More the latter. I think it would have been pretty easy to use only the Lyra and a few software FX, but I wanted to make it part of the team.
I love the place my modular has progressed to, but I also feel conflicted attraction to a more minimal setup. It’s like the classic angel and devil on my shoulders but I don’t know which is which Knowing myself, if I sold off all my Euro I’d just fill the available space with an array of smaller devices anyway, and I suspect it’s a subversive sort of FOMO – I’m unlikely to own a Cocoquantus, an Easel etc. as long as I have my big modular but I also don’t need them.
Integrating the Lyra into what I was already using/doing was a way to fight that urge. But I also just wanted aesthetic continuity. I want my “Lyra only” music to sound a lot like my “non-Lyra” music and have them cross over in a wide “Lyra plus” area.
In more general terms re: mixing the Lyra, its major features are a really strong resonance at each oscillator’s fundamental, a lot of upper harmonic richness, the noise from the PT2399 delay, and intermodulation distortion / cross-modulation. Neither its vibrato switch nor its LFO are suited to slow and subtle movement, and of course it’s mono…
So I often find myself adding EQ notches (or auto-EQ) to tame those resonances and make it hammer the ears a bit less. Those tend to emphasize the noise a bit more, especially if the PT delay is mixed in relatively high, so some adaptive noise reduction can calm that, or a little high shelf EQ… it’s never my goal to eliminate the Lyra’s “natural” noise though.
Some modulated delay and/or reverb add enough motion to make it sound more lush (as well as turning the pitch glides that result from self-modulation into more “motion”) and help place it a little further away in space rather than right in the listener’s face.
I find I really like lo-fi tape emulations rather than just EQ to tame the top end a bit, and some saturation works well with those strong harmonics. But I admit I just like tape anyway. Also LPGs – the Lyra gives them a lot to chew on and it’s another opportunity to add rhythmic elements.