It started life as the Exodus Valkyrie, and while being shown at the 2018 Musikmesse Waldorf CEO Joachim Flor stumbled upon it and took it on. It became the Waldorf Kyra and has been eagerly awaited ever since. The waiting is over, you can buy one today.
It’s a huge synthesizer using the latest FPGA technology to model and generate up to 128 voices of virtual analogue synthesizer goodness. It’s an 8-part multi-timbral machine with up to 32 voices per part making it like 8 synths in one machine. All the usual bits and pieces are there in terms of filters, envelopes, LFOs, a modulation matrix and a meaty, per-part effects engine. The stereo audio from each part runs through the system at 24bits and 96kHz before emerging out of the 4 balanced stereo output pairs. Kyra can store 26 banks of 128 patches with the first 7 banks being available for user sounds, the rest are hardwired presets.
The sound is constructed with 2 oscillator groups each with a sawtooth, pulse or one of 4,096 wavetables. The groups are detunable and also have two subs with a choice of 4 waveforms and 2 octaves. You can also wire in hard sync, ring modulation and FM between the groups. Hypersaw mode generates another 6 oscillators to thicken out the oscillators with control over intensity and spread. And then a Dual Mode doubles this up to 12 oscillators. In the filter section you can dial up any of 128 filters in single or dual parallel mode. This thing is huge!
There are some performance features in the arpeggiator with 128 patterns including random and chord modes and it can all be stored with the patch.
The front panel is covered with an array of knobs, balanced with buttons and a rather nice OLED display. Hopefully, that will be able to contain the enormity of the sound possibilities.
Waldorf has done a great job with the Kyra. It looks fabulous and feels like it has a purpose and direction that the Valkyrie seemed to be lacking. The sounds in the promo video are impressive and full of warmth and depth.
The Kyra is available now for €1843.
- Waldorf Kyra webpage.