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I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
#1737011 08/20/11 06:53 AM
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Well after an extremely long wait, this Thursday saw the arrival of my Nord Stage 2! To put things into perspective about how excited I was of it's arrival - I took a day's annual (Vacation) leave just so I could go pick it up and start playing with it uninterrupted!

It's been very interesting to read various forum members' opinions about the Nord instruments, so it was with a mixed bag of emotions and thoughts that I started playing the Nord for the first time. My initial thoughts are mostly based around the Piano section of the NS2 as that's my main focus for now.

Previously, I have played a Roland RD700SX for a number of years, however, my experience with real Pianos is reasonably extensive, having spent a number of years practicing daily and performing on a Bosendorfer 290, Yamaha C7, and god-only knows how many uprights! (helps when you work in a music shop I guess). In a previous life I had also spent some time tuning and repairing pianos so I think I've got a fairly good idea of what I want from the 'sound' of my electronic versions of the analog.

I think Clavia (and their business partners who provide them with the necessary resources to get their sounds) have done an excellent job of capturing the essence of the Bosendorfer with their XL "Grand Imperial". That unmistakable bass is pretty faithfully reproduced and the mids and highs have got the punch that Bosendorfers are credited with. I'm fussy when it comes to pitch, but I'm also more than aware of the need to tune pianos according to the condition of the instruments' environment or to the needs of the performer. The slightly 'out of tune' character of the Grand Imperial took me a bit by surprise to start with, but I'm now finding it easier than I thought to connect with the instrument because the 'realism' is there. I think the market is becoming all too flooded with 'modeled' and 'perfect' pianos, when in essence, such a thing doesn't actually exist in real life! I can see the time fast approaching when Ivory will come out with a sampled "Roland V Piano'!!!!!

One thing to note though - the instrument is certainly 'demanding' of the performer. If I play bad, it sounds really bad, but if I play with all the emotion and connection to the music that I can usually only achieve on a decent piano, the Nord gives it all back in spades! I think this 'sensitivity' is also apparent in what amplification or headphones are used with it. Both my Audio-technica and Stax headphones enabled me to hear the imperfections that I know some people don't like, but it made me realize just how forgiving some keyboards are of low-budget or inadequate sound reinforcement equipment. It's easier to sound 'good' on my Roland RD700SX, but there is such a presence of sterility, that its also easy to sound very uninspired and frankly, boring. The Nord, on the other hand, gives me such opportunity to hear in more detail the nuances from my own interpretations of the pieces I choose to play.

One thing that does frustrate me a bit is I need to go on a learning curve with regards to the FX and Synth sections, however, that's more about the player than it is about the NS2 itself. The EP's are just fabulous too.

........may post some more thoughts as I progress with getting to know the NS2 more.

I can't thank Essbrace, Zack, Dave Ferris, Kawai James and others enough for your really valued thoughts and opinions. It's very inspiring to read your posts and I've gained such a wealth of knowledge from doing so.


Nord Stage 2, VAX77
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737014 08/20/11 07:01 AM
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Congrats on your NS2 - I'm jealous!

Ah, and welcome to 'Club Red' too! wink

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: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737024 08/20/11 07:42 AM
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Congrats Siriosys..

I played probably the only NS2 88 on the West Coast (I've been told they're backordered 45 days ) at GC the other day. The interface has me a bit perplexed, but scrolling through the sounds with the knob, the sonic quality is outstanding.

Probably more then I need with organ and synth but everything I heard was great.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737026 08/20/11 07:52 AM
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Yeah, the synth section would be overkill for me too, but the ability to split EPs with a Clav or Organ would be pretty sexy.

By the way, how are the effects applied when using multiple splits? Could you, for example, have a Hammond with a Leslie in one section, a Rhodes+tremolo with a Twin amp sim in another, then a Clav with pedalwah in one more?

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: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737036 08/20/11 08:33 AM
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Many congratulations - enjoy it!

Steve


C. Bechstein Model B | Roland RD-1000 |
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737207 08/20/11 01:42 PM
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Very happy for you Siriosys! A big congrats from me! I think the NS2 is the best of the best for the all in one boards. Like Dave said, the sonic quality of all the sounds is top notch. I'm sure with the incredible amount of flexibility, the plethora of sounds and the constant updating Clavia provides in its boards, you'll be a very happy camper for a long time. When time permits, check out the Yamaha S4 Bright Grand. I actually really enjoy it, mostly for live use. Welcome to the Red family.


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737231 08/20/11 03:02 PM
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Congratulations and welcome to the club. I have an Electro-3 and for playing organ, Electric piano or Clav the effects section is just incredibly powerful. The piano samples IMHO keep on getting better, the Bosendorfer and the Bright Grand are my favorites and both are recent additions.

Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1737768 08/21/11 05:00 PM
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Hi Siriosys, A big congrats. I know you've been waiting quite some time to join the Red club. I'm curious to know how you find the action of the NS2, I know you hated Korg's SV1 action and I wonder whether you find the Nord's action better/different.

Hey what music store do you work at? I'm at Piano Traders in Mt. Eden.

All the best and enjoy.


Roland RD700NX, Korg SV1 88.

Thank God for the gift of Music
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1739492 08/24/11 06:57 AM
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Thanks for all the congrats. I'm loving the new board! However, I've noticed a few things that have happened since I got it - not to the board, but to my playing.

I'm amazed how a new board and more specifically new sounds and an easy-to-get-to FX section are causing me to reach further into my music. I'm finding it easier than ever to stretch the boundaries a bit more with my Improvisation, specifically because the new sounds mean I try different progressions or hold notes longer, or just are prepared to try something completely new. I guess we sometimes call it inspiration, but there's definitely something special about it. I think Zac hit the nail on the head about being able to connect with the sounds - it's just so damned easy! I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say I'm playing better than ever by any stretch, but I'm definitely liking more of what I hear when I'm play and it's definitely got something to do with connecting more with this instrument than previous ones.

I've been really putting the EP's through their paces! I'm just loving finding a groove and then twiddling the FX and coming up with new sounds - the growl and bark on this thing is amazing -especially with a little Amp sim distortion thrown in for good measure.

@James,
The FX can indeed be assigned to different Sections. So yes, the organ can have a Tremelo and a Clav could have a Phaser, while the Synth could be using some distortion. There are 3 FX sections and it's possible to toggle the FX between each split. So the Phaser on the Clav can be sent to the Organ etc etc. The only thing that's "Global" as such is the Reverb.

@Dave,
Yes, I'd agree that the interface can a little perplexing at first, however, because everything is laid out in front of you with knobs and LED's, it's extremely easy to find one's way around it. Makes doing splits, FX changes, sound selections extremely easy and fast when playing live - which I guess is what the Stage is made for in the first place. I find it particularly beneficial because I've got very poor eyesight, so reading menus on little screens is impossible for me.

@Zac,
I've got the Imperial Grand, Steinway D, Yammy S4, and Yammy C7 loaded. I find the S4 a little harsh in my setup, although I can hear how well it'll survive a live gig! My Fav is definitely the Bosie for now with the C7 coming in a close 2nd. Funny how our playing responds to auditory feedback - I play the same tune slightly differently on each Piano.

@Mark,
Yes, it's been a very long wait and as each day goes by, I'm beginning to realize just how worth the wait was. It didn't have the 'instant sonic appeal' that the Roland did when I first got it. But it's definitely growing on me every day. Because the samples aren't 'pure' as such, it's more like a real instrument. And that realism is what seems to make the Nord come to life when I'm playing it.

As for the Action - I DEFINITELY prefer it over the Korg SV-1!! Even the after-touch doesn't bother me. I think the Korg is just too soft for me, the keys felt so spongey on the SV, but on the Nord, there's a definitely point at which you can press no further. And, for some reason, I can play 'runs' a lot faster on the Nord. That may be due to the higher trigger point maybe, or maybe it's just a better fit for my fingers.

I don't work in the retail or music industry any more. Quite some years ago I worked up in Hobson Street and my access to a Bosie for my daily use was not only at that music shop, but more importantly, at a friend's Dads place. He was one of the most talented and generous musicians I've had the privilege to meet and he allowed me to play his family's Bosie whenever I wanted. I grew very attached to the instrument and I understood fro ma young age what it meant when musicians 'bonded' with their instruments - as I guess we all do throughout our musical lives. I still work in the City so I should pop into Mt Eden some time and have a look around your showroom. It's been a while since I've been around wood n wire pianos........... I miss the smell of them as well as the sound.



Nord Stage 2, VAX77
Re: I'm finally a member of "Club Red" - My Nord Stage2 arrived!
Siriosys #1739581 08/24/11 10:37 AM
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Sounds great Siriosys! I'm glad you're digging the NS2 so much. I have the exact same pianos loaded into my NP88.

Bosendorfer Imperial in XL
Yamaha S4 Bright Grand in Lrg
Yamaha C7 Studio Grand 2 in Lrg
Steinway Grand Lady D in Lrg

Love each of these pianos for totally different purposes. That S4 Bright Grand cuts through like no other in live mix. It's great. Keep us updated after you take your new toy out on a gig.


Kawai MP7SE w/ GFP-3

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