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Clavia Nord Lead 2

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User Reviews

FP User's review

By FP User, 31/10/2008
The only things that I are missing from this synth that slightly annoy me are a MIDI THRU port and storage for additinal sounds and percussion kits. It took far too long to track down a reasonably priced PCMCIA card for additional storage.

Price paid: $950 USD


The user interface is a breeze to use. Possibly the best thing about the synth. It may not have as many features as some newer VA synths, but pretty well all of the parameters are there right in front of you on knobs and buttons.


The sounds that can be created are very nice. Fantastic especially for pads and raspy electro sounds. I also enjoy creating unique electronic percussion sounds. It can create some nice bass sounds, but the bass overall is not as deep and smooth as most analogue synths. Good for all styles of music from minimal techno to trance to pop music.


Nice build quality. Metal case, wooden pitch stick and stone mod wheel. Highly reliable.

I have owned quite a number of synths and the Nordlead 2 does most of what I want a synth to do. Add a sampler and a nice analogue bass synth and you're off!

Originally posted on
Posted by: Unknown ( 6-, 2003)

FP User's review

By FP User, 31/10/2008
There are not any on-board effects.


Couldn't be easier. 4 part multi-timbral and no effects. Very few hidden menus, all of which do not affect the sound creation side of the synth. Easiest I have used so far, by far.

The only reason I give this a 9 is because recently I have noticed a slight hum coming from the power adapter inside. I have owned it for years and it travelled to Japan from Australia with me. The box it travelled in took a real beating too. The nord is still ticking, or should i say screaming.


In a word amazing! I love the sound of this thing. The sound more than makes up for the lack of effects. I have created some mind blowing patches, hard, gritty, raw, nasty. I only use the NL2 for harder edged sounds. Although it is quite capable of creating beatiful sweeping pads, I use other synths for that.


I do love this thing, but to give it a 10 compared to the current crop of synths would be a bit out of wack. I only use the NL2 for heavy grinding sounds, and for those sounds, I would give it a 10 for sure.

Originally posted on
Posted by: Unknown ( 5-, 2003)

moosers's review

By moosers, 24/03/2009
The Clavia Nord Lead 2 is a modern day synth designed to emulate vintage synth sounds, dubbed a "virtual analog" synth. It has a unique pitch shifting stick and a wheel to go along with it. It has all sorts of 1/4 inch inputs and outputs as well as MIDI connections. The Nord Lead 2 is polyphonic, and can be set to be monophonic.


The configuration of the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is pretty in depth, and it has a ton of parameters. Because of this, it takes a little while to figure out what everything does, as this synth is extremely versatile. It is easy to get your basic synth sounds, but there is a great deal of control available to get all sorts of different sounds. The manual is pretty complete and is definitely helpful to have when learning this instrument.


The sounds on the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is great for all types of music, but I use it mostly in rock, pop and electronic music. The analog synth emulation on this keyboard is outstanding, and you can really get a wide array of different sounds, all of which are realistic and effective. The keyboard itself has a good feel and it is overall easy to play. I love using the Clavia Nord Lead 2 for all types of lead synths, pad synths, and bass synths.


I've been using the Clavia Nord Lead 2 for around two years and to me it is one of the best keyboards out there for getting analog synth sounds. It is convenient to have a ton of different synth sounds that you can store digitally and free yourself from the pitfalls of analog gear. The price of the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is set right as it is a high quality piece of gear with great sound quality and a ton of versatilely. All the sounds are realistic and they work great in a wide array of situations and applications. Overall, I highly recommend the Clavia Nord Lead 2 to all who are interested in getting a ton of analog synth sounds in one keyboard.

Nord Lead 2

By MGR/ShackMan, 28/11/2010
It has the bright red Nord body, 49 keys, and only weighs in at around 11 pounds. I already own a Nord Stage 88C (which I think is probably the finest stage piano on the market) and a Yamaha W7 (for fun with MIDI). I've been playing keyboards for 17 years now, and playing bass for around 10. I'm currently working on a new album with my band Shutterdown after a tour with my previous band. I've also been a professional classical and theatrical accompanist for 9 years. Also note that this is not the Nord Lead 2X, but the ORIGINAL Nord Lead 2.

This one is on indefinite borrow from a friend since he just bought a new Access Virus, which I'm sure he'll be reviewing on here at some point. So I paid nothing to fill my double stand with red Nords.

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I will sing the praises of the pitch bend and modulation wheel setup Nord has going on until the day I die, most likely. Nobody else has anything so comfortable, and certainly one that allows you to use both at the same time while hitting buttons as well. I like how well laid-out everything is and I appreciate the way Nord makes it very easy to start using subtractive synthesis. Everything you need is covered in some form or other here, from LFO's, to dual osciallators, filters, etc. Even a fine-tune pitch adjustment knob. I was also surprised that you could split the keyboard. For a synthesizer, that's usually considered a non-essential feature, but one that I enjoy and make use of nonetheless. I'm also very much impressed by the sound of it, and I'd readily ask anyone to do a blind test with a Dave Smith or even a real analog board, perhaps something by Bob Moog, just to see which one was thought to be the better-sounding keyboard. While the Nord Lead can't ALWAYS compete with analog boards like the Moog, it still makes a pretty impressive effort with it's virtual analog system. I have very little complain about. The board also has plenty of outputs, including 4 1/4' assignable outputs, MIDI In/Out, a PCMCIA slot for storage, and slots for control and sustain pedals as well as headphones.

I WOULD, however, like to say that the Nord Lead 2X has improved upon the Nord Lead 2's filters a good deal by upping the ante to a 24-bit/96kHz converter for much higher quality digital audio. The Nord Lead 2's filters are starting to feel a little older with some newer, higher-quality technology coming out lately, but they still hold their own quite nicely. I would also appreciate either a third oscillator or the ability to control the amplifier and filter settings for each oscillator individually. I have every knob and dial I could ever ask for otherwise, but I'd like to be able to divide the amp and filter sections to be dedicated to each oscillator.

Don't drop it. Don't bump it around. It's a very expensive synthesizer, so take care of it as such. That said, it's managed to come out fine through a few scrapes and a fall, so I'm going to rate it A-OK for now. Just take care of it and it'll take care of you, like I say with all the instruments I've owned.

It's getting a little bit older, but it's still a very formidable and great sounding synthesizer. The Nord Lead 2X is an even better version of this as well, but it still doesn't have individual amp/filter channels like Roland's GAIA does, although the Roland doesn't come anywhere near this board when it comes to tone. In that department, it's only matched by Dave Smith, Access, or other very high end keyboards. It's truly worth every penny of the $1,500 asking price.

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Clavia Nord Lead 2 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Clavia
  • Model:Nord Lead 2
  • Series:Nord Lead
  • Category:Analog Modeling Synths
  • Added in our database on: 04/08/2004

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Other names: nord lead 2, nordlead2, nordlead 2, nord lead2