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Nord Lead A1 Analog Modeling Synthesizer

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R26,995.00 R38,995.00
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49-key Analog Modeling Synthesizer, 4-part Multitimbral, with 24-note Polyphony, Multi-configurable Oscillator, 5-waveform LFO, 12/24dB Lowpass Filter, and 4 Arpeggiators
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The Nord Lead A1 analog modeling synthesizer will change your concept of synthesis. Whether you're onstage or in the studio, the Lead A1's innovative architecture lets you quickly amass a huge arsenal of stunning sounds that work perfectly across musical genres. Nord gave the A1 a fast, intuitive interface that lets you whip up awesome patches fast, and at the same time encourages experimentation. Blast out a run on the splittable 49-note Fatar keybed while sweeping the filter. Sounds and feels incredible, doesn't it? And with a curb weight of under 11 pounds, the Nord Lead A1 makes an ideal gigging synth.

The versatility to ace any gig or session

Music Experience keyboardists are impressed with the Nord Lead A1, and for good reason. Fat, snarling leads; sensuous evolving pads; bass that blows holes in walls - it's all here. And it's all easy to get to. Forge ripping leads with classic oscillator sync, revisit the '80s with chimey FM pianos, ring modulate with AM. Any sound you hear in your mind's ear is in play. Instantly. With 24-note polyphony, you can get elaborate with your chord voicings and layers. And speaking of layering, the Lead A1 is 4-part multitimbral, with its great-sounding effects (Ensemble, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulator, and Drive) available independently on each section, so there's no end to the glorious mayhem you can create.

    Designed for speedy patch creation and deployment

    The Lead A1 is a fantastic synth value, sure; but it's not some "souped-down" version of Nord's flagship A4. This synthesizer represents a new direction for the Lead series - one in which your ability to whip up truly impressive patches quickly and intuitively is of paramount importance. Hot new features such as a unique, eight-configuration oscillator block and the new "Like" list make it faster and easier than ever to get the sound you're after during a show or studio session. Need inspiration? The A1 gives you four separate arpeggiators with a 4-octave range and Up/Down and Random modes. And of course, you can sync any or all of them to the Lead A1's master clock.

    Analog modeling: Nord does it right

    If you've ever heard keyboard whiz Derek Sherinian shred with Dream Theater, Billy Idol, or his own band Planet X, you know he's a tone meister of the highest order. Ask Mr. Sherinian what he loves about Nord keyboards, and he'll tell you it's the "organic analog warmth." Well, that and the tour-proof build quality, the ease of calling up sounds, and much more. With the Nord Lead A1, you get the warmth of analog with the road-tested reliability of a modern digital machine.

    What Nord Says...

    This is the new Nord Lead A1 analog modeling synthesizer – a stunning sounding synthesizer with a simplified yet hugely powerful front panel interface. Producing stand-out sounds for live or for the studio, the Lead A1 is ideal for all musical genres. Thanks to its carefully thought-out user interface, the Lead A1 encourages experimentation, allows for far speedier programming than would otherwise be possible, and ultimately delivers sensational sonic results.

    The Lead For Speed

    Producing stand-out sounds for live or for the studio, the Lead A1 is ideal for all musical genres. Thanks to its carefully thought-out user interface, the Lead A1 encourages experimentation, allows for far speedier programming than would otherwise be possible, and ultimately delivers sensational sonic results.

    Our Best-Ever Analog Modeling…

    At the heart of the Lead A1 is our new analog modeling engine. Taking our virtual analog synthesis to the next level, this modeling recreates a total analog signal path with uncanny realism, and is capable of immense sonic variety. With 26-voice polyphony and four simultaneous synthesizer parts, the Lead A1 is a true synthesizer powerhouse that goes far beyond the current trend for limited capability analog reissues.

    …Combined With Our Most Intuitive Interface

    Fundamental to the design of the Lead A1 is a brand new simple yet sophisticated front panel interface. The design is in fact the result of requests from professional players – even the most experienced programmers - who need to create the perfect sound as quickly as possible for today's live or studio time demands. The Lead A1 allows easy patch creation and experimentation thanks to a new and unique oscillator section, pre-programmed modulation matrix, and simplified ADR envelopes. Dive in and create incredible patches far quicker than would normally be possible with a synthesizer of such powers.

    Oscillator Section

    The Lead A1's new Oscillator section generates 47 different waveforms from classic analog to digital harmonic and inharmonic waves, whilst unique Oscillator Configuration Shortcuts make programming more immediate than ever. Start with a single Oscillator waveform select an Oscillator Configuration Shortcut - Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, Sub Mix, FM, AM or Noise - and use the Adjust knob to adjust the settings of the configuration. The end result is high speed programming without the need for the usual complexity of routing and patching, and with the opportunity for ready experimentation. A fast track to stunning sound design for both advanced and less experienced programmers.

    Oscillator Configurations

    • Pitch: adjusts the pitch of the original oscillator
    • DeTune: adds a second oscillator, with control over its pitch
    • Sub Mix: adds a second oscillator, with a choice of waveform shapes and pitches
    • Shape: The shaping of the Analog, Extended Analog and Fixed Pulse waveforms uses a traditional waveshaping method, the other waveforms are changed with a spectral shaping process
    • Sync: emulates Hard sync by adding an additional oscillator that is the sync reference
    • FM: Oscillator 1 will be modulated by a sine wave from oscillator 2 at high frequencies. There are several different pitch offsets for oscillator 2 (-12 to +48 semitones)
    • AM: uses a second oscillator to create Amplitude Modulation
    • Noise: adds a Noise element to the original oscillator, Osc Control sets the mix

    Filter Section

    The Lead A1's filter section features classic 12 and 24 dB Low Pass, a High Pass and a Band Pass filter, together with stunning emulations of the diode and ladder filters from the legendary Mini and the TB-303 synthesizers as used in the Lead 4. The Lead A1's modeling of these filters capture the true character and response of the originals, allowing supremely flexible and precise sound design. The filters are super-smooth with a warm analog character.

    LFO & Modulation Section

    The Lead A1 features an LFO with a choice of waveforms and a three-stage ADR/ASR Modulation Envelope. The LFO rate can be sync'd to the Lead A1's master clock. The Mod Envelope has its own velocity setting and also includes an Invert function. Thanks to the intuitive design of the front panel it is very easy to see what modulations have been applied and to design incredible sounding patches.

    Effect Section

    The Lead A1's effects section features two stunning brand new analog models of an Ensemble and Chorus, modeled on specific vintage synths and adding classic warmth and analog feel. Alongside these, choose from great-sounding Ring Modulation, Phaser, Flanger, or Drive per slot, and in addition a separate Delay and Reverb for each slot. 

    Mod Wheel And Velocity Morph

    A classic Nord feature, the Morph function via Mod Wheel, Velocity or pedal, allows you to control multiple parameters of the Lead A1 simultaneously. Morph is exceptionally easy to set-up and use - just hold the Morph button and adjust any desired knob. 

    Oscillator Section

    Unique to the Nord Lead A1 is the new 'Like' function, a simple and brilliant practical feature to use during patch creation. When programming a patch it's often not clear if it's yet perfect. Now with the Lead A1 you can simply 'Like' what you've done into a temporary location and continue editing. You can Like up to 50 variations, with the ability to scroll between them to compare your favourites or go back to a specific Liked version to edit in a different way. When you're ready, save your favourite patch or patches to the Lead A1's memory.

    Mutator Function

    A popular feature of the Lead 4, the Mutator function allows variations of a patch to be created by adjusting one, some, or all elements of a patch by set percentages. There's also a wild Randomize mode to create an entirely new patch with all parameters randomized.

    Extra Fat Unison mode

    A newly designed "Fat-As-Fat-Can-Be" Unison Mode let's the Lead A1 challenge any vintage analog instrument.


    The Lead A1 features four separate Arpeggiators with Up/Down and Random modes and a 4-octave range. Any or all can be sync'd to the Lead A1's master clock.

    Master Clcok

    The Master Clock function of the Lead A1 allows the LFO, Arpeggiator and Delay to be synchronized, either internally or slaved to external MIDI clock. A Tap Tempo button allows you to easily tap to the tempo of a drummer or to playback tracks.

    Splits And Layers

    Having four identical, equally powerful synthesizers at once opens breathtaking layering possibilities. The Split-mode gives you two 2 slots on each side of the split. A flexible Hold functionality lets you latch and hold slots independently in the background while playing something else on top.

    Multi Focus Mode

    New in the Lead A1 is the Multi-Focus Mode that allows editing and control of all four slots simultaneously. Save this mode as part of a Performance and you have live realtime control over all four slots of the Lead A1.

    Four Outputs

    The Lead A1 features four independent audio outputs with the ability to route each slot to a different output. Plus control of Pan via the front panel knob is a welcome new addition in the Lead A1.

    Sound Manager

    The Lead A1 is compatible with the Nord Sound Manager software for OS X and Windows. Sound Manager is a dedicated librarian app which allows easy reorganizing, back-up and transfer of programs. The Nord Sound Manager is available for download here.

    MIDI Control

    The Lead A1 features the convenience of MIDI over USB for use with a sequencer or with the included Sound Manager software. All of the Lead A1's knobs transmit MIDI Control data.

    The Hardware

    Like all Nord instruments, the Lead A1 is handmade in Nord's Stockholm factory with incredible attention to detail and quality control. The keyboard is a Fatar® 49-key keybed with a super-fast response. With an all-metal chassis, tactile knobs, and unfaltering emphasis on quality, the Lead A1 is an instrument designed to last a lifetime.

    Customer Reviews

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    Nord Lead A1 Analog Modeling Synthesizer Features:

    • 24-note polyphony, 4-part multitimbral
    • Keyboard split with two slots for upper and lower sections
    • Modulation wheel, Pitch Stick with no dead zone at zero crossing
    • Unique oscillator concept with eight configurations:
    • Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Sub Mix, FM
    • Traditional analog and digital waveforms
    • Unison mode and Extra Fat Unison mode adds girth to your sounds
    • LFO with five waveforms
    • Mod envelope; LFO as additional ModEnv
    • 12 and 24dB lowpass filters
    • Highpass and bandpass filters
    • Transistor and diode ladder filter simulations of Mini and TB-303
    • Effects: Ensemble, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulator, Drive
    • Master Clock Sync of Arpeggiator, LFO, and Delay
    • Velocity and Mod Wheel Morph
    • USB MIDI integrates the Lead A1 with your DAW
    • Like Button lets you save what you've done into a temporary list and continue editing
    • Mutator lets you adjust elements by set percentages to easily create variations on a patch
    • 3 LED displays, 23 knobs, three encoders, and 20+ buttons for program and performance editing
    • Sustain and expression pedal inputs
    • Highly portable: weighs 10.7 pounds
    • Hand-crafted in Sweden

    Deploy cutting-edge synthesis with the Nord Lead A1!

      Type Keyboard Synth
      Sound Engine Type(s) Analog Modeling
      Analog/Digital Digital
      Number of Keys 49
      Type of Keys Semi-weighted Synth Action
      Velocity Sensitive Yes
      Other Controllers
      Modulation Wheel, Pitch Stick
      26 Notes
      Number of Effects
      Effects Types
      Ensemble, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulator, Drive
      Audio Outputs
      4 x 1/4"
      Headphones 1 x 1/4"
      USB 1 x Type B
      MIDI I/O In/Out/USB
      Pedal Inputs 1 x 1/4" (sustain), 1 x 1/4" (expression)
      Software Nord Sound Manager
      OS Requirements - Mac MacOS 10.7 or later
      OS Requirements - PC Windows 7 or later
      Power Supply Standard IEC AC cable
      Width 34"
      Depth 10.7"
      Weight 10.7 lbs.
      Manufacturer Part Number AMS-NLEAD-A1