Lead A1 49-Key 24-Voice Analog Modeling Synthesizer

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  • Unique Oscillator concept
  • 8 Oscillator Configurations
  • Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Dual Osc, FM
  • Traditional Analog and Digital Waveforms
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The Nord Lead A1 analog modeling synthesizer features 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.

Nord's best-ever analog modeling...

At the heart of the Lead A1 is Nord's latest analog modeling engine. Taking their virtual analog synthesis to a new 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.

... combined with their most intuitive interface

Fundamental to the design of the Lead A1 is a simple yet sophisticated front panel interface. The design is 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 Nord Lead A1 features their recently-developed Wave Engine with unique Oscillator Configuration Shortcuts utilising two oscillators. Start with a single Oscillator waveform (a choice of multiple Analog and Digital waveforms), select an Oscillator Configuration Shortcut - Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, FM, AM, Dual Osc or Noise - and use the OSC Control 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 Configuration Shortcuts

  • Pitch - Adjusts the pitch of the original oscillator.
  • DeTune - adds a second oscillator, with control over its pitch.
  • Dual Osc -adds a second oscillator, with a choice of waveform shapes and a choice of octaves. Osc Control sets the sub oscillator mix level.
  • Shape - tilts theshape of the Oscillator. If a Square wave is selected the Osc Control sets Pulse Width Modulation.
  • Sync - emulates Hard sync by adding an additional oscillator that is the sync reference.
  • FM -Frequency Modulates the original oscillator with a selection of sine waves.
  • 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. 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.


Mod Env

The three-stage ADR Modulation Envelope (ADR) is trigged from the keyboard and Envelope can be inverted and controlled by velocity. 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.


The Lead A1 features an LFO with a choice of waveforms. The LFO rate can be sync'd to the Lead A1's Master Clock. The LFO can also be used as an additional Modulation Envelope.


A dedicated LFO for Vibrato is always available for use.

Effects Section

The Lead A1's effects section features two stunning 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.

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.


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.

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.

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 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 and all of the Lead A1's knobs transmit MIDI Control data.

The Hardware

Like all Nord keyboards the Lead A1 is handmade in Nord's Stockholm factory with incredible attention to detail and quality control. The Fatar® 49-key keybed, all-metal chassis, tactile knobs, and unfaltering emphasis on quality complete a synthesizer designed to last a lifetime.

Nord Lead A1 Includes:

  • User Manual
  • Power Cord with IEC C14 connector
  • Nord CD ROM with Nord Sound Manager

Nord Lead A1 Features:

      • Unique Oscillator concept
      • 8 Oscillator Configurations
      • Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Dual Osc, FM
      • Traditional Analog and Digital Waveforms
    • 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

Nord Lead A1 Specifications:

    • Features:
      • 49-key octave velocity sensitive keyboard with octave shift buttons (+/-2 octaves).
      • Keyboard Split with 2 slots for the upper and lower sections.
      • Modulation Wheel
      • Pitch Stick (with no dead zone at zero crossing).
      • 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:
      • Multiple Oscillator waveforms (traditional analog, extended analog, pulse waveforms, wavetable)
      • OSC config knob 8 categories (Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, Ring Modulation, Noise, Dual Osc, FM)
    • Filter Section:
      • Multi-mode filter with 12 dB (2-pole) low pass, 24 dB (4-pole) low pass and band pass, high pass, Ladder M and Ladder 303 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 1 generates a triangle, square, sawtooth, inverted sawtooth or sample and hold waveforms. LFO 1 can be routed to Filter Frequency, Pitch, Shape and Osc mod. The LFO 1 rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
      • LFO can be switched to Env mode with three different characteristics and sample and hold is manually triggered by keyboard.
      • Arpeggiator: Range: 1 - 4 octave. Modes: up, down, up/down, random, Poly. The Arpeggio rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
      • ADR/ASR envelope, velocity control on/off, inverse envelope on/off.
    • Amplifier Section:
      • AD/SR 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.
    • Effects:
      • FX section with Flanger, Phaser, Ring Modulation, Chorus, Ensemble and Drive.
      • Delay section with tap tempo, four stages of feedback, 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
    • Connection:
      • 4 Line Level Audio Outputs - 1/4", 6,35 mm jacks, unbalanced
      • Stereo Headphone Output - 1/4", 6,35 mm stereo jack
      • Sustain Pedal - 1/4", 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 - 1/4", 6,35 mm TRS stereo jack. Use a Yamaha 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
    • Dimensions: 34" x 3.7" x 10.7" (864 x 94 x 272 mm)

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