The SOMA Lyra-8 is an organismic synthesizer, capable of a wide variety of textures, tones, and behaviors that break out of the traditional bounds of what a synthesizer is and can be. Organismic refers to the behavior inherent to the synthesizer that uses some of the underlying principles that inform living organisms. The way the different elements interact mirrors a conversation.
Lyra-8 features eight voices, which can be individually tuned. They are organized into pairs, quads, and also have behavior that affects all the voices. Each voice features a touch plate which can be used to bring in the voice. It has two envelope types, fast and slow, which determine how the voice reacts when it receives input at the touch point. The range of pitches goes from lowest to highest, from left to right.
Voices are also paired together into groups of two. The pairs have dedicated controls for Sharp, which is the waveform, and Mod, which brings cross modulation into the oscillators. The pairs can be used to cross modulate each other, but the modulation only comes into play when a note is triggered. This allows for dynamic and expressive playing of modulation. Modulation can also come from the LFO, feedback of the audio output, and external CV input. The two groups of four voices feature pitch control, which controls the frequency of all four voices, and hold, which opens the VCA and lets the voices drone.
The Hyper LFO section features two square wave LFOs that can be combined. With the switch in the up position, the two LFOs are multiplied with the logical operation AND, and in the down position, the two LFOs are added together with OR logic. There is also the option to add soft FM between the two LFOs.
The delay section features two delay lines that can be used to add space and texture to the Lyra-8's raw sound. Each delay line features a modulation input and can either use the Hyper LFO or its own audio output. This can cause unexpected and surprising results. There is one feedback path for both delay lines, and it goes well into self-oscillation. Finally, the signal path passes into a distortion section which features an overall volume knob, drive control, and a mix between the clean and the distorted signals.
External audio can be brought in to be processed by the delay and distortion sections. In addition to external audio, external CV signals can be brought into the Lyra-8's environment to modulate the delay or the pitch of the voices. The voices don't track 1V/Oct, but that's not what the Lyra-8 is intended for. The Lyra-8 is a unique synthesizer that brings together a complex environment of parts to create something greater than their sum, a reactive and expressive instrument capable of a huge range of sounds.
- Eight-voice organismic synthesizer
- Individual tuning of voices
- Voices grouped into pairs and quads
- Hyper LFO modulation source
- Mod delay with two delay lines
- Voices can cross FM each other
- External CV of delay, VCOs, and hold gate input
- Touch-plate interface
- External audio input