Clavia Nord Lead A1

Not long after the release of the Nord Lead 4  the Nord Lead A1 was announced to some surprise at the Winter NAMM show. With the name and the simplified front panel it definitely seemed to be pushing the analogue-modelling side of things so let’s look at the concept…

The A1 is designed as an analogue-modelling synth, yes, but there’s more to it than that. The interface is streamlined to allow for ‘ fast-track programming’ in that it moves away from the slightly more complex architecture of the Lead 4 and straight into the bare bones of analogue programming. (Not that I thought the 4 was particularly tough to master – indeed, I thought many of its hands-on performance features were out of this world.)

The A1’s design comes from the fact that people wanted something to program quickly and effectively. But don’t think ‘cut down’ as, if anything, the synthesis engine is supposedly more analogue-sounding than that on the 4, as it has an all-new core that ‘recreates a total analog signal path with uncanny realism’ and also features some new and clever tweaks to make things more interesting and instantly hands on.