Musikmesse News: Nord Lead A1R Now Desktop/Rack-Mountable Synth

So you want a Nord Lead A1, but you'd prefer it without the keyboard. Wouldn't it be great if you could get a rack-mountable/desktop version for your studio? Well, now you can!  

Clavia DMI AB are proud to announce the Lead A1R, a desktop/rack-mountable version of the new Lead A1 analogue modelling synthesizer.  Identical in feature set, the Lead A1 and A1R combine our next-generation analogue modelling engine, with an innovative streamlined interface for fast-track programming.

Nord Lead A1R.

Nord Lead A1R.

Analogue Modelling

The Lead A1 and A1r are equipped with an all new analog modelling sound engine. As the original inventors of virtual analogue, this is our next-generation analogue modeling, capable of reproducing the character and nuances of the vintage synths of your dreams with breathtaking accuracy. 24-voice polyphonic and four part multi-timbral, the Lead A1 and Lead A1R are flexible choices for either stage or studio, delivering a stunningly rich and versatile pallet of sounds.

The Need for Speed

The Lead A1 and A1R also introduce an innovative new front-panel user interface designed by Clavia to make programming quick and easy, while retaining hands on flexibility.

“We've been thinking about and honing this interface for a number of years in response to what we hear from many professional players regarding the ever-increasing time pressures in creating sounds for stage or studio.” says Hans Nordelius, CEO and head designer at Clavia.

One of the main features of the new interface is the Oscillator section, where Oscillator configuration shortcuts allow patches to be created and edited far quicker than is usually possible for synthesis of this complexity. The new waveform engine generates 47 different waveforms from classic analog to digital harmonic and inharmonic waves. Using a single LFO and simplified Modulation Envelope with intuitive controls on the front panel, it is also very quick to experiment with modulations, always with a clear overview of the structure of the patch.


The on-board filters include Low Pass, High Pass and Band Pass, along with new stunningly accurate modelled Ladder M and Ladder TB filters introduced in the Lead 4.


The A1's effects section introduces two new impressive vintage Chorus and Ensemble models. Delay, Reverb, Drive, Phaser and Flanger complete the effects line-up, all with independent settings for each of the four slots.



Like Button

The new 'Like' function is a unique feature that is invaluable during the patch creation process. 'Like' up to 50 versions of a patch as you design it, scroll between them to choose your favorite to save to actual memory, or go back to an earlier version to edit in a different way.


The Lead A1 and A1R also include the Mutator function introduced in the Lead 4, which creates a variation of an existing patch by adjusting certain parameters by set rules, and a full Randomize function to create an entirely new patch with all parameters randomized.


A newly designed ”Fat-as-Fat-can-be” Unison Mode lets the Lead A1 challenge any vintage analogue instrument.


Nord's acclaimed Morph function via Velocity or the Mod Wheel (Mod Wheel Morph via MIDI cc on A1R) is also included, allowing multiple parameters to be morphed in real time and with exceptionally easy control.

Additional functions include an independent arpeggiator for each of the four slots, Master Clock sync of the LFO, delay and Arpeggiator, MIDI over USB, and four independent outputs. The Lead A1 and A1R are compatible with the Nord Sound Manager software patch librarian.

Like all Nord products, the Lead A1 and A1R are handmade in Sweden with meticulous attention to detail and quality control.

UK Pricing & Availability

Nord Lead A1: April 2014 priced at £1249 RRP inc VAT

Nord Lead A1R: June 2014 priced at £1049 RRP inc VAT

For more information please visit

Visitors to the MusikMesse Frankfurt can see and hear the Lead A1 and A1R at Hall 5.1, Booth B90

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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