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This Nord Stage 2 EX reminds me....


Resolution 88

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... of the massive annoyance I still experience even now because of Nord changing their file format a year or two ago.

 

[i really like my Nord Stage 2, it's a great keyboard for gigging, before you read any further - but this is a major problem].

 

I'd like to know whether it was initial poor planning or some other reason that led to them adopting a new format for the Nord Stage 2 that is incompatible with earlier Nords and vice versa. When I sold my Stage classic, I lost many hours of hard work programming sounds etc.

This problem has followed me like a terrible curse. I've been travelling to gigs a lot recently (in fact I'm getting up early tomorrow morning to fly to Barcelona) and the gigs often go like this:

 

I turn up to sound check with my laptop and USB cable ready to load my programmed sounds onto the Stage 2 that was specified in the tech rider.

A lot of times, the venue / hire company in whichever country (Italy, Spain, Holland etc) doesn't have access to a Stage 2 so they might provide an EX or Classic instead. Hey, it's still red and it's got 88 keys, that should be fine, right?

Cue some rather rushed button pushing and knob tweaking from me just to get my sounds right. This often runs over the end of soundcheck - all my band members going to change / eat / drink / chill out and me sat hunched over the keyboard looking like I've turned up disorganised.

This is happening to me on a regular basis and it's a massive pain. I really like my Nord Stage 2 and I use it at all my gigs - but either I'm missing a way around this or Nord really made life difficult for gigging musicians...

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That would be an idea but I don't own a Stage Classic or an EX to program the sounds though - I'm playing for a band that I've always had the Stage 2 for so I never had to program the sounds on anything else.

AFAIK you can't just program patches remotely using the Sound Manager software..

 

Another annoyance with that solution suggested (even if it was possible) would be the duplication of effort every time I wanted to create a new sound. Sometimes I might go through several revisions of a sound and to update both to match each time would be a pain.

 

I do appreciate the suggestion though because I hadn't thought of it - but even then it might not be viable since I don't own the older keyboards.

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Not so surprised that there is a difference in file format between stage 1 and 2 since e.g. the synthsection is completely different. Has there ever been a synth any brand that was backcompatible, yeah I remember one, kurzweil 2k series.

 

Saw youre videos on the net, Nice band you got! Interesting that you use the stage 88 for so many synt and clavinet duties. Mine replaces the rhodes and I use an electro and lead 4 for clavinet and synth duties resp...perhaps I should revisit the stage 2 synth section doesnt sound to bad less to carry.

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Hi Fred - thanks for the reply too. I may well be being unfair as you say, since I've never had different hardware revisions of any other keyboard make to have experienced such annoyances.

I'm sure that the synth section is what caused difficulties, but it's a shame they didn't have more foresight or the ability to make the original file format one that could have been expanded or converted into the newer format

My Stage 2 is my primary gigging keyboard and it sounds great. For my band (thanks for checking out our videos!) I use it as a clavinet / synth because it just doesn't compare to the sound or the feeling of playing a real suitcase Rhodes but it provides loads of flexibility in what I can cover when put in place of the clavinet. I know the weighted action is not ideal for a clavinet but the Nord clavinet sounds great. (I just wish that they'd produce the muted clavinet sound!)

The Stage 2 synth section is great for what it is - nice sounds and easy to use.

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Get a Stage 2 SW73 and travel with it. Backline any old weighted controller and a two--tier stand. It flies wonderfully. Put it in the Nord gig bag and put that inside a Pelican 1750 (no foam). Room at the ends for an FC7 and a sustain pedal and a bit of extra foam, and you're done. I've checked mine about a hundred times now with no issues.

 

But yes, I sure wish for the muted clav and poly portamento on the synth section! I just hope the Stage 3 SW73 (whenever it comes) doesn't get one inch bigger or one pound heavier, because it's going to throw off my whole system if I can't fly with it.

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Changing gear is always a hassle....

 

Have a small collection of rhodes pianos so I know what you mean...I just can't motivate myself to bring any of them to a gig because of the weight so I use them for recording.

 

If you go dare to go the computer route the scarbee clavinet(included in NIs kontakt sampler) has the muted version and is way more clav realistic than the nord clav-haven't tried it live though I'm to much of a coward.

 

 

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I turn up to sound check with my laptop and USB cable ready to load my programmed sounds onto the Stage 2 that was specified in the tech rider.

A lot of times, the venue / hire company in whichever country (Italy, Spain, Holland etc) doesn't have access to a Stage 2 so they might provide an EX or Classic instead. Hey, it's still red and it's got 88 keys, that should be fine, right?

 

Would you still be angry with Nord if the backline company provided a Yamaha Motif series board instead of your Nord Stage 2? I'm guessing not... so perhaps your frustration is misdirected?

 

Just my $0.02, based on my experience with backline frustration.

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Hi there, thanks for the solution - that is a good way round it. I don't think I'll go for it because we often don't have the budget to check instruments and also I can't justify buying another Nord Stage just to solve what somebody has rightly said on this thread is a first world problem ;) But I can see that your suggestion could work well. Thanks!

Get a Stage 2 SW73 and travel with it. Backline any old weighted controller and a two--tier stand. It flies wonderfully. Put it in the Nord gig bag and put that inside a Pelican 1750 (no foam). Room at the ends for an FC7 and a sustain pedal and a bit of extra foam, and you're done. I've checked mine about a hundred times now with no issues.

 

But yes, I sure wish for the muted clav and poly portamento on the synth section! I just hope the Stage 3 SW73 (whenever it comes) doesn't get one inch bigger or one pound heavier, because it's going to throw off my whole system if I can't fly with it.

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I feel for you - I remember not being too happy when they made the change leaving me unable to use two of my favorite patches off of my classic stage... and nord being unable/unwilling to replicate them in the new file format... oh well, moving right along...

gig: hammond sk-1 73, neo vent, nord stage 2 76, ancona 34 accordion, cps space station v3

home: steinway m, 1950 hammond c2

 

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The Stage 2 is a lot more complex than the original Stage so I don't see how the new programs even could be backwards compatible with the Stage/Stage EX. As Sven points out, the problem is the backline companies, not Nord.

Most companies slightly alter the file formats every time there a new model. Sure a few keep the same file suffix, but they're still not compatible with the new series. One example is Korg where a lot of they're workstations use the PCG-file format, but that does not mean that you can load a PCG file from an M3 into the older, less complex TR. I will change from using my TR76 in my cover band and start using my M3-88 instead. So now I have to reprogram 35 quite complex performances from scratch to have all the songs in my M3. The M3 is more advanced and have a lot more parameters, so I don't find it strange at all.

Another example i the Kurzweil PC3K - yes it can read programs and samples from the 20 year older K2000, which is quite unique, but I'm quite sure that the K2000 can't read the PC3K files...

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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Carry your patches in 2 file formats so you don't have to frantically reprogram?

 

That sounds like the most practical solution to me, too.

 

That would be an idea but I don't own a Stage Classic or an EX to program the sounds

...

I do appreciate the suggestion though because I hadn't thought of it - but even then it might not be viable since I don't own the older keyboards.

 

If you can't have access (friends-music shops-renting?) to a Stage Classic/EX to backup you programs, you could make the best of the situation the next time it happens to you at a gig.

 

You told you always travel with your laptop and Nord Sound Manager, so why don't you save the patches you had to "frantically reprogram"?

Nord Sound Manager is compatible with the Stage Classic too: it just takes a few minutes, and even if it's a hurried and on-the-fly job, surely it's better than nothing at all, and having to start from scratch every time you find yourself in such a situation.

 

So basically the workflow would be:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- frantically reprogram the instrument for the n-th time, while your bandmates are eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

- After you're done reprogramming (or after the show), hook up the laptop anyway and save your programs. If you don't have to save the samples it just take a few seconds, and even if you save everything (setting+samples as a bundle) it only takes about 15 minutes.

 

NEXT GIG:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- hook up your laptop, download your backupped Stage Classic programs, check that everything is more or less ok, and in 10 minutes you're ready to join the bandmates in eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

:2thu:

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Has there ever been a synth any brand that was backcompatible, yeah I remember one, kurzweil 2k series.

 

The Roland JV/XV series patches were converted to almost all Fantom and JUNO formats and are available at www.rolandclan.com.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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Get a Stage 2 SW73 and travel with it.

 

This.

 

+1.

But more on the topic, I perfectly agree that it is a nuisance. But for the NS2 EX I am quite sure, it is going to be the same format than the NS2 (as the .nspg format is identical across the NS Classic and EX).

Now technically one COULD come up with a conversion of the formats, at least from old to new but some adjustments will have to be made (e.g. from the Synth EQ, ...) but reverse engineering the format will take lot of time and effort so probably not gonna happen...

 

As a side note, thinking about how it is on other boards across different revisions/versions, this is not limited to Nord or is it?

 

www.norduserforum.com
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As a side note, thinking about how it is on other boards across different revisions/versions, this is not limited to Nord or is it?

AFAIK no company has keyboards that are 100% compatible with the previous models - and most of them are hardly compatible at all. For some manufacturers there are 3rd party programs that can do conversions, but these are seldom 100% accurate either.

 

To sum up the best solutions here - get another Stage 2 you can travel with, or save the presets you make on a Nord Stage "classic", so you're ready for any Nord Stage.

Another solution would to convert to a laptop based rig for touring. Then it doesn't matter at all what keyboard is supplied to you for the gig. Also - a laptop rig obviously take up minimum space, when traveling.

Of course - an even more practical solution would be if Nord were to release a Stage 2 rack/desktop, but it doesn't seem like this will happen any time soon...

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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Carry your patches in 2 file formats so you don't have to frantically reprogram?

 

That sounds like the most practical solution to me, too.

 

That would be an idea but I don't own a Stage Classic or an EX to program the sounds

...

I do appreciate the suggestion though because I hadn't thought of it - but even then it might not be viable since I don't own the older keyboards.

 

If you can't have access (friends-music shops-renting?) to a Stage Classic/EX to backup you programs, you could make the best of the situation the next time it happens to you at a gig.

 

You told you always travel with your laptop and Nord Sound Manager, so why don't you save the patches you had to "frantically reprogram"?

Nord Sound Manager is compatible with the Stage Classic too: it just takes a few minutes, and even if it's a hurried and on-the-fly job, surely it's better than nothing at all, and having to start from scratch every time you find yourself in such a situation.

 

So basically the workflow would be:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- frantically reprogram the instrument for the n-th time, while your bandmates are eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

- After you're done reprogramming (or after the show), hook up the laptop anyway and save your programs. If you don't have to save the samples it just take a few seconds, and even if you save everything (setting+samples as a bundle) it only takes about 15 minutes.

 

NEXT GIG:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- hook up your laptop, download your backupped Stage Classic programs, check that everything is more or less ok, and in 10 minutes you're ready to join the bandmates in eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

:2thu:

 

This is what I would have done after the 1st time it happened.

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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Carry your patches in 2 file formats so you don't have to frantically reprogram?

 

That sounds like the most practical solution to me, too.

 

That would be an idea but I don't own a Stage Classic or an EX to program the sounds

...

I do appreciate the suggestion though because I hadn't thought of it - but even then it might not be viable since I don't own the older keyboards.

 

If you can't have access (friends-music shops-renting?) to a Stage Classic/EX to backup you programs, you could make the best of the situation the next time it happens to you at a gig.

 

You told you always travel with your laptop and Nord Sound Manager, so why don't you save the patches you had to "frantically reprogram"?

Nord Sound Manager is compatible with the Stage Classic too: it just takes a few minutes, and even if it's a hurried and on-the-fly job, surely it's better than nothing at all, and having to start from scratch every time you find yourself in such a situation.

 

So basically the workflow would be:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- frantically reprogram the instrument for the n-th time, while your bandmates are eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

- After you're done reprogramming (or after the show), hook up the laptop anyway and save your programs. If you don't have to save the samples it just take a few seconds, and even if you save everything (setting+samples as a bundle) it only takes about 15 minutes.

 

NEXT GIG:

- arrive at the venue with your laptop, Nord Sound Manager and customized programs ready to load in the Stage2.

- find out for the n-th time that there is no Stage2 to load the programs in.

- hook up your laptop, download your backupped Stage Classic programs, check that everything is more or less ok, and in 10 minutes you're ready to join the bandmates in eating, drinking, partying and mingling with groupies.

:2thu:

 

Thanks - that's such an obvious solution I really should have thought about it after this happened once (as another poster said) rather than repeatedly turning up optimistically expecting the right equipment. Some of the other replies have also given me perspective on how often this happens with all keyboard manufacturers. Thanks all - I'll see what I get given tonight...

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Also, a lot of NS2 programs use samples. Those samples don't exist in the earlier Stage, nor is their any way to load them in. Support for samples was probably the biggest change from the older Stage to the Stage 2.

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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