Clavia Nord Rack 3

Clavia Nord Rack 3

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Nord Rack 3, Analog Modeling Synth Rack/Sound Module from Clavia in the Nord Lead series.

4 user reviews
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Clavia Nord Rack 3 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Clavia
  • Model: Nord Rack 3
  • Series: Nord Lead
  • Category: Analog Modeling Synth Racks/Sound Modules
  • Added in our database on: 04/16/2004

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed


Clavia Nord Rack 3 user reviews

Average Score:4.5( 4.5/5 based on 4 reviews )
 3 reviews75 %
 1 user review25 %
Value For Money :

TheMask's review"It's a bomb!"

Clavia Nord Rack 3
What kind of keyboard is it (synth, piano...)? - How many octaves does it have?


Is it easy to make settings?
Excellent usability


Do the sound presets fit your music style?
It complements a TI and a Voyager


How long have you been using it?
One year

Which feature do you like the most / the least?
This synth is amazing, it fits perfectly any mix, you simply need to know how to get the best of it. It has been criticized often, but I can tell you that it is widely used in professional studios and by sound designers...

Based on your experience, would you buy this product again?
Yes, one of the best VAs, in my view.

Anonymous 's review

Clavia Nord Rack 3
This rack is easy to use, easy to edit the parameters and control them. Midi in / out / thru, it has 4 independent audio outputs.


You can easily edit 4 sounds on different slots and assign them to each output. With a sequencer like Cubase, it's a real fun toy to play with. It's a very good synth to learn and experiment with analog modeling. It has a clear and thick manual.


It's a very good synth for techno. You can really exploit it in all senses and spend hours with it and come back to it again and again...knowing that you are far from making use of all its capacities. It has a typical Clavia sound, I know because I have the smaller Micro.


I've used it several weeks and I'm selling it because I find it unstable in terms of power supply, some people say it needs an inverter but it actually needs a regulator. It's a pity that, for this price, it isn't as solid as in 1983...I took off some points due to that.

Anonymous 's review

Clavia Nord Rack 3
The clavia website is the best place to look for this... ;)


- Is it easy to make settings?
1 function 1 control, it is often repeated but it's the synth's greatest advantage.
Some menus to configure the unit, the audio outputs, the MIDI I/Os and everything can be accessed from the front panel!

It's really the best to program quickly very personal sounds
- Is it easy to edit sounds or effects?
Editing is the best, despite the absence of effects, I think the sound can be edited very deeply thanks to the LFO and other modulations

The Morph group is evidently the synths greatest asset, you can assign a control to several settings, each one of which can be individually programmed (its intensity, direction)... It's excellent!

The arpeggiator is also awesome, it's great on round and warm leads.

It doesn't have any effects, but I don't miss them. You can find all the effects you need in any sequencer.

The only thing it lacks, in my view, is more original oscillators...

- Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive?
Clear and comprehensive enough, very good!


- Do the presets fit your music style?
Oh, yes they do! Complemented with my Virus, I have the best of 2 worlds, the round and warm sounds of the Nord Rack 3 and the aggressive and brutal sounds of the Virus...

This synth is specially good for pads of all genres and nice arpeggios that can acquire a very personal color. It's a great instrument!

- Are they authentic?
I think there are better synths for that, but that's not the reason I bought it!

- Are the effects effective and do they suit your application?
No effects, except for a (nice) distortion and a detune (which isn't any good, in my opinion...)

- Is the expressiveness good? (velocity and aftertouch sensitivity)?
Very good expression, especially when you assign its parameters (velocity, aftertouch) with the Morph Group.

- Which sounds do you prefer / hate?...
The best:

The big pads, strings, the warm and round leads, but also the somewhat distorted sounds. I was surprised that some people here complain about the basses, with a bit of effort you can get really good things out of it!!!

The filters are very good, the envelopes, too. Nothing to say in this regard, the sound is excellent!

I only regret the detune!!!

To be honest, when you activate it the sound loses consistency and volume, and I find the effect dull and tasteless, nothing like the one on the Virus, for example...


- How long have you been using it?
1 month

- Which features do you like the most / the least?
It's personal touch, the warmth of its sound

- Did you try any other models before buying it?
No, just the Virus Ti, which I bought as well!!!

- How would you rate its value for money?
Excellent at first, but maybe less now because you can find more "technological" synths at the same price point today, but I bought it due to its sound, and it's really worth it!!!

- Based on your experience, would you choose this product again?
Yes, I would!!!

Seb-s's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Clavia Nord Rack 3
+ Good polyphony: 24 voices
+ Oscillators fairly comprehensive section.
+ FM simple options (up to 4 operators).
+ Unison mode adjustable (adjustable detune).
+ Memorandum of understanding configurable, ability to stack as many notes as permitted by the polyphony. An agreement may consist of a single note, played n times, which can magnify the sound.
+ Morph assign the function, which allows to combine all the parameters you want to mod wheel, to velocity, aftertouch or the expression pedal (you must choose between the two), and the keyboard tracking (height of the notes played). Each of the four sources can modulate both parameters n, ranges in free and independent. What make the game very expressive.
+ 1024 memory locations for programs, sortable by category.
+ App is available as a free download at the keyboard. It allows to transfer programs and the performance of the synth to the computer, and vice versa. It is also possible to classify and rename the sounds via software. Installation and use are very simple, it is a small program that does just what he has to do and does it well. For cons, the only available version is for PC / Windows.
+ 4 audio outputs configurable.
+ / - The arpeggiator is quite comprehensive (and sub functions including mask), but not fully programmable.
+ / - MIDI is generally well implemented. All parameters are controllable by editing control change messages (CC). Each of the four slots (share) can be set to a MIDI channel of your choice. The LFO and arpeggiator can be synchronized. on the other hand, when the arpeggiator is synchronized to an external MIDI clock, sometimes it behaves strangely. For example, the arpeggio playing is different depending on where you start the sequence. I do not know if there is really a bug at this level (I have not dug the subject), but in any case, the few times I was embarrassed, I finally found a solution. However, I use the little arpeggiator.
- Of 4 multitimbral parts only.
- No section effects (reverb I miss certain types of sounds).
- No audio input.
- Some weaknesses in the modulation capabilities. The Nord Lead 3 does not offer a true modulation matrix. He has an ADSR envelope to the amp and one for an envelope filter AD + 2 and LFO that can modulate other parameters, but that one must choose from a list fixed and not quite complete. The possibilities are already extensive, but some configurations are prohibited. For example, it is impossible to modulate the speed of an LFO with an envelope, the envelope modulation can be used to modulate the amplitude of the LFO 1, but not its speed. Other examples: an LFO can not modulate another LFO, resonance can only be modulated by LFO 2, etc.. Fortunately, there is the function assign morph, which may offset.
- No sine wave for the LFO. We use the triangle wave, but it's not quite the same. I do not understand this choice too.


+ Everything is accessible via the front panel of the many buttons and knobs. The most complicated manipulations require only two keys. All functions are listed in front (we quickly forget the doc). The menus are only used for editing the arpeggiator or global setting of the synth, and even there they are very simple.
+ Monitor the Shift and / Copy / Mute / Paste are well thought out. They provide instant access to convenient features.
+ To assign a parameter morphing, just click on the source (velocity for example) and turn the knobs or the choice to choose the max or min. Can be viewed at any time the different assignments made by simply pressing the same buttons. To remove assignments, Shift + button of the source and is solved!
+ On display at any time all the sound settings with LED circular. In addition, when moving a knob, the display shows the precise value of the parameter.
+ Functions and FM sound init init help from very basic settings when you want to create a new sound. Personally, I find it much better than modifying an already complex, and I use it consistently.
+ I really appreciate being able to work on a sound while a sequence runs. I often leave some play action in a loop while I make a sound. So right now if I hear the sound I'm working on glue or not with other instruments and the mood of the song. I can also adjust the filters in real time to try to bring out the best sound, and when the result pleases me, I save the new program. I said that this principle works very well even for sounds using an arpeggiator and LFO sync with MIDI.
+ When choosing a location to store a new program, you can hear the sound will be overwritten. Just do it, but it is unfortunately not the case on all synths.
+ The manual is quite complete and clear. It's pretty simple to understand and present some basic concepts for the beginner in synthesis.

After a few days of use, everything falls really handy, I used electronic devices, and I must say I have never seen an interface as well thought out. It is a joy every day. What quickly create sounds without taking the lead.


A clean, clear, clear in the treble. It is easy to make it stand out among other instruments because of the quality of its oscillators and filters. Especially since he has a good potato!

I've never had a synth or other VA before (only a Trinity V3 synthetic modeling - MOSS), so I will not make comparisons risky. All I can say is that I listen to lots of music based on analog synths, and I automatically found certain types of sounds that I was used. In any case we can do great things with this synth. Of ground plans, sound effects, expressive leads, techno arpeggios, keyboards, bells, bass, ... On low, I saw a lot of people criticize him. Personally, I do not claim that it is his strong point, but I think we can do good things still in this area. Of course, for example, a simple sine is quite low in the lower octaves, but playing around with the FM distortion or resonance now, you get to ring the synth also in serious! Again I have little in comparison, but in any case I use a lot my Nord Lead for low and I'm happy.

As I said before, the lack of effect section can fail for certain types of sounds, so you may need to allow at least a little reverb. However, the Nord Lead can be used alone in many areas.

Please do not abuse the detune mode (very present on the presets), who often embellishes the sound at first, but, I think, tends to erase his character, and that adds a little metal on one side, "digital" maybe ... ?


I am filled with this synth. It's so simple to use, so intuitive that it would be perfect for beginners (in summary) if not as expensive. It is beautiful, it sounds good (clear), it does not hide behind effects (er. .. so, it has not in fact). I only regret the limitation of 4 channels.

When buying, I hesitated a long time with a virus C. Finally, I think I made the right choice for the Nord Rack 3 is completely my expectations. In my opinion, these two synths are complementary.

Finally, I would say that it looks pretty solid and it is pleasant to the touch. on the other hand I noticed that some knobs would not give me the exact same feeling when I other handles, but it is really detailed. Finally, it heats a lot, especially in summer, but I use it for about 2 years and I had no problems so far.

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Other names: nord rack 3, nordrack3, nordrack 3, nord rack3

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