NEXUS3 Reference Manual


NEXUS3 is a flexible, high-quality hybrid virtual analog synthesizer utilizing both real-time alias-free waveform generation and high-quality sample playback of recorded synths and real acoustic instruments. NEXUS3 also incorporates a suite of quality filters, effects, arpeggiator, and modulation features to produce unique, complex sounds with minimal impact to your CPU.

NEXUS3 is designed with ease of use in mind and requires no prior knowledge of synthesis, offering detailed and rich sounds straight out of the box. Included is a comprehensive factory library which can be further expanded with an extensive library of expansions that cover all genres of production.

Dive into the world of NEXUS3 and experience a totally new dimension of sound.

Under The Hood

NEXUS3 is built on a powerful synthesis engine featuring all the oscillators, filters, modulators, and effects you would expect in a modern virtual instrument. What makes NEXUS3 different is the perfect balance it strikes between flexibility and simplicity. Instead of presenting page after page of baffling parameters, NEXUS3 makes it easy to get to the most important parameters instantly, providing a great degree of editing potential with a minimum of complexity.

If you want to become an expert at editing NEXUS3 patches, you need to understand a bit about how sounds are constructed and how the signal flows. Below you find information on the basic concepts.

Every sound starts out with at least one oscillator. An oscillator can be a generated waveform (such as sine or square) or a multisample. NEXUS3 has 64 oscillators.

An oscillator's output is routed into one or more layers where it is filtered, processed with layer effects, and shaped with envelopes. Layers are very flexible. For example, a single sawtooth wave could be routed into multiple layers for parallel processing, or a 16 oscillator patch could utilize four layers, each containing four oscillators.

Once the layers are summed together, the signal is passed through the effects block where the following chain of effects processes the signal globally: two insert effects, filter, EQ, delay, reverb, impulse, two trailing inserts and limiter (to avoid clipping). The final signal is then fed to the output.

What's New in NEXUS3?

NEXUS3 incorporates all the core features of NEXUS2, including the quality playback engine, expansive preset browser, and fast and intuitive control of every sound. NEXUS3 builds on the success of NEXUS2 with some exciting new features:

New GUI Look

NEXUS3 has a completely new vector-based resizable GUI that is modern, sleek, and suitable for all screen resolutions. It is now much easier to see and access all the features of NEXUS3.

Improved Preset Librarian

The preset librarian browser has been redesigned to display more information on screen and includes a host of useful features such as new folder/category layout, larger display for more information, preset counts for folders and categories, preset search feature, and advanced filters to easily find sounds based on their character.

New "Features" Section

The Mixer from Nexus2 is now called "Features" and includes a much more detailed overview of a preset's layers and FX, allowing quick access to switch layer FX on/off and adjust layer mix settings.

Arpeggiator Overhaul

NEXUS3 incorporates an updated arpeggiator section that now offers access to adjust each layer arpeggiator separately. Arpeggiators now extend the pattern length from 32 steps to 256 allowing for more complex and evolving sounds.

New Sequencer

A new sequencer mode has been added to the arpeggiator, allowing multiple notes per step.

More Modulation and New Macros

Modulation has been doubled from ten to 20 slots to allow more sources to connect to more destinations. This is especially useful with the new Macro controls!

Improved Speed and Efficiency

Loading and browsing sounds has been improved, allowing much faster preset switching, especially with larger sound sources. The improved layout and design also make digging into settings much easier.

Native Instruments NKS Support

NEXUS3 supports Native Instruments' NKS, including lightguide (if your keyboard and host support it) and sound preview features. Non-NKS users can also take advantage of the sound previews within the NEXUS3 browser and hear samples of the presets when clicking on a preset before loading.

reFX Cloud and Online Activation

A new cloud-based manager and activator tool is available to manage your downloads and updates of NEXUS3 and expansion libraries. No need for an elicenser dongle to activate, just connect with your reFX account, download, and activate.

Welcome to reFX Cloud

Installing your reFX products is now a simple process with the reFX Cloud App.

With reFX Cloud you can easily manage all your available products, edit the content installation location, automatically download any new updates, and check the integrity of files for troubleshooting and automatic fixes.

Installing reFX Cloud

To install NEXUS3 and any expansions you need to first download and install the reFX Cloud app.

First, login with your details and visit the "Downloads" page of your account.

Download the reFX Cloud app for Mac or PC and install it to your computer.

Once installed, launch reFX Cloud and you are prompted for your reFX account details. Enter your account email and password to connect to your account.

Once you have logged in, you see the products you have available for installation:


Configuring reFX Cloud Settings and Installation Paths

Before starting the installation of your content, you must first set the path where you want the large library of NEXUS3 content to be installed. This should be a location that has a suitable amount of space available for the libraries. Keep in mind that to install all available NEXUS3 libraries requires 150+ GB of HDD space.

Open the settings menu using the "gear" icon at the top of the window:


The screen flips to the settings tab:


Network: You can set the appropriate speed profile for your internet connection here. Reduce it if you wish to limit the amount of bandwidth available to the reFX Cloud app. If unsure, just leave as default.

Library Folders: Set where you want the library content to be installed. This can be any available drive (including external hard drives) with enough space for the required libraries.

Options: Enable (blue toggle) and disable (gray toggle) system notifications, silent product installations (without displaying each installer), and downloading any updates automatically when launching the app.

Click the "gear" icon again to close the settings menu.

Upgrading From Nexus2 / Using Existing Library Path

If you are upgrading from NEXUS2, then the reFX Cloud app automatically detects your existing library installation and begins to verify and update your existing libraries for a smooth transition to NEXUS3.

All libraries for NEXUS2 are compatible with NEXUS3, but require some additional updates to add some extra functionality. Libraries are scanned and updated automatically.

If you are reinstalling NEXUS3 and have an existing library or had to move the library path, simply select the existing Library Folder path in the settings and allow the app to scan and verify the files.

Managing Downloads and Updates

Along the top of the reFX Cloud app are tabs to view your installed products, available updates, and queued downloads.


All: The default page. It lists all reFX products currently in your account. Left-click any icon to download and install the product. If it is installed already, you can right-click the icon and select "Verify" or "Uninstall". "Verify" checks the integrity of the file and fixes it in case issues are found. "Uninstall" deletes the product from your hard drive.

Installed: Shows all content currently installed. The right-click options "Verify" and "Uninstall" are available.

Not Installed: This tab shows any products you have in your account that are not currently installed. Left-click to install them.

Outdated: This lists all the items that have updates available. If auto-updates are enabled in preferences, then these are updated automatically. Otherwise, you can manually choose to update each item by left-clicking it.

Queued: This shows the currently queued files and updates to be downloaded with the ability to cancel any update.

Verifying Files

It is possible to verify the integrity of files by right-clicking any installed item in the reFX Cloud app and choosing "Verify". This scans and fixes the files if issues are found.

Batch Actions

If you wish to apply an action to all items at once, locate the 3-dot menu at the top of the section you are viewing and left-click it.


You can download, update, verify, or uninstall all items in that section with a single mouse click.

Delete / Uninstall Products

If you need to uninstall any products, just right-click on the product in the reFX Cloud app and choose "Uninstall". The files are removed from your computer and from the NEXUS3 library. The removed items are then listed under "Not Installed" for easy reinstallation.

Search Bar

If you would like to check if a specific expansion is installed, use the search bar at the top of the reFX Cloud app.

The name of the expansion does not need to begin with the search term. For instance, searching for "bass" returns the expansions "Bass" as well as "Drum and Bass" and "Future Bass".


Activating NEXUS3

The first time you load NEXUS3 in your DAW, you are asked for your login credentials to activate NEXUS3. Use the same email address and password you use for reFX Cloud or to log in on

To deactivate NEXUS3, simply load the plug-in in your DAW, click on the 3-dot menu next to your avatar in the top right corner, and select 'sign out'.

You may have NEXUS3 activated on a maximum of three computers at any time.

You can use NEXUS3 while you are offline but you need to have the plug-in connect to the internet at least once every 30 days to keep the authorization active.

Interface Overview

The NEXUS3 interface has been designed with a clean, modern look which is fully scalable. You can easily resize the interface by dragging the bottom right out.

The main interface is divided up into five main sections:


Top Section: The top of the interface shows the currently loaded preset along with the extended preset information, volume, and level meter. A "Favorite" marker (a heart symbol) is also available to mark a selected preset as a favorite for quick recall.


Tab Windows: Below the top section are tabs that select the different editor windows for NEXUS3 for the Librarian, Arp, Trancegate, Modulation, Effects, Features and System.

Main Section: The Librarian and tabbed windows are in the center. What is displayed in this section depends on which tabbed window is selected.

Global FX / Modulation: The control panels on the left and right of the screen are global filter and effects controls that apply to the overall sound and can be accessed throughout the instrument.

Macros and Keyboard: At the bottom of the window are the macro controls, mod / pitch wheel controls, and the virtual keyboard that can be used to play a preset with the mouse. The virtual keyboard also visualises incoming MIDI data.

Preset Librarian

The Librarian is the heart of NEXUS3 and has a host of useful features to help you find the sounds you need fast.


New in NEXUS3

Librarian Layout

There are three main sections to the librarian preset browser:

FOLDERS: Shows you the preset folders (expansions) that you have installed along with the total preset count of each folder. Selecting one of these folders narrows your selection to that folder.

CATEGORIES: Displays the sound categories available for the selected folder/s along with the total number of presets available.

PRESETS: Lists the available presets for the selection you have made. Presets display an abbreviated category stamp so you can instantly see what kind of sound it is even when you are not using any category filter.


Favorite Presets

NEXUS3 replaces the previous star rating system of NEXUS2 with a simple "favorites" system which improves efficiency when marking sounds for later consideration.


To mark a sound as a favorite simply click the "Heart" icon to the right of a preset name in the list or within the info header. Presets then appear with a favorite mark in the preset list, allowing you to use the filter controls to switch to only showing your favorite sounds.

Search For a Preset

In addition to selecting folders and categories, you can use the search box to search for presets based on the preset name. You can use wildcards ("*") to search for just a part of a name.



Filtering Results

A new filter feature allows you to filter sounds based on their character. It can filter to include or exclude the selected characteristic/s by clicking the buttons. Click once to select an attribute to filter by (the box gets highlighted), click again to exclude an attribute (the highlighted field turns red and the letters change from dark gray to white).

Sounds are characterised with the following descriptive tags if they are applicable to the sound:


Results can also be narrowed down to your favorite results by activating the "Favorites" filter at the far left.

For illustration, in the example above, the search results in all "bright" sounds that do not have the tags "dark" or "active".

The 3-dot menu at the far right offers the following four options:

Saving Presets

You can save any preset as your own version to be recalled at any time. Simply load a preset and adjust it as you wish. In the top info bar, press the 3-dot button and select "save preset".


The preset is saved to the "User presets" folder in the browser (at the bottom of the folder list). It retains the category filter.

You can rename/delete a saved preset by selecting the foler "User presets" folder, right-clicking on the preset, and selecting the desired option.

Bookmark Presets

A new "Bookmark" feature has been added in NEXUS3 which allows you to create your own custom folders and add presets of your choosing. This is a great way to build collections of your favorite types of sounds or for specific projects.

Creating a Bookmark Folder

Bookmark folders are simply a custom created folder where you can then add your selected presets.

In the "Folders" list, right-click and select "Create new bookmark folder". Bookmark folders are added at the end of the folder list. You can assign a name when creating the folder.


To rename or delete an existing bookmark folder, right-click the folder and choose rename / delete.

Adding Presets to Bookmark Folders

Simply drag a preset to the bookmark folder you wish to add it to. The destination folder is highlighted for easy use. If you haven't created any bookmark folders, a new folder is created.

Alternatively, right-click the preset you want to add to a bookmark folder and choose "Add to bookmarks >" and select which bookmark folder to add it to. You must have created at least one bookmark folder before the option becomes available.

Bookmarking a preset creates a shortcut to the sound and does not actually move the sound from its original location.

You can remove a preset from a bookmark folder by selecting the folder, right-clicking the preset, and selecting "Remove from bookmarks".

Main Controls

The main controls on the left and right of NEXUS3 offer "global modifier" controls that can be used to "override" a presets main sound characteristics. These controls are always displayed, no matter which page of NEXUS3 you are on.

Main controls apply "modifiers" to presets and affect all layers. By default, modifiers are at a 12'oclock setting. They can be adjusted up or down to affect the preset's settings. This means that if a layer has a low-pass filter set, then increasing the global filter does not increase past the point at which the layer's filter is set, but can decrease it further. This is used as a simple way to affect the sound without overriding the way in which it was designed to work.

Regardless of what you are doing with NEXUS3, here are a handful of interface tips that make your life easier:


Main Controls: Modifiers

Each layer in NEXUS3 has its own independent filter and amp controls to affect the sound of that specific layer. The main modifier controls offer a global way to adjust all layer controls in parallel.

Filter Modifier

The filter modifier adjusts the filter and envelope for each layer globally.

The filter modifier settings are stored with the preset. To prevent settings from being loaded with the preset, click on the context menu option to the right of the filter mod label and select "locked". You can completely disable the filter mod by selecting "global off".


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Amp Modifier

The amp modifier adjusts panning and basic amp volume envelope settings that affect the volume characteristics of the sound.

The amp modifier settings are stored with the preset. To prevent settings from being loaded with the preset, click on the context menu option to the right of the amp mod label and select "locked". You can completely disable the amp mod by selecting "global off".


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Main Controls: Effects

NEXUS3 contains two commonly used and high quality Reverb and Delay effects modules that are simple to use and offer high quality processing to the sound.


The Front Panel Delay has multiple modes for different types of delay, and offers modulation and filtering for adding movement and vibe to the repeats.

Front Panel Delay settings are stored with the preset. To prevent delay settings from being loaded with the preset, click on the context menu option to the right of the delay label and select "locked". You can completely disable the delay by selecting "global off".


If the Front Panel Delay is activated, all layer delays are deactivated. Front Panel Delay and layer delays cannot be used simultaneously.


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:


NEXUS3 includes seven high-end reverb effects, three of which are licensed from Arts Acoustic. They are unsurpassed in the world of virtual instruments - you cannot find a better quality built-in reverb anywhere.

The Front Panel Reverb processes the signal after the Front Panel Delay. It features all seven reverb types, and is highly customizable with a simple set of controls.

Front Panel Reverb settings are stored with the preset. To prevent reverb settings from being loaded with the preset, click on the context menu option to the right of the reverb label and select "locked". You can completely disable the reverb by selecting "global off".


If the Front Panel Reverb is activated, all layer reverbs are deactivated. Front Panel Reverb and layer reverb cannot be used simultaneously.


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Main Controls: Main Filter

The Main Filter processes the signal before it enters into the EQ, reverb, and delay effects, so high frequency tails can still be processed when a filter sweep is performed.

This filter is useful for shaping of the overall sound, and for automating filter sweeps. It is completely independent of the Filter Modifier section, and very easy to use. If you are looking for the quickest way to apply a filter tweak to a NEXUS3 preset, the Main Filter is a great place to begin.


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Main Controls: Macros

NEXUS3 includes four quick access macro controls that can be mapped to parameters within NEXUS3 using the Modulation Matrix section.


This allows a Macro control to be used as a quick access or "limited range" control based on the matrix setting and the original parameters set position. This can be useful to limit an envelope or filter sweep to a very specific range.

Mapping Macros

To map a macro control to a function open the Modulation tab.


  1. In "MOD-MATRIX" on the right-hand side, select the macro control (mcr1-mcr4) and ensure the active button is ON.

  2. Select the desired destination parameter.

  3. Set the modulation amount that increases / decreases the destination parameter.


The modulation amount allows the macro control to increase or decrease the destination parameter by a set amount from the destination's current setting. This means you can set it to affect a parameter in either a positive way (increase parameter) or negative way (decrease parameter).

If you wish to apply a full range of control for the macro, you should set the destination control to zero (or the lowest point you want the destination to reach), then increase the bias to +127.

An orange activity indicator shows the macro effect on a control when used.

Arpeggiator (arp)

NEXUS3 incorporates an improved and sophisticated arpeggiator section that provides melodic patterns from sustained notes. You can create patterns from scratch or load one of the many Arpeggiator presets and adjust it to your taste.

New In Nexus3

Layer vs Main Arpeggiator

Layer Arpeggiators

Each layer in a preset sound can have a separate arpeggiator enabled and NEXUS3 now offers user access to each layer's arpeggiator for manipulation. You see tabbed buttons at the top of the arp window for each available layer along with "main". Each layer's arpeggiator is completely separate but they all play together when the sound is played.

Main Arpeggiator

The main arpeggiator applies to the whole preset (all layers). When enabled, it overrides all layer arps and changes their settings to "disabled".

All arpeggiator features are the same for all layers.

Arpeggiator Options


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Arpeggiator Presets

Below those options is a preset selector section where you can select from dozens of factory arpeggiator patterns. Use your mouse or the arrow keys to step through and try different presets.

Arpeggiator Pattern Editor

The arpeggiator pattern editor enables the customization of arpeggiator patterns. You can extend, remove, transpose notes, and alter their velocity. This feature can create subtle variations or be used as a powerful built-in step sequencer to create new melodies.

The editor section is divided into columns for each step, and rows for each octave.

Editing Tools

Pencil: The pencil tool can be selected from the toolbar or by pressing "1" on the keyboard. Left-clicking the pencil tool in an empty area creates new notes one at a time. Left-clicking in an empty area and dragging creates a new note and allows it to be moved. Click and dragging on an existing note allows it to be re-sized or moved.

Paint: The paint tool can be selected from the toolbar or by pressing "2" on the keyboard. Left-clicking and dragging the paint tool will create a series of notes al with the same pitch. Holding down shift allows notes of different pitches to be created. Like the pencil tool, the paint tool can move and re-size notes.

Select: The select tool can be selected from the toolbar or by pressing "3" on the keyboard. Left-clicking and dragging will select all notes in the marquee rectangle. Holding shift will add the newly selected notes to the already selected notes. Like the pencil tool, the select tool can move and re-size notes.

Eraser: The eraser tool can be selected from the toolbar or by pressing "4" on the keyboard. Left clicking any note will erase it.

All Tools: With all tools, holding CTRL (PC) / CMD (MAC) and left draging will select notes. Right-clicking in an empty area will clear the selection. Right-click on any notes will erase them.

Editing Notes

Add Note: While using the pncil or paint tool, left-click on the cell where you wish to place a note. If a note exists in that column (step), it moves to where you clicked (unless sequence mode is set).

Remove Note: With the eraser tool, left-click and note to remove it. With any other tool right-click on a note to remove it. Or, notes can be selected with select tool and then deleted by pressing the delete key.

Transpose Note: Select a note using left-click. Use the Up / Down arrow keys to move an octave at a time or drag the note using the mouse to move by semitone. When notes are set by semitone, you see a number on the note indicating + or - how many semitones it is from the closest octave.

Stretch Note: You can stretch a note over multiple steps to create a sustain. First, you need to remove any notes in the adjacent step/s, then position the mouse at the side edge of the note until you see a resize icon. Click and drag the edge of the note to the desired step. Notes do not drag past a step that already contains a note (unless in sequence mode).

Move notes: You can move notes by selecting and dragging them. Or you can select notes and then use shift + mouse wheel to move the notes forward and backwards.

Importing MIDI: Existing MIDI sequences can be imported by dragging the MIDI file from Windows Explorer / macOS Finder and dropping the MIDI file onto the pattern (sequencer only)

Note Velocity

Below each note at the bottom of the pattern editor is the note velocity setting. This sets the velocity (volume) of each note. Click in any spot of the velocity section to set the velocity to that point or click and drag up / down to adjust the notes velocity. Velocity can also be edited by holding "Alt" and using the scroll wheel.

Zoom / Scroll Pattern

To zoom in on a pattern horizontally hold CTRL (PC) / CMD (MAC) and use the mouse wheel to zoom in / out. To zoom vertically, hold SHIFT + CTRL (PC) / CMD (MAC) and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Press the "Zoom" button in the top right of the pattern editor to return the zoom view to the full pattern view. Pressing "G" & "H" will zoom in and out horizontally, while SHIFT + "G" & "H" will zoom vertically.

The pattern can be scrolled by using the horizontal and vertical scroll wheels or by pressing "S" and then left-clicking and dragging the pattern into position.

Loop Region

It is possible to create an arp pattern that has a lead-in section (only plays a single time) and a loop section (loops while the note is sustained). This can be handy to create buildups and fade ins.


Above the note editor is the pattern timeline where you find a position head (right facing triangle icon). This sets the start of a loop where the pattern returns to when the end of the pattern is reached. Drag this with the mouse left or right to position the loop marker. The loop is set from this point to the end of the pattern.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Note: On macOS, use Command key instead of Control key.


New Mode: Sequencer

Setting the arp mode to "seq" opens the brand-new sequencer editor, allowing you to create complex patterns, such as chords. In sequencer mode, you can set multiple notes per step and edit the starting point of each note.


For easy editing, zoom in and out on the x-axis using crtl + mousewheel, or crtl + shift + mousewheel to zoom in and out on the y-axis. Click the "zoom" button in the top right to reset the view.

Trance Gate

NEXUS3 features a powerful sequenced audio gate which is useful for turning sustained notes into rhythmic patterns. Unlike the arpeggiator, which generates patterns of MIDI notes, the Trance Gate works by rhythmically lowering and raising the volume of the audio signal.

Layer vs Main Trance Gate

Layer Trance Gate

Each layer in a preset sound can have a separate trance gate enabled and NEXUS3 now offers user access to each layer's trance gate for manipulation. You see tabbed buttons at the top of the trance gate window for each available layer along with "main". Each layer's trance gate can be edited separately but all layers play together when the sound is played.

Main Trance Gate

The main trance gate applies to the whole preset (all layers). When enabled, it overrides and, thus, disables all layer trance gates.

All trance gate features are the same for all layers.

Trance Gate Options


The controls explained, from the top left to the bottom right:

Trance Gate Presets

Below those options is a preset selector section where you can select from dozens of factory trance gate patterns. Select a preset with your mouse or use the arrow keys to try different presets.

Trance Gate Pattern Editor

The trance gate pattern editor is divided into steps based on the length setting. A step is either "on: white" (allowing sound to pass) or "off: dark" (blocking or lowering the sound depending on the mix setting).

Editing Steps

Clicking on a step with the left mouse button toggles the step. The level of the note can be adjusted by clicking and dragging the colored bar at the top / bottom of each step.

When mode is set to "stereo", a thin line runs horizontally across the center of the pattern rditor, dividing it into two channels (shown above). The left channel runs along the top and the right channel runs along the bottom.

Loop Region

It is possible to create a Trance Gate pattern that has a lead-in section (only plays a single time) and a loop section (loops while the note is sustained). This can be handy to create buildups and fade ins.


Above the step editor is the pattern timeline where you find a position head (right facing triangle icon). This sets the start of a loop where the pattern returns to when the end of the pattern is reached. Drag this with the mouse left or right to position the loop marker. The loop is set from this point to the end of the pattern.


The modulation section allows routing of macros, hardware controls, and LFOs to parameters within NEXUS3.


NEXUS3 has a few simple settings that allow you to enable vibrato (pitch modulation) for any sound.


Pitch Bend

Pitch bend range allows the bend range limits to be set for the pitch bend control of a keyboard. Unlike traditional pitch bend ranges that simply limit the up or down pitch ranges, NEXUS3 allows a positive or negative range to be applied to either direction of the pitch bend control. This makes it possible, for instance, to invert the pitch bend control or even cause an upward movement to do a fine bend down while a downward movement can do a course bend down.



When portamento (sometimes called "glide") is enabled, the pitch of each note slides into the next.




User LFOs

NEXUS3 has two assignable LFOs: "User LFO1" and "User LFO2". The LFOs are assigned to destinations using the Modulation Matrix.


Key Zones

This allows you to set the active key range/s of the instrument/s in the preset.


SINGLE ZONE presets have a single key zone which normally takes up the entire keyboard range. However, the bottom and top shelves can be adjusted to limit the range of the presets. This can be useful to layer with other instruments.


MULTI ZONE presets have multiple key zones for different instruments. They are split over the range of the keyboard. You can adjust each zone individually and even overlap the ranges.

Keyzone ranges are reflected by the led indicators above the keyboard in NEXUS3. For NKS attached keyboards that have lightguide, this is also reflected by the LEDs on the physical keyboard.

You can turn individual key zones on and off using the toggle on the left-hand side.

Mod Matrix

The modulation matrix includes 20 modulation slots to connect source inputs to destination parameters. This allows functions in NEXUS3 to be connected to pitch/mod wheel, CC control, aftertouch, LFO and macro control inputs.


NOTE: Modulated parameters display an orange ring around the control to indicate the level/range of modulation being applied to the parameter.

Mod Sources

Available modulation sources are: Modwheel (mw+/ -mw), Aftertouch (at+/ -at), Pitch Bend (pb), Midi CC (cc), Host-Automation (au), the two LFOs (LFO) and the four Macro Controls (mcr).

Source Description
"---" No source selected
mw+ Mod-Wheel
-mw Inverted Mod-Wheel
at+ Aftertouch
-at Inverted Aftertouch
pb Pitch Bend
cc16 MIDI CC #16
cc17 MIDI CC #17
cc18 MIDI CC #18
cc19 MIDI CC #19
cc20 MIDI CC #20
cc21 MIDI CC #21
cc22 MIDI CC #22
cc23 MIDI CC #23
au1 Host Automation Source 1
au2 Host Automation Source 1
au3 Host Automation Source 1
au4 Host Automation Source 1
au5 Host Automation Source 1
au6 Host Automation Source 1
au7 Host Automation Source 1
au8 Host Automation Source 1
LFO1 User LFO 1
LFO2 User LFO 2
mcr1 Macro Control 1
mcr2 Macro Control 2
mcr3 Macro Control 3
mcr4 Macro Control 4


The Effects section in NEXUS3 is a powerful and easy to navigate FX chain that allows quick and easy adjustment of a loaded sound in a single editor window. The Effects section has been vastly improved from NEXUS2 and introduces a whole new display mode for editing effects.


New in NEXUS3

Effects are applied in series, in the order displayed on screen:


The audio signal flows from left to right through each effect. Clicking an effect block bypasses the effect (turning it grey). Below each effect is a signal meter to show signal activity in the chain.

Effect Editor

Each effect has a graphical editor that appears in the edit window when the effect is enabled in the chain. Effects appear in order of processing from input (top) to output (bottom).


Each effect has a set of dedicated parameters and options on the left and a graphical overview of the effect on the right.

As parameters are adjusted, the graphical overview is affected accordingly.

Effects such as EQ and Impulse allow adjustment of the effects parameters using handles on the graphical overview:


Insert Effects

There are four custom insert FX slots that are identical in operation but provided at different ends of the audio chain. There are 14 different types of insert effects that can be selected.

Inserts 1 and 2 are at the start of the effects chain and process the signal before any additional effects. This means that all filters and effects after these inserts affect the whole signal. Insert 1 feeds into Insert 2.

Inserts 3 and 4 are at the end of the effects chain and applied to the signal after all other effects. These insert effects are only affected by the limiter. Insert 3 feeds into Insert 4.

Insert Effects Types

There are 14 different effects that can be selected for the insert effects devices. Use the dropdown menu to select one of the following effects.


Adds thickness and width to the sound by adding very short time-modulated delays.


Similar to Chorus, but a portion of the delayed signal is mixed back into the input, creating complex resonance.


Creates sweeping phase cancellation effects with LFO-modulated notch filters.


A more complex chorus effect, with a greater number of delays and more modulation.


A bit-depth and sample-rate reduction effect with an additional distortion option.


Creates non-linear distortion around an adjustable center frequency.

Analog Phaser (analog phsr)

A smoother-sounding, more customizable version of the phaser effect.

Stereo Enhancer (st enhcr)

Widens or narrows the stereo field across an adjustable frequency range.

A visual overview of the low/high frequency trim settings is displayed in the graphical overview and can be adjusted using the mouse.


A modulation effect which only preserves the sum and difference of the original signal and the modulator. It produces unusual, inharmonic results.


Reduces the gain of any audio that falls below an adjustable threshold.


Reduces the gain of any audio that rises above an adjustable threshold.

A visual overview of the low/high frequency trim settings is displayed in the graphical overview and can be adjusted using the mouse.


A vowel filter with LFO modulation.


Provides a more extreme form of compression in which the signal is never allowed to rise above a given threshold.


Overdrive is hard to explain. Our recommendation: play around with it!

Filter Effect

The filter effect block is tied to the main Main Filter controls and mirrors the settings of these controls. It is provided as a convenient way of visualising and manipulating the signal flow. When adjusting the main filter controls, you see it change in the filter effect block.

See the "Main Controls: Filter" section for an overview of parameters.

EQ Effects

There are four single band EQ effects blocks that are identical in operation. These EQ blocks can be combined to form a four band parametric EQ to filter and shape the EQ characteristics of the signal.

Delay / Reverb Effects

The delay and reverb effects blocks are both tied to the main Main Delay / Reverb controls and mirror the settings of these controls. It is provided as a convenient way of visualising and manipulating the signal flow. When adjusting the main controls, you see the changes in the effect blocks.

See the "Main Controls: Effects" section for an overview of parameters.

Impulse Reverb Effect

This type of reverb is sometimes called "convolution reverb". It uses samples of real spaces and classic gear, called "impulse responses". This extremely powerful method of generating reverberation allows for a wide range of reverb types that go far beyond typical halls and rooms.

Limiter Effect

The limiter is inserted in the signal path at the final output stage to prevent clipping. It is "on" by default, and configured to be minimally active; only preventing the loudest peaks.

Features (Layer Mixer)

The "Mix" screen from Nexus2 has now been renamed "Features" and includes all the same functionality as the previous mixer with a cleaner display that is easier to understand:


The "Features" screen displays the active layers in a preset, the active oscillators in each layer, and the signal flow and effects of each layer. Each layer also displays a signal meter when playing a sound so you know which layers are playing a sound for a given key range.

On this screen, you can enable and disable individual layers, oscillators, and effects as well as adjust the level, panning, and tuning of oscillators.

Presets can contain just a single layer or a maximum of 16 layers which can be used in different ways to form layered sounds, drum kits, or split keyranged instruments. It is worth experimenting with preset layers and discovering some new sounds that you can create with just a few clicks.

Enable \ disable Layers

At the top of the display are the layer switches. Click on these to toggle a layer on and off. When a layer is disabled, its switch is dimmed and the layer is removed from the editor window.

Layer Oscillators and Effects

A layer shows the complete signal flow from input to output.

Next, you see the oscillators for the layer labeled as "osc". Clicking on an osc label toggles that oscillator on and off.

The controls (red) available for adjustment for each oscillator are: Volume, Pan, Transpose and Detune. Some presets may have multiple layers to an oscillator where you see two independent volume controls for a single oscillator.

The signal flows out the oscillators and through any effects loaded for the layer. You cannot adjust the layer effects as they are designed with a complete sound in mind, but you can disable the effects by clicking the label for the effect to toggle it on and off.


The system menu holds options that affect the display and global functionality of NEXUS3 on your system.



Instance settings affect that specific instance of the plugin. These settings are not saved as global settings for the plugin, but only for the instance loaded.



Appendix A - MIDI implementation chart

Function Txd Rxd Remarks
Basic Channel Default: x 1-16 Messages are always
Change: x 1-16 received on all channels
Mode Default x Mode 1 OMNI Mode is always on
messages x x
Note number Sound range x 0-127
Velocity Note On: x o
Note Off: x o
Aftertouch Key: x x
Channels: x o
Pitchbend x o
Control Change o o
Program Change Actual No. x x
System Exclusive x x
System Common Song Pos: x x
Song Sel: x x
Tune: x x
System Realtime Clock: x x
Commands: x x
Aux Messages Local On/Off x x
All Sound Off x o
All Notes Off x o
Act. Sensing x x
Reset: x x

Appendix B - MIDI continuous controller support

In addition to the messages specified in the MIDI implementation chart, the following MIDI continuous controller messages are recognized, affecting the parameters listed below. By sending MIDI-CC messages from your host application, you can change or even automate these parameters at any time.

CC# Name
7 Channel Volume
8 AMP Spread
9 Output volume
10 AMP Pan
11 Expression
24 AMP Sustain
25 Delay Feedback
26 Delay Highcut
27 Reverb Decay
28 FLT Attack
29 FLT Decay
30 FLT Sustain
31 FLT Release
44 FLT Envelope
45 FLT Cutoff
46 FLT Resonance
71 Main Filter Resonance
72 AMP Release
73 AMP Attack
74 Main Filter Cutoff
75 AMP Decay
91 Reverb Mix
94 Delay Mix
96 Previous preset
97 Next preset
98 Previous category
99 Next category
120 All Sound Off
123 All Notes Off

Appendix C - category prefixes

This is a list of prefixes used by us to categorize the factory content and expansions:

Prefix Name
AR Arpeggio
AT Atmosphere
BA Bass
BR Brass
CL Classical Instrument
DL Drumloop
DR Drum
FX FX Sound
GT Guitar
LD Lead
LL Live Loop
LP Live Loop Menu
MA Mallet
OC Orchestra
OR Organ
PD Pads
PL Plucked
PN Piano
SQ Sequence
ST Strings
SY Synth
TG Trancegate
VO Vocal / Choir
WW Woodwinds


The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of reFX. The software described by this document is subject to a License Agreement and may not be distributed. No part of this documentation may be copied, reproduced or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose, without prior written permission by reFX.