The Lead A1 49-Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer from Nord features an analog modeling sound engine designed to provide virtual analog sounds as well as access to digital waveforms. It has a 49-key Fatar keybed and is capable of 24-voice polyphony and 4 simultaneous synth parts. Its interface is designed to provide simplified access to the synth engine's parameters, including its oscillator, filter, modulation, and effects sections.
The Nord Lead A1 features their Wave Engine with oscillator configuration shortcuts utilizing 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, ring modulation, 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
The Lead A1's filter section features classic 12 and 24 dB low-pass, a high-pass and a band-pass filter, together with emulations of the diode and ladder filters from the Mini and the TB-303 synthesizers. The Lead A1's modeling of these filters capture the character and response of the originals, allowing flexible sound design
The Lead A1's effects section features two analog models of an ensemble and chorus, modeled on specific vintage synths and adding analog feel. Alongside these, choose from ring modulation, phaser, flanger or drive per slot and in addition a separate delay and reverb for each slot
Mod Wheel and Velocity Morph:
The Morph function via mod wheel, velocity or pedal, allows you to control multiple parameters of the Lead A1 simultaneously. Morph can be used by just holding the Morph button and adjusting any desired knob
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 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 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
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
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 and transfer of programs
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
Like all Nord keyboards the Lead A1 is handmade in Nord's Stockholm factory. The Fatar 49-key keybed, all-metal chassis, and tactile knobs are designed for years of use