Can its latest incarnation keep the flame alive? If you're old enough, cast your mind back to the beginning of 1. It wasn't the most exciting era for synth fans because the world appeared to be stuck in an endless loop of incremental improvements to PCM- based workstations and samplers. The renaissance of true analogue synthesis was still gestating, and the only commercial synth based on physical modelling was Yamaha's VL1, which was both pricey and entirely disinterested in emulating analogue polysynths.
But in March of that year, Sound On Sound contacted me to ask whether I. It was, they explained, a. The instrument in question was the Nord Lead, the synth for which the term 'virtual analogue' was probably coined, and its arrival signalled a. Today, the Nord Lead 4 is the seventh keyboard- toting model in the family. Some of these have moved forward, some have moved backward, and some sideways, but all have retained the same underlying architecture and maintained the form factor of a.
So what's new in the Nord Lead 4? Far from expanding upon the Nord Lead 3, the new model has lost its screen and aftertouch, and forsaken a.
Perhaps to compensate, the number of Osc 1's digitally derived waves (which were first introduced on the very closely related Nord Wave) has increased. Strangely, the documentation claims that there are now 1.
3 user reviews on Clavia Nord Rack 2. Log in; Become a member; Audiofanzine: Online. The Nord Lead 4 Rack is everything a synthesizer can offer, without keys. 5 pin DIN connectors INCLUDED ACCESSORIES User Manual Power Cord with IEC C14 connector Nord CD ROM with Nord Sound Manager Rack Ears (Nord Lead 4R.
I. More worryingly, the company describes these waves as 'wavetables', which isn't just misleading, it's wrong. They're single- cycle waves, and there's no ability to sweep through the ROM. Shame on you, Clavia. There are two modes of Osc 1 sync, both driven by a. The documentation states that you can also sync Osc 1 to Osc 2 but, unless I've lost my marbles, that's another error.
Can any of you clever fellas point me in the right direction to get a pdf manual of. Trade Nord Modular G2 rack with Nord Lead 2x rack or radias. Find great deals on eBay for Nord Lead Rack in Electronic Musical Synthesizers. Shop with confidence.
Moving on to Osc 2, this substitutes a. While the ring modulator of some previous models has been discarded, there are now three FM modes.
The Clavia Nord Lead 2 is a modern day synth designed to emulate vintage synth sounds, dubbed a "virtual analog" synth. It has a unique pitch shifting stick and a wheel to go along with it. It has all sorts of 1/4. We invited the talented Italian keyboard player and producer Federico Solazzo over to our factory in Stockholm to demo some of the powerful new features in the Nord Lead 4! Everything recorded live, with no. Parts and accessories for Nord keyboards. C1, C2 Organs: Piano Series: Drum Series: Rack Series: Electro Series: Stage Series: Lead Series.
These offer nothing like the flexibility of the Nord Lead 3's FM capabilities, but they are simple to use and can generate some interesting results. Many players will be delighted by the M (Moog), TB (Roland), and 4. B/oct low- pass modes and, while the notch filter found on previous models has been discarded, that shouldn't cause too many headaches even though it means that some sounds can't be recreated here.
Keyboard tracking is provided in four amounts . There's also overdrive, but I'm afraid that I'm not a. Rather than add power to sounds I. At maximum resonance, all the filter modes except TB approach self- oscillation, although the filter always needs signal from the oscillators to kick it into life. What's more, the amount of resonance decreases smoothly with decreasing cut- off frequency in the 'M' mode, which is a.
At their fastest, these are super- snappy and capable of generating clicks (which is a. At their slowest they offer satisfyingly gentle Decays and Releases. A third contour generator . Clavia undersells this because, with the Dec/Rel knob turned fully clockwise, the Decay becomes infinite, thus offering an AS option, which is unusual.
There are just six destinations for this, which is parsimonious in 2. Modulation is provided (primarily)The Nord Lead family has never brimmed with sockets, and the Nord Lead 4 is no exception. It offers four outputs that can be assigned to individual slots for multitimbral use, a. Finally, there's an IEC input for its integrated power supply. These can be sync'd to the Nord's master clock, key sync'd, and triggered manually.
There are just nine destinations (a different selection of six on each LFO) and you can only select one destination per LFO at any given time, but the important bases are covered even though this is again rather limited by modern standards. LFO1 can also act as an arpeggiator with the usual up, down, up/down and random modes, plus an unusual (and rather fun) poly mode. These are split into six types . Patterns can only be used when the arpeggiator is sync'd to master clock, which seems a. In contrast, the Nord Lead 4 offers you the choice of just one of the following . Control is very limited, and even though the FX Amount (which experimentation demonstrates is not always what is being modified) can be affected by the modulation envelope and LFO2, it's not exactly state of the art. So when Clavia advertises the Nord Lead 4's effects as new and radical, that's hyperbole.
Definitely not. Clavia's blurb writers also make a. They're on safer ground here. There are 3. 6 continuous destinations and, because the amount of morph can be determined. The Lead 4's control panel: compact, but still lacking a. There are also 2. In contrast, Impulse Morphs jump from one value to another without passing through the intervening ones.
There are three Impulse Morph buttons, and you can press these in any combination for a. With 5. 5 possible destinations, this is almost like having seven variations of a. These variations can be as simple as lifting the brightness and loudness of the sound for a. Each of the 9. 9 Performances offers four slots named A, B, C and D, and you can insert a.
This makes the Nord Lead 4 a. You can then layer Programs, create AB/CD splits, and play them via MIDI whether they are active from the keyboard or not. But the best news is that you can edit the Programs in a. Oh yes, and all four Programs within a. Given that this locks to MIDI Clock as soon as it detects it on either MIDI input (and, by extension, any Programs or Performances are then locked to the outside world) this is all good. The philosophy behind the original Nord Lead was to create an instrument with the character of an analogue synthesizer, married to the stability and reliability of digital signal processors. However, when Clavia claims that .
Nevertheless, if you read the manual from cover to cover to find where all the secondary and tertiary functions are hiding, it becomes pretty straightforward. I loved the sounds in the original Nord Lead, especially with the v. Minimoog and the Prophet 5. Some of these sounds were good, while others were excellent.
These existed on the Nord Lead 3, and I. It helps to make the instrument small and light, but you'll have to decide whether the compromise is acceptable. But perhaps the biggest problem (for me) was the lack of aftertouch, which is received via MIDI but not generated. This resulted in me playing many of my patches from another keyboard, which is daft.
Since the comprehensive MIDI CC list addresses almost all of the front panel controls, you could even argue that there's no need to have the synth to hand, even for real- time twiddling (although, to be fair, it's possible that the admirable lack of stepping when you rotate the Nord's own knobs will be compromised over MIDI.)Another annoyance is a. Can you remember which sound is which with just a? As for remembering which Programs or their derivations exist within a.
There is also at least one minor error in the synth's software. The Sustain Pedal Polarity in the System Menu reports a. Everything still works correctly, so I. This is, at least in part, a.
I've already mentioned errors regarding the waveforms and sync, and more confusion lies in wait where, for example, the manual says that OS v. Nord Lead 4 to be recognised by the Nord Sound Manager, whereas the latest version at the time of writing was OS v. Elsewhere, four banks of 9.
Similarly, Performances 8. P0. 1 to P1. 0 as the manual states. The additional waves and FM modes offer more starting points for sound creation, and the additional filter modes offer more ways to mangle them, as do the effects. Then there are features such as Impulse Morph, which add greatly to its performance capabilities. Ultimately, the Nord Lead 4 retains much of what made people like Nord Leads in the first place and adds just about enough to keep it contemporary. If you loved the original, it's likely that you'll love this too because, as is usually the case with Clavia instruments, it sounds great and there's something about it that transcends its limitations. Indeed, by the time that I.
But whether it offers enough to keep potential customers away from the clutches of the King. Korg or a. Offering equivalent sound quality, this also combines virtual analogue and single- cycle waveforms but, with more filter types (1. If you're prepared to shell out a. The System Menu sets up basic things such as global tuning and pedal modes, and allows you to allocate which output carries the signal from which Performance slot. Finally, the Sound menu determines things such as the delay effect mode as well as the parameters for the vibrato oscillator. Released in 1. 99. Nord Lead was the original Virtual Analogue synth, promoted primarily as a.
Shortly after its appearance, Clavia released an expansion card that expanded its memory and increased its polyphony to 1. This was the first (and so far the only) Nord Lead to offer a. The synth engine was also improved, with numerous multi- filter modes, 4- op FM synthesis, enhanced morphing, and a. It even generated aftertouch from its own keyboard. Some commentators suggested that it sounded less 'analogue' than its predecessors and, perhaps as a. Released in 2. 00. Nord Lead 2. X offered increased polyphony and memory as well as improved DACs, but was otherwise much the same as its parent.
In 2. 00. 7, the Nord Wave appeared. It added 6. 2 single- cycle waveforms, 1.
MB of flash RAM to allow players to use sample playback as the basis of sound creation, and was the first in the family to incorporate an onboard effects section. Finally, we come to the Nord Lead 4, which is again based upon the Nord Lead 2. X. It expands upon the selection of single- cycle waves, offers new filter models and a. It also lacks the aftertouch of the Nord Lead 3 (which is a. It offers three modes, Variation (each new version is based on the original Program), Mutation (each new version is based on any previous mutation) and Random. It's simple to use and, while I've never been a.
What was actually needed was the latest version of the Sound Manager, which I.