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Ran my Nord Stage in stereo at a gig


Moon Zero Two

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Wow, this is disappointing news. I played my NS for a few months and came to the same conclusion, although I must admit I never tried it in stereo. I've never played in stereo during my 27 years as a semi-pro gigging musician (weekend warrior) and probably never will. I just don't feel like hauling around another speaker cabinet, and if other companies can develop a decent mono piano, why can't Clavia?

 

I got tired of waiting for Clavia to release a mono piano, so my remedy was to add a GEM RP-X piano module to my rig (Nord Stage, Korg Trinity, RP-X). I finally have a satisfying mix of Hammond, Rhodes, ROMpler, and now piano tones. While the RP-X somewhat confounds my desire for a two keyboard rig, I just could not hang with the NS piano any longer. The RP-X is about the size of a small car stereo or CB radio, so it really isn't too much of a hassle to set up. Nonetheless, Clavia's failure to release a mono piano for the NS represents a source of ongoing disappointment I have with this company. I purchased the NS, in part based on faith that Clavia would release an upgraded piano, but I also felt this position was supported by empirical evidence (e.g., Clavia's track record of regularly updating other products such as the Electro). The problem is further compounded by the considerable disparity between the NS played alone versus within the context of a live situation. The NS piano actually sounds quite charming, albeit somewhat quirky, when played alone.

 

If Clavia is taking their time to get it right, I certainly can live with this. But if they have abandoned this product, for the bread this thing cost, I will have serious reservations with regard to purchasing another keyboard from this company.

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Snap - I've been considering buying a piano module to fill the unsatisfying sonic space currently filled by my Electro's acoustic piano, and the GEM RP-X seems one of the few options available. Does it sound good IN MONO? I have an old Yamaha P50m module, but it's acoustic pianos sound even worse thatn the Electro's. Are their any older (cheaper!) modules whose pianos still sound good?
"I'm well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand..."
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Ron,

 

How did you have the internal audio routing set up? Global or per Patch? Also, do you play your piano sound from Panel A or B, or both? Did you have the Pianos going through Audio 1&2 or 3&4?

 

Just curious.

 

aL

 

 

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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As far as I know, there is indeed a mono version of one of the grand piano sounds available for download at the Clavia website.

I just visited Clavia's website and was unable to find a mono piano download for the Nord Stage. Can you please forward a link? Thanks!

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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A couple of suggestions: First, download the new Steinway sample. I prefer it to the Yamaha IMO. Second, remembered, that your Barbettas have kind of a compressed midrangey sound. The NS doesn't respond too well to that.

 

In short, the NS88 pianos (as well as most of its sounds) are a bit quirky. They do not sound good in mono. They hate compression. They crave hi fidelity open sound. When you match the right amp rig to it, the NS88 is amazing in all respects.

 

I used to use a Traynor K4, and the NS88 pianos sounded awful. Likewise for the Motion Sound KBR3D. Now, I use 2 JBL Eons, and the NS88 sounded great.

 

Sometimes you do have to match an instrument with the right amp.

Hammond C3, Leslie 122, Steinway B, Wurlitzer 200A, Rhodes 73,

D6 Clav

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2 JBL Eon15 G2 are very flattering for digital pianos, more so than my old Mackie SRM 450s. The Eon15 is very smooth.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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answers to music*Al - and thanks for the suggetions - at home I have the Stage Compact midi'ed to a Kurzweil Midiboard and get a lot better response than the waterfall keybed. And the piano sounds ok through my studio monitors - M Audio BX8a's - but the name of the instrument is the Nord Stage not the Nord Studio.

 

How did you have the internal audio routing set up?

 

I have no idea - whatever the default is on the board.

 

Global or per Patch? Also, do you play your piano sound from Panel A or B, or both?

 

In order to get the midi thing happening with a Motif ES rack I disabled Panel B.

 

Did you have the Pianos going through Audio 1&2 or 3&4?

 

Everything went through 1&2.

 

Bill

 

Thanks for the tip about the Traynor - I was considering selling my Barbettas and getting one. I have a mini PA that I sometimes use for duo's - a QSC/Mackie1202/Yamaha 10 inch three way (sounds vaguely dirty) - but what a pain to move around and setup.

 

Kinda defeats the purpose of the Stage - a portabile gig piano/rhodes/organ/pads.

 

I mean I hate to sound like Joe Club Date but some of the spaces I have to pigeon hole myself and rig into are pretty tight - I don't have room to bring a whole PA just to make the piano sound usable. I got the Stage cause I was sick of lugging my 55 pound PC2X and 45 pound CX3 around twice a week. I have really been trying to like the Stage piano - I wish I were in the Love It camp instead of the Hate It camp - but it isn't just me - the band and people out front all seemed to hate the sound. It just seems like Nord nailed the Rhodes and B3 but the piano....

 

 

Hate to sound like a whinner - I am suprized no one has told me to just sell the thing already and stop complaining - I am almost to that point but I do love the Rhodes and B3 - I think the synth section is pretty weak - but here is where the Nord Stage excels: I am going to a jazz jam session at a local studio on Thursday - it is incredibly convient to just bring one 20 pound keyboard - I just have to avoid the pianos at all costs.

 

Maybe the RP-X is the way to go.

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Bill nails it. He's right about which amplification rig will sound good with the Stage and which won't. Powered speakers definitely bring the Stage pianos to life...

 

aL

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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My Barbetta's ARE powered speakers - two tens and a horn in each - and they are bi-amped as well (again sounds vaguely dirty) - 300 and 100 I think - just like the JBLs. So it's not like I am running the Stage through a Fender Twin or something.

 

And Al I appreciate your help and patience.

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Are you playing the NS 88? or the Compact? If your keybed is not weighted 'piano' action, then it is very hard to get any sampled piano to sound good - Velocity is critical to piano samples - especially the Nord's. But even if you are playing a compact w/o weighted keys, you can adjust the velocity and make it much more responsive (and sound much better).... Remember if your velocity curve is too hot, and you play too heavily, you will distort the sound of the sample... On the other hand, if velocity is set too heavy, then the piano may jump from lukewarm to too hot as you increase pressure. So, you MUST play with the velocity curves to get it right.

 

Don't give up. I kept my NS88 in the garage for over a year because of my distaste for its pianos. Now I use it all the time. The audience loves it. The bands love it, and I love it......

Hammond C3, Leslie 122, Steinway B, Wurlitzer 200A, Rhodes 73,

D6 Clav

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Ron,

 

If you are running the piano in stereo and if the Barbettas sound as good as JBL EON 10's (I have no experience with these amps), your Stage should sound great through them. So, this leads me to believe that something's not right.

 

Is it properly eq'd? You might want to double check the audio routing you are using? Do you have the compressor on the piano patch? Are you using amp sim per chance?

 

I play mine through some lowly Yamaha MSR100's with an 8 inch woofer which are definitely underpowered but sufficient for monitoring and the Piano sounds better than any other rompler through the same speakers. Not ideal, but just fine for monitoring. So, the Barbetta may not be great for general purpose amplification, but, your piano shouldn't sound like a harpsichord through them either!!

 

aL

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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I used to use a Traynor K4, and the NS88 pianos sounded awful. Likewise for the Motion Sound KBR3D. Now, I use 2 JBL Eons, and the NS88 sounded great.

 

Bill,

 

Are you using Eon15 G2's or Eon10 G2's?

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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The 15" EON15 G2s are far more flattering to digital pianos than the 10" EON10 G2s, which I didn't like very much and ended up selling.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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My 2 cents.....

 

I've used the JBL eon's 10", went to the Barbetta's, a step up.....I tried a pair of the Sona 31's.......Then I went to the Motion Sound Kp200....even better, but these days the MS, while sounding great for just about everything else, (organ, clav,Rhodes,synth) is pretty much blowing as far as reproducing a piano sound that is warm and pleasing to my hears.

 

I also have a pair of the Mackie 450's....they sound sweet for my vocals and better for the piano than the MS KP200....but to schlep the pair on most gigs in this town....you'd have to be nuts. Space seems to be at a premium on every gig!!

 

So my solution...........I DUNNO.....Still looking, saving, and trying to sell stuff !!

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Mackie SRM 450 speakers were 51 pounds each, had an awkward bulky form factor, and sounded somewhat harsh with my digital pianos. That's why I switched to the smoother sounding, 36 pound, less bulky EV SXa360 powered speakers (500 watts each).

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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I am using JBL Eon 15's...

They are a pain to carry - very bulky shape, and you can't stack them on a dolly,,,,

The better high end alternative is to get 2 AccuGroove T112 cabinets (only 30 lbs per, and square) and drive them with a good stereo amp....

 

This is all a work in progress...

Hammond C3, Leslie 122, Steinway B, Wurlitzer 200A, Rhodes 73,

D6 Clav

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