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Nord Lead 2X to Lead A1?
Old 5th May 2014
  #1
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flat's Avatar
Nord Lead 2X to Lead A1?

At first, I dismissed the A1 as a watered down Lead 4, but as I read the specs, listened to the demos, I've decided its actually very good, and has a few key aspects I yern for on my 2x. The F/X onboard seem very inviting, and the synth engine (although limited in a few areas) in general seems to cover a wider range of sound. My 2X is my goto synth for starting ideas, and I like the fact that the A1 seems more self contained, when wanting to use just one synth without nessasarily turning anything else on.

Can you think of any reason not to sell my 2x towards an A1? (I can't afford to have both btw, as much as I'd like to). I'm interested as I've read a few comments saying the originals sound better (which tbh, someone always says in this situation )
Old 5th May 2014
  #2
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MinoCan's Avatar
I would rather upgrade to NL4 instead of A1 when I have a 2X. I would prefer to keep PWM and ADSR. If you use it live I can understand the fx and midi sync options, but I think NL4 is the proper way to go from NL2X.

Comparison Chart | Nord Keyboards

You can get dedicated fx units/plugs instead, or maybe layer 2X with A1R?
Old 5th May 2014
  #3
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flat's Avatar
Thanks. but is it me, but from all the demo's I listened to, the A1 just sounds nicer than the Lead 4. I'm not sure if its the particular presets, but somehow the Lead 4 sounds rather vanilla. I need to try them when my local music store has both in stock. Also the Lead 4 is too expensive. Due to funds and assuming I get a decent price for my 2x, I may even need to wait for a used one.

#edit. Yes A1R is a good option. I could perhaps keep the Lead 2x and sell my JP8080 toward it.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4
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Well I was full face grinning when I was even layering 2X and 2R (sold my Rack 2 for Waldorf XT30), you would certainly love the 2X & A1R combo.
Old 5th May 2014
  #5
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adydub's Avatar
 

It's got a very simple architecture which could be a good or bad thing depending on your personal requirements. Sounds good, but not sure if I could be happy being limited to a single LFO and no PWM myself. The upside if that you're not going to get lost when programming it. It seems to be aimed to appeal to players who want to be able to create sounds without getting into detailed programming.
Old 5th May 2014 | Show parent
  #6
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
It's got a very simple architecture which could be a good or bad thing depending on your personal requirements. Sounds good, but not sure if I could be happy being limited to a single LFO and no PWM myself. The upside if that you're not going to get lost when programming it. It seems to be aimed to appeal to players who want to be able to create sounds without getting into detailed programming.
Thats what I thought to a degree. I love the lead 2x because its so familiar, and I can dial up sounds very quickly, however, when using it for an actual end piece, I have to screw around with external f/x etc, so the A1 appeals as its a nice players performance board. (Kind like the King Korg which I think the idea for this product may have come from.) Ideally I'd like an A1 + 2X Rack, but I think I will have to do it the other way round due to cost involved.

Think it would look dead sexy on a custom angled stand slightly above the right hand side of my 2x.

Old 5th May 2014 | Show parent
  #7
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Thanks. but is it me, but from all the demo's I listened to, the A1 just sounds nicer than the Lead 4. I'm not sure if its the particular presets, but somehow the Lead 4 sounds rather vanilla. I need to try them when my local music store has both in stock. Also the Lead 4 is too expensive. Due to funds and assuming I get a decent price for my 2x, I may even need to wait for a used one.

#edit. Yes A1R is a good option. I could perhaps keep the Lead 2x and sell my JP8080 toward it.
I think it does as well. Maybe just better presets?
Old 5th May 2014 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
It's got a very simple architecture which could be a good or bad thing depending on your personal requirements. Sounds good, but not sure if I could be happy being limited to a single LFO and no PWM myself. The upside if that you're not going to get lost when programming it. It seems to be aimed to appeal to players who want to be able to create sounds without getting into detailed programming.
yoou could have another synth with PWM though.

it seems to do light vintage synth sounds very well, IMO
Old 5th May 2014
  #9
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
At first, I dismissed the A1 as a watered down Lead 4, but as I read the specs, listened to the demos, I've decided its actually very good, and has a few key aspects I yern for on my 2x. The F/X onboard seem very inviting, and the synth engine (although limited in a few areas) in general seems to cover a wider range of sound. My 2X is my goto synth for starting ideas, and I like the fact that the A1 seems more self contained, when wanting to use just one synth without nessasarily turning anything else on.

Can you think of any reason not to sell my 2x towards an A1? (I can't afford to have both btw, as much as I'd like to). I'm interested as I've read a few comments saying the originals sound better (which tbh, someone always says in this situation )
Well...the A1 is a modulation disaster. Its strong card is its oscillator(s), but, one of the most important features (waveshaping) only exist in single osc mode... ! Also, it seems quite limited in terms of control. You can only control one oscillator parameter at a time and this has to do with the oscillator mode you're using.


For me, the A1 is only attractive for the following reasons: It has the latest generation of Nord's analog modelling engine (it seems to sound quite different from any other Nord - including the NL4). It has great sounding effects and filters and a big choice of waveforms. The keyboard version is significantly cheaper than the NL4 keyboard...but...there is nothing else so important there.

If you only have the money for the rack, then you'd better buy a Nord Lead 2x (rack or keyboard). If you want to buy the keyboard, think carefully its various usage scenarios and then get one. It surely has a top sound but, it needs some serious support from Nord in order to become a mature product.


P.S. Some say that it hasn't got PWM...that's not quite true...The user can modulate the shape in waveshaping mode...so...this sounds very similar to PWM (and even more interesting because of the various waveforms).
Old 6th May 2014
  #10
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Just listened to the updated soundfiles on their website, its the most CS80 sounding VA synth that I've heard
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #11
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon View Post
Just listened to the updated soundfiles on their website, its the most CS80 sounding VA synth that I've heard
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #12
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax View Post
If you only have the money for the rack, then you'd better buy a Nord Lead 2x (rack or keyboard). .
Check my sig and original post
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ View Post
This actually has a string machine emulation on board, so no need for a Waldorf Streichfett if were thinking about that.

Its a very nice sounding string machine too
Old 6th May 2014
  #14
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It is definitely an upgrade but is the money loss in the trade worth it ? I think not. You're free to spend and waste money at will though. I'd rather look into a second hand NL4R if i wanted more than the 2X.
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #15
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
(Kind like the King Korg which I think the idea for this product may have come from.)
I'm a Clavia fan, but I looked at the A1 and the Lead 4... and ended up with the Kingkorg, which I love. If you don't need the extra multitimbralality, (Kingkorg is 2, Nord 4) I think the Korg is a superior instrument in many ways.

Clavia should be ashamed of themselves. In 2014 you still can't name presets? What? Was Radioshack having a sale on vintage 8 segment LEDs? One LFO on a synth of this price? No aftertouch on the keyboard, but doesn't respond to it via MIDI either? (Kingkorg is also guilty of not having an aftertouch enabled keyboard, but it does respond to it quite nicely)
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniDX View Post
It is definitely an upgrade but is the money loss in the trade worth it ? I think not. You're free to spend and waste money at will though. I'd rather look into a second hand NL4R if i wanted more than the 2X.
I just don't think so. If you are looking for the kind of sounds that the A1 seems to do so easily then it is worth the trade. As a live player I would take the convenience of the updated sound set and built in effects that the A1 provides. But I also liked the SH-201, and I like the Gaia and System 1, if that tells you anything.
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I'm a Clavia fan, but I looked at the A1 and the Lead 4... and ended up with the Kingkorg, which I love. If you don't need the extra multitimbralality, (Kingkorg is 2, Nord 4) I think the Korg is a superior instrument in many ways.

Clavia should be ashamed of themselves. In 2014 you still can't name presets? What? Was Radioshack having a sale on vintage 8 segment LEDs? One LFO on a synth of this price? No aftertouch on the keyboard, but doesn't respond to it via MIDI either? (Kingkorg is also guilty of not having an aftertouch enabled keyboard, but it does respond to it quite nicely)
i think the USP is the Filter and effects though
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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D_Davis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinoCan View Post
I would rather upgrade to NL4 instead of A1 when I have a 2X. I would prefer to keep PWM and ADSR. If you use it live I can understand the fx and midi sync options, but I think NL4 is the proper way to go from NL2X.

Comparison Chart | Nord Keyboards

You can get dedicated fx units/plugs instead, or maybe layer 2X with A1R?
In looking at those comparisons, I can't help but think that they Nord Lead 3 is still the best of the bunch. Seems like they took some huge steps backwards with the 4 and A1. Just in terms of the lit knobs and endless encoders to prevent parameter jumps, and the better screen and display options, the NL3 is vastly better than the 4 and A1. Not to mention the multi-mode dual filter, the FM engine, and the more robust arpaggiator.

What am I missing? I've used a NL1, 2, 2X, and 3, and thus far the 3 is my favorite.

Any reason to look into the newer models?
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #19
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post

What am I missing? I've used a NL1, 2, 2X, and 3, and thus far the 3 is my favorite.

Any reason to look into the newer models?
Better emulation, more waves, more filters. If they are really clever at Nord they will continue to update it with more interesting features...improvements...
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #20
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
Check my sig and original post
Oh, yes, Sorry... you were talking about selling..
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #21
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax View Post
Oh, yes, Sorry... you were talking about selling..
Don't want to sell 2x if possible. Would sooner loose JP8080 and JD800 before that.
Old 6th May 2014
  #22
Gear Head
 

((((((Doooooooon't dooooo iiiiit!!!)))))))

IMO the Nord 2x is the only synth that has the sound of.........a NordLead! I used to have the NordLead and the NordLead 2 and thoose are synths I really miss. They have a certain sound and I think Clavia is making a mistake when they take them out for new stuff.
They will be sought after!
The A1 seems just boring to me. Another VA with 'Moog'- and '303'-filters...... Baaaah! Keep your beautiful 2X and get some nice stompboxes to drive it through instead.
Old 6th May 2014 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranzFoe View Post
((((((Doooooooon't dooooo iiiiit!!!)))))))

IMO the Nord 2x is the only synth that has the sound of.........a NordLead! I used to have the NordLead and the NordLead 2 and thoose are synths I really miss. They have a certain sound and I think Clavia is making a mistake when they take them out for new stuff.
They will be sought after!
The A1 seems just boring to me. Another VA with 'Moog'- and '303'-filters...... Baaaah! Keep your beautiful 2X and get some nice stompboxes to drive it through instead.
what is the sample rate on Nord keyboards as opposed to say the Waldorf Blofeld?
Old 6th May 2014
  #24
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Isay this and the NL4 have a great sounding TB303 emulation
Old 7th May 2014
  #25
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

So keep the NL2X based on the philosophy that it has the sound of a true NL and it may be the last with that kinda of Nord sound. Then get the A1 or the A1r. Have both for different synth textures. If it were me I would get the A1 keys, but I like keyboards.

Sell the 8080 and the 800. The 800 is cool and has a creamy Roland sound but it is getting dated. Better build quality on the Nords anyway, and they take up less space. My opinion.

Oh and get a some pedals, if you don't have them for the NL2. I had a 2 with both delay and reverb pedals on it and it came alive. Just go easy on the verb it can wash it out and make it sound more VA....
Old 7th May 2014
  #26
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This is the Logan string machine that is emulated on the board
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3NvMk5OceA
Old 7th May 2014 | Show parent
  #27
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MinoCan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon View Post
what is the sample rate on Nord keyboards as opposed to say the Waldorf Blofeld?
NL1&2 = 18 bit 44.1 kHz
NL2X&3 = 24 bit 96 kHz
NL4 = 24 bit 96 kHz & 2X oversampling

A1 is 24/96 but I don't know if it has oversampling.
Old 7th May 2014 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon View Post
what is the sample rate on Nord keyboards as opposed to say the Waldorf Blofeld?
No idea! Just talking about the special 'NordLead'-sound. Never tried Blofeld but I'm certain its good. Used to have the microwave XT wich to me was a great synth.
Old 7th May 2014 | Show parent
  #29
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SonicBern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinoCan View Post
NL1&2 = 18 bit 44.1 kHz
NL2X&3 = 24 bit 96 kHz
NL4 = 24 bit 96 kHz & 2X oversampling

A1 is 24/96 but I don't know if it has oversampling.
The current specs do not mention any oversampling on the NL4

Not sure why a digital sound generator would need to resort to oversampling in a DAC. Oversampling is used when reading digital media such as CD's to minimise read errors where read latency is not such a big issue. Adding oversampling to a VA synth would introduce extra latency.

Are you sure you read that somewhere?
Old 7th May 2014 | Show parent
  #30
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SonicBern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinoCan View Post
I would rather upgrade to NL4 instead of A1 when I have a 2X. I would prefer to keep PWM and ADSR. If you use it live I can understand the fx and midi sync options, but I think NL4 is the proper way to go from NL2X.

Comparison Chart | Nord Keyboards

You can get dedicated fx units/plugs instead, or maybe layer 2X with A1R?
Their chart needs updating, it is now 26 voices on the A1. That link states 24. The voice count was updated recently:

Nord Lead A1 - Update History | Nord Keyboards

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