Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

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OMNI26
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Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by OMNI26 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:37 am

Years ago, I played a Nord Lead 3 at a local Guitar Center, and recall being VERY impressed at the time. However, I have commonly heard that they "sound thin" when compared to the Nord Lead 2x. And, there must be some good reason why they were discontinued by Clavia in favor of the 2X. I have owned an original Nord Lead in the past and regretted selling it (I like that Nord Lead sound in general), and have thought about picking up a NL3 to use at gigs with my band. Anyone out there have an opinion of them? How about compared to the 2x?

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by Synthacon » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:35 pm

The 2X is very sexy, certainly Digital but with a hint of rawness about it. The Lead 3 is just a Digital synth with some nice knobs on it. Different design teams too means they are poles apart. I would'nt touch a Lead 3 if you paid me to be honest, the 2X on the other hand is rather special :)
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by kvnvk » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:47 pm

different strokes for different folks... :wink: personally I love my NL3, but then again I'm much less a player and more a sound designer, doing weird soundscape stuff, noise and droney, atmospheric dark ambient. the Lead 3 gives me the ability to craft all manner of crazy sounds with ease, having a G1 & G2 I'd call it the "lazy person's" Nord Modular, though it's still able to do all the traditional "meat and potatos" synth duties called upon. on sound quality I'd say it is definitely cleaner, less raw sounding than the Modular G1 (which probably more compares to the NL2) doing similar sounding patches. unfortunately I've never had my hands on a Lead 2/2X to be able to make a direct comparison. honestly I have and have owned synths I think sounded better than the NL3 (both Nord Modulars [if patched well], Waldorf Microwave XT & Blofeld, DSI Evolver), but there are those to which, imo, it sounded far, far superior (MicroKorg/MS200R, Radias, JP8000... off the top of my head). I know it's been said the NL3 is cold and digital sounding, but compared to something like the Radias the Lead 3 may as well be a Moog (I do still like the icy coldness of the Korg though). then there's the Virus B I owned, apples and oranges comparing how they sound, but as far as the quality of the sound of each I'd say they break even, although I did love the sound of the Virus, all the menu diving is what led me to sell it over the NL3 (now I did sell my Nord Rack 3, but that was only in order to upgrade to the keyboard version :D ). not sure whether any of my babbling will be of help to you specifically, though it may help someone else contemplating a purchase.

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by carbon111 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:47 pm

I had a Nord Lead 3 for a while but found its overall timbre pretty bloodless. Loved the UI though!

Replaced it with a 2X with good results...
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by Jack Spider » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:38 pm

I had a Nord Lead 3 despite its fantastic interface and aftertouch, I just felt that there was something 'missing' from its sound and was ultimately disappointed. I've always put it down to it just not being what I was looking for at the time - a more convincing analogue sound and should have gone for the 2X back then.

To summarise - a pleasure to use, but don't expect it to sound particularly 'analogue', as I suspect that's not what it was designed for. It excels at more digital sounds and features an implementation of FM synthesis, which will allow sounds not possible on others in the range.

If only the 2X had aftertouch and at least 61 keys...
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Post by crystalmsc » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:14 am

Jack Spider wrote:If only the 2X had aftertouch and at least 61 keys...
if like that, I'd get the keyboard version instead of the rack. also, sometime dreaming of a G1 in the G2x body :D
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by depecheNIN » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:02 am

The UI of the Nord Lead 3 is so good that it destroys any sonic arguments. Compared to other VAs, in a mix, it isn't going to make that much of a difference (especially with a good digital delay and a hint of verb).

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:30 am

I love the NL3. Haven't owned one because of the (still) high price, but used to play alot with one in the music store I used to hang out in. Almost filled up a whole userbank of sounds on it. The interface is just superb, the feeling of the push buttons is JUST right, and the encoder knobs are excellent quality. Sonically it's great, quite distinct sound from the pure oscillators. Very un-analog sounding sawtooth, it's almost "waspy" sounding. But when you mix them and apply filters and whatnot, it can sound very analog too. Many say it's too "smooth" compared to the NL2, but they are really different synths. The NL3 is made to emulate analog sound more than the NL2, so the overall sound is easier on the ears (as analog tends to be).

Its reverb also sounds nice. Here's a demo of the vintage type sounds from Clavia themselves.

http://media.putfile.com/Analogue-part-one

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by depecheNIN » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:28 pm

NL3 doesn't have reverb.

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by seamonkey » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:57 pm

depecheNIN wrote:The UI of the Nord Lead 3 is so good that it destroys any sonic arguments. Compared to other VAs, in a mix, it isn't going to make that much of a difference (especially with a good digital delay and a hint of verb).
You have to be kidding right???? I buy a synth because of how it sounds not because of the UI, although that is sometimes part of the equation.
I have to agree with everyone here, I had a NL3 and it didn't do it for me. I was able to coax a couple of favorites out of it but not enough to justify keeping it, btw the I agree the UI is absolutely gorgeous and easy to use.
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by depecheNIN » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:25 pm

I'm not kidding. Obviously, the 3 isn't the best sounding synth out there, but it's extremely easy to program when you need a very specific sound very fast (when recording) and it fits well in a mix with a little FX. I love mine.

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by Joey » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:02 pm

i have a 3 and have had a 2x before...

I liked the 2x better,

the 3 is very thin sounding, lacks a lot of low end, and has a very very crisp and biting high end

it has cooler filters and modulation options, but based on raw sound, the 2x is much much better to my ears

the 3 is very digital whereas the 2x can sound convincingly analog.
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by depecheNIN » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:00 pm

But, Joey, you know that the 3 works well in a mix. You can't deny that you can quickly create a sound when you need to record immediately.

Let me know what you think.

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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by Joey » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:42 pm

depecheNIN wrote:But, Joey, you know that the 3 works well in a mix. You can't deny that you can quickly create a sound when you need to record immediately.

Let me know what you think.
yeah but I can do that on all my other synths as well

i obviously like the synth, thats why i still have it
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Re: Nord Lead 3 opinions ?

Post by depecheNIN » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:24 am

How much did you buy yours for Joey, just out of curiosity?

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