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Is the Nord Lead 2x good for Radiohead type sounds?


Over Bends

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Mainly Kid A, OK Cimputer era... ? Sorry if this question is too specific, but I'm a newb when it comes to electronic/synthy sounds from my keyboard, but the way Radiohead utilizes is definitely what I want to learn from it. (I'm classically trained and haven't used anything but an acoustic piano in ten years!) But yes, any help would obviously greatly appreciated. And if not this keyboard, any recommendations as to which ones? Thank you.
Yield!
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I actually have a list at home of some of the gear they used, as one of the defunct projects that I still occasionally dabble in was doing some Radiohead covers.

 

I don't recall the Nord Lead 2 being part of their setup, but remember that it is quite similar to the Yamaha AN1x and PLG150-AN plug-in card. I personally feel Yamaha's is sonically better and capable of more, but at the right price, an NL2x is a good buy.

 

Radiohead were huge fans of the Mellotron and other string machines. Both G-Force's M-Tron and that other sample-based 'tron emulator (I forget who makes it) have huge libraries of sounds donated by Radiohead (and Genesis, as well as other bands for whom the Mellotron was more than a passing fancy).

 

You can go to Vintage Synth Explorer's website and look up some vintage synth models (even more modern ones and VA's) and they list the bands that used them. This is often a good source; though there are other ways (such as interviews, and this is where I got most of my info on what Radiohead used).

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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As Mark mentioned, you gonna need good mellotron sounds - so you should also check the brand new Nord Wave, with superb mellotron samples. For smooth, pads/atmosphair sounds i think the Nord Lead 3 has a beeter quality to the agressive NL2.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Thanks a ton. That vintage synth explorer was very helpful (and very interesting to say the least). I'm looking into the m-tron, and seems like an extremely reasonable purchase. The Nord Wave, though my dream perhaps, is a wee bit out of my price range, which is about a thousand. I realize that the NL2 won't be perfectly fitting to Radiohead as compared to other boards, but does it do the job? That's my biggest concern really... if I can get away with that style with the instrument. Or would it be better to sit on my thousand and wait for until I can afford something better, which will only probably max out at 12-1300? Plus, I'd rather have this sooner than later.

 

My buddy has the Nord Electro 2 and adores it, so that was my interest in Nord's equpiment. They seem to be really quality stuff. I'm just looking for a different sound than his hippy B3 organs. :)

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nord lead 2 could be ok, as longs as you have time to spend on the knobs and create sounds you like - that's all about it after all. I have mine since 1998 and i love it. The sound is hard, more to the electronic side, but with a bit of tewaking you can adjust it to your needs (i played with it pop and groovy jazz). i think you can find one around 1000-1200$. Just make sure you get a PSMCIA card to store sounds, cause the internal memory is small. When you get the card you can dowload to it many sounds from this site:

http://www.clavia.se/downloads/sounds/nordlead2.htm

good luck

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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BTW i'm talking about the Nord Lead 2. The NL 2X has even more sounds on it, without the need for an external card. They have almost the same sound character though.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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If I got a dollar for every time I saw someone asking for Radiohead synths... ;)

 

Anyway, don't forget the effects boxes; you want a tape delay of sorts (end of Karma Police and it's useful in general), a nice reverb and maybe a Kaoss Pad too. The atmosphere is what you want to capture, and a sampler is useful for the sounds synths won't do; not only can you load up your Mellotron in there, but also regular analog-ish sounding pads with drift.

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Your best delay at this point is probably the newly released TC Electronic ND-1, for around $199 to $249. It's essentially a slightly dumbed-down version of the D-Two rack that I bought last year off of one of our forum members (I forget who at the moment).

 

It "only" goes to 2290ms vs. a full 5-10 seconds like the D-Two. But it supports tape-delay styles as well as various multi-tap styles. There isn't a delay made that is as flexible. And the pedal version has an analog emulation knob (the D-Two is similar in having a specialised high frequency filter).

 

If you don't mind going a combination of hardware/software, you may want to stay in the digital domain, which means rack gear and not pedals (via S/PDIF, for instance). I might even sell my D-Two as I'm thinking I might make more use out of the more ergonomic (yet not as full-featured) ND-1. Not sure if the D-Two is still current as TC no longer lists it but some websites do.

 

Radiohead was pad-crazy. Held chords in the background, some of which evolve or even go into chaotic disintegration (the latter can be achieved via effects).

 

I highly recommend Camel Audio's effects plug-ins for some radical mangling of sound that is very warm/analog sounding, different from anything else out there, and highly musical. I think it will take you a long way towards that Radiohead sound.

 

As for pads other than string machines, there are some cheap software solutions as well. Depending on your computer's power, by far the best right now is NI's Massive. Some of the older ones like Absynth and Atmosphere are quite good as well, but Massive is so popular that a lot of people have already reprogrammed a lot of their favourite patches to be Massive-compatible.

 

Hardware wise, you're looking at way more bucks, such as the Nord Wave. I owned the Nord Lead 3 which it is based on, and found it great for chaotic stuff that uses some FM in the patch. Mine was stolen and I didn't have written records of some of my patches or a good memory, so I'm not sure how easy it would be to do those sorts of patches on another synth as I haven't tried yet. But I suspect any good pad synth that has more than merely rudimentary FM capabilities atop traditional subtractive synthesis and/or sample and synthesis methods, should do the job.

 

Also for pads, consider Arturia's Jupiter 8V, but it has heavy CPU reqs. Roland has always been known for good pads, and the Jupiter synth was the King of Pads. I think in later years Radiohead was using the similarly-named Alesis Andromeda.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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Just for the record, while researching something else today, by complete coincidence I came upon an interview with Radiohead's producer saying that their main synth for more recent stuff (including their upcoming album) is the Roland Jupiter 8, so now I'm going to bump my earlier eecommendation of Arturia's Jupiter 8V soft synth :-).

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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