Kymorphia Instrument Format

The core of the Kymorphia Instrument standard is the vector waveform. This building block provides the means of creating arbitrary waveforms which can scale much better than sample based audio. A similar analogy in the field of graphics is the comparison of vector images like SVG (Structured Vector Graphics) to bitmap images. SVG files provide a great format for describing images as geometric shapes like curves and lines, which can be scaled up or down in size without noticeable degradation, whereas bitmap images consist of a grid of "sampled" pixels and scaling will result in pixelation or other artifacts. Scaling the pitch of digitally sampled audio results in much more significant distortion and unwanted artifacts than a vector waveform does. However, just as vector graphics do not replace bitmap graphics, as each has it's own purpose, so too does vector audio not replace digitally sampled audio. One would not attempt to duplicate a photograph identically with vectors, for example.

A curve based synthesis architecture provides a very powerful and flexible way to generate audio, but it also requires more computational resources than a sample based software synthesizer. Many types of instrument sounds may still be better synthesized as digital audio samples or dedicated synthesis algorithms. However, compared to sample based instruments, such as the popular SoundFont format, the Kymorphia Instrument format offers many advantages. It provides a general purpose synthesis architecture, which is excellent for "analog" like synthesis and does not suffer from the continuity issues which results from having several different audio samples recorded across different note and velocity ranges. The synthesis architecture is also not static (or fixed), meaning the more computational resources one has, the more complex an instrument can be, and still provide enough simultaneous synthesis voices for music composition. While complex dynamic synthesis structures can be created, the model which is used to construct it is rather simple, providing a high level of flexibility while still remaining easy to use. Being general purpose, it also offers a lot of promise in creating a wide range of instruments.

Kymorphia Instruments consist of a tree of waveform curves. Each waveform has 3 input ports and 1 output port. Input ports include X, Y, and Morph. The output port is called Destination. Each of these ports is associated with an attribute, which determines which port it connects to. Attributes include things like Time (wall clock), Pitch, Volume, Balance, and other control values. The X input port determines the current synthesis playback position in the waveform curve. When using relative positioning, a constant positive value on the X input port would playback the waveform at a constant rate.