“We prefer innovation over imitation”: AudioKit’s Nerd Synth is inspired by (but not a clone of) the Nord Lead A1

With its meaty virtual analogue engine and simple interface, the Nord Lead A1 remains a great hardware synth. In fact, you could probably call it a modern classic (it was released in 2014), which goes some way to explaining why AudioKit has taken inspiration from it for its new Nerd Synth A2X.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a straight emulation of the A1 - “we prefer innovation over imitation,” says AudioKit - but, unlike many of the company’s previous releases, it’s a synth rather than a rompler. What’s more, all 40+ A1 waveforms are included, as are a noise generator, filters, envelopes and modulation sources.

You’ll find effects, too - reverb, delay, and distortion, ring modulator, and ‘super FM drop’ - and everything is controlled from the knob-per-function interface that’s designed to mirror the A1’s level of accessibility.

While the waveforms in the Nerd Synth do come from the A1, the presets are completely original, though if you’re looking for that classic Nord super saw sound, a four-voice unison mode means you won’t be left disappointed. 

The Nerd Synth runs on iPhone and iPad and is a snip at just $5/£5 via the Apple App Store (this price currently includes several sound expansions). You can run it standalone or as an AUv3 plugin.

Find out more on the AudioKit Pro website.

AudioKit Pro Nerd Synth

(Image credit: AudioKit Pro)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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