The synth uses new analog modeling technology and streamlined controls for programming.
The latest from the Stockholm-based synthmaker uses the company's signature bold-red casing, but much of what's inside (and outside) has been retooled. Nord's signature analog modelling technology has been updated to sound closer to the sort of circuitry it's based on. It offers 24-voice polyphony and can play four synth parts at once. (You can do so via its 49 keys or using MIDI.) Programming those parts should be a faster process with the Lead A1 as well—its controls have been streamlined to cut down on the time it takes to dial in sounds. In addition to a revamped oscillator section, you get a filter (with Roland TB-303 emulation), modulation, effects and a number of performance options like arpeggiator and Nord's famed Morph feature. You can hear how the Lead A1 sounds on Nord's SoundCloud page, where they've posted a set of demo sounds.
Nord will release the Lead A1 in April 2014 for a suggested retail price of $1799.