Nord's classical Virtual Analog Synth Nord LEAD 1/2/2x/3/4/A1 and Nord Rack versions

Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby DJKeys » 29 Aug 2017, 21:14

I have heard some comments about this and would like to hear from some A1 users. I know the keybed in the A1 is a Fatar but that they make different grades of keybeds. All of my present keyboards have fantastic keybed action, Access Virus Ti2 Polar, Nord Stage 2 Compact, and Prophet 6. I am considering getting an A1.

Can you A1 owners give me some feedback on the keybed feel? Can you compare it so some other 49 note boards out there?

I know that it does not have aftertouch, just looking for some information on the tactile response.

Thanks a lot!

-dj
Last edited by DJKeys on 29 Aug 2017, 21:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Nord Lead A1 Keybed


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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby Mr_-G- » 29 Aug 2017, 22:26

If it is the same as the NL4 (and I think it is) I am afraid that I did not like it that much. The vertical travel of the keys felt short, and the keys are slightly smaller (shorter) than the ones in the NS2-88. (No I did not measured them, but I am sure somebody here will be kind enough to do it).
I seem to remember comments that it is good for quick runs during a solo. It is not awful, but there are better keybeds than that. I hope they change it if there is ever a NL5.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby DJKeys » 29 Aug 2017, 22:30

Thanks, Mr G. I would expect the keys on any synth to be smaller than on an 88 key piano type keyboard. That doesn't bother me. If the keybed is noisy and cheap feeling, that would. I don't have one locally to play, but I have felt some of the Midi controller keyboards and they are awful.

-dj
Last edited by DJKeys on 29 Aug 2017, 22:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby maxpiano » 30 Aug 2017, 05:21

DJKeys wrote:(..) If the keybed is noisy and cheap feeling, that would.


I am afraid to say that imo that's the case with the A1 keybed, based on my little experience (having played it in a shop for a few minutes), maybe not noisy but cheap feeling = yes.

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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby Quai34 » 30 Aug 2017, 05:59

About a cheap feeling, I had the same feeling when I tried for the first time the Moog Little Phatty....I was expecting better coming from Moog and having the experience of my DSI Prophet 08...But for the NL2X, I didn't have any cheap feeling...Is it because it's an anniversary model with the black keys? So, I didn't know that feeling with the NLA1, I will try it next time I'm in a store....
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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby NoDirection » 30 Aug 2017, 09:43

My solution is to get an A1r and a MIDI cable, like I have - then you have all the sounds, and you can choose among all your existing excellent keybeds. The A1r is still available at some sources. A bad keybed destroys much of the fun playing - in my opinion.

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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby DJKeys » 30 Aug 2017, 17:07

NoDirection wrote:My solution is to get an A1r and a MIDI cable, like I have - then you have all the sounds, and you can choose among all your existing excellent keybeds. The A1r is still available at some sources. A bad keybed destroys much of the fun playing - in my opinion.


I need the keyboard version. I already have the Stage 2 but need the ability to play the sounds independently from my second board.

-dj
Last edited by DJKeys on 30 Aug 2017, 17:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby combathook » 30 Aug 2017, 19:29

The keyboard on the A1 is one of its weakest points to be sure, but not necessarily a deal breaker. It diminishes the fun of playing a bit, but it doesn't affect your ability to play. Plus, you get the great wood pitch bend that isn't available on other keyboards.

I'm also hoping for a better keyboard on the next model. It can't be that much more expensive, can it? Or are they trying to keep the weight down? Nords do have a good reputation as gigging synths, where even one kg would make a big difference.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby derrellpiper » 30 Aug 2017, 22:19

I didn't like mine and sold it shortly thereafter. The keyboard in the Lead 3 is fine (and the Piano 3 is great), so it's very much model dependent. I looked into how many different fatar keybeds there are and there are actually quite a lot. So you just have to try any given Nord on for size and decide whether you like the feel of that particular keybed. There are certainly folks on here who love their A1s and I'm looking forward to playing with the A1 engine with the new OLED display on a Stage 3 88.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 Keybed

Postby Marlowes » 01 Sep 2017, 17:08

Hej!

I nowadays always use one of my old "vintage" Rolands as a master keyboard. A JV-80 or even the D-50. They both have some metal junk glued to the keys that gives me a fine feeling for different styles. Practicing piano/organ/synth stuff with a rock band every week ... using Arturia programs on a Mac as the sound source. (Should I buy an Electro again?)

The NL's are not that awesome when it comes to the keybed feeling, but not a dealbreaker, as someone so wisely stated. ;)

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