Item #1147622 Model #AMS-NLEAD-A1

Nord Lead A1 Analog Modeling Synthesizer Standard


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Enhanced analog modeling synthesizer with powerful front panel features.

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 Nord's 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 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, preprogrammed 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 Lead A1's filter section features classic 12dB and 24dB 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.

The Lead A1 features an LFO 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, backup and transfer of programs.

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.

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.

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 Lead 1 - Update v1.34 (10-07-2015)
Fixed a bug in the Delay clear function
Modulating Osc Ctrl in mode "Snc" could cause audio pops (fixed)
Update pitch bend when adjusting range
Improved BP filter at high frequencies
Fixed bug where the name from the last loaded performance was given to a performance made from patch buffers using a mode switch by pressing Copy + Performance, then storing
Pulse sub waveform mixed with formant wavetables did not behave as expected (fixed)
Filters LP M and LP TB could produce strange sounds at frequency set to zero and playing at very low pitch (fixed)
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 12dB (2-pole) low pass, 24dB (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 multitimbrality
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
Included Accessories
  • User Manual
  • Power Cord with IEC C14 connector
  • Rack Ears (rack version only)
  • Nord Lead A1: 864 x 94 x 272 mm (34" x 3.7" x 10.7")
  • Nord Lead A1: 4.85 kg (10.7 lb.)


  • Nord's best-ever analog modeling
  • 24-voice polyphony, 4 simultaneous synth parts
  • 49-key octave velocity sensitive keyboard
  • Sophisticated front panel interface
  • 47 different oscillator waveforms
  • Classic filter modes, as well as legendary emulations
  • LFO and modulation section with 3-stage ADR Modulation Envelope
  • Analog modeled effects section
  • Mod Wheel and Velocity Morph function
  • Like Button, temporarily stores favorite patches to work on
  • Mutator Function, randomly alters parameter settings
  • Newly designed Unison Mode
  • Four separate Arpeggiators
  • Master Clock function
  • Keyboard Split with 2 slots for the upper and lower sections
  • Multi Edit Mode
  • Four independent audio outputs
  • Includes Nord's Sound Manager software
  • MIDI over USB control
  • All-metal chassis with tactile knobs