Rebirth of a Legend.
Nexus 3 is a complete overhaul of the Nexus 2 engine and includes several new additions that the modern musician needs to produce a hit. Some of the new features that excite me the most are the scalable vector user interface, a brand new sequencer that is vastly superior to the one in the Nexus 2, and no more eLICENSER! That’s right, Nexus 3 activation is a breeze with the new reFX cloud.
There you can easily update your Nexus and install recently purchased extension packages without any hassle. Overall, you’ll find that installing and using your Nexus 3 is an enjoyable experience.
What the Nexus 3 can do?
Nexus 3 makes it easy for users to create unique sounds with their latest Nexus engine add-ons. Editing presets is easier than ever with the addition of four quick-access macro controllers and a total of 20 modulation slots. Even if you’re like me and rely mostly on presets rather than creating your own sounds (I’m not ashamed to admit it), the macros are conveniently located under the filter controls and easy to use.
The MOD parameters are easy to understand, especially for beginners who want to start learning the more advanced Nexus features. I spent way too much time managing the various parameters and creating some funky sounds. It’s really a platform for beginning sound engineers.
The effects engine has also improved a lot. It’s now easy to find and create sounds that are ready to be implemented in a full mix. The effects menu is clear and easy to use. I really wish reFX would release their effects engine as a separate plugin because I love the sound of their reverb.
From what I’ve put together, you’ll find all the factory content from Nexus 2 in addition to the new presets included in Nexus 3. Although the old factory sounds are very dated (I’m talking about the Basshunter & Cascada era here), I’m glad to have them included. Here’s what’s under the hood of the Nexus 3 without any additions:
- 2,799 sound presets divided into 22 categories
- 2,238 multi-samples (~18 GB uncompressed)
- 211 impulse responses
- 119 arpeggiator presets
- 95 effects presets
- 52 trance gate presets
Will the Nexus 3 work for me?
There’s a reason the Nexus is used by musicians like David Guetta, Tiësto, and Kigo. However, the starter package is nothing less than $250, which may be too much money for someone who has just started recording music.
If you are buying the Nexus 3 for the first time, you may find that the factory presets are a bit lacking for the modern musician. You’ll also want to consider purchasing expansion packs. I bought the Nexus 2 because I wanted to recreate my favorite dance songs from the ’90s and 2000s. The Nexus 2 had all the premium sounds of those eras and more.
While the Nexus 2’s outdated presets were satisfying on their own, I also wanted to delve into other genres of electronic music such as dubstep and electro-house. The starter package didn’t have any of the presets you typically hear in those genres, so I had to buy the Dubstep-Electro expansion pack.
It’s also important to remember that Nexus 3 includes new features that allow users to tweak older presets in more detail than in previous versions of Nexus. This is a very versatile plugin that works across several genres of music.
Is the Nexus 3 worth its money?
Let’s be honest here, the typical Nexus user relies on song-ready presets. If you currently have enough of the presets found in the Nexus 2, I would refrain from upgrading until the new expansion pack is available, which you know will take your work to the next level.
If you’ve been waiting for advanced features like macro controllers since the release of the Nexus 2, I think the Nexus 3 is worth the claimed $99. I really enjoyed using the expansion packs I bought for the Nexus 2 in the new engine. I feel like I can now breathe life into the old presets when I can control almost any parameter I want.
In other words, I was hesitant to upgrade to the Nexus 3 until I decided to take a leap of faith to see how I liked it. I think it’s fair to say that I’m going to use the Nexus a lot more than I used to.