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 an eBay 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.

36 Visitor comments
August 7, 2011 @ 8:33 pm
Had a play on one of these and I totally understand why it was discontinued. Put together a real modular or get the classic that's still being produced; the Nord Lead 2X. Or, make a go for a G2 and hope you OS can still run it. You might be better off with Reaktor. It was a nice piece for it's time, the G2 is much better, but if you really have that modular itch that needs to be scratched, Reaktor for the cost and longevity or start buying modules and build your own hardware sound machine.
June 11, 2011 @ 12:00 pm
Polyphony is important but I never found NM very useful playing chords. As any modular, NM is capable of playing huge solo notes and gritty oscillators and other 'massive' filters.

Though ambiental polyphonic stuff is great, for power chords I would looking for dedicated poly-synths.
March 1, 2011 @ 9:18 am
Hi all. If you wanna buy a new one ( NM keyboard ) I live in Barcelona near from music store UME and I saw one of them, time ago the was a FIZMO !!! so here you can find it
they sell one for 630 or 640 euros ep+d%C3%A1sturies&aq=&sll=41.387917,2.169919&sspn=0.319396,0.647507& amp;ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Avinguda+del+Pr%C3%ADncep+d%27Ast%C3%BAries,+Barce lona,+Catalu%C3%B1a&ll=41.402102,2.150708&spn=0.000624,0.001265&t=h& amp;z=20&layer=c&cbll=41.402181,2.150648&panoid=6KigIxbunroAl9XC0qjr xA&cbp=12,70.06,,0,6.03
November 10, 2010 @ 10:13 am
A couple of other clarifications:

The editor: Yes the Mac OSX version is a PPC beta, but it works flawlessly on my intel Mac Pro and MacBook Air running 10.6.4. The open source nmedit will be nice for long term compatibility, but I haven't tried it yet.

Polyphony: The note about polyphony is misleading as it depends entirely on the complexity of the module setup you have created. There is a guaranteed 4 notes of polyphony, but there could be many more. That is because there are 4 DSP chips on a standard modular (8 on an expanded modular, and 1 on a micro). Each module you use eats a bit of DSP, but the complexity of your setup can't exceed the power of a single DSP chip. So a setup that uses 98% of one DSP will have a polyphony of 4 on a standard modular, while a simpler setup using only 25% of a single DSP chip will achieve 16 notes of polyphony. In real world, most setups manage around 8 notes.
November 10, 2010 @ 10:05 am
To clarify a little of what is said below--yes, this synth requires a software editor to build actual modular setups. There is no true editing of the modular setups from the front panel. But, once you build a setup you can assign a front panel knob to one of the virtual knobs on you model, so within the context of an existing model, you can tweak the sound quite a bit. But if you want to add modules, or change patches, this must be done from the PC/Mac editing software.

However, unlike modular soft-synths like reaktor, once the module is saved into the memory of the Nord, you can power everything down, disconnect the keyboard from your PC and take it to a gig or anywhere else without needing your computer around. If you are only a studio musician, this isn't that big a deal, but if you play live, this is much simple and more stable than a soft-synth.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

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