Lead A1

Analogue modelling synthesiser

RRP: £1,279.00 inc VAT
“Without doubt the most elegantly simple yet deep synth I have ever programmed.” James Wiltshire, The Freemasons

This is the new Nord Lead A1 analogue modelling 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.

OUR BEST-EVER ANALOGUE MODELLING ...

At the heart of the Lead A1 is our new analog modelling engine. Taking our virtual analog synthesis to the next level, this modelling 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 power.



NEW WAVEFORM ENGINE

Newly developed realtime Waveform Engine


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As the starting point for any sound, the Lead A1's new Waveform Engine generates 47 different waveforms from classic analogue to digital harmonic and inharmonic waves.


OSCILLATOR SECTION

Unique Oscillator Shortcuts dramatically speeds up programming time and allows for greater immediacy and experimentation in sound design.


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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

Super-smooth modelled filters with a warm analogue character


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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 modelling 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

Simple and streamlined modulation matrix. Thanks to the intuitive design of the front panel it's very easy to see what modulations have been applied and to design incredible sounding patches.


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The Lead A1's effects section features two stunning brand new analog models of an Ensemble and Chorus, modelled 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.


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.

EXTRA FAT UNISON MODE

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

MORPH FUNCTION

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.

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 randomised.


PERFORMANCE FEATURES

ARPEGGIATOR
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 synchronised, 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.

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.


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 reorganising, back-up an transfer of programs.


THE HARDWARE

The keyboard version features 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.

  • GENERAL FEATURES
  • 26 voices, 4 part multitimbral.
  • 3 part effects section (FX, delay and reverb) for each part
  • 49-key octave velocity sensitive keyboard (keyboard version only) with octave shift buttons, +/-2 octaves.
  • Keyboard Split with 2 slots for the upper and lower sections.
  • Modulation Wheel (keyboard version only).
  • Pitch Stick with no dead zone at zero crossing (keyboard version only).
  • Programmable Pitch bend range, up to +/- 4 octaves
  • Separate up/down bend range: -12 or -24 semitones, + 2 semitones
  • 1 pedal input for sustain.
  • 1 pedal input for expression pedal.
  • USER INTERFACE
  • 3 LED displays, 23 knobs, 3 encoders and 20+ buttons for program and performance editing.
  • OSCILLATOR SECTION
  • Oscillator models of multiple waveforms (traditional analog, extended analog, pulse waveforms, real-time algorithmical waveforms with additive-, FM- and formant- synthesis)
  • OSC config knob 11 categories (Pitch, Shape, Osc Sync, Noise Mix, Osc 2 Detune, Sine Mix, Tri Mix, Saw Mix, Square Mix, Freq Modulation, Amp Modulation)
  • FILTER SECTION
  • Multi-mode filter with 12 dB (2-pole) low pass, 24 dB (4-pole) lowpass and band pass, high pass, Ladder M and Ladder TB characteristics.
  • Cut off, Resonance, envelope amount, envelope amount controlled by velocity.
  • ADR/ASR envelope.
  • Filter keyboard tracking can be set to off, 1/3, 2/3 or full.
  • Adjustable Filter Distortion.
  • MODULATION SECTION
  • LFO generates a triangle, square, sawtooth, inverted sawtooth or sample and hold waveforms. LFO can be routed to Filter Frequency and Osc mod. The LFO rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • LFO can be switched to polyphonic Env mode with four different characteristics and sample and hold is manually triggered by keyboard (polyphonic S/H).
  • Arpeggiator: Range: 1 - 4 octave. Modes: up, down, up/down and random. The Arpeggio rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • ADR/ASR envelope, velocity control on/off, inverse envelope on/off.
  • AMPLIFIER SECTION
  • ADR/ASR envelope, velocity control on/off, gain control.
  • Individual Pan-control per program
  • PERFORMANCE SECTION
  • Voice modes: Poly, Legato with portamento, Mono, True Unison 1, 2 & 3.
  • Four program slots for layering possibilities and multi-timbrality.
  • EFFECTS
  • FX section with Flanger, Phaser, Ring Modulation, Chorus, Ensemble and Drive.
  • Delay section with tap tempo, four stages of feedback, stereo ping-pong, dry/wet mix. The Delay speed can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • Reverb section with five algorithms (Room, Stage 1, Stage 2, Hall 1, Hall 2).
  • MEMORY
  • Programs (single sounds): 8 x 50 (400) locations
  • Performances (multi sounds): 4 x 50 (200) locations
  • AUDIO OUT
  • 4 outputs. Each slot can be assigned to its own output.
  • Headphones output.
  • High resolution low noise 24 bit DACs.
  • MIDI FEATURES
  • All control knobs and switches send and receive control change messages.
  • System exclusive bulk dumps. One program or all programs.
  • Master Clock will sync to incoming MIDI clock.
  • Soft Thru
  • CONNECTIONS
  • 4 Line Level Audio Outputs - ¼", 6,35 mm jacks, unbalanced
  • Stereo Headphone Output - ¼", 6,35 mm stereo jack
  • Sustain Pedal - ¼", 6,35 mm jack. Use a momentary pedal
  • Control Pedal - ¼", 6,35 mm TRS stereo jack.
  • USB connector with MIDI capabilities
  • MIDI In & Out - 5 pin DIN connectors
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES
  • User Manual
  • Power Cord with IEC C14 connector
  • Rack Ears (rack version only)

  • WEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS
  • Weight: 4.85kg
  • Length: 802mm
  • Height: 92mm
  • Depth: 260mm

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