Clavia Nord Rack 3
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Seb-s 03/16/2005

Clavia Nord Rack 3 : Seb-s's user review


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+ 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.