LYRA-4 was released as a purchase-ready product on 18.08.16.
LYRA-8 was released on 31.08.16.
Initially, I was designing synthesizers for my own live performances: I am a sound artist (songbook.com.ua – site with my music) and a radio engineer. However, later on, the demos I published on the Internet sparked the interest of the synthesizer community and I started getting numerous requests about purchasing my instruments.
As a result, I decided to start producing the synthesizers I designed on a larger scale with industry-level quality.
I am currently setting up and optimizing the manufacturing process. I will do my best to scale up production in order to make LYRAs available to anyone that’s interested in getting one.
At this moment, the number of requests vastly exceeds my production capabilities. This is why the purchases are made through a pre-order waiting list.
LYRA-4: 400 USD (or euros equivalent) + shipping
LYRA-8: 580 USD (or euros equivalent) + shipping
The indicated price may change in the process of setting up manufacturing and sales. In any case, I will do my best to keep it reasonable.
Now we do it by EMS. The cost is 40 – 60 euros worldwide. A tracking number provided.
Payment (for synthesizer + shipping) has to be received before the synthesizer will be shipped. You do not need to make any payments to get on the pre-order waiting list.
Accepted payment methods include PayPal and a Visa/Master Card transfer.
How to buy?
Due to the high number of requests, the first batches of LYRAs will be sold using a pre-order waiting list.
To get a LYRA, send your request to [email protected] to get on the waiting list.
Please write in the title “LYRA-8 pre-order” or “LYRA-4 pre-order” depending on which synth you want to buy. Also, please mention in the letter the country where you want the synth to be delivered.
Getting on the waiting list will automatically subscribe you to the LYRA newsletter, so I can keep you posted on the most important news.
When I get to your number on the list, I will contact you and we will talk through all the details of making payment, shipment etc.
Currently, you can only get LYRAs directly from me. A little bit later I will partner up with the leading shops, specialized in these kinds of instruments.
How long will I have to wait?
For LYRA-8 — approximately 6 months due to opening a new EU operations department.
For LYRA-4 — 6-8 months.
SOMA is an underground laboratory with manual operation. That’s why the manufacturing is not fast. On the upside, I will not increase production speed and lower prices at the expense of the quality and reliability of the instrument. That’s why I hope for and appreciate your understanding of the situation with the pre-order list.
I give two years of warranty on all my synthesizers. During this time, any malfunctions caused by the manufacturer’s fault or faulty details will be repaired by the laboratory. The buyer only pays for shipping. Naturally, the warranty does not extend to the cases when the synthesizer breaks due to improper usage.
After the warranty ends, SOMA lab will offer repair services for a minimum charge as long as it exists.
Reliability of my products is one of my main goals and I do not expect that repairs will be needed very often. Unless LYRA is a part of a stage demolition or similar performances 🙂
In any case, LYRA is made from standard easily available components which can all be easily replaced. This makes this synth potentially immortal 🙂
In the case of the instrument does not suit your needs, you can return it within two weeks if the instrument remains in the same state as when purchased. In this case, the whole price of the synthesizer is returned. However, the cost of shipping will not be returned.
Can I buy it as a DIY kit at a lower price?
We have DIY kits available without a queue for all willing to assemble their own LYRA.
LYRA-8 – 100$
LYRA-4 – 80$
LYRA-4 DIY documentation
The kits include a set of PCBs and rare ICs which might be hard to get, plus drawings and a manual. Body, knobs, screws and other standard details are not included.
The aim of these kits is to support DIY community and give a chance to get a LYRA without a queue and for a minimal price. Also, this kit allows customizing the instrument according to your taste and needs, e.g. you can assemble it as a eurorack module.
To get a DIY KIT, send your request to [email protected]
Please write “LYRA-8 DIY” or “LYRA-4 DIY” in the title depending on which kit you want to buy. Also, in the letter itself please mention the country where you want the kit to be delivered so that we can figure out how much will the delivery cost.
DIY kits are aimed at experienced electronics hobbyists.
The number of available kits is limited.
Environmentally conscious design
All contents of your purchase are intended for extended use rather than being thrown away after a few years, unlike most modern devices and products in general. This also applies to the packaging, which doubles as a light transport case. I am against making money at all costs, and I care about the footprint that my actions leave in nature and in the souls of other people.
Construction and reliability-wise, I look up to the mid-20th century electrical appliances and the flagship analogue synths from the 60s-70s, which are a great example of devices that are designed to be used for a long time.
LYRA-8 and LYRA-4 Specifications
Here you can download manuals for both instruments with all the necessary details:
Here you can find my YouTube channel where you can see all of the existing demos for my synthesizers:
LYRA-8 and LYRA-4 differences
In many aspects, LYRA-8 is a double version of LYRA-4. This applies to the voices (LYRA-4 has four, while LYRA-8 has eight of them), as well as to the delay – LYRA-8 has two delay lines, instead of one.
In addition to doubled polyphony, LYRA-8 has a lot more FM modulation and synthesis algorithms available, as each voice in LYRA serves as an FM operator and LYRA-8 has more of them.
Doubled delay with an unusual structure, cross feedback, and mutual modulation creates the unique sound of LYRA-8. Delay is basically the main difference. While LYRA-4 has a more traditional sound, LYRA-8’s sound has more of an alien origin 🙂
As for the voices, everything that can be achieved on LYRA-4 can also be achieved on LYRA-8. You will only need to use one group of 4 voices.
Also LYRA-8 in compare with LYRA-4 has additional External Audio and Hold Gate INs.
MIDI and CV
LYRA does not have MIDI input as it would require a total redesign of the voice modules and the instrument would lose its distinctive sound in the process. I am planning on designing a MIDI synthesizer with a LYRA-philosophy, but it is going to be a totally new instrument.
LYRA has CV inputs for voice pitch modulation and for controlling delay time. There is also a dynamic GATE IN for triggering HOLD which controls the VCA.
ATTENTION! CV does not let you control the standard note pitch which would be needed to get a traditional musical pitch with a connected CV keyboard. This input functions as a modulation input. Nevertheless, using an analogue step-sequencer you can build melodic lines by ear.
Using a MIDI-to-CV converter you can control LYRA through MIDI.
Is LYRA an analog Instrument?
Yes, the circuit is fully analogue. The only digital component is the delay. Still, this unit uses quite a simple digital circuit technique (it does not have a micro-controller) and is 2/3 analogue. This includes the delay time generation (memory clock frequency), which is analogue and can be modulated by the audio signal. This takes place in some of the modes of the instrument.
LYRA has a mono output. In the digital age, the devices producing cloud soundscapes usually have stereo outputs. However, LYRA has an analogue structure and is closer to old organs and synthesizers which had mono circuits and mono outputs.
A stereo circuit would require significantly increasing LYRA’s complexity and, as a result would increase its price.
In addition, LYRA was primarily designed as an instrument for live performances where a high-quality stereo sound is rarely achieved in real situations and therefore, in my point of view, stereo may be disregarded. My own live performance setup has a mono output.
If you want a stereo signal you need to use an external spatial processor.
The LYRA’s sound from the demo video – is it raw or with some effects?
The sound editing of all my demo videos is not major and is within the range of what is considered necessary mastering for a YouTube video. I used a slight equalization, compression and about 10-15% of the standard reverberation to broaden the stereo signal for a more pleasant headphones experience. All of this did not substantially alter the character of the sound. In particular, virtually all the spatiality of the synth’s sound is formed by the on-board FX processor.
Here is a link to the LYRA-8’s improvisation, raw sound from the demo without any post-processing, as it was digitized by the PC soundcard (WAV):
And yes, you can sample this audio file in your audio tracks (I am constantly asked about this). Just please mention that the sound is created with the LYRA synth by SOMA.
Where is LYRA created?
LYRA was designed in Russia and is manufactured in Russia and Poland.