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Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dewster] #1606191
01/26/11 06:20 PM
01/26/11 06:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
PianoZac Offline
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Nashville, Tennessee
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Congrats again Zachary - it sounds like you're very happy with your new NP88!

Regarding memory, after the XL-sized Bosie is loaded, how much memory remains for other sounds? Could you still fit a couple of top quality Rhodes and Wurly patches in there?
Cheers,
James
x

Thanks again James! It's really a fine piece of equipment. The Bosie takes up 196.8MB of the 500MB available. So right now I have:
Grand Lady D (Steinway Model D) - LG size
Studio Grand 2 (Yamaha C7) - LG size
Imperial Grand (Bosendorfer Imperial) - XL size
Queen Upright (Bosendorfer) - Med size
Romantic Upright (Schimmel) - Med size
Sparkletop Vintage Rhodes
Warlitzer
Clavinet
French Harpsichord

I'm pretty much maxed out right now on space...I think I'm around 496MB, but these are the sounds I only ever use, and really I never use many Clav/Harp sounds so those will go to make room for another Rhodes. It's so cool to put what I want on it when I want it! smile
Originally Posted by dewster

Nord is doing almost everything right except for bulk Flash space, which IMO severely limits their sample set sizes. We will definitely consider a Nord DP when they put at least 10x the Flash in there (or better yet, have a USB3 memory stick slot) and when they are offering free downloadable 4GB pianos.

I agree Dewster. I think there's no reason why Nord couldn't have installed at least a 5GB flash drive. It would have been nice, but I'll take the NP88 as is. It's really terrific. You should hear the string/sympathetic resonance modeling as was as the exceptional pedal modeling. It's stunning.


Kawai MP7SE
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Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: PianoZac] #1606232
01/26/11 07:12 PM
01/26/11 07:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,140
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoZac
I think there's no reason why Nord couldn't have installed at least a 5GB flash drive.

The kind of flash memory needed for programs to access the data "in place" (rather than copying it into RAM) is very expensive. It is NOR rather than NAND flash, and is seen as RAM rather than as a drive.

I just happened to be talking about this in another forum. Someone researched it and found that the kind of flash Yamaha uses in their Motif XF (similar technology) goes for $13 for a 1 gigabit chip when purchased in volume. You would need 4 such chips for 512 mb. So the raw component cost of the RAM in the NP88 is probably $52. To increase that to 5 gB would instead make that about $520. Considering the markups all the way through the distribution chain, that would have added noticeably more than that to the final price.

Then there's the question of possibly needing to do additional engineering in the board to be able to support the extra RAM and to be able to transfer much larger amounts of data between the instrument and the computer in a reasonable amount of time.

BTW, Yamaha's 512 mB board, with $52 worth of raw memory chips, sells for $150. Based on that, putting ten times that amount in the Nord Piano could easily have added $1350 to the price. (Based on $1500 for 10x the amount, - $150 for the amount that's already in the Nord Piano.)

The cheaper flash that is used in flash drives can be used, but requires a whole different architecture than what Nord has done so far, involving a virtual memory system and streaming from the flash storage mechanism into RAM. So far, the only keyboard to implement this approach is the forthcoming Linux-based Korg Kronos, itself a $3,000+ keyboard. Computer-based systems use this approach as well. But as many people know, it is often not glitch-free, especially if you're trying to do it on low cost hardware. We're getting there, but the Yamaha, Nord, and Kurzweil engineers who have so far taken the NOR flash approach probably didn't do it just because they felt like buying more expensive RAM than they needed to.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: anotherscott] #1606260
01/26/11 08:03 PM
01/26/11 08:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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dewster  Offline
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Northern NJ
Originally Posted by anotherscott
The kind of flash memory needed for programs to access the data "in place" (rather than copying it into RAM) is very expensive. It is NOR rather than NAND flash, and is seen as RAM rather than as a drive.

NAND Flash is designed the way it is (slow random access and fast sequential access) because lightning fast random reads aren't necessary for streaming media. If you have 256KB or so of RAM free then NAND would likely be faster than NOR in a DP, and a single 16 bit wide 4GB NAND chip could easily be used to provide polyphony in excess of 120 stereo notes.

I think the main bandwidth bottleneck in modern DPs are the inexpensive stone age processors they tend to employ, not the memory devices.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606293
01/26/11 09:04 PM
01/26/11 09:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 82
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FredFabulous Offline
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Posts: 82
True that. Stick your midi cable into a computer and load the 50 gb (albeit exagurated I don't know the exact number) Ivory II patches and they run just fine on a standard harddrive. So why not in a DP?

As for being made in Sweden probably drives the price up a bit yes but I also think it's because they have such a user base among touring musicians they could charge pretty much whatever they want. I do happen to live in Scandinavia but whenever I saw I concert with a piano involved there was the same old Nord Stage 88. Only in recent years/months I've seen other brands pop up. The Nord patches have that little edge to it that makes it a perfect fit with other instruments. On its own I think it's too clinical and soul-less. My opinion smile

I had a gig with the NX two weeks ago and unfortunately it was too messy to fiddle around with settings or the "sound focus" thing but I was indeed drowned in the sea of choir, drums, bass, guitar and vocals. And I used the bright piano sound. The Nords have a nack of just popping up it's head here and there, sound-wise.

Cheers
Fred


RD-700NX (25 nov 2010)
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: FredFabulous] #1606314
01/26/11 09:36 PM
01/26/11 09:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,140
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by FredFabulous
True that. Stick your midi cable into a computer and load the 50 gb (albeit exagurated I don't know the exact number) Ivory II patches and they run just fine on a standard harddrive. So why not in a DP?

A few reasons why may not be that easy...

Your computer is built on an operating system (Mac, Windows, or Linux) and a set of electronics that already supports virtual memory (essentially using disk storage as an extension of RAM), so the infrastructure for doing what you're talking about already exists, before the makers of Ivory write their first line of code. I suspect that most keyboards are using a minimal operating system of the manufacturers' design... and writing a sophisticated operating system with features like virtual memory is not a trivial task, especially when your primary business is not writing operating systems. That's why I'm not surprised that the Kronos, which will do this, is based on Linux. This may be the key to being able to do this kind of thing in a keyboard.

Also, many people find that doing what you describe on a computer is not glitch-free, especially if they are running on less than high-end computers. Most digital pianos probably do not include the equivalent of a $1000 laptop inside.

Also, people have come to expect, put up with, and workaround computer glitches. But if you're a professional going on stage with a piano keyboard, you expect it to work 100% of the time with no glitches, there's a higher quality threshold you need to meet.

I'm not one of those people who typically goes, "if that was such a good idea, they'd have done it already," but in this case, there are enough companies with good engineering talent competing against each other in this market, that I'm sure these kinds of possibilities are not being overlooked. Hopefully Kronos is only the first to start moving in this direction.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606327
01/26/11 09:58 PM
01/26/11 09:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
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dje31 Offline
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Posts: 226
I, for one, am looking forward to Zach's on-going commentary...esp. which APs and EPs he prefers, which work (or don't) for different situations, environs, settings and genres. Obviously it's a matter of taste and preference, but still...

At the risk of sounding like a complete tech nerd (which I am) or a fanboy (which I'm not), this whole user-definable library is just brilliant.

Last edited by dje31; 01/26/11 09:59 PM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606332
01/26/11 10:06 PM
01/26/11 10:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,392
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,392
Hamamatsu, Japan
[quote=PianoZac]So right now I have:
Grand Lady D (Steinway Model D) - LG size
Studio Grand 2 (Yamaha C7) - LG size
Imperial Grand (Bosendorfer Imperial) - XL size
Queen Upright (Bosendorfer) - Med size
Romantic Upright (Schimmel) - Med size
Sparkletop Vintage Rhodes
Warlitzer
Clavinet
French Harpsichord[\quote]

Wow, that's a great selection!

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606333
01/26/11 10:10 PM
01/26/11 10:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
D
dje31 Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
I haven't spent much time using Rhodes sounds...and they have six variations. Granted they're small enough (compared to the various acoustics) that you could delete an AP and load them all, but which would folks in-the-know consider to be the bread-and-butter go-to versions? Say, if you were picking 2-3?

I've listened to the samples, but I guess my ear isn't discerning enough for this type.

They seem to tout the Sparkletop, and it's got the largest sample size, so I'd guess that would make the short list.

Last edited by dje31; 01/26/11 10:11 PM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dje31] #1606763
01/27/11 03:22 PM
01/27/11 03:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member
PianoZac  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
Originally Posted by dje31
I, for one, am looking forward to Zach's on-going commentary...esp. which APs and EPs he prefers, which work (or don't) for different situations, environs, settings and genres. Obviously it's a matter of taste and preference, but still...

At the risk of sounding like a complete tech nerd (which I am) or a fanboy (which I'm not), this whole user-definable library is just brilliant.

dje31, I posted my review of what I think so far in its own thread. smile

I don't think you sound techy...it really is brilliant what Nord is offering. The Stage 2 looks to be a powerful stage piano, and honestly if I had the money and time to wait, I'd have gotten one. If the NP88 is any indication, the Stage 2 is going to be pretty unbeatable.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dje31] #1606778
01/27/11 03:40 PM
01/27/11 03:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,110
Glendale, Ca.
D
Dave Ferris Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Dave Ferris  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,110
Glendale, Ca.
.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5, RCF TT08A speakers
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606863
01/27/11 05:33 PM
01/27/11 05:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
D
dje31 Offline
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dje31  Offline
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D

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
Thanks for the input, Zach & Dave. Yep, saw the new thread, Zach, and will await updates with pregnant anticipation.

Last edited by dje31; 02/03/11 09:45 AM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
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