Clavia DMI AB
Industry Synthesizers
Founded Stockholm, Sweden
1983 (1983)
Founder Hans Nordelius and Mikael Carlsson
Products virtual analog synthesizers
virtual electromechanical pianos
stage pianos
Divisions ddrum

Clavia Digital Musical Instruments (Clavia DMI AB) is a Swedish manufacturer of virtual analog synthesizers, virtual electromechanical pianos and stage pianos, founded in Stockholm Sweden in 1983 by Hans Nordelius and Mikael Carlsson.

Company history

ddrum4 SE

In 1983, Hans Nordelius and Mikael Carlsson began to work in the basement of a home located in the southern suburbs of Stockholm, creating the world's first dedicated digital drum for the commercial market, called the 'Digital Percussion Plate 1'.[1] In 1984 an improved version that could play four sounds from an EPROM was released under the 'ddrum' name with the now signature red coloring. The same year a drum system was released, where you had several sound modules in a rack, each with its own EPROM. The pads used to trigger the sounds were unusual for the time, since they used real drum heads, where other electronic drum kits of the time used rubber pads. This together with a separate trigger for the snare drum's rim made for a more realistic playing experience.[2] The ddrum brand and products were in 2005 sold to their US distributor Armadillo who continues to manufacture drum products under the name.[3]

Nord Lead 2x

In 1995, Clavia released the Nord Lead. Called "a magic piece of electronics" by Sound on Sound[4] it popularized the virtual analog type of synthesis. In 1997 the Nord Lead 2 was released, with many improvements, including increasing polyphony from 4 to 16 notes.[5] The Nord Lead 3 was released in 2001, with a reworked sound engine, better D/A converters and monophonic aftertouch. The most striking aspect of the Nord Lead 3 was that all the sound editing knobs had been replaced with infinite rotary knobs, where the value of the parameter was indicated by a LED 'collar' around the knob.[6] The rotary knobs, LED collars and keyboard with aftertouch made the Nord Lead 3 an "absolute delight"[7] but because of its higher price, the Nord Lead 2 remained in demand. And as some of the parts of the Nord Lead 3 were getting harder to source, Clavia released an updated version of the Nord Lead 2, called the Nord Lead 2x, with faster processors, better D/A converters and an upgraded polyphony to 20 voices.[7] The Nord Lead 3 was discontinued in 2007, but the Nord Lead 2x remains in production.[3]

In 1997 Clavia released the Nord Modular, a virtual analog modular synthesizer.[3] Called a "landmark in synthesis"[8] it allowed you to essentially build your own virtual analog synthesizer. It too was later upgraded with the 2004 release of the Nord Modular G2, that gave it the same endless rotary knobs as the Nord Lead 3 and a larger keyboard with aftertouch.[9]

Nord Electro2

In 2001 the Nord Electro was released. It was designed to emulate the classical electromechanical keyboards like Hammond organ, electric piano and Hohner Clavinet. The pianos are samples but the organs are modeled using a "digital simulation".[10] Clavia's current models here are the Electro 5, emulating a Hammond B3, a Farfisa and a Vox organ and containing samples of different electric pianos, a Wurlitzer electric piano, a Hohner Clavinet and several acoustic grand and upright pianos;[10] the Nord Piano 2 containing the piano section from the Nord Electro 3 with an 88 key hammer action keyboard;[11] the Nord C2 Organ, a dual manual instrument containing the organ section from the Nord Electro 3 as well as an emulation of a baroque pipe organ;[12] and the Nord Stage 2 which takes the organ and pianos from the Nord Electro and adds a virtual analog synthesizer.[13]

In October 2007 Clavia released the Nord Wave, which adds sample-player functionality to the virtual analog engine of the Nord Lead series[14] and in March 2012 Clavia released the Nord Drum, a virtual analog drum synthesizer.[15]

Nord Lead A1
Nord Lead 4


Discontinued products

Discontinued products list:[3]

Nord Modular
Nord Modular Rack & G2 Engine
Nord Modular G2


  1. "A brief company history". Clavia. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  2. Clavia ddrum product info, Clavia, retrieved 2010-03-09
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Nord Discontinued Products - Overview". Stockholm: Clavia DMI AB. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  4. David Crombie (1995). "Clavia Nord (second opinion)". Sound On Sound (May 1995). Apart from these minor quibbles, this is a magic piece of electronics, a synthesizer of pure genius.
  5. Paul Nagle (1997). "Clavia Nord Lead 2". Sound On Sound (September 1997).
  6. Simon Trask (2001). "Clavia Nord Lead 3". Sound On Sound (July 2001).
  7. 1 2 Paul Nagle (2002). "Clavia Nord Lead 2x". Sound On Sound (January 2004).
  8. Paul Nagle (1998). "Clavia Nord Modular Virtual Analogue Modular Synthesizer, Part 1". Sound On Sound (April 1998).
  9. Paul Nagle (2004). "Clavia Nord Modular G2". Sound On Sound (July 2004).
  10. 1 2 "Nord Electro 3 - Information". Clavia.
  11. "Nord Piano 2 - Information". Clavia.
  12. "Nord C2 Organ - Information". Clavia.
  13. "Nord Stage 2 - Information". Clavia.
  14. "Nord Wave - Information". Clavia.
  15. "Nord Drum - Information". Clavia.
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