Clavia Nord Lead 3

Nord Lead 3 Image

Newly redesigned and vastly improved, Clavia gives us the Nord Lead 3. It is a 24-voice synthesizer (the NL2 is 16-voice) with many new features including many bigger knobs and controls. A new Unison mode is available that won't affect polyphony so that you can get some extremely thick and fat polyphonic sounds. A new and 'easier to use' user interface with endless rotary knobs and LED graphs offer total and immediate control.

The oscillator section has been completely redesigned. There are two separate oscillator groups, each providing you with six different waveforms, plus an additional built-in sync oscillator. A new type of synthesis akin to FM is also available called Sinus Modulation (SM). The Nord Lead 3 also features two high quality multi-mode filters with Low-, Band- and High-pass filtering. There's also Lowpass-Highpass and Lowpass-Lowpass filter modes and a Classic mode that emulates the characteristics of a classic analog filter. The Nord Lead 3 now offers up to 3 LFOs/Envelopes per voice plus Global Vibrato, syncable to MIDI clock.

Nord Lead 3 Image

The Nord Lead 3 also has four separate Morph groups. The Morph function lets you continuously control defined ranges of up to 26 parameters in a sound, using only a single control source. This lets you produce radical changes to a sound in a very fast and easy way. There are four Morph groups available for each sound and you may assign up to 26 different parameters, distributed as you wish among the four Morph groups. The Morph groups are hardwired to one control source each: Velocity, Aftertouch, Modulation Wheel and Expression Pedal. And with the new Timbre function you can switch between two complete parameter setups in a sound.

Also on-board are 4 individual audio outputs. Each MIDI part can be routed to a separate output or to two for stereo. The Software within the Nord Lead 3 can easily be upgraded via MIDI for future enhancements and upgrades. The Nord Lead 3 makes a great synth better than ever! A Nord Rack 3 is planned for release later this year. The Nord Lead 3 has already been used by Jean-Michel Jarre, Stereolab, Adrian Belew, the Faint, Keane, and the Pet Shop Boys.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Clavia Nord Lead 3? 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.

46 Visitor comments
July 30, 2009 @ 3:15 pm
Compared to other Virtual Analog synths, this one has some very nice warmth in it, and would be great for any rock/synth rock bands. I have sold mine, but only cause I want to focus on less gear, and nothing beats analog. Still, this is in my opinion one of the best VA synths out there. Even the Virus TI sounds to thin and squeeky, driver support is horrible, so its got to go.
Chris Faur
June 4, 2009 @ 3:28 pm
Very simple to use. This is what makes this synth to be very much fun. No need to go into menus or submenus....very smart design. The sound very good and it can create some really mean basses and leads, very good organ sounds and lush pads that you will adore. I have this and the g2x and I like them both.
February 3, 2009 @ 4:38 am
A great Synth, all the Sounds you know from Jarre to Vangelis, even for a beginner easy to program! And the most comfortable user interface of all NordLead Synthesizers.
The Leds round the knobs - superb, the small display and the Sound Manager software, you get total control on your sound, and what a sound, wouw!
The presets can be changed with newly programmed soundbanks available on Clavias homepage for free.
If you can get one, go for it!
January 19, 2009 @ 9:27 am
Great, and extremely easy to use synth.

a feature i find extremely handy is the mute function wich allows to bypass any osc, lfo and filter - helped me immensly in understanding what each part of the synth does and how it works.

some factory sounds are great but there are many cheesy lead sounds, but since its so easy to programm thats no problem

the possibility to easily store all programs on a computer is also very nice
October 1, 2008 @ 5:43 pm
A lot of people complain that this synth "isn't that great." Well, at making analog emulations, it may not be very accurate. Still, it's the easiest, most fun synth to program in existence. LED rotary encoders for the parameters? Yes please...

Indeed, a little digital delay on these babies yields one of the sexiest sounds in existence...
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Rated 3.81 (535 Votes)

  • 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 24 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 oscillator groups each with Six waveforms: sine, saw, triangle, square (pulse with width modulation), noise, synced noise, dual sine; 2- and 4-op FM and differential FM; osc-sync; ring-modulation; variable unison.
  • LFO - 2 per voice, syncable to MIDI. Triangle, saw, square, smooth and stepped random, and triple-peak sine waveforms. Seperate vibrato effect.
  • Filter - 2 multi-mode filters (series or parallel). Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass, LP-HP, LP-LP and Classic mode. 1-, 2-, or 4-pole.
  • VCA - ADSR envelopes for amplitude and filter; Amplifier Gain control
  • Keyboard - 49 keys with velocity and aftertouch and octave shift functionality
  • Memory - 1,024 patches, 256 performances
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU (4-parts)
  • Date Produced - 2001
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