The Waldorf Kyra VA Synthesizer Now Available

Waldorf Kyra VA Synthesizer

Post date:

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 06:46

Author:

Naomi Bolton

Calling something "one of the most powerful music synthesizers ever built" is undoubtedly a bold claim, but it demonstrates the faith that Waldorf has in Kyra. Those who attended NAMM earlier this year could see a pre-production prototype of the Kyra virtual analog synthesizer, but Waldorf has now announced its availability.

In short, Kyra is a hardware VA analog synthesizer that, according to Waldorf, will be able to create a wide range of contemporary sounds for live and studio musicians. It features an elegant desktop design that simply oozes class, but it's what's under the hood that really counts. Here Waldorf delivers with eight independent "parts," each of which functions almost like a synth on its own. This is because all of them can draw on two groups of oscillators as well as two sub oscillators along with filters, a multi-effects unit, and envelope generators, to name just a few. The result is a genuinely multitimbral instrument capable of delivering 32 notes per Part, with each Part capable of being sent as 24-bit audio at 96kHz to your DAW.

When it comes to patches, each Part of Kyra hosts a patch from the pool available to the system. There is a total of 3,328 patches available, with 26 banks containing 128 patches each. The first even banks are reserved for "user" patches that are stored in RAM, while the remaining 19 banks are ROM patches, Kyra also allows users to copy whole banks between RAM and ROM, which means everything is user-programmable.

Other notable features of Kyra includes its two primary virtual alias-free oscillator groups per voice, and the ability to switch from Wave mode to Hypersaw mode. The former makes use of a virtual analog synthesis model for the easy construction of sounds using intuitive subtractive synthesis, while the latter makes use of a special algorithm comprising six real oscillators. In addition, Kyra has three fast-response ADSR envelope generators with EG Slope setting, an arpeggiator on each Part with 128 preset patterns as well as a high-resolution 256x64 pixel graphic OLED display.

Here is a full list of specifications for Kyra:

Sound engine:

Virtual analog synthesis

128 voices

8 parts

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

Hard Sync

Hypersaw Mode

Oscillator FM and Ring mod

Oscillators are in two groups for better overview

All osc per voice are available simultaneously

Per Part:

9 simultaneously available effects

6-slot Mod Matrix with multiple destinations per slot

Furthermore:

2 filters: 12/24dB and LP/BP/HP in all configurations

3 envelope generators (EG)

3 LFOs with 128 shapes each

Extras:

26 patch banks (A to Z) with 128 slots each

Arpeggiator with 128 preset patterns

Octave Transpose

Double Mode: layers the same sound two times and detunes them against each other

Hardware:

Sturdy full metal case

256x64 pixel OLED

Kensington Lock

Connections:

USB 2.0 for MIDI and audio

5-pin DIN MIDI In/Out/Thru

8 balanced analog audio outputs plus Headphone out

Audio interface

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

On paper, it all sounds very impressive, and the metal case design with its wood sides makes for a sleek looking piece of gear. However, getting your hands on Kyra is not exactly cheap as its suggested price is just over $2,000. Check out the official website at https://www.waldorfmusic.com/en/kyra and let us know in the comments if you plan on getting your hands on this synth or not.