Nord Lead 2 & Nord Rack 2
The 2nd classic! In 1995 Clavia launched the original Nord Lead Virtual Analog synthesizer. It immediately became a ground breaking success and set industry standard. Two years later the Nord Lead was followed by Nord Lead 2 which took the virtual analog concept even further, adding a number of improvements and new features.
The virtual analog concept combines classic ideas with today's technology. Instead of analog components we use digital signal processors (DSPs) that we program to emulate analog synthesis. The programming is made very carefully to reproduce the warmth and richness of the traditional analog sound. But the virtual analog technique opens up for much more possibilities than "just" analog sound. You can create crisp or really nasty "analog-digital" sounds that widely exceeds the limits of competing products. Awesome leads, booming basses, frantic techno - at your fingertips.
Every function has a dedicated knob, just like it used to be in the good old days. No more complex menus! Total real time control and instant accessibility make it a breeze to shape the sounds exactly the way you want them.
The Virtual Analog concept
The original Nord Lead, released in 1995, immediately became a groundbreaking success. This was the world's first virtual analog synthesizer and it became a classical right from the start. It used a completely new synthesis concept: real-time digital emulation of analog synthesis. No samples as far as ear could reach!
With the release of the Nord Lead, a new industry standard was born. All around the world, musicians praise the warm analog sound, the simplicity and the smart design of the Nord Lead. Two years later the Nord Lead was followed by Nord Lead 2 which brought the "virtual analog" concept even further, adding a number of improvements and new features.
The sound generation used in Nord Lead synthesizers is call ed 'virtual analog'. This innovative technique for producing analog sounds was originally developed by Clavia and debuted in the original classic Nord Lead, the world's first 'virtual analog synthesizer'. The virtual analog concept combines classic ideas with today's technology. Instead of analog components we use digital signal processors (DSP) that we program to emulate analog synthesis. The programming is made very carefully to reproduce the warmth and richness of the traditional analog sound.
Clavia has analyzed analog synthesizer design in detail and implemented the research in several digital models. The Nord Lead employs mathematical simulations of the electronic signal generated by analog oscillators, instead of using waveform tables. This makes it possible, for example, to sweep the pitch smoothly over a very wide range and allow for true pulse width modulation. Also, the character of the Nord Lead filter has a typical analog behavior when swept with a high Q-value.
But it doesn't stop there; the technique opens up for much more sound possibilities than "just" analog sound. You can create crisp or really nasty "analog-digital" sounds that widely exceeds the limits of competing products. That's one of the reasons why the Nord Lead synthesizers has become so popular around the world. The Nord Lead synthesizer does it all... and more. Awesome leads, booming basses, frantic techno - at your fingertips. Every function has a knob, just like it used to be in the good old days. No more complex menus! Total real time control and instant accessibility make it a breeze to shape the sounds exactly the way you want them.
Nord Lead 2/Rack 2 specifications
The first part of this page describes the Nord Lead 2/Rack 2 specifications. At the bottom of the page, the Nord Lead 2/Rack 2 features compared to Nord Lead 1/Rack 1 are listed. Go there .
16 voices. 4 part multi-timbral.
Velocity programming: Each function that is controlled by a knob, can be programmed to be controlled by velocity.
Morphing: Each function that is controlled by a knob can also be controlled by the modulation wheel/pedal to continuously fade between two sets of values.
4-octave velocity sensitive keyboard. (Nord Lead only)
Octave Shift buttons (+/-2 oct.)
Keyboard Split, two sections. (Nord Lead only)
Wooden Pitch Stick, designed to change the pitch continuously without any dead spots. It gives you complete control of the pitch and allows you to make true and natural vibrato. The effect increases exponentially as you move it further from the center. Patent pending for the "Pitch Stick". (Nord Lead only)
Modulation Wheel for modulating a number of selectable destinations. Looks great, feels great, works great. (Nord Lead 2 only)
1 pedal input for sustain and 1 for expression pedal.
3 digit LED display, 26 knobs and 27 buttons for program editing.
Oscillator 1 generating sine, triangle, sawtooth or pulse wave with adjustable width. Oscillator 2 generating triangle, sawtooth or pulse (with adjustable width) and can also generate noise with a color control. Oscillator 2 can be hard synched to oscillator 1. Linear deep frequency modulation of osc 1 from osc 2. A wide range of new waveforms with a strong formant character is achieved with the new synchable noise, where noise can be synched to Osc. 1.
12 dB "2 pole" lowpass, 24 dB "4 pole" lowpass, bandpass or highpass. Cut off, resonance, envelope amount, envelope amount controlled by velocity. ADSR envelope. Filter keyboard tracking can be set to full, half or off. Filter distortion.
ADSR envelope, gain control.
Lfo 1 generating triangle, saw, pulse, LF filtered noise and random staircase routed to Osc 1+2, Osc 2, filter, pulse-width and FM amount. Lfo 2 produces a triangle waveform, routed to Osc 1 and 2 or amplifier. It also controls the rate for the arpeggiator. Arpeggiator: Range: 1 - 4 octave. Modes: up, down, up/down, random. Echo can be set between 1 and 8 repeats. Modulation envelope (attack, decay) for Osc 2 pitch, FM amount and pulse width.
Play mode: Poly, legato, mono, unison mono, unison poly. Manual mode. Four program slots for layering possibilities. Portamento / auto portamento.
10 analog drumkits. Each percussion kit holds 8 independent sounds, configured in 8 zones across the keyboard.
40 user-programs, 59 factory programs and 100 factory performances. An additional 297 (99 x 3) user-programs, 100 user-performance programs and 30 drumkits can be saved on a PCMCIA 64 (or more) kilobyte battery backed SRAM card.
4 outputs. Each slot have its own output. Modes: Stereo, mono and multitimbral mode. Headphones output. High resolution and low noise 18 bit DAC.
All control knobs and switches for program editing send and receive Control Change messages. System exclusive bulk dumps. One program or all programs. MIDI clock synchronizing LFO 1 and LFO 2/arpeggiator. Triggering of the filter and amplifier envelopes and velocity control from separate programmable MIDI channel and note numbers.
Nord Lead 2: 865(W) 265(D) 105(H) mm. Weight 6.7 kg. 34.0"(W) 10.4"(D) 4.1"(H). Weight: 14.7 lbs.
Nord Rack 2: 435(W) 210(D) 105(H) mm. Weight 4.5 kg. 19" rack mountable, 4 units high.
The Nord Lead 2 offers 4 parts multitimbrality. You have access to them at all times - in real time. Imagine the advantages in a MlDI setup. With the Nord, it's a breeze to edit your sounds.
The pitch stick. Put your finger in the "groove" and move it! You have complete control of the Pitch, just as a violin or a guitar player.
The Nord Lead 2 is light and portable. With a weight of only 6.7 kg (14.7 Ibs) it's easy to carry to the gig.
The difference between Nord Lead 2/Rack 2 and Nord Lead 1/Rack1
16 voices. Nord Lead 1/Rack 1 has 4 voices (expandable to 12)
A Sine wave is added to the already powerful Oscillator section. From all of the classic features of the analog concept Nord Lead 2 now adds an old favorite editing parameter: Ring Modulation as well as a wealth of new digital waveform possibilities created by using the "synchable noise" feature. In the Nord Lead 2 you are able to sync Noise and Oscillator 1 to create sounds unlike any you've heard before.
The filter section in Nord Lead has been appreciated for its warm sound character and "unique" filter types. An exciting new addition to the filter section is the Distortion button. Try it! It will do fun things with your filters, adding even more excitement to your patches.
Filter Keyboard Tracking selection has been added to the Nord Lead 2. Now you can choose between 1/3, 2/3 Full or Off.
In the modulation area several new features have been added. The LFO 1 section has two more waveform choices and one more destination.
The Arpeggiator has been redesigned and offers a Hold function.
Pulse Width has been added to the destinations in the Modulation Envelope section.
4 outputs. Each slot have its own output. Modes: Stereo, mono and multitimbral mode.
Finally, to expand the Nord Lead 2's live performance abilities, a second pedal input has been added. One pedal is available for Sustain and the other for Expression.