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#1638961 - 03/11/11 04:00 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: Aidan]
Benoit N Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 13
Loc: France
Congrats Aidan for your purchase!

Currently, I play equally with the Grand Lady D, Studio Grand 2 and Bosendorfer sounds.
Actually, I'd like to have a XL sample set for the Studio Grand 2: I like the medium and bass registers, but don't like the high register, which becomes very thin in the high end.
I find the Grand Lady D better in the treble.
I add more bass to the sound, due to its bright character (I listen through AKG701).

Anyway the NP is a great instrument.
Maybe in the future there will be a NP2 with a better action, more memory and XL samples.
Also I regret a simple metronome: it's not very convenient to use a laptop for this purpose.
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Nord Piano 88

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#1638980 - 03/11/11 04:20 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
We've got a happy little club forming here!

I think the Studio Grand 2 lacks a lot in the upper octave and half...like it gets to its maximum at way too low velocities. But in every other respect it just goes on giving...tremendously dynamic and, just as importantly, it is tonally nice and versatile - not too bright, not too mellow and with great character. I love it.

Bosie grows on you too. These two voices are the reason to buy the NP88 in my opinion.

I'm currently looking at a brand new Roland FP-7F in my little music room (long story)...I've packed the Nord away to make space for a few weeks. Two hours in and I already miss the Nord. Roland's action is extremely good in this FP. It is certainly not inferior to the other iterations of the PHA-III that I have used. But for so many reasons I keep looking longingly over at the Nord in its box...
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1639006 - 03/11/11 04:58 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
We've got a happy little club forming here!

I think the Studio Grand 2 lacks a lot in the upper octave and half...like it gets to its maximum at way too low velocities. But in every other respect it just goes on giving...tremendously dynamic and, just as importantly, it is tonally nice and versatile - not too bright, not too mellow and with great character. I love it.

Bosie grows on you too. These two voices are the reason to buy the NP88 in my opinion.

I'm currently looking at a brand new Roland FP-7F in my little music room (long story)...I've packed the Nord away to make space for a few weeks. Two hours in and I already miss the Nord. Roland's action is extremely good in this FP. It is certainly not inferior to the other iterations of the PHA-III that I have used. But for so many reasons I keep looking longingly over at the Nord in its box...


I agree with your assessment above Steve in regards to the sounds of the NP88. And perhaps your NP88 is staring right back longingly wanting out of the box...:) Maybe you can just take the PHAIII out of the FP-7F and drop that in the Nord. wink
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1639014 - 03/11/11 05:06 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: PianoZac
Maybe you can just take the PHAIII out of the FP-7F and drop that in the Nord. wink


If only...that might almost be the definition of perfection
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Yamaha CP1

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#1639018 - 03/11/11 05:11 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: PianoZac
Maybe you can just take the PHAIII out of the FP-7F and drop that in the Nord. wink


If only...that might almost be the definition of perfection

Yeah I honestly can't think of, other than Kawai's RM3 action, a better DP action to mate to the amazing vibe/sounds the NP88 possesses. That would truly be the king of DPs! shocked
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1639156 - 03/11/11 08:42 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
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http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1643882 - 03/19/11 01:23 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
You guys seem to all "get used to" the nord action... I keep driving myself absolutely insane over which DP to get. I'm always thinking I'm set on the roland rd700nx because of it's action, but for my personal needs that's all I like about it.

The yamaha CP 5/50 are nice too, but I prefer the roland action. The pianos are both good, but I wouldn't consider either transparently realistic enough for a solo piano album, which is one of my goals.

So, now I'm back leaning towards nord. It's light, beautiful (although red may be odd at a wedding performance :-o), shorter and I love the nord legs. The best part is that it contains some of the best pianos I've heard without needing to buy extra software or use a computer.

So there are two main questions I was wondering if you guys would be kind enough to answer? First, the demos I hear sound excellent. I like all the pianos for different reasons. The romantic schimmel upright is amazing. The grands are all nice in their different tones, and my gosh the vintage mark XXX instruments are incredible.

But, I've read there is audible looping in piano release. I've also heard some strange fast cutoff of notes in some videos. I want to use these pianos for new age solo piano recordings for my albums. Would these hold up under scrutiny for that purpose? Here are two songs that give you an idea of my style...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVIv2SF5I7g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jEKgiLTviY

Would I be better off with something like Ivory 2 grand piano library? It sounds good, but these nord pianos have "character" and I'd save some $. If I gave someone these midi files, could they render those songs for me using a nord piano patch or two to hear what they sound like?

The second question/concern is the action. The nord is the only one I can't try anywhere within hundreds of miles, and I'm very concerned about the action. I was wondering if I could outline my thoughts on action and see if you guys could gauge if you think I might like it?

Basically, I love the rd700nx. It's the best action I've ever felt in a keyboard. As a pianist I don't think it feels like a real piano, but it's the closest to an upright piano I've felt in weight and mechanics. I like that. Note: I don't currently have a real piano in my apartment.

I also like the CP5/50. They are a little different feeling in mechanics, but they are some of the best. They almost feel a little heavier in a certain way, but playing certain runs feels less precise to me and is a little more difficult on the yamahas. The cp50 difficulty is more noticeable in it's "mechanics", where the cp5 is a little lighter in weight, but more accurate in mechanics and feel. But they are very similar.

From boards I've tested I prefer the roland, however if the yamaha as it is contained the nord samples I would buy it without hesitation over the roland being pretty close in action.

Currently, I use a roland EP9 (1996 I believe). As you can hear in those two songs I linked to, I'm making due reasonably well with the action, but it's semi-weighted and not very good. The notes across the board aren't even consistent with velocity, but anyway...

I played a phantom G8 and would be happy with that action as well, but I'm not sure what it is off the top of my head. PHA2 ivory feel? I tried the 300GX and honestly thought it was worse than my ep9 in some ways. It was a little heavier, but more spongy feeling. I couldn't live with that in any circumstance. Just couldn't feel into it at all. The yamaha motifs are in the middle somewhere. I haven't played them much, but from my horrible memory I'd say they are middle weight with less real action but not very spongy.?

Lastly, I've played a few casio privias. At first I was impressed by the action for the price, but the more I tried them, the more I felt they too have a weird sponginess to them. Not nearly as bad as the 300GX, but definitely not accurate. So, while weight is important, I feel accuracy and "feel" are more important. So would you say the nord fits this category? Is it anywhere near the weight of say the privias or better yet the yamahas? Or is it closer to the 300gx but just more accurate?

For instance, when I play a board with bad action I find two problems, first it's easy to make mistakes because the keys go down so easy, and second (this is the worst) when I need to make a fast note change from say the upper keys to the lower, it's very easy to get loud or boomy notes from pressing to fast or hard, even when trying hard to control your hand muscles.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post, but if anyone could answer these questions/bounce some midi wink it would be extremely helpful. I'm looking to more accurately understand the np88 since I can't try one. And since you guys are the nord experts ;-)


Edited by luisdent (03/19/11 01:31 AM)

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#1643962 - 03/19/11 08:27 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4272
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: luisdent
But, I've read there is audible looping in piano release.

Yes there is. Here is my sound technology review of two of the piano voices. Download the DPBSD MP3s and listen for yourself to the looping. As looping goes it's probably some of the best I've heard, with fairly long attack and loop samples, though the low and mid note loops are audible to me. The looping test is located around the middle of the MP3.

Many here with discerning ears seem to love the Nord piano samples, so it's rather unfortunate to have them chopped down like this in order to fit into such a small memory space - though the sample sets themselves are quite likely larger than you will encounter in most DPs.

Originally Posted By: luisdent
I want to use these pianos for new age solo piano recordings for my albums. Would these hold up under scrutiny for that purpose? Here are two songs that give you an idea of my style...

The songs you are playing (nice playing BTW) have single or a couple of notes that are played mostly by themselves and held for a while. This tends to reveal looping, particularly if the notes are in the lower or middle of the keyboard.

What were you playing on in these videos?

Originally Posted By: luisdent
Would I be better off with something like Ivory 2 grand piano library? It sounds good, but these nord pianos have "character" and I'd save some $.

I think you will likely end up with a software piano if you are doing solo piano recording like this.

Originally Posted By: luisdent
If I gave someone these midi files, could they render those songs for me using a nord piano patch or two to hear what they sound like?

I volunteer to do this through all three of the SN pianos in our RD-700NX, factory default settings but with reverb off so you can hear what is going on better (and you probably want to add your own better reverb later with PC software). Roland SN isn't perfect, but it's the closest thing to recording quality I've found outside of a PC.

If you want me to do this I'd like to post the resulting MP3 files here for others to listen to as well. PM me if you are interested.
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1644012 - 03/19/11 10:21 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: luisdent
I've also heard some strange fast cutoff of notes

The Nord Stage 2 has a new "selectable release" feature to address that. I wonder if they will find a way to add it to the NP.

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#1644037 - 03/19/11 11:23 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: dewster]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Thanks for the reply. smile

Quote:
What were you playing on in these videos?


This was my roland EP-9 controller with the sampletekk seven seas (c7) grand piano library. Which ironically is somehow related to the nord samples according to sampletekk (that's another post). http://www.sampletekk.com/proddetail.php?prod=STDELIVER-036-FORMAT

The problem with it is that to get it to sound like that I had to do extensive editing. A lot of these newer libraries like ivory II (and I believe the nor piano possibly) don't require any editing and naturally sound very good.

The sampletekk is very inexpensive, especially when they have huge sales. I think I got it for no more than $100.

I checked out that review, which is great, and I heard the audible looping easily. I'm still not sure how it would be just listening to a song and not "listening" for it. However, "listening" for it I can hear it on every sustained note in the test. :-/ Anyone up for the midi file with a nord? :-)

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#1644069 - 03/19/11 12:45 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4272
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: luisdent
This was my roland EP-9 controller with the sampletekk seven seas (c7) grand piano library.

I was pretty sure it was a PC sampler. I'd be interested in a DPBSD MP3 of your SampleTekk piano if isn't too much trouble. Basically, you turn off effects like reverb and record the result as hot as possible (without clipping) and convert to MP3 (44.1kHz, stereo, 192kbps, CBR).

Originally Posted By: luisdent
I checked out that review, which is great, and I heard the audible looping easily. I'm still not sure how it would be just listening to a song and not "listening" for it. However, "listening" for it I can hear it on every sustained note in the test. :-/

A budding member of the He-Man Loop Hater's Club. smile
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1644333 - 03/19/11 08:22 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
I'd be interested in this, as I've been told the sampletekk c7 has minimal looping. I will render the C7 grand, white grand and TBO (the big one) all dry and unedited.

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#1644476 - 03/20/11 01:18 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Regarding my question on action, I looked and found the phantom g8 is phaII. I thought this was very good action. I've read elsewhere the nord action is possibly better or heavier? Is that true? I was under the assumption it was lighter than most? If it's at least as good as the phaII i'm buying it tomorrow. :-p ha

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#1644490 - 03/20/11 02:07 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: luisdent
I've read elsewhere the nord action is possibly better or heavier? Is that true? I was under the assumption it was lighter than most? If it's at least as good as the phaII i'm buying it tomorrow. :-p ha

I believe the prevailing view is that the PHAII action is better than the Fatar actions that go in to the Nord Piano. However, the connection between the keys and the sound is everything. You should try it out yourself, and see if it feels right for you. I have spent some time playing on a PHAII keyboard, and didn't particularly like it - which is why I'll be taking a look at both the Nord piano and the Kawai MP10.

Some years ago I owned a Fatar SL1100 controller, built into its own flight case. Not a great performer, but really convenient!

Good luck with your ongoing search,

Jonathan

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#1644492 - 03/20/11 02:16 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
unfortunately there is no nord piano anywhere in the nearest states. i've searched everywhere. the nord is the dp for me "if" i can live with the action. i want to gig, record albums, use software instruments, etc. I love hte weight and onboard features and simplicity for live and the pianos are excellent for onboard.

However, I'm so hesitant to buy it because of the action. Sweetwater.com said i could return it within 30 days (at about $40 shipping cost to return). Maybe it's worth it in the larger scheme of things if i end up paying $40. I know my only other option is the 700nx if it doesn't work out... I'm just a reasearch-a-holic and can't come to make the final purchase since I haven't tried it. ugh...

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#1644581 - 03/20/11 09:05 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4272
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: luisdent
I'd be interested in this, as I've been told the sampletekk c7 has minimal looping. I will render the C7 grand, white grand and TBO (the big one) all dry and unedited.

Cool, thanks!
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1644610 - 03/20/11 10:28 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: luisdent
Sweetwater.com said i could return it within 30 days (at about $40 shipping cost to return). Maybe it's worth it in the larger scheme of things if i end up paying $40.

I like Samedaymusic.com when I'm not sure I'm going to want to keep something. They give 60 days instead of 30, and although of course you always have to pay return shipping no matter who you buy it from, SDM will give you a full refund, whereas Sweetwater deducts their original shipping cost from your refund. So if the unit costs about $40 to ship, you'd be out $80 returning it to Sweetwater (shipping both ways) but only $40 from SDM since you're only responsible for the return ship. At least that's how it was when I've used them in the past.

And paying $40 to try it out isn't so bad, if you think there's a good chance it's what you want. For me, it always costs money to try things out. I'm only about an hour from Manhattan where I can try things out at Sam Ash, but gas, tolls, and parking would probably cost me more than $40 anyway.

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#1644631 - 03/20/11 11:20 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: anotherscott]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: luisdent
Sweetwater.com said i could return it within 30 days (at about $40 shipping cost to return). Maybe it's worth it in the larger scheme of things if i end up paying $40.

I like Samedaymusic.com when I'm not sure I'm going to want to keep something. They give 60 days instead of 30, and although of course you always have to pay return shipping no matter who you buy it from, SDM will give you a full refund, whereas Sweetwater deducts their original shipping cost from your refund. So if the unit costs about $40 to ship, you'd be out $80 returning it to Sweetwater (shipping both ways) but only $40 from SDM since you're only responsible for the return ship. At least that's how it was when I've used them in the past.

And paying $40 to try it out isn't so bad, if you think there's a good chance it's what you want. For me, it always costs money to try things out. I'm only about an hour from Manhattan where I can try things out at Sam Ash, but gas, tolls, and parking would probably cost me more than $40 anyway.


I made the hour journey into NCY to demo the Nord, the best part was they had the other DP's all in the same area, so it was easy to compare. The problem was I could not bring myself to pay their full price for there stuff. I got so much better deals elsewhere. There was a time when you could walk from one store to the other on 48th street and get the best price, those days are gone though.

For those who are looking for a Nord PM me, I was very happy with my transaction and price through a ebay/on-line reseller.

Rick


Edited by rickshapiro (03/20/11 11:21 AM)
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1644851 - 03/20/11 07:21 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4272
Loc: Northern NJ
I rendered luisdent's MIDI file on the RD-700NX here if anyone wants to give it a listen.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1644876 - 03/20/11 08:00 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Anyone want to step up for the nord renderings? :-) :-P

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#1645025 - 03/21/11 01:33 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
luisdent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 206
Well, I'm starting to lean even further into the nord temptation. I've been thinking about it, and as long as the action is decent, if I'm not happy with the onboard pianos for recording I can always buy something like Ivory II and use the nord as a controller. Problem solved. That way it is still the best for my solo gigging as it is light, short and great sounding enough for that. But if the pianos are decent enough for recording all the better... Just thought i'd make a 1:30am post. ha. bed time. :-o oh my.

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#1645139 - 03/21/11 10:37 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
Originally Posted By: luisdent
Well, I'm starting to lean even further into the nord temptation. I've been thinking about it, and as long as the action is decent, if I'm not happy with the onboard pianos for recording I can always buy something like Ivory II and use the nord as a controller. Problem solved. That way it is still the best for my solo gigging as it is light, short and great sounding enough for that. But if the pianos are decent enough for recording all the better... Just thought i'd make a 1:30am post. ha. bed time. :-o oh my.


That actually makes sense and is in-line with my thinking. I have not done any extensive recording as of yet (only had the Nord for two days) but I think the Nord is definitely a viable option for direct recording. I have not used it to play out as of yet will be doing so next week and am really looking forward to it. The size and weight are prefect. The ease of use will make it great on-stage.
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1645156 - 03/21/11 11:14 AM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
I've recorded both with the NP88 and played live with it several times, and have gotten great compliments on the live sounds. I need to get the recordings from my friend (who recorded me), but his jaw hit the floor when he heard the NP88. We both liked the C7 Studio Grand 2 the best for recording, followed by the Bosie. The EPs on the NP88 are just freakin killer as well, live or recorded. My gosh they SMOKE the EPs on any other DP I've played. I really believe Nord's upright pianos and EPs are the best you can get in a hardware DP. Technically speaking the grand pianos aren't as good as the SN pianos, but the grands on the NP88 outclass everything else as well IMHO. I'm just over the moon about the NP88 for what I use it for. It records superbly (as evidenced by what Dave Ferris has posted), it plays and sounds incredible, it's lightweight and nicely sized making gigging with it rather easy...what's not to like about it!!!?? smile


Edited by ZacharyForbes (03/21/11 11:16 AM)
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1645184 - 03/21/11 12:07 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: luisdent]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4272
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: luisdent
Well, I'm starting to lean even further into the nord temptation. I've been thinking about it, and as long as the action is decent, if I'm not happy with the onboard pianos for recording I can always buy something like Ivory II and use the nord as a controller. Problem solved. That way it is still the best for my solo gigging as it is light, short and great sounding enough for that. But if the pianos are decent enough for recording all the better...

luisdent, the weight and size of the Nord compared to the NX are definitely selling features if you need to drag it around town - I would have strongly considered one had we planned to move the DP in our studio around much. The needs of gigging pianists tend to be quite different than those of AP players looking for a DP replacement. And Roland SN is not the be all and end all of AP sound, frustratingly on the edge of recordability. But the Nord pianos are looped (though well done) and highly stretched, with rather poor timbre matching between stretch groups. I don't think you will be able to convincing record with it solo, but it probably makes a killer portable. Godspeed to Nord, I hope they continue in the direction are going, with their free downloadable sample sets and straightforward user interfaces.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1645212 - 03/21/11 12:53 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I agree there are some alarmingly noticeable timbre changes between groups on the Nord...the Bosie, whilst in XL form allegedly has a greater number of zones still suffers from some very audible issues, especially in the bass. The Nord's strength lies in its capacity to inspire the player - in this respect it is unusually good. I think you could do a very decent ambient recording of it in a live situation but for quiet, introspective stuff recorded from line out in stereo serious scrutiny would expose some traditional DP weaknesses.

Dewster - Roland SN in my opinion is fully good enough for solo recording in these circumstances - Lawrence sent me some stuff a good while back that was astoundingly good. Why do you say it is "frustratingly on the edge of recordability"? I do agree you would usually expect to get a slightly better result (sonically) using a good sample library but that same sample library might not elicit as good a performance from the player because the risk of some level of disconnection between musician and sound is greater.

The only thing to count against SN is if you don't happen to like its tonal signature...which would be fair enough of course. For playing I would choose the Nord over the Roland for most situations but for recording there is no contest - Roland wins as long as it has a sound that is suitable for your purpose.

That's my take on it anyway.

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1645227 - 03/21/11 01:13 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: dewster

luisdent, the weight and size of the Nord compared to the NX are definitely selling features if you need to drag it around town - I would have strongly considered one had we planned to move the DP in our studio around much. The needs of gigging pianists tend to be quite different than those of AP players looking for a DP replacement. And Roland SN is not the be all and end all of AP sound, frustratingly on the edge of recordability. But the Nord pianos are looped (though well done) and highly stretched, with rather poor timbre matching between stretch groups. I don't think you will be able to convincing record with it solo, but it probably makes a killer portable. Godspeed to Nord, I hope they continue in the direction are going, with their free downloadable sample sets and straightforward user interfaces.


Great post dewster and I agree for the most part.

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
For playing I would choose the Nord over the Roland for most situations but for recording there is no contest - Roland wins as long as it has a sound that is suitable for your purpose.

That's my take on it anyway.

Steve

Yeah Steve I think you summed it up pretty nicely. Though there are two things I've noticed with my experience both live and recording on both the SN RD-700GXF pianos and NP88s pianos.

First, recording with the both was quite a bit different. Last summer after having just installed the K-RD700GX1 SN upgrade to my RD-700GX, I went into the studio with my trio and we recorded 7 American Songbook covers. I was excited to use the SN pianos, but when I got in the studio, recording with it didn't work at all. I heard the classic boxed in, somewhat tinny, and artificial sound, thus we ended up using a decent sounding upright piano instead. I was really disappointed with it. Conversely, having just recorded (a few weeks ago) the NP88, just doing three songs, my friend who was recording me was shocked. We were both floored, esp with the C7. The NP88 shines in the studio.

Now let's move into the live situation. The NP88 really shines here, and I just can't figure out for the life of me why the SN pianos don't behave better live. They have to be EQ'd and layered to heck and back to cut through and by that time, they still don't compete with Yamahas, Korgs, Nords, etc. All of the rich fullness of the SN pianos is immediately lost on stage.

I will say, through my monitors and headphones, nothing competes with the Grand Piano 4 on my old RD-700GXF. That was the sweetest , richest, most pleasant sounding digital reproduction of a piano sound I've ever heard. This causes a peculiar phenomena that Steve has said on many occasions-even though the Rolands are technically superior in sound and action, there's something more organic and musical about the NP88.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1645237 - 03/21/11 01:22 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
People say the Roland sound doesn't cut through in a live situation. My theory is that a piano that cuts through needs to be bright. And Roland just cannot do bright. If you ever hear a bright piano sound on a modern Roland digital piano, it will be awful, I guarantee you that. The FP-7F I'm using at the moment has a "rock piano" on it - and I bet it would cut through - but it is a truly dreadful sound.

I can't share Lawrence's recordings with you but they are utterly convincing to me - but the context is quiet, solo, reflective music without other instrumentation. The darkness of the Roland SN sound can be very persuasive in these circumstances.

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1645266 - 03/21/11 02:08 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
People say the Roland sound doesn't cut through in a live situation. My theory is that a piano that cuts through needs to be bright. And Roland just cannot do bright. If you ever hear a bright piano sound on a modern Roland digital piano, it will be awful, I guarantee you that. The FP-7F I'm using at the moment has a "rock piano" on it - and I bet it would cut through - but it is a truly dreadful sound.

I can't share Lawrence's recordings with you but they are utterly convincing to me - but the context is quiet, solo, reflective music without other instrumentation. The darkness of the Roland SN sound can be very persuasive in these circumstances.

Steve


Steve, I've actually got a really beautiful recording you did with your RD-700GXF in my iTunes library. The name is just RD-700GX SuperNATURAL. It's 3:25 long. Very nice and it does have a very nice tone. I do wish I was in the position to have kept the RD-700GXF for home and been able to afford the NP88 for gigging.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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#1645271 - 03/21/11 02:24 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: PianoZac]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yes, that was was SN Grand Piano 4 on the GX. It's a luxury to have both but the Nord is so easy to like!
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1645277 - 03/21/11 02:31 PM Re: Review: Getting used to the Nord Piano. [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1421
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Yes, that was was SN Grand Piano 4 on the GX. It's a luxury to have both but the Nord is so easy to like!

Man I loved the Grand Piano 4 on the GXF. On the Nord, 'tis true my friend, 'tis true!
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Nord Piano 2


"Life is a lot like jazz...it's best when you improvise."

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