Clavia Nord Modular

Clavia Nord Modular Image

The Nord Modular is Clavia's Nord synth with modular abilities using virtual sound modeling. The keyboard itself is small and compact. It houses the synth engine and all DSP processors. However, the Nord Modular must be connected to a Pentium PC with Windows 95 or a PowerMac. Be sure to get the latest OS version which is v3.03.

The software is the Nord Modular Editor. It is simply an editor, but a powerful one that graphically shows you a the modules you want and is where you graphically make patches between modules and synthesize a sound. It features over 100 modules! It's true modular synthesis meets computer synthesis. It sounds awesome too! The keyboard still has MIDI to be controlled and sequenced from your standard sequencer. The programs you create in the editor can be stored on the computer or in one of the 100 memories in the keyboard. Once you've created a sound you can quit the editor program and use the keyboard controller stand-alone.

Clavia Nord Modular Image

The keyboard has multiple outputs, pedal input, has a very easy and intuitive layout and a nice LCD screen. It also features a very good sequencer! The Nord Modular system is expensive but it's like a Nord Lead 2 on steroids and without limits! If you're not interested in the keyboard, a desktop/rack-mount version was also available.

Software version 2.1 adds many new features including a Ring Modulator, 14-Band FilterBank, Vocal Filter, FM Sine wave, Digitizer (bare-bones sampling) and many more tricks. The latest OS is version 3 and adds more features such as a 16-band vocoder and Mac compatibility. The Nord Modular is already being used by Astral Projection, Autechre, BT, The Chemical Brothers, Somatic Responses, The Crystal Method, Junkie XL, Mouse on Mars, and Nine Inch Nails.

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The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Clavia Nord Modular? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

34 Visitor comments
September 27, 2009 @ 6:04 pm
The only problem with Nomad on a Mac is a Java issue - it needs a MIDI driver - the nomad guys have bundled a free one with the download but it may need some work. I already had the commercial Mandolane driver with works fine.
August 6, 2009 @ 6:49 am
I have a G2X, and a NM1 on its way.

The G2 is a bit different, better performance features and interface, some good, and some OK onboard effects. G2 has less inherent character though, as it has to be programmed in.

G2 is versatile though. It seems that Reaktor et al are more versatile still, and something like a receptor etc could give plenty of grunt for virtual modular synthesis, as an alternative.

G2 has a pretty slick interface though, which I think can be a real boon when delving into something potentially rather complex.
March 11, 2009 @ 3:29 pm
I've been using mine for almost a decade never fails to amaze me. Keep in mind there is a fairly steep learning curve, but I have yet to be looking for a sound that this thing can't pull off. Sometimes I'll use various hardware and software synths while recording, but with the NM, I'm able to model them faithfully and only bring it instead of multiple synths to a gig. From Prophet 5 leads to DX7 bells to Minimoog bass to the completely unique...this synth can do it all. The only problem with it is that you'll never be satisfied with another synth again. :)
March 10, 2009 @ 6:04 am
I bought the micro modular when it 1st came out and just didnt use it much (lack of understanding), i swapped it for a roland SH-32 (big mistake). Within a coupkle of years i sold the SH-32, raised some cash, did some reading and bought the full modular rack. This synth gives you any sound you want, but be prepared to spend some time with it. I love the sequencer patches, you can make all your beats and bass in 1 slot and use the other 3 for say leads, pads and blippyness. I would never sell this bad girl, she sounds devine. I've looked into the G2 but i've heard the overall sound doesnt match the original modular and not being able to bring my existing patches to the G2 is very dissapointing. I stick with the original modular mean machine.
November 14, 2008 @ 7:30 pm
Just a quick note about the MacOSX editor, Clavia released a beta version of their OSX software that does run quite well under 10.5,b ut there is a more advanced and very cool open source editor called Nomad, nmEdit. It is only at v.0.3 but it really does work very well. It is Java based, so it also runs on Win and most Linuxes.

So don't let that put you off buying one of these fantastic babies!
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Here are some great pads and sounds.

    Patches - These are 19 custom patches by Markus Jentsch. They are zipped for Windows/PC.

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual from

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 32 voices
  • Oscillators - 6 VSM oscillators (triangle, sawtooth, pulse) and noise and much more!
  • LFO - 8 LFO's, 4 random pattern generators, 16,000 patterns
  • Filter - 6 filters: Parametric, Shelving EQ's, highpass / lowpass / bandpass / notch filters, 12 or 24 dB/Oct, resonant
  • VCA - ADSR and AD envelopes, attack - hold - decay envelope and much more
  • Keyboard - 25 velocity sensitive keys
  • Memory - 9 banks with 99 memories each
  • Control - PC Pentium 90MHz, Windows 95/98; PowerMac, MacOS 8; MIDI, and all knobs and controls are MIDI!
  • Date Produced - 1998

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