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Clavia Nord Lead 1

In 1995, Clavia released their first synthesizer, Nord Lead. This was the world’s first commercial synthesizer that utilized digital emulation of analog synthesis, what we call 'Virtual Analog'. Nord Lead has become a huge success thanks to its warm analog sound and simplicity, and immediately set new industry standard.

The initial design was made by Hans Nordelius. Bengt Lilja, Nicolaus Frank, Cecilia Frank participated in the design of the hardware and the layout. Peter Jubel wrote the software.

Clavia Nord Lead 2

Nord Lead 2 & Nord Rack 2
The 2nd classic! In 1995 Clavia launched the original Nord Lead Virtual Analog synthesizer. It immediately became a ground breaking success and set industry standard. Two years later the Nord Lead was followed by Nord Lead 2 which took the virtual analog concept even further, adding a number of improvements and new features.

The virtual analog concept combines classic ideas with today's technology. Instead of analog components we use digital signal processors (DSPs) that we program to emulate analog synthesis. The programming is made very carefully to reproduce the warmth and richness of the traditional analog sound. But the virtual analog technique opens up for much more possibilities than "just" analog sound. You can create crisp or really nasty "analog-digital" sounds that widely exceeds the limits of competing products. Awesome leads, booming basses, frantic techno - at your fingertips.

Every function has a dedicated knob, just like it used to be in the good old days. No more complex menus! Total real time control and instant accessibility make it a breeze to shape the sounds exactly the way you want them.

Nord Lead 2/Rack 2 specifications

16 voices. 4 part multi-timbral.

Special features
Velocity programming: Each function that is controlled by a knob, can be programmed to be controlled by velocity.
Morphing: Each function that is controlled by a knob can also be controlled by the modulation wheel/pedal to continuously fade between two sets of values.

Performance controllers
4-octave velocity sensitive keyboard. (Nord Lead only)
Octave Shift buttons (+/-2 oct.)
Keyboard Split, two sections. (Nord Lead only)
Wooden Pitch Stick, designed to change the pitch continuously without any dead spots. It gives you complete control of the pitch and allows you to make true and natural vibrato. The effect increases exponentially as you move it further from the center. Patent pending for the "Pitch Stick". (Nord Lead only)
Modulation Wheel for modulating a number of selectable destinations. Looks great, feels great, works great. (Nord Lead 2 only)
1 pedal input for sustain and 1 for expression pedal.

User interface
3 digit LED display, 26 knobs and 27 buttons for program editing. Oscillator section

Oscillator 1 generating sine, triangle, sawtooth or pulse wave with adjustable width. Oscillator 2 generating triangle, sawtooth or pulse (with adjustable width) and can also generate noise with a color control. Oscillator 2 can be hard synched to oscillator 1. Linear deep frequency modulation of osc 1 from osc 2. A wide range of new waveforms with a strong formant character is achieved with the new synchable noise, where noise can be synched to Osc. 1.

Filter section

12 dB "2 pole" lowpass, 24 dB "4 pole" lowpass, bandpass or highpass. Cut off, resonance, envelope amount, envelope amount controlled by velocity. ADSR envelope. Filter keyboard tracking can be set to full, half or off. Filter distortion.

Amplifier section

ADSR envelope, gain control.

Modulation section

Lfo 1 generating triangle, saw, pulse, LF filtered noise and random staircase routed to Osc 1+2, Osc 2, filter, pulse-width and FM amount. Lfo 2 produces a triangle waveform, routed to Osc 1 and 2 or amplifier. It also controls the rate for the arpeggiator. Arpeggiator: Range: 1 - 4 octave. Modes: up, down, up/down, random. Echo can be set between 1 and 8 repeats. Modulation envelope (attack, decay) for Osc 2 pitch, FM amount and pulse width.

Performance section

Play mode: Poly, legato, mono, unison mono, unison poly. Manual mode. Four program slots for layering possibilities. Portamento / auto portamento.

Percussion kits

10 analog drumkits. Each percussion kit holds 8 independent sounds, configured in 8 zones across the keyboard.


40 user-programs, 59 factory programs and 100 factory performances. An additional 297 (99 x 3) user-programs, 100 user-performance programs and 30 drumkits can be saved on a PCMCIA 64 (or more) kilobyte battery backed SRAM card.

Audio Out

4 outputs. Each slot have its own output. Modes: Stereo, mono and multitimbral mode. Headphones output. High resolution and low noise 18 bit DAC.

MIDI features

All control knobs and switches for program editing send and receive Control Change messages. System exclusive bulk dumps. One program or all programs. MIDI clock synchronizing LFO 1 and LFO 2/arpeggiator. Triggering of the filter and amplifier envelopes and velocity control from separate programmable MIDI channel and note numbers.


Nord Lead 2: 865(W) 265(D) 105(H) mm. Weight 6.7 kg. 34.0"(W) 10.4"(D) 4.1"(H). Weight: 14.7 lbs.

Nord Rack 2: 435(W) 210(D) 105(H) mm. Weight 4.5 kg. 19" rack mountable, 4 units high.