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I've got the Nord Stage 2 and a bunch of questions


Cadmann

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I just got the Stage 2 in a couple of weeks ago, and I was wondering if there is an ongoing thread aimed at owners of that board and their questions/answers. Right off, it appears all the rotor speed/accel/decel settings are global, not assignable to each patch. Please tell me I'm doing it wrong. Otherwise, that's a disappointment. I've been blown away by the piano sounds, and the organ sounds are getting there -- it's taking some tweaking. I've been playing it through the tiny practice amp that came as a gift for buying the Stage, and it's been sounding great at home. But I just had my first gig with the Stage, and I used my Traynor K4 amp -- which made the whole rig sounded like crap. The bandleader was kind of wondering why I even got the keyboard. I'm about to order an EV Zxa1 speaker. That seems to be the speaker of choice for piano reproduction among the forum experts. Does it do as well for organ sounds?

 

Feel free to chime in.

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I had a look in the manual and it's not really clear there, but I think you are right in believing rotary settings are global. I think that goes for all Nord products (C-series, Electros and Stage). Then reading the update history may be confusing:

 

"When a program is loaded, the Rotary speed will immediately be set to match the program setting.

 

Rotary Horn and Rotor positions are now stored in programs, if the Rotary is in the Stop mode."

 

So, when you stop the virtual leslie - if you store the program, then the program will "remember" how the drum and treble rotor are placed. Ok, that's kinda nice since it can sound quite different when in different positions, but that also made me think rotor and horn speed tweaks would be stored in programs.

 

If you feel the absolute need to have different speed settings in different programs - I don't think you should give up hope just yet. It might be available in a future OS update.

 

On a side note - I was kinda disappointed when they in the last update chose to make mono mode a global setting, cause for some pianos (and some songs) I want the piano in mono, but others in stereo. Now I would have to change this manually, instead of like before when it followed my program changes. Well well...

 

But back to organ and leslie - if you're serious about your organ sound. I strongly suggest you to get a Ventilator for your Stage2. I really find it to be a night and day different compared to the built in rotary effect. The Nord's leslie sim sounds polite and compressed - the Vent sounds like a big and ballsy leslie! :)

Of course, the Vent doesn't either have the ability to store different settings - no program memories - but in that case you'll at least have a knob to fine tune your speed setting.

 

I'll get my EV ZXa1 in a few days - I'll get back with a short review of how it works for pianos vs organ then.

 

/Tobias

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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This is interesting to me as I'm about to get a Stage 2 and use it with a QSC K10. I'll probably send the organ sounds to my Motion Sound Pro 145 though.

 

Will probably post something once I take delivery...

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. MAG P-2 Organ. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Moog Matriarch. KIWI-8P.

 

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Right off, it appears all the rotor speed/accel/decel settings are global, not assignable to each patch. Please tell me I'm doing it wrong. Otherwise, that's a disappointment.

For some additional perspective, it might be worth remembering that these things are "global" on a real Leslie, too.

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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I've owned a NS2 compact since they were first available. Except for the electronic drawbars (which I hate) and the Leslie sim, I think the B3 organ is excellent. Its overdrive, for example, is much better than on the Hammond SK1.

I play mine thru a EV ZXa1, and overall it sounds incredible.

 

Spike

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Polite and compressed is right. I gigged with my NS2 Compact last night for the first time. It was with a rock band in a LOUD stage volume setting, with my K10 blasting right by my ear. I had my earplugs in, and everything was a muddle. In this context, the Black Upright did a really nice job. But it sounds more like part of the mix than a loud vital instrument, if you know what I mean. This goes double for the organ... it doesn't sound like there's a Leslie near me, it sounds like there is a CD playing a recording of an organ. Out front, it probably sounded fine.

 

 

 

 

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All good comments. I'm not a mad tweaker with organ settings (other than drawbars), so I really don't have a big problem with leslie settings being global, now that I think about it. I was glad that I was able to make the leslie sound so much better (to me) when I backed down the speed from the default setting, which I thought was way too fast, especially for sounds with a little overdrive and percussion. I'm a little antsy because I still have about three weeks to return the Stage 2, and when I think about suggestions about a Ventillator, I'm wondering why I should spend all this money on a less-than-perfect keyboard. I DO think the organ/leslie sounds are very good, but with a Ventillator, you'd have great sounding organs with just about any keyboard (although it would be another thing to hook up). And what about the SK-1? I could pick up that for less than half the cost of the Stage 2, but then I'd have to find an excellent piano -- and then I'd be back to a 2-keyboard system at roughly the same price, unless I got a Privia. I think that with the return clock ticking, I'm just suffering from buyer's panic.

 

About the mono mode -- at that gig last week, I wasn't even aware of the global restriction, and it definitely was a mono PA. Is there any reason not to use the mono setting for all pianos if you're feeding into a mono PA? What if you want to hear stereo in your monitor system? And does anyone else have an opinion on the Traynor? It seems to have very little low end and a very tinny sound. Before I bought it (used), I could swear I read several people on the forums say it was the greatest sounding combo amp ever. Was I just seeing what I wanted to see at the time?

 

Thanks guys

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I agree that the Vent is a gigantic step up from the inboard sim. My biggest issue with the internal Leslie is that the fast rotor speed is way too fast and there's no way to edit it. I believe you can set the rotor speed in the Electro 3 but you can't on the S2.
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then I'd be back to a 2-keyboard system

though 2 boards is a big benefit when you're doing both piano and organ, because of the weighted-vs.-unweighted actions.

 

Which NS2 do you have, weighted or non?

 

 

I could swear I read several people on the forums say it was the greatest sounding combo amp ever.

That sounds like a nice example of damning with faint praise.

 

I don't recall hearing many kind words for the Traynor on piano, which is the toughest thing to get sounding good.

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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My biggest issue with the internal Leslie is that the fast rotor speed is way too fast and there's no way to edit it. I believe you can set the rotor speed in the Electro 3 but you can't on the S2.

You need the newest OS upgrade for the NS2, 1.4 adds the more customizable Leslie settings.

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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I downloaded the 1.4 as soon as I plugged it in. I should emphasize that I'm happy with the settings now. I just think it might be nice to have different Leslie settings for different patches.

 

And I definitely was not intending criticize forum posters. If anything, I'm afraid my ears were cherry picking what they wanted to hear, since I really wanted a perfect combo amp. I'm sure I heard praise for the Traynor, but it may not have been widespread. And some of it might have been on other sites.

 

Oh, and the last thing -- I got the full weighted 88s. I think I'd rather play organ on piano keys than piano on organ keys. Either way it's a little sacrifice.

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