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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: dewster] #1607468
01/28/11 01:31 PM
01/28/11 01:31 PM
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UK
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The Kronos guitar in the NAAM demos sounds pretty weak compared to the acoustics in the Motif XS/XF series, and how often do you use sitar? I liked the sound of the piano but many of the other patches demonstrated reminded me of the cheese-laden demos found on 1980s synths.


Live: Casio PX-5S | Hammond SK1
Studio: Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Kurzweil PC361 | Moog Sub 37
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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: kiedysktos.] #1607474
01/28/11 01:38 PM
01/28/11 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
It still have too less memory to handle a few big pianos like 200MB, which I'm sure will be released.

What will we see in a 10 years? 500MB or 1GB pianos? smile


That's the part of DPs that is hard to swallow for me: a 200MB sampled piano is still considered big (and indeed it is in the DP realm) while software pianos commonly go over 4GB and in some cases way, way beyond. And the difference is audible.

2020? I hope we will see wide availability of (at least) 4GB pianos in DPs before 2015 or the next years will be very disappointing for DP lovers.

Anyway is a great feature a DP that allows to load the samples you want to memory. Hopefully other brands will follow the trend. Sometimes DPs seem to be artificially limited... is good to see that some vendors are trying to go beyond the typical DP concept we are used to.

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: dewster] #1607477
01/28/11 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by Richard Stark

True that. Though it's more of a workstation than a DP.

Yes, it's a "DP plus." I wouldn't be surprised if it were the foundation of a future version of the SV-1, though... taking out all the "extraneous" stuff. I wish they would make more use of their lighter 88 action, though... the one they use in the SP170. An 88-key Kronos-based piano that weighed around 30 pounds would be killer.

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: Aidan] #1607478
01/28/11 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Aidan
The Kronos guitar in the NAAM demos sounds pretty weak compared to the acoustics in the Motif XS/XF series

As I understand it, the Kronos guitars in the demo are modeled rather than sampled, so they lend themselves to being able to be used and changed in ways that sampled instruments cannot, and that's what's special about them. However, there will presumably also be traditional guitar samples in the "rompler" engine as always, which you can use as well, and might be better suited for some things.

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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: Aidan] #1607733
01/28/11 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Aidan
The Kronos guitar in the NAAM demos sounds pretty weak compared to the acoustics in the Motif XS/XF series, and how often do you use sitar? I liked the sound of the piano but many of the other patches demonstrated reminded me of the cheese-laden demos found on 1980s synths.


Terrible demos, they are FAR better in reality. Probably as good as a XS/XF out of the board but tweakable beyond imagination. This is a serious board with very un-Korg like sounds. The C7 piano is fabulous. The organs are going to give Nord a fright and the Synth engines are good enough that some people are not going to bother with that Virus Ti Polar hanging on to their third layer on their stands.
I love the Yamaha sound but having had a decent fiddle with the Kronos I'd suggest Yamaha have to be worried.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: anotherscott] #1607791
01/28/11 11:23 PM
01/28/11 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
As I understand it, the Kronos guitars in the demo are modeled rather than sampled, so they lend themselves to being able to be used and changed in ways that sampled instruments cannot, and that's what's special about them.

Yes, using digital waveguides. They are playing with the dispersion filter (in the feedback loop of the waveguide) in the video.

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1607825
01/29/11 01:24 AM
01/29/11 01:24 AM
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Fantastic review Zac! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience with the NP88. Really appreciated reading yours, Essbrace's and Dave's posts on the NP.

If you (or Essbrace) ever feel you're being stalked online at the moment, it's probably because I"m watching every thread you're both posting on with regards to the NP!

I'm one of those people that's currently sitting on the fence. I may as yet be more than tempted by the upcoming Stage 2 as I really want/need the ability to split the keyboard - something the NP88 doesn't currently do. However, it's seemingly formidable cost may force me to reconsider my options.

As per my sig, I've obviously got a reasonably older Stage Piano and I'm starting to crave for something more. I badly miss the Bosie sound I spent many years training on, but I have no interest in giant sample libraries (I don't like having to turn on a computer just to play the piano) and up until the NP88, I've been unaware of any DP that has a sampled Bosie in it's cache of sounds.

Just a few questions if I may:

How "in your face" is the Bosie when played through headphones? You mention that the Roland sounds are quite "anemic" in comparison. Do you think the NP Bosie is strident in any way?

One thing that does annoy me about my SV1 is the Action. It's frankly quite terrible and although I'm trying to love that keyboard as much as I can, I'm finding myself using my RD700SX's keyboard to play the SV1's sounds - and easy customization of them, via the it's gorgeous front panel. So if you were to sum up the comparison between your RD's keyboard and the NP's, how would you describe it? For me, it's the spongey feeling from the SV1 that really gets to me, whereas the RD is slightly stiffer, but has a definite point at which the key has clearly travelled as far as it's gong to. I understand that the NP is considered a bit light, but what about "rigidity" for choice of words?



Nord Stage 2, VAX77
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1607899
01/29/11 05:49 AM
01/29/11 05:49 AM
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Here's my attempt at answering your questions:

The new Bosendorfer is very bold through headphones, but definitely not strident...I suppose you could say "in your face" but that's not how I would choose to describe it. It is big, bold and quite bright - but smooth, articulate and very musical. A very charismatic sound. The great thing about the Nord is that you get a genuine choice of piano timbres...personally I don't care too much for the Grand Lady D but it represents an entirely different tonal character. Perhaps the most versatile instrument is the Studio Grand 2 (Yamaha C7) - in my opinion this is a phenomenal piano...mellow when you want it to be but it can really explode if you gun it, especially in the bass. It's the kind of sound that when you trawl through a new DP, you might spend a few moments and then move on...but it rewards deeper exploration very much.

That and the new Bosie are the two most enjoyable DP sounds I've ever played...not the most perfect by any means...if it's immaculate, pristine sounds you want then look elsewhere...Roland SN for a mellower timbre and the Yamaha CP1/5/50 for a really clean, brighter sound. Tonally, Kawai is a nice compromise between those two. The Nord voices are less clean than the others but there's a real charm about them.

The Nord (Fatar) action is ok - but not in the league of a decent Yamaha, Roland or Kawai. I've got used to the Nord and find it very positive and medium weighted. The movement of the keys is smooth, crisp and predictable but there is very little sense of anything interesting going on underneath your fingers such as a Roland escapement simulation. The Nord is kind of one dimensional in its keyboard feel. I very recently tried a Korg - well, had a feel of the keys. It was a cheapish home DP and not sure if the action would have been the same as the SV-1. It had the customary uneven key spacings of Korg DPs but actually felt quite nice to me...perhaps a bit more damped than the Nord...perhaps a slight feeling of woolly vagueness in comparison but very acceptable...but none of these other makers have actions that rival the higher-spec Rolands, Yamahas or particularly the Kawais. The lack of sophistication in the Nord action is no problem for me...it doesn't restrict expression or get in the way of a musical performance...the action is quite quiet too and feels robust - and I have always been a critic of Fatar actions in the past.

The Nord is light but rigid and well made...it is of very simple construction and a bit "tinny" feeling...this offended me and I've cured it. I opened mine up and on all areas of plain metal inside I stuck that self-adhesive rubber/bitumen matting that you can use to damp out noise on car panels...when I tap the top of the Nord now, instead of hearing the sound of an empty tin can I get a nice dull thud and this has further quietened the action.

The RD-700SX has the PA-5 Roland hammer action in it...from memory, a very nice action and although different to current Rolands is probably still up there with the best...I can't really remember what the SX feels like though so I can't give you a direct comparison between it and the Nord, sorry.

For what it's worth I really love this Nord - it is far from perfect but does feel like a real musical instrument and I can really connect with it in a way I could not with any previous DP I've owned...in a technical sense there are better DPs - much better - the Roland being the best in my opinion but still, there's something about the Nord.....

Steve


Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CLP 645 | Broadwood Barless 7' 6"
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace] #1607972
01/29/11 10:02 AM
01/29/11 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
there is very little sense of anything interesting going on underneath your fingers such as a Roland escapement simulation.
...
The lack of sophistication in the Nord action is no problem for me...it doesn't restrict expression or get in the way of a musical performance

I think the second of those two thoughts is key. If lack of escapement doesn't in any way restrict expression or impede performance--and it shouldn't--then there's really no reason to put it on one's checklist,

There is no reason to look for escapement for escapement's sake. Upright pianos don't have it, and they can play wonderfully. The feeling of the escapement on a grand is not considered a positive to actual piano manufacturers... they work to minimize it, i.e. the less you notice it, the better. To me this is like pedal thumps, we're asking people to engineer in the flaws, the things people wish they could take out of their real pianos. I understand, it's about illusion, recreating something "warts and all," and I would not specifically avoid a board with an escapement feeling, it doesn't bother me, but I don't see it as something important to have, either.

p.s. -- I feel the same way about graded action...

Last edited by anotherscott; 01/29/11 10:05 AM.
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace] #1608094
01/29/11 01:14 PM
01/29/11 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Here's my attempt at answering your questions...

Steve, excellent review, thanks! You should do this for a living.

Originally Posted by EssBrace
I opened mine up...

Did you snap any pix while it was open on the operating table? If so could you share them with us? I'm always up for a "Nekkid Pikshures" post!

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: anotherscott] #1608098
01/29/11 01:20 PM
01/29/11 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
There is no reason to look for escapement for escapement's sake. Upright pianos don't have it, and they can play wonderfully. The feeling of the escapement on a grand is not considered a positive to actual piano manufacturers... they work to minimize it, i.e. the less you notice it, the better.

...

p.s. -- I feel the same way about graded action...

Seconded and carried. I'd like to think we would be at the point now of perfecting key actions that weren't forced to be connected directly to strings in any way, rather than this slavish yet only partially successful replication of what exists on APs.

e.g. in a way: I for one would gladly take a steel folk guitar that played as easily as a nylon classical.

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: rickshapiro] #1608125
01/29/11 02:08 PM
01/29/11 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rickshapiro
Originally Posted by kiedysktos.
Thanks for your review, Zahary - it's great.

Looks like Clavia will upgrade Nord Piano pretty soon, just because bigger samples = better sound. It still have too less memory to handle a few big pianos like 200MB, which I'm sure will be released.

What will we see in a 10 years? 500MB or 1GB pianos? smile


Is there something else that makes you think they will upgrade the Nord Piano?


It's just a guess. When it was time of Nord Electro 2 and Nord stage Classic, they had 9,5MB pianos smile now they have 200MB, so they will be much bigger.

By the way, I wonder how big are sample sets in CP1 and 700NX. The last isn't pure sample sound, but I think it's equivalent of 1GB sample set, or even slightly bigger.


Roland FP-4
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1608193
01/29/11 03:37 PM
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2005 NY Steinway D # 571692
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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1608372
01/29/11 08:03 PM
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Dave, while I'm listening your jazz recordings made on CP1 and NP, I like both sounds, every one in other way. CP1 sounds more clean, like DPs do, and NP sound more like recorded piano to me. So in studio I'd rather use NP than CP1.

In those recordings I don't hear single note runs issue you pointed out, they don't sound thin to me.

What you mean by "CP-5....it gets old real quick" ?


Roland FP-4
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1608380
01/29/11 08:17 PM
01/29/11 08:17 PM
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I think Dave's saying that you quickly get frustrated by the weight of the CP5 when moving it around to and from gigs. Given that the Nord is 7kg or so lighter, that's understandable.


Live: Casio PX-5S | Hammond SK1
Studio: Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Kurzweil PC361 | Moog Sub 37
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: Dave Ferris] #1608383
01/29/11 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
The character of the Nord AP is pretty stringy sounding and definitely has that harpsichordy sound around the middle octaves on single note Jazz lines. If you can live with it, I say more power to ya. cool

I was talking about this with Larry Goldings last week. He and his engineer friend came over to my place to check out my D for a solo CD he's looking to record. He said he used the NP on a tour last year in Japan mainly for the EPs but in a few places I guess there was no AP so he used the NP for AP. I mentioned how my creative flow when soloing with the AP sounds was never in sync with the Nord. He agreed

I'm curious to know if you've checked the new Bosendorfer sample? (Obviously it wasn't around a year ago.) I don't know whether it addresses your concerns, but I do think it's the best sounding piano they've come out with, and quite different in character from their others.

Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: kiedysktos.] #1608428
01/29/11 09:20 PM
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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: anotherscott] #1608433
01/29/11 09:28 PM
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Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace] #1609222
01/31/11 04:43 AM
01/31/11 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Here's my attempt at answering your questions:


Thanks so much for answering my questions - Both you and Zac should be doing this full time..................now if only the Manufacturers could supply you with the necessary goods to review....... :p

Both Zac, Dave, and you have answered in away that was seemingly easy to understand the sound and feel. For me, the next step is a long over-due visit to the only Nord dealer in town

Although I've said I really do need the ability to split the keyboard and would possibly look at the NS2, I'm going to leave my credit card at home just to be sure......



Nord Stage 2, VAX77
Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac] #1609350
01/31/11 10:54 AM
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Thank you for the review PianoZac.

I'm about to buy the Nord Piano after trying the Nord Stage EX (and trying many times 700NX and CP5).

I found the action of the Nord Stage nice, not as nice as the 700NX, but pleasant.
How is the action of the NP in comparison with the Nord Stage?
Surprisingly, I prefer the Nord Stage action over the CP5 (I found the Nord Stage action slightly heavier).

Dave Ferris pointed many times a problem when playing single notes jazz lines.
PianoZac, do you feel the same thing?

Benoît


Nord Piano 88
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