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Why Nord Lead/ Why not the Nord Lead
Old 13th September 2011
  #31
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Pros: great hardware UI. Has a great sound, though VA.

Cons: Discovery Pro will get you almost all of that sound, plus a lot it can't do and costs peanuts.
Old 13th September 2011
  #32
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sentokan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Pros: great hardware UI. Has a great sound, though VA.

Cons: Discovery Pro will get you almost all of that sound, plus a lot it can't do and costs peanuts.
Can u give some sound examples of that?...cause I couldn t make my discovery sound like the NL :(
Old 13th September 2011
  #33
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sftd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sentokan View Post
Can u give some sound examples of that?...cause I couldn t make my discovery sound like the NL :(
How do you know that you can't make "your discovery" sound like an NL when you don't have an NL?

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Old 13th September 2011
  #34
Registered User
 

how does it work on a nord lead when going through presets, the knobs would all be in the wrong positions etc when you change the preset?
Old 13th September 2011
  #35
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Yoozer's Avatar
Yes. Virtually every synth with memory exhibits this. If the cutoff in the synth's memory is set to 20 and the knob is turned all the way to the right (127), turning it back makes the cutoff value jump.

The solution is either endless encoders (NL3), or software tricks that make it less jarring. One trick is to not change the value unless it is passed (e.g. the knob appears to do nothing until you pass 20; then it starts working as intended). Another trick is to scale the value - e.g. the actual position (127) is assumed to be the in-memory position, and turning the knob all the way back means you go from 20 to 0 but a lot slower.

If I recall correctly the NL1/2/2X does not exhibit this behavior; it just jumps.
Old 13th September 2011
  #36
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22 View Post
how does it work on a nord lead when going through presets, the knobs would all be in the wrong positions etc when you change the preset?
the knobs aren't scanned when the new patch is loaded from memory - only when there is activity is the position updated.
Old 13th September 2011
  #37
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sentokan View Post
Can u give some sound examples of that?...cause I couldn t make my discovery sound like the NL :(
I only borrowed one for a week so I can't make sound examples, but this guy did:

?DEMO:CC?CLAVIA NordWave NordLead3 VS Discovery PRO - YouTube

Yeah, it doesn't sound exactly like a NL, but it really does capture that vibe. After playing with the real thing for a week I didn't feel any need to buy one, but I plunked down the cash for Discovery Pro and I'm glad I did. Saved money and put it where it matters more, actual analog instead of virtual analog. Really, I've owned many VAs and there's not one I think is better than a good plug in.
Old 13th September 2011
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Saved money and put it where it matters more, actual analog instead of virtual analog. Really, I've owned many VAs and there's not one I think is better than a good plug in.
Yeah, it's sad, I pride myself on not being snobbish about synth sound [in, fact I would say I am probably in the elite of not being snobby], but there's just no faking analog. YET.
Old 13th September 2011
  #39
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cube66's Avatar
 

I sold my Nordlead 3 a few years ago and I regret is soooo much!

Old 13th September 2011
  #40
Gear Addict
 

Personally I couldn't justify spending $1500 on a hardware VA when softsynths can achieve a very similar quality of sound. Unless of course you need it for live use...thats another story.
Old 13th September 2011
  #41
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Downsound's Avatar
 

I've pretty much sold all my hardware synths and I'm almost entirely in the box . . . except for my Nord Lead 2 and Access Virus B. Truth be told, if I can't get a softsynth to "fit" in my track, I stop trying and turn to the Nord. It works everytime. I will never sell it. I know it's a VA, and the keybed is cheap, the arp and midi sync stink, etc., but I just love to play it. AND you have to admidt - it's damn sexy.
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Why Nord Lead/ Why not the Nord Lead-nord.jpg  
Old 14th September 2011
  #42
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

What's wrong with the midi sync on it? :/ possibly going to buy a nl2x soon.
Old 14th September 2011
  #43
Gear Head
 

I've never experienced any MIDI sync issues (in terms of the LFO rate or Arp rate) with my NL2 keyboard. Having owned it for about 10 years one of the keys has finally crapped out on me. It also took some serious hunting to find a PCMCIA card that worked with it (which I also found almost 10 years ago...maybe 9). Without the card the patch storage capability is pretty well unacceptable (40 patches and no drum kits and no performances).

I think the sound is cool, and some people claim that the lower quality converters of the original NL2 vs the NL2x make it sound rawer (such as with the earlier DX-7s vs the later DX-7s). I can't attest to this. I can say that even though it's pretty "analog" sounding, the bass really doesn't touch my Moog Phatty. I do like the character of the NL2 bass, though. It's just not as round and deep as some true analogs. It does lot of nice hybrid analog-digital sounds. It can sound somewhat plasticy and the keyboard is light weight with no aftertouch (if that matters).

As mentioned earlier it's super easy to program as it's basically one knob per function. It doesn't have any many modulation options as many of the other VAs, but it can spit out a wide range of sounds. I personally always liked the tech-house type of pad sounds it made. I hear that trance guys love it. If you like minimal techno, it's good for that as well. Deep house...I used it and it's decent. If you're looking for super authentic analog sounds, then you'll probably want a real analog synth.
Old 14th September 2011
  #44
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
What's wrong with the midi sync on it? :/ possibly going to buy a nl2x soon.
i think some people think the LFO waveform is synced to the clock, not the retrigger.
Old 14th September 2011
  #45
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phurniture View Post
I personally always liked the tech-house type of pad sounds it made. I hear that trance guys love it. If you like minimal techno, it's good for that as well. Deep house...I used it and it's decent. If you're looking for super authentic analog sounds, then you'll probably want a real analog synth.
any synth can be used for any style of music. yes, even a TB-303. it's all in the programming.
Old 14th September 2011
  #46
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initself's Avatar
I drank the Autechre Sound on Sound interview Kool-Aid and spent a long time hunting down a Nord Lead 1 Expanded Rack. I feel like this is the only post I ever make on Gearslutz. I freaking LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it. It's the best synth I ever touched. It doesn't make a bad sound. Running it through LXP-1, LXP-5, Quadraverb is such a joy. It's hard to actually make songs because you're just rolling through patches making crazy **** happen over and over again. I don't think there could be a more inspiring interface on a synth.

The original version may have a more desirable sonic characteristic that the later versions do not, but I only have experience with the original. I can tell you that it leaves nothing to be desired whatsoever.

I like the Virus TI, but I LOVE the Nord Lead.
Old 14th September 2011
  #47
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backplay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22 View Post
how does it work on a nord lead when going through presets, the knobs would all be in the wrong positions etc when you change the preset?
If you change a preset and the filter cutoff is at position 26 in the preset but on the Nord the FC is set at 59, you have 2 choices:

1. If you touch the filter it will immediately jump to the value of the filter at that moment.

2. Hold down shift en turn the filter cutoff: The value of the filter cutoff doesn't change until you stop pushing on the hold button.
This way, if you hear that the filter on the preset is turned down. You can put the filter cutoff to the position you think it will be without changing the sound.
Old 14th September 2011
  #48
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Zombie H's Avatar
 

to nord lead or not to nord lead that 'tis the question
Old 14th September 2011
  #49
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Downsound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
i think some people think the LFO waveform is synced to the clock, not the retrigger.

Bingo. That's what I meant. It's not synced to clock.
Old 14th September 2011
  #50
Gear Addict
 
umptanum's Avatar
 

I have a Nord 3 and I have to say it's the best synth I own... better than my Andromeda, my Microwave XT and all the rest.

In this day and age of plug-ins and vintage synths and all in between, everything sounds good in its own way. Sure if you're trying to see if "x" synth can sound just like "y" synth then you can get into quality comparisons... but if you appreciate a synth for what it intrinsically sounds like, its own voice, then there are very few crappy synths... plug-ins or hardware.

Where the Nord Lead 3 excels at over any other is the interface. This is what you are paying for. The Nord 3 has the best synth UI ever made, period. Every parameter has a knob or button and it is a dream to program. Making modulations is easy, programming FM is easy. If you want to learn and get deep into how subtractive and FM synthesis works, look no further.

Sound-wise, I'd say the Nord 3 sounds like an FM synth emulating analog... but this is its character and it sounds unique in it's own way. I have never been able to get this synth to sound bad. It has a huge sweet spot.
Old 14th September 2011
  #51
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BTByrd's Avatar
+1 to much of umptantum's praise. I wouldn't say the NL3 is the best synth I've ever owned - if forced to choose, I'd take my Voyager over the NL3 without hesitation - but it certainly has the best interface of any synth I can think of. I miss that interface so much... if anyone ever asks what synth they should buy to learn synthesis from, the NL3 is always my first suggstion. Being able to actually see virtually every setting on the synth at all times made programming an absolute joy. You can learn a LOT about standard VA/subtractive synthesis and FM just by working with it for a month or two.

I sold the NL3 to fund the G2, which is based on the same sound engine. Like many, I prefer the harsher sound of the NL1 and 2 to the SLIGHTLY more muted tones of the NL3/G2. The NL1, 2, 2x, and Modular G1 can really shred, with satisfying sonic raspiness. The NL3 and G2 can still shred, but sound SLIGHTLY more subdued. They all share a sonic family resemblance though; Nords all sound like Nords (and that's a good thing). But that interface on the NL3... nothing in hardware really compares.

Why doesn't any other manufacturer use encoders with LED rings?!
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