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emulator of classic keyboards


GREGHUX

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re: "How does it rate next to more recent offerings? "

 

The Electro 3 emulates all the same classic keys as the Electro 2, but also emulates many more (more different Rhodes, more other keyboards like mellotrons, RMI, classic synths and string machines, etc.). They are also continuing to come out with more downloadable instruments for the E3 (they just added a bunch of classic Minimoog and Prophet V sounds this week), whereas the E2 is limited to what's already there. In terms of sound quality, the organ is better on the newer model, but some people feel that the clavinet was better on the old.

 

re: "What else would be good options"

 

The other company who I think is particularly strong on classic keys is Kurzweil. Something like a PC361 or an SP4-7 would do nicely. The SP4 offers simpler, more straight-forward operation. The PC361 is a bit more complicated to get around than the SP4 or the Nords. From a performance perspective, I'd say that the main advantages of the PC361 over the SP4 would be aftertouch, 9 faders that can operate like drawbars, more sounds, more controller capability (more zoning, more pedal inputs, etc.), and more storage for your own patches. (It also has many other features not so performance oriented, like sequencing and the ability to completely edit the sounds.) The advantage of the SP4 over the PC361 would be that it's cheaper, simpler, and lighter. Also, the keyboards are different in terms of feel and number of keys (though you can get other variations of the PC361 with different keyboard sizes and feel). The price difference between the two is artificially small right now, as there is a temporary price reduction on PC361 and other models in that series (PC3, PC3X).

 

The biggest advantage of either Kurzweil over the either Nord is that the Kurzweils are multitimbral, the Nords are strictly one sound at a time. So on the Nords, you can't layer sounds or split the keyboard for two different sounds (except for organ registrations) or simultaneously play its different sounds from different keyboards. Also, the Nords don't have pitch or mod wheels. OTOH, the Nords are especially light, and in the case of the E3, will probably still have the better organ sounds even after the imminent Kurzweil organ software upgrade, and it also functions as a sample playback keyboard. And each is going to have some sounds that are not in the other. And probably some similar sounds that you may feel are better in one than the other.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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the Nords are strictly one sound at a time. So on the Nords, you can't layer sounds or split the keyboard for two different sounds

 

Wow... I didn't know that. Of course you can't test-drive a Nord around here anyway.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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the Nords are strictly one sound at a time. So on the Nords, you can't layer sounds or split the keyboard for two different sounds

 

Wow... I didn't know that. Of course you can't test-drive a Nord around here anyway.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

Of course, that only applies to the Electros. The Stage is multitimbral.

It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
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As MoodyBluesKeys pointed out, there is no current rack option from Kurzweil. However, you can also look for a used Kurzweil PC2R rack with the Classic Keys Rom option installed. Not as good as the PC3 series, but still quite good. Kind of similar to going with the older E2 rack instead of a new E3.

 

ThePro mentions another nice option, the SV-1. Not nearly as versatile as the others, but reportedly very good for what it does. I haven't had a chance to play one yet.

 

Sven is right that you might get more some more helpful replies if we knew exactly which classic keys sounds you were most interested in.

 

Moonglow points out another interesting option in the Nord Stage, which is closer to an E2 than an E3 but does add multitimbral capability, and the whole analog-style synth section with real knobs, which can be useful for some classic key sounds too. The PC361 also has extensive virtual analog synth capabilities, actually beyond those in the Stage, but not as easily played with.

 

Along those lines, the Nord Wave is a terrific analog-style synth that also includes a more capable version of the sample playback engine that's in the E3. It doesn't give you all the E3 sounds, but it does give you access to a good number of classic keys sounds along with being a strong VA synth. It is bitimbral (two sounds at a time)... you can layer the two sounds, or run one of the sounds from an external keyboard, but you can't split its own keyboard (which is the shortest of everything mentioned here, 4 octaves).

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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the Nords are strictly one sound at a time. So on the Nords, you can't layer sounds or split the keyboard for two different sounds

 

Wow... I didn't know that. Of course you can't test-drive a Nord around here anyway.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

I'm playing up your way on Saturday, you are welcome to stop out and test drive my Electro. PM me if you are interested and I'll give you details on where we are.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

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I'm playing up your way on Saturday, you are welcome to stop out and test drive my Electro. PM me if you are interested and I'll give you details on where we are.

 

Thanks Dan. Actually it's a friend of mine in Oxford that was interested in the Nord. He had a chance to play a Stage a few months ago but hasn't tried the Electro.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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A few other points to add to AnotherScott's already excellent comparison:

 

-The Electro destroys the Kurzweil in the B3 and leslie sim department. No drawbars, but the sound is much more realistic.

 

-The Kurzweil, imo, has an infinitely better FX engine than the Nord. This is hugely important for copping realistic EP sounds. Everything from distortion, amp and speaker modeling, phaser, chorus, tremolo and panning are all MUCH more realistic in the Kurz. However, with that level of quality comes a much more complex processor full of oddly named parameters. The Electro is push a button turn a knob easy to set up. But, imo, the effects, especially the modulations, are of piss poor quality.

 

-Any of the Kurz keyboards suggested also offer a huge selection of non-classic keys sounds from strings and orchestral to synths, drums, bass, etc. So not an apples to apples comparison.

Ian Benhamou

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Nice feedback guys. The reason I was not too specific was that stating that the Electro 2 did what I'm after pretty well sums it up. A good piano, Hammond/leslie, Rhodes, Yamaha CP70 (does the Electro have this?), wurlitzer , Claviner. My current setup is a Yamaha P150 plus a Yamaha SY85. Pretty old now but they have served me well (and the P150 STILL has a decent piano and Rhodes sound IMO).
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Speaking of Clavinets and not having played any board of the PC3 family yet, how are the clavs on these Kurzweils?

 

I know that many presets are made to aproximate famous recordings, with their own amp sims, FX chains and stuff like that. But I´m talking about something along the llines of the electro, with filter and pickup manipulations in real time. Is there anything like that on the PC3? If not, at least some variety of presets with different pickup/filter combinations and not completely drowned in effects or colored by amp simulations?

 

I know that the PC3 offers great ready-to-go sounds, but i became very spoiled by the real time sound sculpting made possible by the little red keyboard.

 

:D

My drawbars go to eleven.

Gear: Roland VR-09, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg CX-3. Hear my music: facebook.com/smokestoneband

 

 

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GREGHUX - Re your E2 points:

 

Yamaha CP70 (does the Electro have this?)

 

You can find the piano libraries available for the E2 here. (incl the CP80).

 

A good piano...

Depends on your preferences and expectations. Personally not a fan.

 

I use an E2 and it serves quite well. A plus is the interface is simple and direct - not complicated. Midi-ing the E2 to your 150 makes a difference with the weighted keys - a plus.

 

+1 on all points (caveat the piano)

 

 

 

U1 | NP | NS3 | NE3 HP | K10
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To be honest 'a good piano' was an assumption as I have only played with the hammond and rhodes sounds and that was a few years ago. An upgrade to my P150 piano sound would be desirable but not critical. What do others think of the Electro piano sounds? Also what is the timeline for the release dates of the various Nord keyboards?
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Nice feedback guys. The reason I was not too specific was that stating that the Electro 2 did what I'm after pretty well sums it up. A good piano, Hammond/leslie, Rhodes, Yamaha CP70 (does the Electro have this?), wurlitzer , Claviner.

 

Ah, I actually didn't think of "piano" as being a Classic Keys sound. :-) The E2's piano is just okay, and its keyboard is really not conducive to piano playing. The E3 has the same keyboard problem, but has a much wider range of piano sounds. (It also has a much better sounding organ.)

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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The p150 piano - w/o my even hearing it - is probably much better than any E2 pianos - every other sound on the E2 will be better than your p150. I'd play the p150 piano, midi up the E2 and play the E2's Rhodes and Wurlitzer and CP80 from the P150 keyboard. Clav from either depending on what you like. Organ from the E2 keyboard. If you like the E2 pianos they will sound better from your playing the 88 key P150 as the controller playing the E2 sounds. Just turn the volume down on the Yamaha/
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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That's why I'm considering the module. Different sounds require a different action. SY85 for Hammond sounds, P150 for the rest.

Also the module is lighter and compact and I may purchase from USA as there are not many in Australia - means cheaper shipping.

Plus the fact that they are less popular may mean I can pick one up cheaper.

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I'm gonna bump this thread because I'd like to hear more about what people think about the piano sounds. I've just serviced my P150 today (fixed half a dozen notes - problems due to my abuse) and it reminded me how well they made these. So I think I will hold onto it and invest in a module of some sort. If the Nord hasn't got a great piano sound, what modules are available that do? I'd rather get one that does Piano, Hammond and Rhodes well. Other sounds are a bonus.
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I'm gonna bump this thread because I'd like to hear more about what people think about the piano sounds. I've just serviced my P150 today (fixed half a dozen notes - problems due to my abuse) and it reminded me how well they made these. So I think I will hold onto it and invest in a module of some sort. If the Nord hasn't got a great piano sound, what modules are available that do? I'd rather get one that does Piano, Hammond and Rhodes well. Other sounds are a bonus.

 

If you're looking for a module (not a keyboard), you don't have much to choose from. The only ones I can think of that come with with drawbar-level organ control and any piano sound at all are the Nord Electro rack and the Kurzweil PC2R (which has their KB3 organ mode). The Electro has the advantage of real-time drawbar control (you can probably add that to the Kurzweil with a fader MIDI controller if you wanted). The Kurzweil had the advantage of having many more sounds and being multi-timbral. I'm not sure which organ sound is better, both are good, neither is state-of-the-art. (I've played both, but not side by side, and neither in a long time.) Although people have different opinions about the Kurz pianos (I like them), I think that even people who aren't as enamored of them would still rank them well above the piano in the E2. Both have good Rhodes sounds.

 

The other possibilities I can think of are the Korg M3-M and the Motif Rack ES, which have at least decent pianos and, via the third-party Organimation add-on, drawbar level organ control, though I've never used it. The Korg has faders that can function as drawbars, the Motif does not, but again might work with an add-on.

 

All of these are rack-mountable except the Korg.

 

If you don't need drawbar-level organ control, but just an assortment of nice sounding organ patches, some other possibilities could open up.

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Maybe a combination of modules might be the trick? IMHO there's not a single module that does those three sounds really good.

 

To start - a Hammond XM2 with drawbar unit will give you a really nice organ. Then the GEM RP-X will give you great grand pianos and wurlies, it has decent rhodes and clavinet, but IMHO they lack some bite and attitude. Then of course the ones mentioned above - PC2R or Motif Rack ES or XS might be other options for pianos and rhodes.

 

Other organ options might be a used Voce V5, Oberheim OB32 (not the OB3, it's old), Viscount DB3 (slightly updated OB32) or Roland VK-8M. These might not on par with the more recent offerings, but paired with a Ventilator will probably sound great - of course then you will have 3 different boxes to achieve what you want...

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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I'm a big fan of the Electro's mono Steinway - as long as you trigger it from a good hammer action 88.

 

Good point... People often mention the relatively poor Electro 2 piano without mentioning there are alternate pianos that can be downloaded into it. It's not the same as the E3 selection, but it's something. In fact, when I had an E2, I was unaware of the availability of alternate piano sounds myself. So the only E2 piano sound I've ever heard/played myself was the stock one. (I also suspect that even the stock one may not seem as bad when triggered externally... I think the E2/E3 keyboard is particularly bad for piano.)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Most times, when I meet someone who plays an Electro and they use a piano sound, I ask which one they're using. The reply invariably starts, "uh... " :freak:

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I'm a big fan of the Electro's mono Steinway - as long as you trigger it from a good hammer action 88.

 

Good point... People often mention the relatively poor Electro 2 piano without mentioning there are alternate pianos that can be downloaded into it. It's not the same as the E3 selection, but it's something. In fact, when I had an E2, I was unaware of the availability of alternate piano sounds myself. So the only E2 piano sound I've ever heard/played myself was the stock one. (I also suspect that even the stock one may not seem as bad when triggered externally... I think the E2/E3 keyboard is particularly bad for piano.)

The NE2 pianos end even the EPs to some degree are horrible when triggered from non-piano weighted actions, and even some piano-weighted actions don't work well at all. You get a good, quality action, and the NE2 pianos and EPs gain entirely new life.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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That's interesting Kanker. I think the E2 module or with keyboard is probably the closest to what I'm after. Like I said, I'd be triggering it with my P150 for the piano sounds, and I happen to like the action on it.

What would I be paying for one?

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