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Nord Electro on the horizon....?


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Going to be doing a little freelance from time to time outside my regular band. The gig in question is straight ahead rock stuff, for which my regular rig is overkill, and too weighty for me to haul around.

I'm looking to just use keyboard/cable/amp setup, maybe bring the Phatty along too.

Naturally I'm looking at the Nords, and in particular the Electro 3.

Been reading up on the them, but apart from downloading the manual, I haven't noticed whether these boards can do basic split functions (piano/organ, clav/piano, etc).

I know there's a tonne of people on here who own them, so I'm looking for opinions on what you like & dislike about them.

I already know going in that they suck as master controllers, but I'm not likely going to be calling it into service like the S70XS anyway.


What we record in life, echoes in eternity.


MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.


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No splitting, the Electros are monotimbral.


Apart from that, it is by far my favorite keyboard that I use all the time since I got it 4 years ago.


Recently I started playing with a prog rock band and bought a used Motif to go along with the Electro.


As it turns out, I barely even use the Motif. I get by fine with the organ and EP sounds from the Electro, plus the various sampled sounds from the Nord library. Especially the Mellotron sounds kick the Motif's butt, imho.

It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
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I've had the Electro 3-73 for about two years and really love it as a second tier board over a weighted digital piano. The lack of keyboard splits is annoying but the quality of the epianos and organs almost make up for it. The ability to split is found on the stage, which is what I almost got instead, but couldn't afford at the time. The negatives would be the lack of enough storable presets that make switching on the fly a bit more challenging, somewhat stiff keyboard action for clone enthusiasts, and of course, no drawbars until the Electro 4 model. Positives are the ability to download from Nord libraries that are ever expanding, great quality patches, and hey....it's red.
Roland RD-800, Roland RD-64, Nord Electro 5d -73, Hohner D-6 Clavinet, Wurlitzer 200A, Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Buz Watson, QSC and Presonus PA, Gibson and Bugera Tube Amps. Gobs of lights and lasers.
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The Electro 3 is good choice; covers piano / ep, plus organ, clav, etc. extremely well. From what you've described, I'm wondering if a Stage 2 76, or Compact would fit the situation even better. A definite step up, cost-wise, but it would cover the bases for live gigging with room to spare. Less limits, and several helpful options not found on the Electros. If the Stage 2 is any way doable, cost-wise, it's well worth the stretch.


My gigging situation has changed over the past few months; less poly-synth tone intensive gigs ( i.e. - 80's pop, etc.), more classic rock, country, modern, alternative roots rock... I sold off a Motif XF7 and picked up a Stage 2, 76 (still have a JP-50 to cover the synthy stuff). The Stage 2 is a rather simple controller, and has limits, function-wise. Stepping up to the Stage 2 from the Electro is definitely not a move from electro-mechanical emulation to full blown mega synth / controller. There are many, involved things I would choose my JP-50 for, first....

What the Stage 2 does do, beyond the Electro, is give you much easier, and more comprehensive access to, and management of the Nord Library; more sample RAM, too. Having the additional front panel controls, pitch / mod,

etc. (and various, ingenious ways to utilize them) is helpful. Also, the organ section has the newer, C2 engine; definitely notice an edge there. The synth section is solid; it's Nord VA, and quite strong. Granted, compared to a Nord Lead the number of functions is reduced; but you can still do a lot with it. The synth engine is single osc.; but with two layers available per engine, fat, dual-osc. sounds are part of the game too. I've used both factory/library and self programmed synth comp, pad, and lead / bass sounds. Have gotten great comments on the lead tones, more so than the ones in the Motif XF. For certain sounds the Stage 'hits' a little stronger than even the JP. You might not have to bring the Phatty on the gig.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


We need a barfing cat emoticon!








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If you're looking to buy a new Electro 3, now is a good time. Nord is discontinuing the NE3 line and retailers are dumping their remaining stock of non-HP boards at significant discounts.

“Old keyboard players don't stop playing because they lose interest...

they quit because of all the sh&t they have to carry around.”


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I use my electro 3 more than everything and it does 80% of my work. Great board and especially for rehearsals!
Kurzweil PC3x, Nord Electro 3, Nord C-1, Casio Privia PX-3, Yamaha DX-7, Korg Polysix, Moog Taurus 3, Yamaha Motif XS (rack),Ventilator, QSC K12, K10
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The organ model is definitely a step up from the stage 2.


That's good to hear. I'm seriously considering upgrading my NE3 SW73 to the NE4 SW73 (either before or after I get a VPC1). I don't really need the additional memory, however I'm tempted by the improved organ+Leslie.


I'd love to hear some NE3 vs NE4 organ comparisons, but there don't appear to be any online. I have an NE2 here also, so could potentially make a comparison video comparing all three generations of organ. ;)





Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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