LYRA-8 Organismic Synth (for soundscapes, FXs, pads, complex textures)


#61

Having received my Lyra-8 a couple of days ago, I have started to dig deep and deeper in this wondrous instrument. Surprisingly enough I enjoyed outright first humble success and much fun too, despite the short time of ownership. During my first sessions I lost any sense of time :smiley:

Now I wonder, whether some nauts, who use the Lyra too, would be interested to share insight and experience.


#62

Here is a first question.

Does anybody also experience that pairs of voices, like 12, 34 etc. have some internal crosstalking (1<->2, 3<->4), even, if the modulation switch is in neutral position (middle position)?

I found tunings for pairs generating more or less clean sounds and tunings, which created quite some roughness. The degree of roughness seemed to be linked to the relative positions of the tuning knobs. Detuning of one voice had significant influence on both voices.

I suspect that the Lyra has some tuning sweet-spots and some angry territory, which might follow some general rules.

As an example I tuned the Lyra to a pentatonic scale and got quite angry voices, even with the sharpness turned to triangle.


#63

Lucky…

(I’m happy for you)


#64

I am happy too … but this could be, because I didn’t have any idea, what to expect. So I was absolutely openminded :wink:


#65

I love mine! Coincidentally, I picked a LYRA8 hours before a gig… Ended up using it during playing after a an hour session at home!

Its a great unit!


#66

Do you have some recordings of the device? I really like that they are selling DIY Kits (without knobs, case, screws) for 100€ - I guess it is really hardcore to DIY but still a nice gesture!


#67

The built quality of the unit is very good and rock solid … like a Russian Tank, so to say. But this is only about the mechanical properties, there is no clunkyness. The instrument has an unique aestetics, like having a root, which devides top down into main branches and secondary branches.

I will check my first live recording from yesterday this evening and if I think I can dare, I will upload a short demo.


#68

This is the gig I mentioned. Do not have other recordings yet!
You can clearly hear it at the beginning,


#69

oh very nice! Thanks for sharing! Did you get a c-base tour from the spacestation crew? I love that place!


#70

I think that the crosstalk is expected behavior. It’s definitely not clinical, and full of such little quirks like when the switch is set to LFO Mod on the voices, it has some influence even with the knob fully clockwise. Overall it is an highly interactive instrument, with the player but also with itself ! Knobs and switches may have an influence over several parameters of the sound.

It’s really a wonderful instrument.


#71

Thanks for your response. So this is not an imagination by myself, but I wasn’t sure.

Vlad Kreimer has written in the manual that one of the unique features would be the links between various circuits, but I did expect them between the voice pairs, and to be switched on and off, not inside the pairs. IMO this crosstalk gives a certain character to the timbre, which is unique indeed, deep and interesting.


#72

Here we go … my first recording, after three days of ownership, or at least a pick of some bars, which I dare to share :wink:

The recording of my short live jam consists of four tracks:

  • Lyra 8
  • bass: Fusebox
  • whistle like voice: Nyx
  • beat: AR

I uploaded the Lyra 8 solo track and a very basic mixdown of all tracks. The Lyra sound is raw even in the mix (well, there is a master compressor for glueing everything together). This should give an idea, how the Lyra sound is without any treatment and in the mix. Don’t expect a masterpiece please :wink: this is just for demonstration.

The Lyra was used in an organ style, this means, I did not use the modulation of the LFO, or the FM, or the FB options on the voices. Those I have to study in more detail, because the Lyra can become quite weird in some places. But I used the Mod Delay of the Lyra to some extend.


#73

I find that a little EQ is needed to have it really sit well in a mix but apart from this - and despite its very limited connectivity with other gear - I’m really pleasantly surprised with how well it works with beats and modular stuff for example.

Someone mentioned on a thread somewhere (I think here ?) that it was possible to get the illusion of syncing Lyra when you send a gate pattern into the Delay CV in. This is a great tip ! Here’s my first try at this :


#74

It could have been me on “your setups”. Glad to hear that you could get it to work.

There is a question. I have observed that my voices 1 and 2 are linked such that:

  • if I play voice 1 only and detune 2, after 12 o’clock voice 1 starts to raise the pitch with a maximum of about a semitone, if voice 2 pitch is at maximum.
  • playing voice 2 only and doing the pitch shifting on voice 1 has the same effect.

Do you observe the same behaviour?

I checked this behaviour on the other pairs of voices too. It’s there, but much more subtle.

On voice 1 or 2 I started to use this as a pitch bend effect.


#75

I don’t remember if it does the same thing but I’ll check later, see if I can replicate it. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the natural behavior.

In the meantime I turned the snippet above into a full track, adding some more stereo stuff with the Rainmaker, keeping it mostly Lyra 8 :


#76

Your track shows one thing, which I observed myself too and love. The Lyra can go really weird, but we can find sweet spots, where the sound is interestingly layered, strange, but also pleasent to listen to.


#77

Certainly ! It’s a misconception that this thing is only capable of tornadoes of noise. It’s fantastic that it can be, but there’s a lot of subtlety, beauty and soothing sounds there too. And it certainly doesn’t sound like anything else !


#78

The last two days I took time to explore the FM and Feedbacks … more or less systematically. I would say that there is a behaviour hidden, which can be understood good enough to allow the use of it quite intended and planned, rather than finding this or that nice timbre by chance.


#79

I’ve been trying to find diagrams of the architecture for Lyra, without luck so far. Anyone got a link to something useful?

I’m trying to decide whether to buy one, or see if I can program/patch something similar-ish on my Nord G2.


#80

I guess you are not asking for the schematics :wink:

The architecture is quite straight forward and has just the same logic as the instrument layout.
Audio-signal flow is:

  • two single voice built a pair -->
  • two pairs built a group -->
  • two groups are all the 8 voices -->
  • Mod-Delay -->
  • Drive -->
  • Out

and then we have all the modulation options (buttons, switches, feedbacks etc.) as shown on the user interface. The manual describes pretty good, how everything is hooked up and how it works in general. But it’s up to the user to explore the very different possibilities.

Example: The FM is not as usual - compared to a “complex oscillator”. There is a kind of modulation of frequencies, but with very surprising behaviour.

You can download some files, including blank patch-sheets. They represent exactly, what is going on under the hood and how the voices, pair of voices, groups of 4 voices etc. can be used from a single voice to groups modulated by FM or Feedback.

https://somasynths.com/lyra-organismic-synthesizer/ (download the manual)
https://somasynths.com/lyra-8-presets/ (download patch sheets etc.)

I don’t think that imitating the Lyra with any kind of digital gear has even got a tiny chance of success, if the circuits are not simulated like it’s done for the Roland Aira series.

The Lyra sound is generated by many crossmodulations of the circuit board itself, not only by the position of the visible switches or Mod-buttons. Put all modulations to neutral, change the pitch poties or the envelopes and there is more to hear than expected.

Even if a switch is in FM position and the Mod-Button is down to zero, there is already significant frequency modulation. Even the oscillators of one pair see each other and crossmodulate. Many of the typical sounds possible are generated by the various feedback options, which are - as I suppose - planned and unplanned by the designer.

Last but not least … there is the opertional aspect. The Lyra seems not to be designed to be used as a keyboard like instrument. The most interesting results are achieved, if we keep flipping switches, moving knobs, tuning/detuning and so forth … :wink: I train this with both hands and more then three fingers in action. That interface is an essential part of the game :smiley: