Developer Mike Moreno has created LIRA-8 to emulate the signal flow and sound of SOMA Lab’s LYRA-8 drone synthesizer for VST and PureData platforms and it’s magnificent.
SOMA Labs’ LYRA-8 is an extraordinary piece of hardware. It drones and swoops, fizzes and feedbacks into itself with abandon and sheer adventure. You think it’s one thing and then it immediately becomes something else. You don’t so much play it as explore it with your fingers and ears. Beautifully designed and built to survive the coming apocalypse it’s a wonderful object of synthesis and noise at play.
This emulation manages to capture a large chunk of what makes the LYRA-8 a formidable sound-making machine. Of course, you have lost that physicality, that exploration of the fingers over knobs, switches and touch plates, but the thought process and sense of adventure are all there.
Within a minute or two of installing LIRA-8 I had drones and modulations pouring out of my computer in delicious and exciting ways. Drop a big fat reverb and delay on the end and you are elevated to drone heaven.
The idea is that you have 8 drones that you can tune and crinkle, that play together or modulate one another. You can introduce feedback, push things into LFOs, drive signals to distortion while mixing and pulsing sounds back into each other. The reality is that you move sliders and awesome things start to happen. You don’t have to understand it you just have to play.
LIRA-8 is available for Windows and MacOS as a VST3 plugin and is also available for Linux and as a standalone instrument for PureData. It’s a pay-what-you-feel deal and while you can get it for free I’d recommend throwing Mike a few dollars for this super piece of programming. The LIRA-8 project is not in any way affiliated with SOMA Labs.