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#2041935 - 03/02/13 04:37 PM Nord Piano Revisited
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
I decided a little while ago to give Nord another hearing, particularly as the new Fazioli samples were receiving such positive comments, and I thought it was time to gamble that new EP samples might be just around the corner. I sold my original model in 2011, after becoming a little disappointed in a few aspects of its performance.

I had debated whether to go for a new NP2 (or even a Stage 2) for its splits, but, in the end, a longstanding contributor to the Keyboard Corner forum was kind enough to sell me a mint example of the original NP88. I've only just received it, but already I'm noticing major improvements. The Long Release function gets rid of the unnatural release sound that made playing AP on the early NP and Electro 3 a slightly odd experience. Where before, playing repeated notes in the right hand along with a left hand melody and the use of pedal resulted in a "choking" of the sound engine, I can now accomplish this with no problem: (I don't know whether this is down to hardware or software revisions, but to me it makes all the difference.) And finally, the new Italian Grand is just wonderful, with much improved dynamic response over some of the other pianos.

Even in the first hours of owning it, I can say that I'm very glad I took a second look at the NP. It really is the most natural-sounding of all current DPs.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#2042004 - 03/02/13 07:01 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: voxpops]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1728
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Ah, so you bought Al's Nord. Strong move. thumb

Yes, it does play and sound much better with the new software updates in addition to the newer 3 samples--Bosendorfer, Bright Grand and Fazioli.

I think the NP2 sounds clearer then the NP88. I had 'em side by side for about a week before I sold my NP88 and there was a difference. I'm guessing an improved D/A. At the least you should get a sonic improvement in that area for the dough they're charging for the NP2.. wink I doubt playing out in a band context you'd hear the sonic differences between the two though.

I wouldn't have upgraded myself had it not been my need for the ability to do the LH bass splits. As skewed as the gig scene is today, I find myself getting more calls for that sort of thing...which I reluctantly accept. frown

I still find re-producing the "Nord piano sound" live, to be a bit tricky for optimum results. Even with my high end investment of close to 4K between speakers and di/preamp, in certain rooms with challenging acoustics, the sound can be harsh and a tad brittle if you're sitting right up on your monitors. Harsher then say the CP5. Out in the audience though, that effect is less noticeable for sure. Still it does affect how and what I play..

Overall though, for straight piano, for someone coming more from an acoustic background, plus figuring in the weight, build quality, the mono sum feature--it's sits at the top for expressiveness and functionality combined.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
RCF TT08A & TT22A speakers


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#2042008 - 03/02/13 07:09 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: voxpops]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8862
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Congrats voxpops!

You're back on the Christmas card list...although there's still the best part of nine months to go... wink

Interesting to hear your thoughts about the long-release feature too. As you may know, I'm humming-and-harring over an upgrade to the NE4 (waiting for new EPs is a major factor for me too), so this improved acoustic piano realism will be useful - especially when the Nord is paired with a nice controller. wink

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

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2042010 - 03/02/13 07:20 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: Dave Ferris]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3153
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
the newer 3 samples--Bosendorfer, Bright Grand and Fazioli.

Yup, I had pretty much no use for the Nord grand piano sounds until the Grand Imperial was released.

And yes, vox, once they had a basic piano sound I liked, I would say that the addition of Long Release was the next most important improvement to the piano.

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#2042018 - 03/02/13 08:10 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: Dave Ferris]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Ah, so you bought Al's Nord. Strong move. thumb

Yes. Great guy, and when he says "mint" - he darn well means it!

Quote:
I think the NP2 sounds clearer then the NP88.

I remember you saying that before, Dave, and it worried me a tad as I made my decision to go with the older model. But whatever the improvements, they're not enough, sonically, to make me lose any sleep now that I have the NP. Fortunately, I've not played them side by side. wink

Quote:
I wouldn't have upgraded myself had it not been my need for the ability to do the LH bass splits. As skewed as the gig scene is today, I find myself getting more calls for that sort of thing...which I reluctantly accept. frown

Funnily enough, I was out on a gig yesterday where I had to do LH bass. I used the FP-4. There's no way that can compete with the NP's Fazioli, so I'm wondering about using a little Alesis Q25 perched on the left of the Nord, and MIDI'd to a module for acoustic bass. Seems like a bit of a hassle, though. In the end, I might just give the SV-1 a trial for those gigs, as the piano/bass split patch works quite well; the 73-keys are limiting, but I seem to be able to work around that.

Quote:
I still find re-producing the "Nord piano sound" live, to be a bit tricky for optimum results.

This will be the next test for me. I remember not liking the sound of the NP as much on stage as at home, but I'm sure that there are ways and means.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#2042020 - 03/02/13 08:20 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: Kawai James]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Congrats voxpops!

You're back on the Christmas card list...although there's still the best part of nine months to go... wink

Thanks, James! You know, I've been through just about every sub-fifty-pounds board over the last couple of years. Given the lack of new boards at NAMM (PX-5S aside), I'm happy to hang onto the Nord for a while, and quit fretting about there being no perfect DP. Of course, I don't know what's around the corner at Musikmesse... wink

Quote:
Interesting to hear your thoughts about the long-release feature too. As you mahy know, I'm humming-and-harring over an upgrade to the NE4 (waiting for new EPs is a major factor for me too), so this improved acoustic piano realism will be useful - especially when the Nord is paired with a nice controller. wink


At one point, I came very close to getting the NE4 HP instead. I think either the SW73 or the HP would make a very versatile board, and the improved organ/Leslie means that you don't have to worry that the price of the HP almost nudges that of the NS2 73 (which still incorporates the older C2 model).
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#2042022 - 03/02/13 08:22 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
the newer 3 samples--Bosendorfer, Bright Grand and Fazioli.

Yup, I had pretty much no use for the Nord grand piano sounds until the Grand Imperial was released.

And yes, vox, once they had a basic piano sound I liked, I would say that the addition of Long Release was the next most important improvement to the piano.


They're getting there!
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#2042048 - 03/02/13 09:55 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3153
Originally Posted By: voxpops
I'm wondering about using a little Alesis Q25 perched on the left of the Nord, and MIDI'd to a module for acoustic bass. Seems like a bit of a hassle, though. In the end

I find the 25-key boards too limiting for LH bass. I could get by with 25 if they started on E, but since they start on C, I always run out of notes on the top. So that pushes me to a 37 key board when I've attempted to do that kind of thing.

One thing that bugs me about the NP design (and numerous other Nords, for that matter) is that they centered the control panel. I wish they had pushed it to one side or the other, to create the largest possible contiguous free space. As it is, neither side is really big enough to do anything useful with, in terms of putting any kind of small unweighted board above it.

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#2042053 - 03/02/13 10:12 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: voxpops
I'm wondering about using a little Alesis Q25 perched on the left of the Nord, and MIDI'd to a module for acoustic bass. Seems like a bit of a hassle, though. In the end

I find the 25-key boards too limiting for LH bass. I could get by with 25 if they started on E, but since they start on C, I always run out of notes on the top. So that pushes me to a 37 key board when I've attempted to do that kind of thing.

Yes, I nearly always need up to the E below middle-C for LH bass. If the Q25 doesn't work, I might try it with a Micron squeezed in there.

Quote:
One thing that bugs me about the NP design (and numerous other Nords, for that matter) is that they centered the control panel. I wish they had pushed it to one side or the other, to create the largest possible contiguous free space. As it is, neither side is really big enough to do anything useful with, in terms of putting any kind of small unweighted board above it.

I agree.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

Top
#2042203 - 03/03/13 07:41 AM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: voxpops]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
Congrats Vox! Welcome back to club Red... that sounds strange. smile Glad you're another lover of the Fazioli. That is my go-to sample for most any situation now. Since I got my RX-2 I really don't play the NP2 at all at home any more, but I've been gigging lately and I find the Fazioli works great for solo work, while the Bright Grand seems to work best for group work. And this is the best part to owning the Nords-true diversity in samples! Have you gigged with your NP yet?
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#2042310 - 03/03/13 12:09 PM Re: Nord Piano Revisited [Re: PianoZac]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: PianoZac
Congrats Vox! Welcome back to club Red... that sounds strange. smile

Thanks, Zac - it's good to be back! smile

Quote:
Have you gigged with your NP yet?

No, not yet. I'm going to do some prep work on it, and get a few samples loaded and setups organized first. I'm actually a bit reticent about gigging it since it's in such nice shape, but I have some recording coming up in the next few weeks that it'll be perfect for. Of course, when it gets its first scratch, I'll go ballistic, and then stop being so anal about it. wink
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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