Neutral Labs's Elmyra 2 is a filthy drone synth with an unhealthy attitude

Neutral Labs released the original Elmyra some three years ago, a well regarded, if a little too DIY-looking drone synth which you could build yourself or buy ready-made. The new Elmyra 2 is similarly available although looks much updated – and should we say, more 'pro' – and while it is similar in layout and concept, it does include few neat additions.

Neutral Labs Elmyra 2

(Image credit: Neutral Labs)

Elmyra 2 is a semi-modular synth available as a DIY kit, 42 HP Eurorack module or desktop unit. It has a hybrid analogue/digital signal path with four voices of polyphony, a wavetable engine with up to 12 oscillators, and a switchable filter between an 'aggressive' multimode 2-pole and 'creamy' low pass 4-pole.

You activate each of the four voices via CV or by utilising the unit's front panel touch plates. There’s reasonable patching and modulation (41 patch points and 31 targets) plus a delay 'with unhealthy amounts of feedback' and lo-fi reverb. Those thinking that a drone synth is not aimed at the more melodic of musicians can think again, because there's standard chromatic scaling – for eking out more harmonic results – plus microtonal support. 

Neutral Labs Elmyra 2

The cards are Elmyra 2 'presets' (Image credit: Neutral Labs)

Elmyra 2 also features an analogue 'OUCH' circuit that delivers extra filth via distortion, waveshaping and filtering, and also includes a set of four preset cards that can be plugged into the front panel of the synth. Neutral Labs says they have 'components like diodes' that change the sonic character of the synth and can be plugged into other Neutral Labs gear, so they are similar to the distortion and filter cards that work with the company's Nijel and Scrat modules. 

Neutral Labs describes Elmyra 2 as being 'capable of creating anything from lush ambient soundscapes to gritty droning textures and shrieking noises' which the video above certainly backs up, and makes us kinda love the synth already. It will be available as an assembled synth ($565), module ($529) and DIY kit (price TBA). 

More from Neutral Labs 

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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