Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
killmaster
KVRian
1184 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:45 pm


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foosnark
KVRAF
5005 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:09 pm

I doubt there's anything that really comes close.

Things that COULD be emulated fairly easily:

- the basic waveform & shaper. Simple enough to replicate, ignoring for now the complex FM.

- the distortion at the end, I'm sure. Software distortion is really good in 2019.

- the "Hyper LFO" (dual square LFOs that can sync (somehow), produce one logic-based output for oscillator modulation, and another output that's either a square or a smoothed triangle-ish thing for the delay modulation... not difficult to emulate probably, but hasn't been implemented in any non-modular synth I know of)

Things that I have my doubts about:

- the oscillator pitch tracking. These aren't VCOs, they're from an electric organ design and meant to keep a fixed pitch. So they don't track linearly or exponentially, but sort of irrationally. This is important for the modulation because they respond in unusual ways, and frequency modulation is a huge part of this instrument. Just sequencing it through the CV input is difficult because the 8 oscillators don't follow any standard, and they don't all track the same either.

- the FM is a sort of an 8-op cross-modulation matrix with feedback, and it's all analog and doesn't alias but does follow whatever crazy nonlinear math is going on in there.

- the delay. It's a really dirty dual PT2399-based delay, with analog parts driving it and in the feedback loop. Those delays break up as delay time increases, and the modulation and feedback available on the Lyra is pretty extreme. It can produce a lot of energy in subsonic ranges, which particularly interacts with the distortion stage and then the "Total Feedback" to the oscillators. And I have not yet heard a software delay that sounds convincingly like a PT2399 with the training wheels off, even though it's a cheap and common part.

- the control scheme. The touchplates aren't binary on/off, but vary somewhat with skin contact/conductivity, and their sensitivity is influenced by the Hold knobs. This affects each oscillator's amplitude and their FM contribution to other oscillators. The Fast/Slow envelope switches wouldn't be hard to implement at least :) You can also play with a technique where you touch the "common" plate of one oscillator with one finger, and play the opposite plates of any other oscillators with the other hand. I guess this could all be emulated somewhat with MPE, which brings me to:

- the temptation to remove the instrument's limitations and just make it respond to every MIDI note, behave more predictably and cleanly, allow faster attack times, etc. That'd be a mistake that would rob it of its character IMHO.

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Halonmusic
KVRAF
3160 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:08 am

Crust comes to mind
Don't be a Sheep. :borg: | Opinions matters :evil:

killmaster
KVRian
1184 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:40 am

Halonmusic wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:08 am
Crust comes to mind
Thanks for the tip. Sounds great. Will be messing with it...

killmaster
KVRian
1184 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:41 am

foosnark wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:09 pm
I doubt there's anything that really comes close.

Things that COULD be emulated fairly easily:

- the basic waveform & shaper. Simple enough to replicate, ignoring for now the complex FM.

- the distortion at the end, I'm sure. Software distortion is really good in 2019.

- the "Hyper LFO" (dual square LFOs that can sync (somehow), produce one logic-based output for oscillator modulation, and another output that's either a square or a smoothed triangle-ish thing for the delay modulation... not difficult to emulate probably, but hasn't been implemented in any non-modular synth I know of)

Things that I have my doubts about:

- the oscillator pitch tracking. These aren't VCOs, they're from an electric organ design and meant to keep a fixed pitch. So they don't track linearly or exponentially, but sort of irrationally. This is important for the modulation because they respond in unusual ways, and frequency modulation is a huge part of this instrument. Just sequencing it through the CV input is difficult because the 8 oscillators don't follow any standard, and they don't all track the same either.

- the FM is a sort of an 8-op cross-modulation matrix with feedback, and it's all analog and doesn't alias but does follow whatever crazy nonlinear math is going on in there.

- the delay. It's a really dirty dual PT2399-based delay, with analog parts driving it and in the feedback loop. Those delays break up as delay time increases, and the modulation and feedback available on the Lyra is pretty extreme. It can produce a lot of energy in subsonic ranges, which particularly interacts with the distortion stage and then the "Total Feedback" to the oscillators. And I have not yet heard a software delay that sounds convincingly like a PT2399 with the training wheels off, even though it's a cheap and common part.

- the control scheme. The touchplates aren't binary on/off, but vary somewhat with skin contact/conductivity, and their sensitivity is influenced by the Hold knobs. This affects each oscillator's amplitude and their FM contribution to other oscillators. The Fast/Slow envelope switches wouldn't be hard to implement at least :) You can also play with a technique where you touch the "common" plate of one oscillator with one finger, and play the opposite plates of any other oscillators with the other hand. I guess this could all be emulated somewhat with MPE, which brings me to:

- the temptation to remove the instrument's limitations and just make it respond to every MIDI note, behave more predictably and cleanly, allow faster attack times, etc. That'd be a mistake that would rob it of its character IMHO.
Thanks a lot for this. I wanted to try and figure out a way to achieve some of the richness of the sound so this is a helpful guide!

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Halonmusic
KVRAF
3160 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:43 am

killmaster wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:40 am
Halonmusic wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:08 am
Crust comes to mind
Thanks for the tip. Sounds great. Will be messing with it...
No problem :)
Don't be a Sheep. :borg: | Opinions matters :evil:

pabloaldunate
KVRist
140 posts since 7 Oct, 2012

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:07 am

Softube Modular with Rubicon maybe.

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EnGee
KVRAF
5800 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from NZ

Re: Does software exist that can achieve something similar to this SOMA Lyra-8?

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:26 pm

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