SOMA Labs Lyra 8

I have noticed that people seem to value the Russian-made models over the Polish. Is there a reason for this, beyond Vlad may have touched it?

I’ve been wondering the same thing. While I don’t know for sure, I think that the idea of “Soviet” synthesizers holds a special appeal for some people. Polish synth just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

How do you know which country it’s from if you get one second-hand?

Be ready to pay hefty extra for shipping and customs tax/VAT when ordering from Russian division. Learned that the hard way while ordering the Ether.

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Ha! This sums up how I feel about it. I’ve only had it for a few months, but it’s been sitting in a case since my last gig in mid-October. It’s such a beautiful, weird, unpredictable instrument, and sounds lovely when played together with my piano, but it really feels like a luxury item among the rest of my setup.

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I’m wondering how people are using the rear jacks for CV Voices, CV Delay, Hold Gate, and Ext In. What kinds of stuff is being connected?

CV voices: a bit limited in usefulness IMHO. Audio rate modulation doesn’t contribute a lot and it’s not any particular volt-pitch scheme, but a more freeform sequencer like the SQ-1 can work.

CV delay: simple LFOs or smooth random are good, since the Hyper LFO is a bit odd.

Hold: any gates work well. It interacts with the hold knobs, “fast” switches and touchplates. Nice for injecting some synchronized rhythm.

Ext in: lots of stuff works well here with the Lyra’s distortion and delay. I haven’t had as much success with feedback patching the Lyra itself, but I admit I didn’t spend long on it (maybe hard limiting would help). Drums sound pretty great through it, and I’ve mixed drones from my modular with playing the Lyra itself.


This may be a dumb question, but can you process both external audio and the internal synth voice through the effects at the same time?

I reknobbed mine as well:

The tuning knobs are the style that was on the mod/sharp/pitch/hold pots – very similar to Mutable/Make Noise Rogan PT knobs. I didn’t care for the chicken head style knobs in the upper section either, so I replaced those all with Re’an P670 (Bugbrand style, I think) from Modular Addict.

(I was just out of town for a week, and despite having a cloth over it and a nearby air purifier with HEPA filter, I see it’s collected some dust. That isn’t too pleasing.)


there is plastic cover and nylon dust bag available if dust becomes too much of an issue

I have the nylon bag. It’s designed as a slip case rather than a handy studio cover. I’ve just been lying it across the top, but I might “hack” it into the sort of cover I wanted.

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Any demos on this yet? looks amazing!

Just got my Lyra a week ago and am really digging it. Such a deep and elusive instrument.

Question about the voice modulation: When I have the mod switch in the “LFO FB CV” position and have the MOD knob turned all the way down, I hear the LFO modulating the voice. When I turn up the MOD knob, I hear more, but I would expect to hear no modulation until I turn the knob up from zero. It’s the same with the Total FB on - the voice changes pitch even when MOD is at zero.

Is that normal or is mine an oddball?


Playing the Lyra-8, I’m usually alternating between thoughts of—this is transcendent!, and—is this broken?


Yep I can also confirm this is how mine works (and confused me at first).

I’ve found it makes a nice performance feature though (switch in the modulation set at minimum every now and then and throw a little chaos into the mix).

The Lyra is as beguiling to me as it is bewildering. And I love it all the more because of it :smile:

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Yeah, that is normal. The attenuators purposefully don’t close completely.

Hello friends, I have a few questions for people who have a hardware Lyra-8. I have made in implementation in Reaktor and am working on the final tuning. It will never be identical to a real Lyra, but it was a fun exercise over the past several days and is a blast to play.

  • When fully clockwise, does the Sharp knob ever reach a true square wave? In one of the demo videos I saw, it seems to reach more of a shark tooth wave. Right now I am mixing between a triangle wave and a filtered sawtooth.
  • Does the Total Feedback send the final audio-rate output signal as the modulation signal, or does it first get passed through an envelope follower? I have tried both, and suspect it is the former.
  • The Vibrato has different rates for each voice pair, any guesses as to the approximate frequencies? Right now I have them set to 2, 2.5, 3, and 3.5 Hz.
  • The sharp knob: the actual shape changes as you increase the Tune knob, and is slightly different for each oscillator.

It gets square-like at the low end of the Tune knob, except for oscillators 7-8.


At about halfway up the Tune knob:


At about 3 o’clock it’s more like:


It loses a lot of stability past that point and flattens back toward triangle-hood (as if the sharp knob had been turned down).

On mine, oscs 7-8 at full CCW start off at about where 1-6 are at noon.

I never even realized this until now. Typically the tune knobs are somewhere between 9 and 3 – the range for each knob is different for each pair of oscillators, so they don’t necessarily increase from left to right.

  • Total Feedback: is really hard to figure out, so I can’t even answer the question. It doesn’t sound like it’s self-FMing though.

  • Vibrato depth also varies. 1-2 has a very minimal amount of vibrato – like you don’t even perceive it as vibrato – and it’s probably closer to 1Hz. Oscs 3-4 don’t have much more depth, and are maybe 1.8 Hz? 5-6 are probably 3Hz, and 7-8 have too much vibrato for my tastes and it’s probably about 4Hz.


Interesting, thanks. The screenshots are helpful.

Regarding the Vibrato, one thing I did was change it from a switch to an attenuator. That way the amount of vibrato is variable, rather than fixed.

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lyra 8 based album. Thanks to jbowman for his inspiration !