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Re: Eventide Orville questions

Great babble! ;-)
Very good reading.

- Robert

"Dennis W. Leas" wrote:

> > I'm in the hard work of learning how things work in Orville and other
> > multipourpose DSP machines to get one of them.
> For Kyma, I recommend an AES preprint "A Framework for the Design, 
> and Delivery of Real-time Software-based Sound Synthesis and Processing
> Algorithms" by Hebel and Scaletti presented at the 97th AES convention 
> It's short (text is about six pages) and concise.  You can also order a 
> manual for $35.  That's what I did before buying.
> > I heard Orville kicks Kyma (in flexibility and DSP power). is this 
> > having in mind that Symbolic Sound's Kyma is expandable up to 28 DSPs?
> I'm a Kyma owner so I'm quite familiar with it.  After reading the 
> manuals (all three including the programming manual), it's clear to me 
>that Kyma
> is quite a bit more powerful and flexible.
> This is not surprising given that a top end Kyma system (not including a 
> computer) prices out at $11,435 USD.  What is surprising is that you can 
> with a basic unit for $3,300 and expand it without discarding any parts.
> In a nutshell, the major differences between the Kyma and the Orville are
> because the Kyma requires a host computer at all times.  You only need 
>to use a
> computer with Orville when you're doing heavy-duty programming.
> The fact that Kyma requires a computer is both an advantage and 
> If you can't deal with a computer onstage, Orville is for you.  It is 
> designed to function as a conventional rack-mount effects box.  The 
>Orville is
> more self-contained.  For example, you can plug non-MIDI footswitches 
>and pedals
> directly into it.  With Kyma, you must use a MIDI footswitch and CC 
>pedal (and
> you'd probably need a MIDI hub).
> On the other hand, the computer gives Kyma some capabilities that 
>Orville simply
> doesn't have.  For example, with a MIDI keyboard, you can use Kyma as a 
> keyboard, triggering samples of any length from the hard drive.  You can 
> use Kyma as a digital mixer/recorder, recording directly to/from the 
> hard drive.  Since Kyma programs are stored on the computer's hard 
>drive, you
> have quick access to virtually an unlimited number of programs.
> You primarily control the Orville via it's front panel LCD and buttons.
> Eventide has done a great job with this, but it is limiting.  Kyma uses 
> computer screen to display control widgets on a "virtual control 
> These widgets include the usual assortment of buttons, toggles, 
> faders, etc and is completely customizable.  Both Orville and Kyma 
>permit the
> use of external MIDI controllers such as the Peavey PC1600.  However, 
> provides special support for the MotorMix, a box similar to the PC1600x 
>but with
> motorized faders and LCD labels for the faders.  The MotorMix mirrors the
> virtual control surface.
> In terms of programming, both units are similar in concept.  You can 
>create a
> signal flow diagram with boxes representing "functional units" (unit
> generators).  You specify the connections between the boxes.  The boxes 
> functions such as EQ, delay, level changes, etc and the connections 
>specify the
> signal/control flow.   Both units provide about 1000 of these 
>"functional units"
> for your use.  However, Orville appears less general, distinguishing 
> control signals and audio signals (i.e., there are different boxes for 
> and audio signals).  Kyma is completely general, permitting you to freely
> mix/interchange control and audio signals.  Also, Orville limits you to 
> modules supplied by Eventide (unless I missed a developer's kit?).  You 
> create your own in Kyma (a caffeine-laden process of writing DSP assembly
> language, not for the faint-hearted).  I'm writing a set of real-time 
> specific modules, for example.
> Kyma does quite a bit of work to distribute the workload among the DSPs. 
> You
> don't have to rewrite your programs, for example, to take advantage of 
> additional DSP cards.  With both Orville and Kyma, there is not a 
> correspondence between "functional units" (the boxes in your signal flow
> diagram) and DSPs.
> Among the software, the Orville features Eventide's famous Ultrashifter 
> reverb programs.  Reverb design being the magical, black-art that it is, 
> believe that the Orville's reverb is gorgeous sounding while Kyma's 
> comes in second.  I haven't A-B'ed them so I'm bending to conventional 
> here.  I never used the Ultrashifter but it is certainly well-known in 
> industry.  So if you need fabulous reverb and Ultrashifting capability, 
> Orville is for you.  On the other hand, I like the Kyma's reverb 
>programs and
> I'm not primarily a pitch-shifter kind of guy.
> The Kyma provides very powerful sound analysis tools that I haven't 
>found in
> Orville.  These include several varieties of spectral analysis and 
> Kyma is used by several researchers to investigate such subjects as
> psycho-acoustics, modeling physical instruments, and sonification of 
> data.
> The latest release of Kyma provides a timeline interface that is 
> absent from Orville.  This interface is well suited for time-based 
> You drag and drop Sounds (signal flow diagrams provided by Symbolic 
>Sound or
> created by you) onto a time lime.  You can have any number of tracks.  
>You can
> adjust the starting time/duration of each sound.  You can also adjust 
> parameters as  panning, levels, etc. on a track-by-track basis.  It's 
> powerful.
> I'm getting far afield from looping so it's probably time I quit 
>rambling for
> now.  This posting is too long already anyway!
> Dennis Leas
> -----------------------------
> dennis@mdbs.com