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New addition to Nord's piano library: "Bright Grand"


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I'm going to download the small version and see how it sounds in my Stage classic. Right now I have one of the Yamahas loaded up, it sounds better in mono than the Lady D to me so that's why I have it.

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

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Sorry to digress: I really tried to love the nord stage over the last years. And I really like my classic 76's weight, its features, its easy of use, its effects, the eps, the organs, almost anything - but I really do not feel good playing acoustic piano patches on it (90% of my jobs are solo, duo or trio jazzy stuff type of gigs). I tried all of the recent samples - none of them makes me feel good.

 

I've finally given up trying and feeling like playing a toy piano, so I bought a Roland FP4F recently and suddenly the joy of playing is back on gigs. So I don't know if this update changes anything for me. I'm thinking about switching to a nord stage 2 compact for organ, eps, and synth stuff as second upper board though...

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It's such a great package; I'm hoping I like any of the pianos available for the newer models. As I've said many times, the NE2 is good enough for what I use it for, but it's just no fun to play. I vastly prefer my old MR76, which is getting a bit long in the tooth and I need to find a replacement. Sure would be nice if something red fit the bill. I did play an NE3 in Sam Ash and found it not much better than the NE2, but it may be that the factory pianos aren't the best ones.

 

Last time I was in Sam Ash trying a number of pianos with my own headphones, the piano I liked best was the FP7F -- until I lifted it. :-/ A friend has an FP4F I've played at jams or sitting in, and I like that too. I like its epiano too -- not exactly a Rhodes, but useful as a substitute and very musical and lively.

 

The problem with Nord pianos is a brassy honking quality in the middle register, and I hear it in ALL their pianos. I get the feeling they use the same damn mics for all their samples, and I just don't like their mics!

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As many here can attest, I have been through the wringer with the NordStage. I owned a bunch of them trying to love them, only to despise the pianos. I have to say that the Stage2 doesnt have that mid-range defect that the previous version did. Ive used the Stage2 on a few gigs and as much as I tried to say it aint happening, I ended up playing it much more than my S90es which was right there.
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I did play an NE3 in Sam Ash and found it not much better than the NE2, but it may be that the factory pianos aren't the best ones.

I wasn't too impressed with any of the stock pianos. However, I've been quite happy with the Grand Imperial. It's certainly an improvement.

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I loaded the mid size version in my Stage 2. This one is nice a nice addition to the library - I like it!
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Just downloaded the small version of the Bright Grand to my Stage classic. I agree, it's a nice addition to the Nord piano library. Definitely brighter (duh) but perhaps less full-bodied than Grand Lady D (my favorite to date). I played the opening line to "Roll with the Changes" and it sounded good for that particular type of groove. But as always seems to be the case with the Nord pianos, I will hold off final judgment until I can audition it live, in a couple of weeks.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Love my NE3 for the most part as well, but the pianos do nothing for me...of course, I didn't buy it for the pianos. Definitely will check this out though, sounds like it might be an improvement in a rock setting when traveling light.
Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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I downloaded the XL version to my NP88. Initial verdict: I think it's possibly the best "balanced" of the Nord offerings to date (it's apparently a Yamaha S4).

 

The Grand Lady D is nicely voiced across the whole range but the dynamics could be a bit more refined.

 

The Studio Grand 2 is lyrical and more responsive but has a weak top two octaves.

 

The Grand Imperial sounds wonderfully airy and open but suffers from a slight nasal quality in the octave above middle C.

 

The Bright Grand, seems to take the best of a lot of these - it has the even response of the Grand Lady, the dynamic sensitivity of the Studio Grand and the openness of the Bosie.

 

The real test is how good it is in mono over a PA. Up till now, I've always found the Grand Lady D to be the best overall bet there but I have high hopes of the Bright Grand.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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All these new XL pianos are great - and a "problem" - at the same time. Now, the 500mb piano memory starts to seem not big enough. And i betcha Nord are going to release more and more samples in the future. They'll probably become larger.

 

Loading the Large version is a compromise. I have heard from users who tried the L and XL versions of the imperial grand (bossendorfer) that there is a significant difference.

You could load the two XL versions of the bright yamaha and the bossendorfer, and still have enough room for all the ep's and clavs - but no room for these wonderful uprights. And before you know it - you'll see a stage 2 EX with double the memory...

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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What I want to know is why they don't make a few XL Rhodes pianos. The Nord Rhodes are good but they aren't in the same league as the Scarbee stuff. Why not devote some memory and time to getting the fabled "Herbie" sound?
Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers
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The Nord Rhodes are good but they aren't in the same league as the Scarbee stuff.

 

Scarbee might be a bit better, but keep in mind that the scarbee MKI sample is about 1.36GB (about 178mb of it are loaded into ram. At least that;s what it says on kontakt) - while the rhodes samples on the nord are between 6mb - 14mb. That, on its own, is nothing short than amazing.

Clavia proves again and again that to create a great sounding (and playable) sample, you don't need GB sized samples.

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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I agree with you Zah, but they keep pumping out huge sample sets of acoustic pianos. Why not devote some of that effort to new Rhodes samples? Even the new Sparkle Top and Dyno samples are very small compared to the acoustic piano sets.

 

I really wish someone could put the Scarbee samples into a keyboard. I would pay good money for that.

Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers
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Just loaded the Large version.

Sounds really nice and even.

It is noticable that this sampled S4 isn't a full blown concert grand.

The bass notes have a different harmonic character (less deep),some of the bass notes (E) rattle a little with to pronounced upper harmonics.

 

It gives this piano character though, so not a bad thing at all.

 

 

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Love my NE3 for the most part as well, but the pianos do nothing for me...of course, I didn't buy it for the pianos. Definitely will check this out though, sounds like it might be an improvement in a rock setting when traveling light.

The latest OS from a week ago v3.04 does improve the playabilty of the pianosounds from the electro3.

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The reason is their pianos seem to be the big point of contention and the 'make or break' for customers. At least, that's what I'm guessing.

+1

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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It is noticable that this sampled S4 isn't a full blown concert grand.

The bass notes have a different harmonic character (less deep),some of the bass notes (E) rattle a little with to pronounced upper harmonics.

 

According to what i read from other users about the bossendorfer - that is exactly the difference between the L version and the XL. Try downloading the XL bright Grand and let us know if the bass notes sound different. My bet is that they will be.

Vermona Perfourmer mkii, Nord Stage 3 76
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It is noticable that this sampled S4 isn't a full blown concert grand.

The bass notes have a different harmonic character (less deep),some of the bass notes (E) rattle a little with to pronounced upper harmonics.

 

According to what i read from other users about the bossendorfer - that is exactly the difference between the L version and the XL. Try downloading the XL bright Grand and let us know if the bass notes sound different. My bet is that they will be.

I'm afraid my electro3 will not allow XL versions.

I play the internal E3 sounds from a Kawai MP8 (totally awesome).

Being a professional piano tuner, I have tuned many concert grands incl. the Yamaha CFIII, I think even with the XL versions it will be noticable that this isn't a Steinway D, B. Imperial or CFIII.

 

I agree, I heared those observations too about the bass in the Bosendorfer XL versions.

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When your sig has a Steinway D listed, you don't get to vote!!! :)

 

I downloaded it last night and played with it some. I didn't leave it loaded up though, I put the C7 medium size in there instead. It seems to have better dynamics to it than the new bright grand. I rarely use my Stage for grand piano sounds though, I like the S90ES better. I have the C7 loaded up for the gigs where I only use 1 keyboard. I do like the upright sounds out of the Nord though, and I use those in several songs live.

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

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Nord pianos seem to work well for non pianists, rock, blues, funk or "keyboard" players.

 

Try to make serious music on one, especially in a Jazz vein, and it's a study in frustration big time.

Dave, are you really suggesting that rock, blues, and funk are not "serious" music, and that only jazz and classical qualify as such? This is such a tired, lame cliche. Alan Pasqua uses a Nord Stage. In fact, he recorded an entire album with it. Does this mean he's not making "serious" music? Please.

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I always wonder why jazz pianists are so particular fond of a yamaha c7 and the whole range of P/CP digital counterparts.

 

I had a P120, wich I almost literaly throw away, because of that totally absurd annoiyng processed and agressive sound.

I think it is a huge plus to finally play a brand that has its musical flaws.

 

Listen to Keith Jarret's '' Kolner concerts''. Played on a slightly detuned Steinway....gorgious.

 

I think I tuned to many C7 with unnatural hard hammerheads.....most of the times using my total sets of needles to give it some pleasing character.

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Jazz guys are such a minority that I don't think it's a high priority for Nord to cater to people like me.
Wait, didn't Nord send you a Nord Piano to get your feedback?

"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 just loaded the large version in my E3 and I like it...a lot!

There's alway's been something strange about the decay envelopes in the Nord pianos that's been kind of a turnoff to me, and this new offering seems to be way better in that particular area. Nice tone and really playable, however like all the other piano and rhodes sounds I end up triggering it from a weighted keyboard, as I can't stand playing them from the E3's action.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just wanted to revisit this thread, since I used the "Bright Grand" (XL) in my audition for Journey2Toto. In mono, through an absolute shite clapped-out Peavey PA, it sounded GREAT. Full, rich, even and responsive from top to bottom. My only complaint is that it cut too much - which a tweak of the Nord's EQ quickly fixed.

 

I was so impressed that I felt able, at least for the time being, to delete the Grand Lady D sample. I have got over my initial doubts about the Bosendorfer and that's now my favourite for practising and recording in the studio. Unfortunately, it doesn't flatten to mono particularly well. The Bright Grand has now given me a go-to sound for on stage too.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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