At SynthPlex 2019, we talked with Korg product specialist Nick Kwas and he gave us an update on the upcoming Waldorf Kyra synthesizer.
The Kyra started its life as the independently designed Exodus Digital Valkyrie, introduced at Musikmesse 2018. Waldorf Music CEO Joachim Flor thought the Valkyrie was “one of the most exciting synthesizers of recent years’, and decided to help bring the synth to a broader audience.
The Kyra is based on FPGA technology, which promises to make it possible to create powerful synth hardware more cost-effectively. A FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) is a type of powerful integrated circuit that’s designed to be ‘field-programmable’. This means that manufacturers can buy generic FPGA’s and then load a hardware description that turns the chip into a custom integrated circuit.
In the case of the Kyra, using FPGA technology promises to allow Waldorf to produce a synth with 128-voice polyphony, a 10 oscillator-per-voice architecture, deep modulation options and more.
The Kyra shown at SynthPlex was one of the latest prototypes. While it looked very finished, Waldorf has not announced a release date for it yet.
Waldorf Kyra Specifications (preliminary):
- 128 voice polyphony (regardless of settings and effects), each with 10 oscillators per voice;
- eight-part multitimbrality (with each part having its own dedicated nine-module effects unit).
- state-of-the-art audio quality: think 32x oversampled hardware with dual wavetables providing over 4,000 waveshapes;
- true stereo operation, hard sync, FM (Frequency Modulation), and ring modulation;
- oversampled emulations of classic analogue ladder filters, with 2- and 4-pole configurations;
- two filters can be used in Dual Voice mode, making for even more creative options;
- three envelope generators;
- three stereo LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) with 64 shapes and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) clock sync;
- an arpeggiator;
- full keyboard microtuning;
- true polyphonic portamento; and
- a comprehensive 18-channel modulation matrix.
- each of its eight parts featuring a three-band EQ with sweepable mid
- dual tube limiters
- formant filter
- six-stage phaser
- stereo digital delay
- comb/flanger/chorus/doubler unit
- programmable reverb
- All effects units on all parts can be used simultaneously and run at Kyra’s native 96kHz sample rate.
- four assignable, balanced 32-bit/96kHz stereo outputs
- a headphone output
- low-latency DIN MIDI
- fully class-compliant USB2 implementation for MIDI
- stereo 24-bit/96kHz audio stream for each of its eight parts.
- USB (Universal Serial Bus) audio return feature, so Kyra can render final DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) audio under ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output)
Pricing and Availability
The Waldorf Kyra is still in development and official details on pricing and availability are still to be announced.