NordLead 4 Virtual Analog Synthesizer


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Nord Lead 4

The Nord Lead 4 is a subtractive synthesizer boasting 20 voice polyphony, with two oscillators per voice. The synthesizer contains a number of powerful performance features that render it especially suitable for a live environment. 

The first oscillator on each voice is a wavetable oscillator, while the second oscillator features a noise generator complete with filter cut-off and resonance. The Lead 4’s modulation section is wonderfully flexible, featuring two LFOs per slot, each with a variety of shapes. Even more, each LFO can be synchronized to the master clock and further divided from there. The LFOs can also be triggered manually via dedicated button or the keyboard, and can be conveniently routed to the effects section for mind-blowing modulation potential. 

The effects section is also extremely expansive, featuring classics like drive, reverb/delay, and a compressor—but also boasting a bit crusher, a comb filter, and a compressor. 

One powerful feature of the Lead 4 is the impulse morph assignments, which allow for the instant alteration of sounds and can be routed to various destinations to influence a variety of desirable sonic deviations.  

Lead 4 Features

  • Oscillators: 2 oscillators per voice / 20 voice polyphony. FM, Hard & Soft Sync
  • Modulation: 2 LFO sections plus Modulation Envelope, Flexible syncing and routing options
  • Filter: 12, 24 and 48 dB low-pass filters. High-pass and Band-pass filters. Transistor and diode ladder filter simulations of Mini and TB-303
  • Effects: Crush, Drive, Comb filter, Talk, Compressor, Reverb/delay
  • 4-part multi-timbral
  • Master Clock Sync of Arpeggiator, LFO and Delay
  • Impulse Morph
  • Velocity and Mod Wheel Morph



  • 49-key octave velocity sensitive keyboard with octave shift buttons (+/-2 octaves)
  • 3 momentary Impulse Morph Buttons, 7 combinations
  • Keyboard Split with 2 slots for the upper and lower sections
  • Modulation Wheel
  • Pitch Stick (with no dead zone at zero crossing)
  • Programmable Pitch bend range, up to +/- 4 octaves
  • Separate up/down bend range: -12 or -24 semitones, + 2 semitones
  • 1 pedal input for sustain
  • 1 pedal input for expression pedal.
  • 3 character LED display, 29 knobs and 20+ buttons for program and performance editing.

Sound Engine

Oscillator Section

  • OSC 1 generating sine, triangle, sawtooth, fixed and modulateable pulse waveforms and 128 wavetables.
  • OSC 2 generating triangle, sawtooth or fixed and modulateable pulse waveforms or noise.
  • OSC MOD section with Hard- and Soft sync plus 3 different Frequency Modulations of OSC 1 from OSC 2.

Filter Section

  • Multi-mode filter with 12 dB (2-pole) low pass, 24 dB (4-pole) and 48 dB (6 pole) low pass, band pass, high pass, Ladder M and Ladder 303 characteristics.
  • Cut off, Resonance, envelope amount, envelope amount controlled by velocity.
  • ADSR envelope
  • Adjustable Filter Distortion.
  • Filter keyboard tracking can be set to off, 1/3, 2/3 or 1/1.

Amplifier Section

  • ADSR envelope
  • Velocity control on/off
  • Gain control.

Modulation Section

  • LFO 1 generates a square, triangle or any of 4 different types of saw- and inverted sawtooth waveforms. LFO 1 can be routed to Filter Frequency, Osc Mod, Osc Mix, Osc 2 Pitch, Amplitude and FX section. The modulation amount can be set as positive or negative/inverted. The LFO 1 rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • The LFO 1 section is used to control the rate, range and directions for the arpeggiator. Arpeggiator: Range: 1 - 4 octave. Modes: up, down, up/down, random, Poly. The Arpeggio rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • LFO 2 generates a square, a regular and inverted sawtooth, LF filtered noise and random staircase waveforms. LFO 2 can be routed to Filter Frequency, Osc Mod, Osc 1 and/or Osc 2 Pitch, Pan and Pulse width. The modulation amount can be set as positive or negative/inverted. The LFO 2 rate can be synchronized to the Master Clock.
  • Modulation Envelope (Attack, Decay/Release) for Osc Mix, Osc Mod, Osc 1 and/or 2 Pitch, FX section and LFO 2 amount. The modulation amount can be set as positive or negative/inverted. The Modulation Envelope can be manually triggered by the Impulse Morph buttons.
  • Patterns: the cyclic waveforms of the LFOs can be replaced by a pattern behavior. There are 128 different patterns, grouped in 6 different styles.

Performance Section

  • Voice modes: Poly, Legato with portamento, Mono, True Unison 1, 2 & 3.
  • Four program slots for layering possibilities.

Effects Section

  • FX section with continuous Drive/Modulation control. Crush, Drive, 2 different Talk effects, Compressor and Comb Filter.
  • Selectable Delay or Reverb. Delay times at up to 1400 ms can be manually set or synchronized to the Master Clock. Reverb has three algorithms, Room, Stage and Hall with adjustable brightness.

Other Specifications


  • Programs (single sounds): 4 x 99 locations
  • Performances (multi sounds): 99 locations

Audio Out

  • 4 outputs. Each slot can be assigned to its own output.
  • Headphones output
  • High resolution low noise 24 bit DACs.


  • All control knobs and switches send and receive control change messages.
  • System exclusive bulk dumps. One program or all programs.
  • Master Clock will sync to incoming MIDI clock.
  • Soft Thru

Ins & Outs

  • 4 Line Level Audio Outputs - ¼", 6,35 mm jacks, unbalanced
  • Stereo Headphone Output - ¼", 6,35 mm stereo jack
  • Sustain Pedal - ¼", 6,35 mm jack. Use a momentary pedal, like e.g., Roland DP-2, DP-6, Yamaha FC-4, FC-5, Fatar VFP1-25 etc.
  • Control Pedal - ¼", 6,35 mm TRS stereo jack. Use a Yamaha FC-7, Roland EV-7, Roland EV-5, Korg EXP2 or Korg XVP10.
  • USB connector with MIDI capabilities
  • MIDI In & Out - 5 pin DIN connectors

Included Accessories

  • User Manual
  • Power Cord with IEC C14 connector
  • Nord CD ROM with Nord Sound Manager

Weight & Dimensions

  • 864 x 94 x 272 mm (34.0" x 3.7" x 10.7")
  • 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs)
Nord Lead 4 Virtual Analog Synthesizer Reviews