanced sound design environment, is now available to sound designers, musicians, and researchers as part of a free software update: Kyma 7.25.

Composers and sound designers are masters of pattern generation — skilled at inventing, discovering, modifying, and combining patterns with just the right mix of repetition and variation to excite and engage the attention of a listener. HMMPatternGenerator is a tool to help you discover the previously unexplored patterns hidden within your own library of MIDI files and to generate endlessly varying event sequences, continuous controllers, and new combinations based on those patterns.

Here’s a video glimpse at some of the potential applications for the HMMPatternGenerator:


What can HMMPatternGenerator do for you?

Games, VR, AR — In an interactive game or virtual environment, there’s no such thing as a fixed-duration scene. HMMPatternGenerator can take a short segment of music and extend it for an indeterminate length of time without looping.

Live improvisation backgrounds — Improvise live over an endlessly evolving HMMPatternGenerator sequence based on the patterns found in your favorite MIDI files.

Keep your backgrounds interesting — Have you been asked to provide the music for a gallery opening, a dance class, a party, an exercise class or some other event where music is not the main focus? The next time you’re asked to provide “background” music, you won’t have to resort to loops or sample clouds; just create a short segment in the appropriate style, save it as a MIDI file, and HMMPatternGenerator will generate sequences in that style for as long as the party lasts — even after you shut down your laptop (because it’s all generated on the Paca(rana) sound engine, not on your host computer).

Inspiration under a deadline — Need to get started quickly? Provide HMMPatternGenerator with your favorite MIDI files, route its MIDI output stream to your sequencer or notation software, and listen while it generates endless recombinations and variations on the latent patterns lurking within those files. Save the best parts to use as a starting point for your new composition.

Sound for picture — When the director doubles the duration of a scene a few hours before the deadline, HMMPatternGenerator can come to the rescue by taking your existing cue and extending it for an arbitrary length of time, maintaining the original meter and the style but with continuous variations (no looping).

Structured textures — HMMPatternGenerator isn’t limited to generating discrete note events; it can also generate timeIndex functions to control other synthesis algorithms (like SumOfSine resynthesis, SampleClouds and more) or as a time-dependent control function for any other synthesis or processing parameter. That means you can use a MIDI file to control abstract sounds in a new, highly-structured way.

MIDI as code — If you encode the part-of-speech (like verb, adjective, noun, etc) as a MIDI pitch, you can compose a MIDI sequence that specifies a grammar for English sentences and then use HMMPatternGenerator to trigger samples of yourself speaking those words — generating an endless variety of grammatically correct sentences (or even artificial poetry). Imagine what other secret meanings you could encode as MIDI sequences — musical sequences that can be decrypted only when decoded by the Kyma Sound generator you’ve designed for that purpose.

Self-discovery — HMMPatternGenerator can help you tease apart what it is about your favorite music that makes it sound the way it does. By adjusting the parameters of the HMMPatternGenerator and listening to the results, you can uncover latent structures and hyper meters buried deep within the music of your favorite composers — including some patterns you hadn’t  even realized were hidden within your own music.

Remixes and mashups — Use HMMPatternGenerator to generate an never-ending stream of ideas for remixes (of one MIDI file) and amusing mashups (when you provide two or more MIDI files in different styles).

Galleries of possibilities — Select a MIDI file in the Kyma 7.25 Sound Browser and, at the click of a button, generate a gallery of hundreds of pattern generators, all based on that MIDI file. At that point, it’s easy to substitute your own synthesis algorithms and design new musical instruments to be controlled by the pattern-generator. Quickly create unique, high-quality textures and sequences by combining some of the newly-developed MIDI-mining pattern generators with the massive library of unique synthesis and processing modules already included with Kyma.

How does it work?

If each event in the original MIDI file is completely unique, then there is only one path through the sequence — the generated sequence is the same as the original MIDI sequence. Things start to get interesting when some of the events are, in some way, equivalent to others (for example, when events of the same pitch and duration appear more than once in the file).

HMMPatternGenerator uses equivalent events as pivot points — decision points at which it can choose to take an alternate path through the original sequence (the proverbial “fork in the road”). No doubt you’re familiar with using a common chord to pivot to another key; now imagine using a common state to pivot to a whole new section of a MIDI file or, if you give HMMPatternGenerator several MIDI files, from one genre to another.

By live-tweaking the strengths of three equivalence tests — pitch, time-to-next, and position within a hyper-bar — you can continuously shape how closely the generated sequence follows the original sequence of events, ranging from a note-for-note reproduction to a completely random sequence based only on the frequency with which that event occurs in the original file.

Other new features in Kyma 7.25 include:

▪ Optimizations to the Spherical Panner for 3d positioning and panning (elevation and azimuth) for motion-tracking VR or mixed reality applications and enhanced binaural mixes — providing up to 4 times speed increases (meaning you can track 4 times as many 3d sound sources in real time).

▪ Multichannel interleaved file support in the Wave editor

• New granular reverberation and 3d spatializing examples in the Kyma Sound Library

and more…


Kyma 7.25 is available as a free update starting today and can be downloaded from the Help menu in Kyma 7. For more information, please visit:


The new features in the Kyma 7.25 sound design environment are designed to help you stay in the creative flow by adding automatic Gallery generation from MIDI files, and the HMMPatternGenerator module which can be combined with the extensive library of sound synthesis, pattern-generation, and processing algorithms already available in Kyma.


Symbolic Sound revolutionized the live sound synthesis and processing industry with the introduction of Kyma in 1990. Today, Kyma continues to set new standards for sound quality, innovative synthesis and processing algorithms, rock-solid live performance hardware, and a supportive, professional Kyma community both online and through the annual Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS).

For more information:


Kyma, Pacarana, Paca, and their respective logos are trademarks of Symbolic Sound Corporation. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Jun 042019

Sound designers, electronic/computer musicians and researchers are invited to join us in Busan South Korea 29 August through 1 September 2019 for the 11th annual Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2019) — four days and nights of hands-on workshops, live electronic music performances, and research presentations on the theme: Resonance (공명).

Link where you can download the Korean, Japanese, or Chinese version of the poster.

“Resonance”, from the Latin words resonare (re-sound) and resonantia (echo), can be the result of an actual physical reflection, of an electronic feedback loop (as in an analog filter), or even the result of “bouncing” ideas off each other during a collaboration. When we say that an idea “resonates”, it suggests that we may even think of our minds as physical systems that can vibrate in sympathy to familiar concepts or ideas.

Photo by Belinda J Carr

At KISS2019, the concept of resonance will be explored through an opening concert dedicated to “ecosystemic” electronics (live performances in which all sounds are derived from the natural resonances of the concert hall interacting with the electronic resonances of speaker-microphone loops), through paper sessions dedicated to modal synthesis and the implementation of virtual analog filters in Kyma, through live music performances based on gravity waves, sympathetic brain waves, the resonances of found objects, the resonance of the Earth excited by an earthquake, and in a final rooftop concert for massive corrugaphone orchestra processed through Kyma, where the entire audience will get to perform together by swinging resonant tubes around their heads to experience collective resonance.

Sounds of Busan — two hands-on workshops open to all participants — focus on the sounds and datasets of the host city: Busan, South Korea. In part one, participants will take time series data from Busan Metropolitan City (for example, barometric pressure and sea level changes) and map those data into sound in order to answer the question: can we use our ears (as well as our eyes) to help discover patterns in data? In part two, participants will learn how to record, process, and manipulate 3d audio field recordings of Busan for virtual and augmented reality applications.

Several live performances also focus on the host city: a piece celebrating the impact of shipping containers on the international economy and on the port city of Busan; a piece inspired by Samul nori, traditional Korean folk music, in which four performers will play a large gong fitted with contact mics to create feedback loops; and a live performance of variations on the Korean folk song: Milyang Arirang, using hidden Markov models.

Hands-on Practice-based Workshops
In addition to a daily program of technical presentations and nightly concerts (, afternoons at KISS2019 are devoted to palindromic concerts (where composer/performers share technical tips immediately following the performance) and hands-on workshops open to all participants, including:

• Sounds of Busan I: DATA SONIFICATION
What do the past 10 years of meteorological data sound like? In this hands-on session, we will take time series data related to the city of Busan and map the data to sound. Can we hear patterns in data that we might not otherwise detect?

Photo by Belinda J Carr

How can you control the way sound parameters evolve over time? Participants will work together to compile a dictionary associating control signal shapes with mathematical functions of time for controlling sound parameters.

• Sounds of Busan II: 3D SOUND TECHNIQUES
Starting with a collection of 3D ambisonic recordings from various locations in and around Busan, we will learn how to process, spatialize, mix down for interactive binaural presentation for games and VR.

Photo by Belinda J Carr

Networking Opportunities
Participants can engage with presenters and fellow symposiasts during informal discussions after presentations, workshops, and concerts over coffee, tea, lunches and dinners (all included with registration). After the symposium, participants can join their new-found professional contacts and friends on a tour of Busan (as a special benefit for people who register before July 1).


Sponsors and Organizers
Daedong College Department of New Music (
Dankook University Department of New Music (
Symbolic Sound Corporation (
Busan Metropolitan City (

For more information

Student and early registration discounts are available for those registering prior to 1 July 2019

Photo by Belinda J Carr

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