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Nord USA Lead A1R
Rackmount Synthesizer


This is the new Nord Lead A1 analog modeling synthesizer – a stunning sounding synthesizer with a simplified yet hugely powerful front panel interface.
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Nord USA Lead A1R
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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.

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.

At the heart of the Lead A1 is a new analog modeling engine. Taking 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 24-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.

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.

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.

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.

Nord USA NLEAD-A1-RACK Features:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Added features:
    • Mutator
    • Like Button
    • Extra Fat Unison mode
  • 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 wave shaping 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 featuresclassic 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 legendaryMini 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 anLFO with a choice of waveforms and a three-stage ADR Modulation Envelope. The LFO rate can be sync'd to the Lead A1's master clock. The Mod Envelope can be triggered via Velocity and/or the LFO, and 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 Driveper 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.
  • 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 aspecific Liked version to edit in a different way. When you're ready, saveyour favourite patch or patches to the Lead A1's memory.
  • Mutator Function: A popular feature of the Lead 4, theMutator 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.
  • Unison: A newly designed "Fat-As-Fat-Can-Be" UnisonMode let's the Lead A1 challenge any vintage analog instrument
  • 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 tothe 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 Edit Mode: New in the Lead A1 is the Multi-Edit 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. Pluscontrol 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 ofMIDI 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 and Lead A1R are handmade in Nord's Stockholm factory with incredible attention to detail and quality control.

Nord USA NLEAD-A1-RACK Specifications:

  • User Interface: 3 LED displays, 23 knobs, 3encoders and 20+ buttons for program and performance editing.
  • Oscillator Sections:
    • 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 TBcharacteristics.
    • Cut off, Resonance, envelope amount, envelope amount controlled by velocity.
    • ADR/ASR envelope.
    • Filter keyboard tracking can be set to off, 1/3, 2/3or 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 Frequencyand 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, TrueUnison 1, 2 & 3.
    • Four program slots for layering possibilities and multitimbrality.
  • 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 al lprograms.
    • Master Clock will sync to incoming MIDI clock.
    • Soft Thru
  • Connection:
    • 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, like e.g., Roland DP-2, DP-6, Yamaha FC-4, FC-5, Fatar VFP1-25 etc.
    • Control Pedal - ¼", 6,35 mm TRS stereo jack. Use aYamaha FC-7, Roland EV-7, Roland EV-5, Korg EXP2 or Korg XVP10.
    • 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)
  • Dimensions: 18.3" x 4.5" x 6.6" (466 x 115 x 169 mm)
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs (3 kg)
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