New Modern Instrument, Elyra Multitimbral Polyphonic Synth Plays like A Guitar/ Bass

Elyra is a new instrument, a crossover between a Synth and a Guitar or a Bass.

Various attempts have been made in the past to bring together the concepts of the synthesizer and the guitar in a new hybrid instrument. Now joining this lineage of innovation is a new product from BLL Instruments’ Elyra – a modern synth played like a guitar or a bass.

Elyra is a polyphonic and multitimbral synthesizer that can be hooked up to a strap and played like a guitar or a bass. The instrument’s interface is made up of two “strumming zones”, a fretboard made up of a 4×12 of touch-sensitive pads, two assignable sliders and an OLED screen alongside a touch wheel and a number of additional buttons.

Just like a guitar, the instrument is played by selecting a note via the fretboard and sounding the “strings” by striking one of the two strumming zones; one is designed for chordal strumming and the other for riffs and arpeggios. You’re able to slide from one note to another, execute pull-offs and hammer-ons, and tune the virtual strings to any configuration of notes that you like.

Though it’s designed to be used with a strap, the battery-powered instrument can also be laid flat and played on a desktop like a conventional synth; when Keys Mode is activated, notes can be sounded with a single press on the corresponding pad, without using the strumming zones.

Elyra is equipped with a synth engine designed by Kodamo, the makers of the Mask1 synthesizer; delivering both virtual analogue and FM synthesis, its polyphonic architecture offers 16 voices, and timbres can be layered to create multitimbral patches.

Two LFOs are onboard and you’ll have a choice of two resonant filters, a 2-pole -12dB/oct low-pass and 4-pole -24dB/Oct high-pass filter. Three effects slots on the master can be filled with a choice of distortion, overdrive, bitcrusher, chorus, delay and reverb. If you don’t fancy making use of Elyra’s unique interface, there’s a 256-step sequencer onboard for programming patterns stored via SD card.

Elyra is available now for $1099/€1199. Find out more on BLL Instruments website.


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