VR_I: social, free roaming virtual reality

Gilles Jobin’s VR_I — an immersive virtual reality contemporary dance experience with a 3D sound track created entirely in Kyma.7 — has its world premiere from 6 to 10 October 2017 at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal. Unfolding on multiple, parallel space and time scales, VR_I immerses you in a wordless experience of the continuum from infinite to infinitesimal, leaving you with a new sense of perspective on your place in the universe.

In partnership with Artanim Foundation and utilizing their motion-capture and VR technology, VR_I is a pioneering work in social, free-roaming virtual reality. As many as five people can enter the experience together and see their own and each other’s bodies as avatars sharing the same virtual world as the characters (the dancers).

In VR_I, music emerges from the environment: wind in the desert transitions to a humming chorus sung by giants; wind chimes in the art-filled loft organize themselves into 5/8 rhythms as columns rise up from the floor, only to dissolve back into wind chimes again as the columns recede; in the city park, bird songs are echoed in flute melodies, and cicadas transform themselves into rhythmic patterns over tambura-like drones.

Each spectator hears an individualized soundscape, and there is no way to really know what everyone else is experiencing (just like in real life). Sounds and musical elements are positioned in space and attached to objects, giving each spectator a unique mix as they move through the space, culminating in upwardly spiraling Shepard-tones that swirl around and lift up the listeners as they contemplate their own place in the continuum from infinite to infinitesimal.

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk

— from the Native American Diné Blessing Way

Choreography: Gilles Jobin
Dancers: Susana Panadés Díaz, Victoria Chiu, Tidiani N’Diaye, Diya Naidu, Gilles Jobin
3D Music & Sound Design: Carla Scaletti
Costumes: Jean-Paul Lespagnard
3d modeling: Tristan Siodlak
Animation: Camilo de Martino
3D Scans & Motion Capture: Artanim
VR Platform: Artanim

For tour dates and booking information, visit: vr-i.space

Roland Kuit in Stockholm, New York, Edinburgh

Composer/researcher/sound designer Roland Kuit is currently composer-in-residence at the EMS in Stockholm working on a project that combines their Buchla 400 with Kuit’s Kyma/Pacarana system.

He is also at work creating new pieces for Pacarana and Chicago based composer/conductor Renee Baker‘s Chicago Symfonietta to be premiered in New York this fall, and you can hear him lecture on modular sound design for TV and games the Napier University in Edinburgh in February 2015.  Check out his full calendar here.

Kyma Spectum Editor in Tesseract Portal Device

Sound designer François Blaignan had an opportunity to apply Kyma in an unusual way in his work on the interactive multimedia exhibition Marvel’s Avengers STATION (Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) now on display in Time Square in NYC and featured in this month’s Mix magazine. The 10,000-square-foot installation is a space where Avengers fans can immerse themselves in characters and artifacts associated with the Avengers.

 For the Tesseract Portal Device, the installation designers were having a hard time matching the look of the spectrograms of X-rays, infrared, and gamma rays provided to them by NASA.  So Blaignan created an animation using stills from Kyma’s spectrum editor and synched it to the Tessaract sound from the movie for a perfect match.

Kyma wasn’t a totally silent partner on the project; it also played a role in creating the sounds of the particle accelerator in Banner’s lab.

Sound design for Beyond Two Souls

We asked sound designer Mathieu Fiorentini of Quantic Dream to talk about how he used Kyma in the sound design for the PS-3 interactive psychological action thriller — Beyond Two Souls — starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe:

Throughout the whole game, the player encounters creatures from the other side, called the Entities. We designed the Entities sounds as a team.  For the part of the job that was assigned to me, Kyma helped me a lot to find and propose  layers for the movements and the growls of the creatures. I recorded some collections from the Tau Player, then put the results into the 3DMorphSampleCloud to merge with some human voices. I also got some very exciting results from the 100 Whooshes patch from JED (sound designer, Jean-Edouard Miclot).

In the final chapter of the game, I used Kyma for creatures and ambient sound.  For example:

In this sound, the player is inside a kind of supernatural tempest. So I needed very consistent sound for the ambience. I used the 3DMorphSampleCloud prototype to merge and modulate various sound effects (wind, sand movements, volcano, dogs growl, my voice).

This is the sound made by some weird monsters made from sand particles; they come up from out of the ground to attack Jodie (the main character). I used the CrossFilter prototype to cross human voices and moans with the sounds of wind and gas jets.

I’m new Kyma user (1 year), and I’m so excited about getting deeper and deeper into Kyma. There’s something unusual and magic when I switch on my Pacarana. I know I’m going to spend time dedicated to search and experiment, and I often forget that I’m working on a computer. It helps me to focus only on the most important thing: the sound.

— Mathieu Fiorentini

P.S . Here is the complete list of the Quantic Dreams’ main audio team for Beyond Two Souls:

Alexis Antoni, sound designer
Sylvain Buffet, sound designer
Lorne Bafle, music composer
Xavier Despas, lead sound designer
Mathieu Fiorentini, sound sesigner
Laurent Gabiot, dialog recordist
Mary Lockwood, music manager
Mathieu Muller, sound designer
Stéphane Tréziny, dialog editor
Dominique Voegele, sound designer
Hans Zimmer, music producer

Musical score for Unfinished Swan

Imagine yourself surrounded by nothing but a featureless whiteness, a world in which the only way to discover objects or people around you  is to splatter black paint in the hopes of revealing their outlines and shapes.

Giant Sparrow’s The Unfinished Swan is a new kind of game, and composer Joel Corelitz has taken a new approach to scoring the music for the new PlayStation title.  Seeking to blur the line between the real and the synthetic, Corelitz chose to imitate electronic sounds with acoustic instruments and to imitate acoustic instruments with electronics.  He used Kyma for the electric harpsichord sounds in the ‘switched-on’ type pieces, and he used the Kyma CrossFilter on the pads.

The Unfinished Swan, slated for an October 23, 2012 release, is already earning rave reviews for its unique approach and focus on creativity, exploration, and discovery.

Kyma International Sound Symposium 2012

The Kyma International Sound Symposium is  four inspiring days and nights filled with sound design, ideas, discussions, and music, and it offers a wide range of opportunities to increase your Kyma mastery: from introductory master classes, to hands-on question-and-answer sessions; from thought-provoking presentations, to inspiring concerts and after-hours discussions with new-found friends and colleagues.

This year’s symposium KISS2012 will be on banks of the mighty Mississippi River, September 13-16, organized by St. Cloud State University School of the Arts and Symbolic Sound. The KISS2012 theme, reel time || real time, puts the spotlight on reel time (sound for picture), real time (live performance), and all timescales between, including sound design for games, live cinema, live improvisation ensembles, live performances from a score, sound design for live theatre, live signal generation for speech and hearing research, interactive data sonification, interactive sound art, and more!

X-Men Destiny Sound Design by Nick Peck

Sound Designer Nick Peck has been making extensive use of his new Kyma system for the upcoming Activision/Marvel video game X-Men Destiny. “I hadn’t used Kyma in nearly 20 years, and was just blown away by how far it had come since the early days,” said Peck.  He went on to describe how he incorporated Kyma into his workflow on the game:

I was a bit intimidated of working it into my system, since I was knee deep in production. So I started slowly, going through Kyma X Revealed for a few minutes each day. As it turns out, you don’t really have to make complex patches in order to harness Kyma’s amazing processing power. I’ve created foley libraries, morphed dialog, and done tons of real-time sample manipulation by making sounds that only use one or two modules. The key for me is the excellent Kyma Control iPad software. The expressive gestural power of the iPad combined with Kyma fits my approach to sound design like a glove – I can explore to my heart’s content, and when I get a sound dialed in, I just re-record it into Pro Tools against the picture.



Sound designer Mike Johnson made extensive use of Kyma in his sound design work for Blizzard Entertainment’s latest World of WarCraft expansion, Cataclysm, to create hybrid vocalizations for several of the new creatures that now populate the world of Azeroth.

Sound designer, Mike Johnson made extensive use of Kyma in the sounds for Blizzard Entertainment‘s latest World of  WarCraft expansion,  Cataclysm.

Johnson used Kyma to create hybrid vocalizations for several of the new creatures that now populate the world of Azeroth.  Creatures with names such asRock Demon, Fire Dragon, Slime Creature, Rock Worm, Stone Golem and Wood Creature were created by taking various human and animal vocalizations and warping them with fire, rock, and other elemental forces to visceral, terrifyingly effect. According to Johnson, “I couldn’t have done it without my Kyma system.”