Synth Site: Clavia: Nord Lead Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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djcu from australia writes:
Nord lead is a unique instument , it is not the same as other analog modelling synths and it is certainly very different from vintage analogs . It IS harsh but then so was a prophet 5 and jupiter 6 , nord lead and distortion was once quoted as "being able to strip paint from walls" It DOES have balls , I make 90% of my jungle basses from a nord lead 2 and have a variety of analogs at my disposal . The trick is layerering voices for true fattness . Its small , light , has extremly quick timing and envelopes , the midi controll is brilliant . But beyond everything you will get a nord for the nord sound . Trent reznor of NIN used nord all throughout his new album THE FRAGILE and it was recorded with a unlimited budget . The nord lead is not better than vintage analog/virus/mordern analog/waldorf q ect , it just has a very different character and alot of people love that character the most . An %100 , bonafide CLASSIC , in the true sence of the word . In 20 years people will be going mental to get one .

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-11-2000 at 23:33
Infrared a part-time user from USA writes:
The Nord lead is Awesome ! Such versatility, beautiful sounds.... Screw old ass Jupiter 6 s or esq 1 s or any other old 80s synth that I've heard people talk about how they can sound like a Nord Lead or sound better or fatter ITS ALL BULLSHIT... there is absolutely nothing that sounds like a nord lead.... once you have one in front of you and you actually program your own patches, You Will Fall in Love with it.... The Nord Lead 1 and the Nord Lead 2 sound different, they are both excellent ! Its personal prefrence when it comes down to the 1 or 2... I wouldnt mind having both. You will always be able to use a Nord Lead in any studio setup... even alongside killer synths like the MS2000 and a Waldorf ( Trust me ) Top quality and Invaluable !

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-11-2000 at 20:03
Nick DeSantis a part-time user from United States writes:
The Nord Lead from Clavia is an amazing synth. But, if you do buy one, the expansion is a necessary investment. Honestly, with the expansion, I don't see how anyone could run out of storage space. You have nearly 300 banks to store into, as well as almost 30 percussion banks to store into. As far as sounds go, the presets are inspiring, and tweaking them is addictive. However, the presets have strange names, and most of them are not real instruments, so it is hard to judge how they really sound. There is no onboard sequencer, (unless you count the Arpeggiator) but that's what Cakewalk or Cubase is for. You can create some crazy bass noises with the lowpass filters and frequency knobs. I could tweak this thing forever. However, if you want percussion, look elsewhere. The sounds are not bad, but it is tough to do percussion on a keyboard that only has an arpeggiator. Get a drum machine for that. If this were stolen, I would buy another simply because you can get them for great prices. (750 secondhand) It's made of solid sheet metal, and the knobs are hardcore and ready for years of use. The pitch stick, however, is a weak little feature that is very out of place. It's made of wood, and seems like it could snap off at any moment. I've never actually found a use for it in my recordings, either. However, it does transmit MIDI, if you do find a use for it. Well built, sounds good, and it's fire engine red! 5 Stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-27-1999 at 16:08
Cyberpunk a professional user from USA writes:
I just may be the ONLY one in this field that does NOT like the nord lead. I mean, it's OK. But its not what everyone else makes it out to be. It sounds too brittle and harsh. But its not a GOOD harsh. Its like an annoying harsh. One with no PUNCH! An example of good harshness would be a Korg Prophecy. It can be harsh but it has BALLS! This red box just sounds too sterile. I'm not one of those guys who justs gives a negative review of a synth without even owning it...I'm looking at my nord lead as I'm typing this. Why do I have one if I dislike it? First of all, I gotta good price --$600 US, Secondly, I didn't play it before I bought it, I just trusted reviews like the ones below me. By the way, NEVER do that! Try out the JP-8k,the novation nova, Korg Prophecy/Z1, and the Access Virus before you let clavia cha-ching your for this piece.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-25-1999 at 07:12
Bulldogge a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Well, I just got my Nordlead today. I have been a fan of this synth for a long, long time, so it was eagerly awaited. First, this synth is a programmers dream. Everything is well laid out and each knob has a single function--perfect. This synth is so easy to use, anyone could figure out how to program it in less than an hour. But, despite this simplicity, the amount of different sounds you can get is infinite. And that is why I got the Nordlead: the sounds. For me, nothing sounds quite like a Nord. It's just got a mixture of bite and creaminess which I love. No matter what you program, I still hear Nord. That is not to say that it is inflexible--rather, it is quite flexible. It's just that the Nord has a distinct charachter to it. This is a very good thing, IMO. The Nord is not some emulator pushing out typical analogish sounds. It is a synth of its own--a synth whose sound will last for quite some time.

As for the sounds. Well, let me say that the Nord just has so many nice features. Two excellent LFOs to add some life to the mix--and the second acts as a simple yet effective arpeggiator (reminds me of my Juno:). Five filter choices with resonance (unfortunately not self-oscilating, but you can't have everything). The filters are truly quite nice. Further, I noticed no stairstepping, it was smooth and even throughout the sweep. Then, there is the FM, the frequency modulation. This is just a wonderfull feature. Modulate oscilator one and you get some nice clangs, noise and harshness--just enough to punch up a sound and get it out of the cheese neighborhood (do a Van Halen Jump setting and add a little FM--perfect). Oh, and real time modulation is great. The mod wheel is the best I've ever used--it's just so solid. And that pitch bend stick, they must have patented it, otherwise every synth would have one.

Obviously, I haven't yet gotten to know this synth in depth enough to know all of its capabilities. But, I am more than confident that there is so much ground to cover here, that I will be tweaking and creating for years to come. IF you cannot tell, I am overjoyed with my Nord, and would highly recomend it for anyone interested in VA synthesis. And yes, I have tried many of the VA synths--there was a very good reason I wanted the Nordlead: the sound. That is not to say that other VAs are not just as good in their own ways, but none of the others sound like the Nord, IMO.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-11-1999 at 00:15
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