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External FX for Nord Lead 4

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External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby Guido3 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:31 pm

I’m looking to get some external FX to run my NL4 through. The built in FX are a little harsh!!!!

A Strymon Big Sky/Night Sky would sound lovely I’m sure but can anyone recommend anything else? I’m quite tempted to look at a Eurorack FX build of some kind :headbang:

Thoughts?
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby BillB » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:35 pm

Presumably you want stereo in > out?

Are you looking for anything in particular? All the usual mods, delay, reverbs?
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby Guido3 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:40 pm

BillB

Stereo In/Out - Yes

The usual suspects really so Delay/Reverb/Mod. This is why Eurorack is tempting as the mod opportunities are vast!!
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby BillB » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:46 pm

Depends how knobular you want the experience to be. A Lexicon or Alesis (or whatever) rack would probably give you the sounds, as would a Zoom CDR-70 pedal. There are plenty of other high-end pedals along the lines of Strymon.

But it sounds like you really want to mess with your FX - so I would have to pass on to those who know (and can afford!) Euroack etc. Seems a likely expensive venture, but certainly flexible and creative.
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:48 pm

I refer the honourable gentleman to this post:
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=75290&p=725810#p725810

The Digitech RP50/55 are also very good indeed.

If you want something with a built-in expression pedal then I'd recommend the Digitech RP-500, RP-1000 and the Line 6 Helix, in order of outlay. The Helix is by far the most capable, adding oodles of features (mixing multiple sources - each with different multi effects chain, multiple expression pedals, mic input, external switching, MIDI control, USB interface...), but comes with a reflective price tag.
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby Guido3 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:31 pm

Elf, The Line 6 Helex stuff looks and sounds beautiful. There’s even an LT (lite??) which brings a new unit into my price range (used even better!!!) Not sure what I would lose but I’ll do some research and find out. This would be fab live and not something which I have looked into before.

Food for thought!!! Thanks.
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:11 pm

The LT is good value, but it does lose a couple of line inputs and an expression pedal input.

I use all of the inputs for lead synths, giving me a 4-in, 2-out mixer, each input on a separate chain of stereo effects.

The thing with the Helix is that it goes far beyond your requirement for an FX processor for your single keyboard. Whether those extra features would be put to use is the key. It can be overkill, or it can potentially replace a whole lot of other gear.
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby BillB » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:12 pm

Elf, I like the Digitech stuff too, but they are all mono-in. Strictly designed for guitarists, not synth payers with L/R stereo outs :headbang:
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby Guido3 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:38 pm

The Elf wrote:The thing with the Helix is that it goes far beyond your requirement for an FX processor for your single keyboard. Whether those extra features would be put to use is the key. It can be overkill, or it can potentially replace a whole lot of other gear.

I’ll do some reading up.........

I tend to use Nord Electro 5D and a Nord Lead 4 live at the mo. Sounds like I can feed them both into the Helex to create a ‘Mixer with FX as well. Sounds really slick to be honest. I could get away with just 3 bits of kit and a bag of wires for live use!!! The 4 inputs (2 x Stereo pairs) having their own effects would be great.

Do you need a degree in nuclear physics to program it?
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:59 pm

BillB wrote:Elf, I like the Digitech stuff too, but they are all mono-in. Strictly designed for guitarists, not synth payers with L/R stereo outs :headbang:
True enough. I only use them on mono-out keyboards.
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Re: External FX for Nord Lead 4

Postby The Elf » Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:10 pm

Guido3 wrote:Do you need a degree in nuclear physics to program it?
Not at all. It's pretty simple. If you get into using the buttons to control external devices (as do I - for looping and sequencer control, for example) the momentary/latching stuff can get a bit heady, but up to there it's a doddle for us synth-heads.

I have some basic '4 mono inputs', '2 stereo inputs' templates, so just give me a shout if you'd like them as a starting point.

Guido3 wrote:I could get away with just 3 bits of kit and a bag of wires for live use!!! The 4 inputs (2 x Stereo pairs) having their own effects would be great.
Now you're getting the idea. This is exactly why I use one. I get funny looks from other keyboard players when I mention the Helix being ideal for a keys rig, but at least one other person gets it now! :D
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