28 thoughts on “Nord Lead 4 Overview

  1. I love it! I have many Nord Synths and these one fits perfect to the kind of sounds I love to create. Is expensive but it’s a NORD so that’s no news.

  2. “Has it got aftertouch?” “No” he said, quickly moving on. Triggering a vibrato LFO via aftertouch is a performance must for me. You don’t always have an extra hand to hit the mod wheel. Theres a trend of aftertouch disappearing lately.

    1. The solution is called an Expression pedal!

      The main reason for the lack of aftertouch in many keyboard synths boils down to the obvious and this applies to the Nord Lead 4, call cost. I too have and have had many synths from Clavia from the Nord Lead 1, 2 and 3 and original Nord Modular keyboard. Also as noted in previous posts regarding the Nord 4 is the lack of a back lit display which does seem odd these days however I personaly hate naming sounds only to come up with cheezy names anyway.

      The point here is that in the current economic climate cost is really important and putting those premium features in a synth which isn’t a middle of the road everymans workstation doesn’t make sense.

      1. I have found myself programming aftertouch OUT of patches more than in. I’d prefer release velocity over aftertouch; it adds more expressiveness. I say this because AT is almost always mono, which reduces its usefulness to solo lines and specialized CC changes of more synth-y events. Poly-AT is the way to make that really musical and its more rare than mono AT. As things have developed, I don’t think its unreasonable to use a controller with AT as a master. Most gear will receive it but not generate it, so as with any rig, you assign tasks to the right slots, including sounds that use AT. I don’t fault manufacturers for saving on the hardware price when there are workable options. I’d balk at some lacks, but AT doesn’t feel that crucial.

  3. Aftertouch costs at least 100 dollar more than the price that this synths cost now.If you’r have less body parts than most of the people here on earth try to use an expression pedal or automate it in a sequencer or ask somebody to help you.You can also be very creative and try to automate/recreate the aftertouch with the mod wheel and try to reach the mod wheel with the possibilities or you have.

  4. Sounds good. I like all the nice ideas taken from the Nord Modular G2. I just wish it used the same led encoder knobs as the G2 for those variations and slots, but yeah, cost I assume was the factor.

  5. I take back a little bit of my bitching regarding the price. It sounds great. Still wish the price tag began with a 1 instead of a 2.

    1. Nah. I’m happier with the over sampled engine, even if it costed more than what I had budgeted in synth purchases. I was going for KingKorg, but now I’m not sure anymore. Lead 4 is only 500€ more expensive. And, its 500€ LESS expensive, than Access Virus which people don’t seem to mind at all.

      But this sounds absolutely amazing, and I’m slowly getting past the lack of after touch too; now to think of it, I use it in 1/10th of my pathces, and even in them I always wish the after touch was more responsive AND at least duophonic. Those variation buttons seem much more fun, and I have after touch in many other keyboards, that I can use in those 1/10th of pathces.

    1. CONSTRUCTIVE ????

      if its not analogue it will more or less get 50% slating by people who have only heard it on you tube.

      am glad to see nord “updated the lead”…….. viva VA synths”

      i wonder how many people think the Virus is over priced?

  6. I ‘m not impressed. It’s a nice synth, i agree, but after all these years i was expecting that they would offer one or two unique, ground-breaking new features that separate it from the rest, but they didn’t. It’s 2013! It cannot make me turn away from my Supernova and Ultranova. Still, i like its sound, but no aftertouch on a synth of this class?

  7. @Sotiris good point! I was expecting more from Clavia. Especially if you look at other synth manufacturers making more ‘affordable’ yet powerful Synthesizers. I think Clavia is staying a bit too much in their comfort zone and show a lack in taking risks. This doesn’t benefit Clavia in the long run I think, because their products wouldn’t be accessible for a larger audience because most musicians just can’t afford their products.

    In terms of the lack of ‘taking risks: This wasn’t always the case with Clavia, especially when you look at their Modular days. This was a big risk, and of course, they didn’t sell too much of these. But they earned a lot of respect for it taking the road of innovation and progress instead of what they are doing now and that is: staying in their comfort zone and not taking any risks to progress and venture in to a new market / audience.

  8. So WHICH new market or audience do you mean? And exactly what is a “comfort zone” for high-end synthesizers? Refining a proven design isn’t a FAIL unless you cripple the thing. I don’t think the omission of the FM section is exactly damaging and otherwise, the rest is all More and Bigger. Besides, you especially don’t buy a Nord just to be seen with it. You buy it because you’re down-home serious. People seem to clamor for something wildly new all the time, but the real value lies in a synth you can really grab by the horns. IMO, Nords are like DSI and Korg gear. They have a known front-end, but its deceptively simple until you dig into the second layers where the thing blossoms. The only serious innovation in a truly different playing angle was the Roland V-Synth GT’s sci-fi architecture. If you just play synthesizers, you’ll always be trapped in Preset Land. If you mod ’em until they sound like YOU, you’re a synthesist. Right now, I’m enjoying a small bit of respectful Nord envy.

  9. nod a bad synth, anyway.
    but i always liked the electros more than the leads.

    no aftertouch is surely a hands down
    my kawai k 5000 s has more modulation possibilities.

  10. This synth blows the Prophet 08 to hell and back. I still don’t know what Dave was thinking with the Prophet12. Maybe he’s losing his mind. Because the Nord Lead 4 sounds epic. I may be a Nord fanboy. You guys know this from my youtube videos 🙂

    1. Hi there. Thank you for the feedback. Yes, I love my Nord Lead 4. I’m also the lead synth player for Mariah Carey. I haven’t changed my stance with the Prophet12. I think the Nord Lead 4 is better. However, I will still use the Prophet12 as well. I think Nord got it right with this one. Speaking from a live musicans standpoint. The Nord Lead 4 also works better in the studio. DSI makes great stuff, and i’m proud to be a part with them. But, i’m being honest here about what my likes and dislikes are.

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