Elmyra 2, Neutral Labs' handsome 4-voice hybrid drone synth, may straddle the digital and analog realms, but its sonic reach extends far beyond. Whether your musical leanings lean towards the ambient or angular, this forward-thinking eurorack module will resonate deeply. Its ability to plumb the depths of microtonal soundscapes gives synth enthusiasts a fresh avenue for sonic exploration and creativity.
This successor to the widely beloved Elmyra comes with an increase on the voice count, packed inside a flexible package notably sized at 42 HP. Don't let the compact size fool you: Elmyra 2 carries an indisputable gravitas in its capacity as a semi-modular desktop synth or an eurorack module. Its 4-voice digital/analog hybrid architecture fuels its uncanny ability to range from lush, sweeping soundscapes to gritty drones and convulsive noises with a flick of a switch or a twist of a knob.
With an impressive total of 31 modulation targets, Elmyra 2 presents a broad playground of options to sculpt the desired tones and textures. This includes 4 polymetric sequencers, each with their own distinctive modulations that allow for evocative polyrhythmic complexities. Employing the onboard LFOs, players can add further nuances, effectively imbuing the sounds with innovative modulations which unlock a multitude of harmonic possibilities.
Elmyra 2 also brings forth an array of per-voice effects tailor-crafted to benefit drone synthesis. Each voice has access to delay effects and multiple filter options. Beyond enriching the textural palette, the onboard effects make it infinitely easier to transition smoothly from tranquil sonic spans to shrieking rumbles, as well as everything in between. A quick tweak reveals previously uncharted auditory dimensions and transforms the simplest of drone sequences into symphonic masterpieces.
Beyond its internal elements, Elmyra 2 offers a range of utilities acting as linchpins to effortlessly adapt the module to different setups. For novice and veteran modular heads alike, this feature offers convenience and ensures seamlessness whilst navigating the vast expansive sonic universe.
A standout feature of Elmyra 2 lies in the ability to change sound characters through a set of preset cards, that come included, or other electronic components like capacitors or diodes. These can be plugged directly into the front panel, offering the user an unprecedented opportunity in mapping new territories of sound while experimenting with different electronic building blocks. This, in essence, underscores Elmyra 2’s positioning as not just a tool but a platform for microtonal exploration and drone synthesis.
Elmyra 2, both in form and function, is passive evidence of Neutral Labs' commitment to innovation and the cultivation of limitless sonic explorations within the eurorack community. By weaving together a balanced blend of ambient soundscapes, droning textures, and gritty noise, Neutral Labs' Elmyra 2 formally invites us on a journey to unlock the boundless potential of the sonic universe one microtonal soundscape at a time.
With the Neutral Labs Elmyra 2, exploring microtonal soundscapes has never been easier. Even if you're a novice in the world of eurorack modules, you can dive into this sonic universe and create your own unique compositions.
Here's a simple example of how you can use the Elmyra 2 to craft a mesmerizing microtonal drone:
- Connect an output cable from one of the Elmyra 2's voices to your mixer or audio interface.
- Plug a MIDI keyboard into the Elmyra 2's MIDI input, allowing you to play the module with standard musical notes.
- Sound Selection:
- Use the Elmyra 2's onboard menu and navigation buttons to select a unique sound source, such as a granular pad or a morphing waveform.
- Experiment with different oscillators and waveforms to find the sound that resonates with your sonic vision.
- Explore the 31 available modulation targets to add depth and movement to your drone. For beginners, try modulating the filter cutoff frequency or the wavetable position.
- Use the onboard LFOs (Low-Frequency Oscillators) to create pulsating or evolving textures within your drone sound.
- Polymetric Sequencing:
- Activate one of the Elmyra 2's four polymetric sequencers to add rhythmic patterns to your drone composition.
- Adjust the sequence length, step values, and timing to create complex polyrhythms that give your drone a sense of movement.
- Effects and Filters:
- Experiment with the onboard delay and per-voice effects, such as reverb or distortion, to further shape the character of your drone.
- Try different filter types and settings to sculpt the frequency content of your sound, from smooth and warm to sharp and edgy.
- Recording and Performance:
- Connect your audio interface's output to a sound system or headphones, allowing you to hear your drone composition in all its microtonal glory.
- Record your performance or experiment live, adjusting parameters and exploring the sonic possibilities in real-time.
Remember, the Elmyra 2 is a versatile tool, and this example barely scratches the surface of its capabilities. Feel free to dive deeper into modulation, effects, and sequencing to unlock a whole new world of microtonal sonic exploration. Happy droning!
In this intermediate-level usage example, we will explore how to create complex microtonal rhythms using the Neutral Labs Elmyra 2.
To start, patch an LFO output to the Clock input of one of the polymetric sequencers. Set the LFO frequency to create a rhythmic pattern that deviates from the standard 12-tone equal temperament.
Next, use another LFO to modulate the sequence length parameter of the polymetric sequencer. This will introduce variations in the length of each step, further enhancing the microtonal qualities of the sequence.
Now, connect the Gate output of the sequencer to a VCA module and set the control voltage (CV) input of the VCA to control the amplitude of a drone sound generated by the Elmyra 2.
To make the sound more interesting, use one of the onboard effects available per voice, such as the resonator or frequency shifter, to add sonic complexity and character.
For additional timbral exploration, experiment with changing the sound character of the Elmyra 2 by plugging in different preset cards or electronic components into the front panel. This can lead to exciting and unique microtonal textures.
Remember to patch modulation sources like envelope generators or additional LFOs to other parameters of the Elmyra 2, such as filter cutoff or delay time, to create evolving and expressive sonic landscapes.
This intermediate-level technique of creating complex microtonal rhythms and exploring unique timbral possibilities with the Neutral Labs Elmyra 2 opens up new avenues for sonic experimentation and pushes the boundaries of traditional music composition. Let your imagination run wild and unlock the vast sonic universe hidden within this powerful module.
Imagine yourself standing at the edge of an uncharted sonic universe, ready to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery. As you dive deeper into the realm of microtonal soundscapes, the Neutral Labs Elmyra 2 becomes your trusted spacecraft, guiding you through vast sonic landscapes and unlocking the infinite possibilities of microtonal synthesis.
In this expert-level usage example, we will delve into the creation of a mesmerizing ambient drone using the Elmyra 2's powerful features:
- Patching the Voices:
Start by connecting the Elmyra 2 module to your eurorack system and set it up in a 4-voice mode. Use different oscillators and waveforms for each voice to create a rich harmonic foundation.
- Exploring Microtones:
One of the Elmyra 2's unique strengths lies in its ability to embrace microtonal scales. Select a microtonal scale, such as the Bohlen-Pierce scale, and dial in the desired intervals for each voice. This opens up a whole new world of harmonic possibilities beyond the confines of traditional music theory.
- Modulation & Polymetric Sequencing:
Engage your creativity by utilizing the 31 modulation targets and the 4 polymetric sequencers of the Elmyra 2. Assign different modulation sources to parameters like pitch, filter cutoff, and LFO rate to introduce evolving textures and movement in your drone.
- Applying Delays & Additional Effects:
Dive deeper into the sonic abyss by harnessing the Elmyra 2's built-in delay effect and additional per-voice effects. Experiment with different delay settings, feedback levels, and additional effects like reverb or distortion to add layers of depth and texture to your drone.
- Sculpting the Sound:
With a wide range of filter options at your fingertips, sculpt the spectral characteristics of each voice. Explore various filter types like low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass filters to shape the timbre of your drone, giving it a subtle or dramatic tonal coloration.
- Utilizing LFOs & Utilities:
Maximize the expressiveness of your drone by harnessing the Elmyra 2's onboard LFOs and utilities. Assign the LFOs to modulate parameters like oscillator pitch or filter cutoff, creating mesmerizing rhythmic fluctuations and pulsations that will evolve over time.
- Sound Character Customization:
Push the boundaries of the Elmyra 2 even further by experimenting with the included preset cards or electronic components. By plugging these into the front panel, you can customize the module's sound character to suit your artistic vision, unleashing a myriad of sonic possibilities.
With the Neutral Labs Elmyra 2 as your sonic vessel, the exploration of microtonal soundscapes becomes an immersive and boundary-pushing experience. Let your creativity run wild as you unlock the secrets of this extraordinary module, forging new sonic paths into uncharted territories of musical expression.