Effects processor for Nord Lead

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Lena
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Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Lena » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:04 pm

Hello!

Several months ago I bought my first synth - Nord Lead, and I'm pretty satisfied with it, but now I think it's time to buy an effects processor, as Nord Lead doesn't have any effects. I'm a newbie, so I'm not sure what to choose, and what processors will work with my synth. As for the price, I'm not ready to buy something too expensive. Help me please! :?

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by pflosi » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:24 pm

:welcome:

What types of effects are you looking for? Also, define "too expensive".

Cheers

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by madtheory » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:43 pm

Laptop and plugins? I recently used Apple Mainstage on a gig, and it was fabulous both as a mega-softsynth and a mixer with effects for mic/ line sources.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:59 pm

Hi & welcome,

if you prefer the 'hardware route', there's plenty to choose from.

A reverb and/or delay unit is a good starting point that can really enhance your sound, imho. Units such as the Alesis Microverb and Nanoverb are not really expensive - you should be able to get one for under 100 $ or € - but do a nice job.

Multi FX units are also a good way to get started, there are loads of them (check out those for guitar as well). Be a bit careful with distortion FX/pedals, you can easily kill your tweeters with them. The keyboard player in my rock band (I was one of two guitarists) some 20+ years ago did so within under 5 seconds when connecting the other guitarist's distortion pedal to his DX7 and playing some distorted Deep Purple Hammond Organ Sound :lol: .
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Lena » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:24 pm

pflosi wrote:What types of effects are you looking for? Also, define "too expensive".
Thank you for replying!

I want a "standard" set of effects - delay, reverb, and some others (if only I knew their exact names). Sometimes I want to make my Nord sound more atmospheric or deep, and sometimes I just want to experiment with new sounds because VA without effects has a very specific sounding, you know. I would like to play something close to psychedelic, shoegaze, post-punk and ambient, so it would be great to have effects that can be used in this kind of music.

As for the price, I am ready to spend $100-120, or less, if possible.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Lena » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:32 pm

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:Hi & welcome,

if you prefer the 'hardware route', there's plenty to choose from.

A reverb and/or delay unit is a good starting point that can really enhance your sound, imho. Units such as the Alesis Microverb and Nanoverb are not really expensive - you should be able to get one for under 100 $ or € - but do a nice job.

Multi FX units are also a good way to get started, there are loads of them (check out those for guitar as well). Be a bit careful with distortion FX/pedals, you can easily kill your tweeters with them. The keyboard player in my rock band (I was one of two guitarists) some 20+ years ago did so within under 5 seconds when connecting the other guitarist's distortion pedal to his DX7 and playing some distorted Deep Purple Hammond Organ Sound :lol: .
Hi!
I do prefer 'hardware route', you're right. So it is possible to use guitar processors without any harm for the synth? I'm really inexperienced in effects, so I want to be sure:) I will check out the variants you've suggested, thank you!

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by pflosi » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:40 pm

I think a Zoom MS50G or MS70CDR might be perfect for you. Cheap, small, configurable multi-fx, good sound for the price :thumbright:

Regarding "compatibility": levels are no big deal, just turn down the synth. You might have to amplify it again afterwards though. However, you might get into impedance issues (read up on it, it's a whole rabbit hole). To do it properly, one would go: line level low impedance synth > reamp > hi impedance instrument level FX > DI > mic preamp (or an active DI that can put out line level). Of course, that'd be total overkill for a 100 bucks FX pedal... So I'd just try it out.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by madtheory » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:26 pm

Ya hardware outboard effects are all guitar oriented these days. I haven't used any of those so I can only recommend used units. I'm a big fan of the Alesis Quadraverb+ and the Lexicon LXP15II. Both are capable of some far out stuff but still have very nice sounding reverbs and delays, and plentiful modulation if you want to go deeper and weirder. Both have very good facilities for external control via MIDI. They're noisy if you're not careful about gain staging, and both work a lot better (i.e. no humming) with a ground isolator like the ART DTI (which is a cool little box to have anyway).

There's also the Yamaha SPX2000 and Sony DPSV77. Both very classy with unique features, but they're still highly regarded so are outside your budget.

Or way out there- the old Jonson J Station, a guitar amp modelling box like the Line 6 Pod. You can get a few effects chained and there are some gems there. Much better modulation effects than the Pod, and a really cool Urei compressor emulation.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by ryryoftokyo » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:52 pm

Which Nord did you buy? I have a 2x and I make use of the following on mine:

Dwarfcraft Devices "The Great Destroyer"
EHX Small Clone
Mu-Tron Phasor MK1
EHX Electric Mistress Deluxe
Eventide Pitch Factor (might be out of your price range)
Lexicon MX200
EHX Freeze
MU Modular (Moog, Dotcom, STG, Analog Systems, and Moon modules), MS20 (x2), Microbrute, Electribes (EA-1, EMX), microKorg, AN1x, Nord Lead 2x, Blofeld, Alpha Juno 2, DX7, JX8P, Poly 61 (x2), Split 8, TR-505, Monotron Delay, Ace Tone FR-3, Paia Fatman

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Lena wrote:I do prefer 'hardware route', you're right. So it is possible to use guitar processors without any harm for the synth?
Yep. As pflosi wrote above, you may have to turn down the synth a bit - or (that mainly applies to overdrive/distortion units) the input gain on the fx unit. Anything that is used in a guitar amp FX loop is well suited anyway since the levels of a synth and an FX loop are similar.

I personally use an Alesis Nanoverb and an Ibanez CCL Analog Chorus in my synth setup. The Ibanez unit is a typical guitar stompbox (vintage as well - it was manufactured somwhen in the 1980s afaik).
madtheory wrote:a guitar amp modelling box like the Line 6 Pod
+1. Units like this one were exactly what I meant when I wrote about multi FX units.
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:57 am

pflosi wrote:I think a Zoom MS50G or MS70CDR might be perfect for you. Cheap, small, configurable multi-fx, good sound for the price :thumbright:

Regarding "compatibility": levels are no big deal, just turn down the synth. You might have to amplify it again afterwards though. However, you might get into impedance issues (read up on it, it's a whole rabbit hole). To do it properly, one would go: line level low impedance synth > reamp > hi impedance instrument level FX > DI > mic preamp (or an active DI that can put out line level). Of course, that'd be total overkill for a 100 bucks FX pedal... So I'd just try it out.
Yep, this.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by Lena » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:31 am

ryryoftokyo wrote:Which Nord did you buy?
I have an original Nord Lead. It sounds good and "fat", but lacks some functionality, and sometimes this makes me a bit disappointed (for example, no keyboard split). But I'm still learning to make sounds, as I know NL is a very powerful machine, and it just takes a proper skill to use all its opportunities. Well, it's not that easy for someone who have only played acoustic piano before. Still I hope new effects will help.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by madtheory » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:04 pm

That is a great synth, perfect for learning on as well. If you want something that is easy to use, has great sound quality and is the right audio level for a synth, try the Korg Kaoss Pad range. I picked up the original model last year for €40 and it's the most fun effects unit I've ever used. Your limited to one effect at a time, but the interaction with the parameters is fun and intuitive. Later models let you run more than one effect at a time.

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Re: Effects processor for Nord Lead

Post by crystalmsc » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:44 pm

madtheory wrote:Later models let you run more than one effect at a time.
I'm using the KP Quad as a master fx during live performance. Love the playability of the unit and it sounds great with synth. I'm also using the old Boss FZ-2 with the NL2x, just to add some analog character.
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