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Like Nord Stage, but better...?


rasta_arlen

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Hi guys. I own a Nord Stage 88. I bought it because it was red...no i'm kidding, it has a lot going for it (and it's red). But lately I have been becoming more aware of it's limitations, not too mention how bad its pianos sound through my one JBL 15P...I have just been avoiding playing the piano sounds

 

So to cut to the chase...I would like to ask those who aren't big fans of the Stage what they think the alternatives are, in terms of a gig rig? I would ask you to keep in mind the factors that attracted me (and others) to the stage:

 

- realistic B3 emulation - including drawbars and all the other options

- great vintage keyboards

- VA synth

- effects

- good piano action (I like it anyway)

- portable & easy setup

 

*some of you might have seen that I have been looking for an unweighted keyboard to play the organ and possibly the synth from. I also like the idea of being able to play the organ with a two manual kind of setup.

 

So what are the alternatives? It can be more then one board...

keep your coins, I want change!
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I absolutely love my rig when I'm playing it. When I'm setting it up or tearing it down, I often wish it was smaller. But it is just ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS to play. What is it, you ask?

 

Roland RD-700 on the bottom. Killer pianos, EPs, and very passable horns and strings for the rare times I need 'em.

 

Nord Electro in the middle. If you own a Stage you already know what this does. But remember, it has waterfall keys. :)

 

Alesis Micron velcroed to the top of the Nord. Very nice virtual analog, in an unbelievably small package.

 

All of this through a Motion-Sound KBR-M -- real rotary for the organs, clean channel for everything else. It colors the tone a little, but I put an EQ in front of it and it sounds just peachy.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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NI B4 with B4d, Receptor loaded with Kontakt, Scarbee KGB, NI Akoustic piano and Ivory. A master keyboard with easily accessible zones for instance Roland A-90, Motif 8/ES8... Laptop for controlling the receptor and running soft synths.

 

The closest thing IMO would be the Receptor/Kontakt 4 bundle (see www.museresearch.com) plus a master keyboard and the B4d. Other options could be a Yamaha Motif ES or XS8 with a Hammond XM2. All in all, I'd say the NS is the best option. If you really cannot live with the pianos, get an external module.

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Why not just get another speaker and keep the stage? most other stage piano's sound much better with two speakers so you may end up in the same boat if you got a yam/roland/korg/gem etc....
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keep the Stage and get a better amp...You have to buy more than one synth/module to have all those sounds in such a high quality, OR you need a Receptor and a laptop and a controller -as analogaddict mentioned- but that's less than inspiring to play IMO.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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The Nord Stage pianos HAVE TO be played in stereo. That's the whole thing. Playing them mono-summed is awful, playing them in stereo is IMO glorious. Nord has promised a mono piano for awhile, nothing yet. Meantime, I use a Motion Sound KP200S or two EV powered monitors. Note that by playing in stereo, the leslie sim is dramatically better.

Neil

myspace.com/AlteredDominant www.Prymary.com

NordElectro3/S90XS/SteinwayS(midi'd)/KX88/Apple MBP, iMac/MainStage2/Scrbee/NI Komplete/ApogeeDuet/QSCplx1804/JBLmrx512/SpcStnSRX/LogicPro9/DP/ProTools

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I've been a big fan of my Stage's Yamaha XL piano - in stereo, natch.

 

I just bought a new set of big JBL stage speakers (PRX515), and have finally noticed something about the piano that I don't like, but missed before.

 

Not the tone, which is great. Not as dramatic as the RP-X's Fazioli maybe, but fine. It is the decay - several seconds into the note, the decay becomes artificially fast.

Moe

---

 

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I agree with nmcq - the pianos on the NS88 MUST be played in stero. Then the entire instrument comes to life. Just go with 2 JBL Eons and you will save a lot of $$$, and be happy

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

D6 Clav

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Get a GEM RP-X module.

 

+1 :thu:

+2

 

Outside of the acoustic pianos, which is a frequent complaint (and one I agree with), I would like to get a better handle on what you feel the limiting factors are on the Stage. Other than the acoustic pianos, what don't you like about it?

 

In addition to the relatively weaker acoustic pianos (which I remedy with the RP-X), my biggest gripes come from within the Extern section, which speak to limitations of the NS as a MIDI controller:

 

1. No means to adjust velocity curves.

 

2. MIDI channels can not be stored at the program/patch level.

 

Both of these would seriously improve the NS as a MIDI controller. I'm wondering how hard it would be to include these in an OS revision.

 

Another improvement would involve being able to program different reverb settings within each zone/split on the keyboard. Presently, the same reverb setting is applied equally across all zones. This becomes a problem, for example, when using a bass sound in the lower zone, and a piano in the upper zone; the reverb sounds great on the piano, but the bass sounds like it is being played in an echo chamber.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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So before I go and do anything rash I think I need to go and try out a stereo setup on the Nord. I have to admit that the prospect of buying my self a new keyboard was a bit more exciting then buying a new speaker, but in the long term buying another speaker is something I am less likely to regret.

 

If I was going to buy a new speaker I would probably be looking at a 15inch EON G2 as I would like to upgrade my other speaker (JBL P15) as well eventually. Would having two different speakers in use cause any problems or sound funny at all?

keep your coins, I want change!
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Quote by rasta arlen: (Partial)

 

- realistic B3 emulation - including drawbars and all the other

- great vintage keyboards

- VA synth

- effects

- good piano action (I like it anyway)

- portable & easy setup

 

Korg Oasys.

 

Mike T.

 

 

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Should Not be a problem between those two, unless you are expecting expensive studio monitor sound. Try it, it will sound better even if you had unmatched speakers.

(those are both 15" driver models?) if so will be great for the organ / leslie as well.

 

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