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.

Main features

Oscillators

  • Unique Oscillator concept
  • 8 Oscillator Configurations
  • Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Sub Mix, FM
  • Traditional Analog and Digital Waveforms
  • Unison

Modulation

  • LFO with 5 waveforms
  • Mod Envelope
  • LFO as additional ModEnv

Filter

  • 12, 24 dB low-pass filters
  • High-pass and Band-pass filters
  • Transistor and diode ladder filter simulations 
  • of Mini and TB-303

Effects

  • Ensemble, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulator, Drive

Performance

  • 4-part multi-timbral
  • Master Clock Sync of Arpeggiator, LFO and Delay
  • Velocity and Mod Wheel Morph
  • USB MIDI

Special features

  • Mutator
  • Like Button
  • Extra Fat Unison mode

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.

The Nord Lead A1 panel

…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 power.

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 Panel 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.

Special FEATURES

Like button

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.

Arpeggiator Arpeggiator Section

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 Clock

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 includes the Nord Sound Manager software for OS X and Windows. Sound Manager is a dedicated librarian app which allows easy reorganizing, back-up an transfer of programs.

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

Nord Lead A1Like all Nord instruments, the Lead A1 and Lead A1R are handmade in Nord's Stockholm factory with incredible attention to detail and quality control.

The keyboard version features a Fatar® 49-key keybed with a super-fast response. Aside from the keys, mod wheel and pitch stick, the rack/desktop version features a 100% identical feature set, in a design suitable for stage or studio.

With an all-metal chassis, tactile knobs, and unfaltering emphasis on quality, the Lead A1 and A1R are instruments designed to last a lifetime.