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

Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby Elias » 12 Sep 2021, 08:30

I quite recently bought a second hand Lead A1 and I'm going to swap the metal ends for ones with strap locks (making them myself), essentially making it a Leadtar A1. As the keyboard is very light and does not need too much power, I started to think about making it battery powered too. The way I have been sketching the idea is through USB power delivery, as that would allow me to use ready made batteries, for the different voltages needed. So I would disconnect the internal power supply and give it matching DC voltages.

My problem is that I don't have a service manual and I don't know which voltages (which pins on the PSU) are used by to boards. The logic board I believe uses 5V, but I don't know about the others and I'm not keen on guessing or trying to analyse the circuits in case someone can help.

What voltages do I need and do I need separate sources for different circuits to prevent noise?

I'd be happy to get any help from someone with more knowledge :thanks:

edit: typo
Last edited by Elias on 13 Sep 2021, 13:17, edited 2 times in total.
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Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)


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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby maxpiano » 12 Sep 2021, 08:45

Not really just 5V, if you look at the NE2 schematics here Nord Electro 2 Service Manual and Schematics the power supply unit produces quite some more voltages and I bet also A1 PU is similar if not equal.

Maybe, if you really want to do that, you should rather look for those portable battery packs with 220V AC output.
Last edited by maxpiano on 12 Sep 2021, 08:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby CountFosco » 12 Sep 2021, 09:13

Or you could find a cheap second hand semi upright piano, and screw some hooks directly into the wooden ends, solving both the issue of having to make your own custom end cheeks, and your own PSU.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby missoundscape » 13 Sep 2021, 09:35

Why not opt for an Alesis Vortex (keytar midicontroller) with wireless midi connection (like a Panda Audio Midibeam) to control the A1. Seems simpler en much lighter to carry.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby Elias » 13 Sep 2021, 11:07

maxpiano wrote:Not really just 5V. Maybe a 220V AC power pack?

I'm trying to avoid 220V AC power pack solution, because that would add weight, and an inverter going straight back into a rectifier. Although I might give up and just buy a power pack like that as it seems to be a working solution for many people.

CountFosco wrote:Or you could find a cheap second hand semi upright piano, and screw some hooks directly into the wooden ends, solving both the issue of having to make your own custom end cheeks, and your own PSU.

The form factor of an upright is a bit awkward to hang in front of you. The action is also dependent on gravity pulling things in the right direction. Minor issues.

missoundscape wrote:Why not opt for an Alesis Vortex?

I though about this indeed, but it seemed like a bit of a toy, so I bought the Lead since I got it for under half the price and switching out the metal ends won't be much of a problem for me.
Last edited by Elias on 13 Sep 2021, 11:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby CountFosco » 13 Sep 2021, 11:50

Elias wrote:
CountFosco wrote:Or you could find a cheap second hand semi upright piano, and screw some hooks directly into the wooden ends, solving both the issue of having to make your own custom end cheeks, and your own PSU.

The form factor of an upright is a bit awkward to hang in front of you. The action is also dependent on gravity pulling things in the right direction. Minor issues.


True. I suppose I was too focused on the positives.

missoundscape wrote:Why not opt for an Alesis Vortex (keytar midicontroller) with wireless midi connection (like a Panda Audio Midibeam) to control the A1. Seems simpler en much lighter to carry.


I agree with this. No need to reinvent the wheel when you can buy a purpose made wheel for a cuppla hundred, especially if it's just a novelty for a song or two.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby Elias » 13 Sep 2021, 13:15

Ok maybe I'll give up the battery stuff but in a few months I will own a strap-on toy. ...I mean a Lead A1 with a strap on it.
Thanks for convincing me not to waste time on replacing the PSU with batteries. :smile:
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby ericL » 13 Sep 2021, 17:25

Another option if you still envision your NLA1 as a keytar would be to use a long snake with power and audio zip-tied together and it would hardly be noticeable. You could use wireless audio if you wanted, though if you have one cable in a snake, may as well have two. I have for 30+ years used a rolling and tilting keyboard stand that I move all over stages with a 30' snake attached for lots of connections and power. Once I got used to navigating stages with the snake off to the side of my rig, it was not too big of a deal. I did some research years ago about what it would take to truly make it wireless (audio, MIDI, power) and using the equivalent of a small car battery for power was too much of a pain.
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby Elias » 14 Sep 2021, 13:12

I most likely won't be using the Lead wirelessly, because I need pedals and that kind of stuff, so I will make some kind of a snake or just take all the cables running to the instrument and tie them together.

Btw, it crossed my mind that if you don't like the idea fo a limited battery life, you can always buy a petrol powered generator and use that to power instruments. That is if you are ok with some noise...
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Re: Nord Lead A1 --> Keytar (battery powered)

Postby DJKeys » 14 Sep 2021, 18:24

missoundscape wrote:Why not opt for an Alesis Vortex (keytar midicontroller) with wireless midi connection (like a Panda Audio Midibeam) to control the A1. Seems simpler en much lighter to carry.


And it would look better as well.

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