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.

Lookup Clavia Nord Lead 3 Prices

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.

Related forum topics


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
November 4, 2010 @ 12:03 pm
i have a nord lead 1 2 and 3 they are all unique

the best experimental musician david sylvian had 2 nord 3 and a nord lead 1 on his tour 2004 the whole blemish album
was made with these you have to know how to use them and you can get the most amazing sounds out of all the nords.....
Erotic Cabaret
October 2, 2010 @ 12:34 pm
The Nord Lead 3 got a lot of [beep] throughout the 2000s for "not sounding analog," but I guarantee you its popularity goes up in the 2010s. It's not a good sounding synth until you REALLY get to know it, whereupon it becomes a sonic dream. (It took me years to get to this point.) Never has FM been so ridiculously easy to program.
June 26, 2010 @ 10:32 am
Yes!! I just purchased on of these off ebay, the full keyboard version. I am in love once again! I owned an original 2 for the longest time and got used to the 'subtractive synthesis' UI. But the NL3 is definately an upgrade from the 2, even though the 2 is more pronounced and analog sounding, the NL3 is by far superior in tweakability and options. Since im producing house and trance, this is the winner. I use it on the top rack of my 2-tier keyboard stand right above my virus ;)
April 2, 2010 @ 5:19 pm
Truly a great synth to progam. Probably the best implementation of endless encoders. Never fell in love with the sound though so eventually moved it along. Stuck with the nord modular though for it's unique capabilities
Douglas Romanow
March 6, 2010 @ 8:45 am
A truly wonderful sounding 'analog' synth, with great control and killer leads. Beautiful warm pads as well. A go-to axe for record production.
VSE Rating


User Rating

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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.