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Nord Lead A1
Old 13th April 2016 | Show parent
  #481
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REwire's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Dang, I've put off getting a Nord for a while and have been listening to more A1 demos online and yeah, this synth is good. I can't decide if I want the A1 or NL4. I've also been considering the original NL1 with raw abrasive sound I like it produces. But the A1 also seems to be able to do abrasive weirdness too. And maybe moreso than the NL1. Has anyone had the NL1 and A1? Also wondering how the NL4 compares to the NL1. I'm curious about the difference in tones. Is the filter of the NL1 a lot better than either of these? I'm guessing the NL4 maybe a good compromise, but the tones of the A1 are really hifi sounding and seems to be able to do abrasive stuff too. I like that it can sound lush and organic, but also go into rawer sounding territory.
I have the original NL2, MicroModular and A1R

I'd say they are all different. The NL1 and 2 are very aggressive, buzzy and raw. The A1R does not sound anything like any old Nord. It certainly can sound more organic, warm and has very analog sounding FM. It's aggressiveness is mostly due to the digital waveforms and cross modulating those. The FM on the old Nords is beyond intense and digital.

Don't know about the NL4. That, the Modular 2, NL3 and Wave all put me off.

Dan
Old 18th April 2016 | Show parent
  #482
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barryfell's Avatar
I've had this synth for well over a year now and I find myself liking it ever more.

It's just so 'warm' and 'full', and it sits great in mixes with very little post processing most the time in my experience.

It's a shame it's missing a dedicated noise source but I tend to use a plugin called Beatskillz That Thing which can layer incoming envelope shaped noise on top, and I find the tape noise presets to be particularly good to use to add even more 'warmth' and some vintage/sampled flavour. Along with a touch of Kush UBK-1 and then finally D16 Decimort 2 using the Fairlight CMI preset it takes what is already a very very lush sounding synth to the next level for warmth and weight.

Cold, sterile or anaemic are never adjectives you can use for the Nord Lead A1.
Old 30th June 2017 | Show parent
  #483
Looking for some opinions here, or demos - anyone with an A1 care to weigh in on whether or not any of the filters can do a good Roland impersonation? Juno 60 type resonance is what I'm looking for. It seems to have a the nice chorus sound down, just wondering about the filter types.

I know the Deep Mind 12 is pretty good at that sound, but there are plenty of features on the Nord that I like better (no menu diving, performance-oriented patch slots and layering, etc.)

Last edited by soundxplorer; 30th June 2017 at 06:45 PM..
Old 30th June 2017 | Show parent
  #484
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cogsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundxplorer View Post
Looking for some opinions here, or demos - anyone with an A1 care to weigh in on whether or not any of the filters can do a good Roland impersonation? Juno 60 type resonance is what I'm looking for. It seems to have a the nice chorus sound down, just wondering about the filter types.

I know the Deep Mind 12 is pretty good at that sound, but there are plenty of features on the Nord that I like better (no menu diving, performance-oriented patch slots and layering, etc.)
I don't own a Juno,so I'll base my impressions on this demo



The NLA1 does a great job at the plucky stabs and ethereal pads. You've got plenty of oscillator shapes to work with, so you could choose a starting point and use the wave shaping to dial it in. What you aren't going to get with the Nord (or any VA for that matter) is the really high frequency sizzle in analog sound, or the breathy, slightly noisy envelopes. The TB filter emulation is fantastic and sells itself short as just a 303 emulation. It takes the gain the best, has a very musical response to the resonance, and is all around the most characterful. That would be my jumping off point for making some of the sounds in that video.

The chorus and ensemble effects will get you 90% of the way there with the proper programming. You can add some warble/pitch drift by layering two sounds (same osc/env/filter settings) and set pitch as the mod destination for the second, then have some slight pitch mod set for the envelope and LFO.

If you post a sound you want to get, I could try to match it. I may have some time this evening (life with a two year old, so exciting...). Truth in advertising, I'm actually planning to sell mine and put the money to a Sub 37.
Old 30th June 2017 | Show parent
  #485
Quote:
Originally Posted by cogsy View Post
I don't own a Juno,so I'll base my impressions on this demo

Thanks for the reply.
Right at 5:07 in the video you linked above, when the resonance is up and the cutoff gets turned down about half way - that's kinda the sound I'm after.

As for a song reference, the first thing that comes to mind is the intro to "Pearl's Girl" by Underworld. I don't know for sure this is a Juno, but I would kind of be surprised if it wasn't.
The first 30 seconds of this:

Old 1st July 2017 | Show parent
  #486
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cogsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundxplorer View Post
Thanks for the reply.
Right at 5:07 in the video you linked above, when the resonance is up and the cutoff gets turned down about half way - that's kinda the sound I'm after.

As for a song reference, the first thing that comes to mind is the intro to "Pearl's Girl" by Underworld. I don't know for sure this is a Juno, but I would kind of be surprised if it wasn't.
The first 30 seconds of this:

I worked off the first video. I used a slightly detuned saw and square, plus another quieter saw an octave up with a bit of noise. I threw some ensemble effect of there (a little goes a long way). I played with the different filter models, but the TB sounded right (the 12/24 models are a bit blah to my ears, the Moog style was too “in your face”). Once you’ve filtered out so many of your harmonics, I feel like the effects are doing most of the work.

I had a hard time matching the presence of the Juno. At 50% resonance and low filter, you could get some punch by dialing in the gain, but as soon as the LFO starts opening the filter, the tone is gone and you get very digital sounding distortion. I decided to go without the gain for the demo, but I think you could get a little closer if you just wanted a static sound. Your mileage may vary if you are a better synthesist than I am.
Attached Files

NLA1.WAV (5.05 MB, 2098 views)

Old 1st July 2017 | Show parent
  #487
Quote:
Originally Posted by cogsy View Post
I had a hard time matching the presence of the Juno. At 50% resonance and low filter, you could get some punch by dialing in the gain, but as soon as the LFO starts opening the filter, the tone is gone and you get very digital sounding distortion. I decided to go without the gain for the demo, but I think you could get a little closer if you just wanted a static sound.
cogsy - thanks a bunch for taking the time to make a demo, it is greatly appreciated. I think you've helped me decide not to buy an A1. Nothing against your programming skills at all , I can just tell by the filter sweep that it isn't the sound I'm looking for. It does just seem to get lower in volume and lose punch as the cutoff goes down, which doesn't really mirror how the Juno stays thick and rich at lower filter settings. The Reface CS that I use now as my VA can do that Juno sound fairly well, so I'll stick with it.

Thanks again!
Old 11th July 2017 | Show parent
  #488
Quote:
Originally Posted by cogsy View Post
I had a hard time matching the presence of the Juno.
So I wound up getting a Nord Wave instead, but I thought of a trick that might work on the A1 too which might help retain that "presence" as the resonance goes up. Use that sound in Slot A, and use a very similar sound in Slot B at the same time, but zero resonance on the "B" patch, and turn the cutoff down so it is just filling out the bass and mids. Set your panel focus so you are only sweeping the cutoff in the "A" patch while "B" remains static. Worth a try.
Old 12th July 2017 | Show parent
  #489
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cogsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundxplorer View Post
So I wound up getting a Nord Wave instead, but I thought of a trick that might work on the A1 too which might help retain that "presence" as the resonance goes up. Use that sound in Slot A, and use a very similar sound in Slot B at the same time, but zero resonance on the "B" patch, and turn the cutoff down so it is just filling out the bass and mids. Set your panel focus so you are only sweeping the cutoff in the "A" patch while "B" remains static. Worth a try.
Congrats on scoring the Wave! I've heard it's a keeper.

I'm sure that your solution would work, but I've actually just sold it. There are workarounds for most limitations, but it's rarely a straight line from A to B. The problem is really the limited modulation options. Without more LFO's or envelopes, you wind up using lots of layers just to liven up the sound. Having two LFO's on the Wave (plus the crazy FM) will take you all sorts of places.
Old 13th March 2018 | Show parent
  #490
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If anyone is interested in this sounds collection:

Old 14th March 2018 | Show parent
  #491
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Old 29th April 2018
  #492
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barryfell's Avatar
I haven't been using my A1 as much this last 6 months, basically since I got other options, and when I briefly have it's just been to flick through presets when i'm working on a track, and I must say it wasn't going it for me.

Too 'clean', and 'cutting', and while the Lead's very much do have a place in a studio for when that's needed, it is seldom what i'm looking for these days.

However, i've taken some time today and last week to actually programme some of my own patches on for the first time in ages and I was very pleasantly surprised about what I was easily getting from it, and that's before I started stacking the layers.

I have have a love for deep dark moody synth parts and I was even getting some of the grit I used to feel the A1 lacked by using FM and the drive stages more.

This is my best all Nord A1 piece so far:



And I liked how with not a lot of work I am also able to get it to produce good bass, dark low end parts, and weird effects.

Old 29th April 2018 | Show parent
  #493
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barryfell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurzleader View Post
If anyone is interested in this sounds collection:

Nice work, but that for me is the side of the A1 I really don't like. It's just too bright, clean, sharp and 'happy' for me personally.

Great of course that it can do stuff like that as well though of course.
Old 29th April 2018 | Show parent
  #494
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Nice work, but that for me is the side of the A1 I really don't like. It's just too bright, clean, sharp and 'happy' for me personally.

Great of course that it can do stuff like that as well though of course.
It sounds very good too me. Nice job programming some good ole fashion 80's performance patches. It also sounds very close to an analog synth and miles better than any other VA's. It is a bit clean, maybe digital, and when I owned one it was a bit bright when pushed to get the volume levels up for my band. For me The A1 would always be in the running with DSI and Korg if I was looking for an under $2000 analogish poly synth.
Old 29th April 2018 | Show parent
  #495
Gear Maniac
when you program something like that, where you emulate someone, how do you know where to start? What osciallators etc, it's amazing to me
Old 19th September 2019
  #496
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I hope so! I'd like the A1 engine plus another octave better quality keybed, aftertouch, and full adsr envelopes and I'd rebuy it.
Old 19th September 2019
  #497
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Yes!!! Re-opening this forum is still relevant. One thing that I struggled with on the A1 was the keyboard action and quality. Very poor on an otherwise great board. Another issue was the low output as compared to my KURZ.

A NL5 with better key action, aftertouch, and 5 octaves would be a dream! But the price would be too crazy knowing the company.

But if they do blow thew A1 out at say $995 I would have to consider re-buying. The new Roland Jupiters are too pricey as well, and the System 8 is a rip off, I know because I owned one and returned it.
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