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#2414087 - 04/26/15 04:05 AM which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage?
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
Everytime I put my hands on a Nord keyboard, I am blown away by the feel of their keybeds. I have drooled over a Nord Stage many times, mainly because of the keybed. I use mainstage, and I can't justify the price of a Nord keyboard at this time, but I would really like to know which exact fatar keybed they are using in that thing, and what other products out there that are more like about $1000-1500 price range which basically have the same keybed feel. I don't care about sounds.

Any suggestions? There is so much conflicting information on this topic around the net. At this point I am pretty convinced that it has a slightly lighter feel then most of the other weighted keyboards around, like Roland's, Korg's, Yamaha, Casio, etc. There is a snappiness to it and a lightness at the same time. its perfect. I keep hearing that Kurweil might have something in the ballpark but there is nobody within a 1000 miles of here that carries kurzweil gear to try.

I have heard TP-40M, TP-40L TP-100 and other theories about what is being used for Nord Stage weighted keybed, but at this point I really don't know which it is or what other alternative I could get which could come pretty close to the snappy weighted response of that keyboard. The response on the Nord is not ideal for playing classical piano or something of that nature, but certainly for vamping on some Rhodes, wurley, rock piano, etc..its just damn near perfect. Wish I could figure out what other product has the same feel, when I try other pianos that allegedly have a lighter touch, they don't have it. They will usually not be snappy enough, too much lag time for the key to come back, and/or just downright too heavy to hit for this light kind of rock and pop work. I wouldn't really wanna play moonlight sonata on that keybed, but that's not what I'm looking for here.

suggestions?


Edited by Dewdman42 (04/26/15 04:08 AM)

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#2414116 - 04/26/15 07:44 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
toddy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 2061
Loc: Portugal
Fatar supply lots of keyboard and digital piano makers. They also produce their own controllers which cost a small fraction of the price of a Nord. Studio Logic: http://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?bf=&sw=studio+logic+piano

I'm not sure which ones have the same keyboard as the Nord 2, though.

In general, Fatar keyboards, though good as general controllers, are not considered good as piano keyboards compared to Kawai, Roland, Yamaha and Casio. They are much more grand-piano-like, imo.


Edited by toddy (04/26/15 07:46 AM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2414123 - 04/26/15 08:35 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4014
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By Dewdman42
Everytime I put my hands on a Nord keyboard, I am blown away by the feel of their keybeds. I have drooled over a Nord Stage many times, mainly because of the keybed.


That would have to be the first (and probably only) time that statement has ever been uttered! Nord's are praised for a variety of things, but the Fatar keyboard is rarely one of them. It's generally considered adequate, but not great. Maybe it was the connection between the keys and the sounds that impressed you. But I seriously doubt if you buy a MIDI controller with Fatar action that you will find yourself reacting with anything more than reasonable satisfaction.

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#2414137 - 04/26/15 09:47 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3624
The action in the weighted Nord Stage 2 should be similar to the StudiologicSL 990 Pro and the VMK 188/176/161 Plus. However, they are slightly different in thatm unlike Nord, the Studiologics use a graded version of the TP40 (heavier feeling at bottom, lighter feeling at top).

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#2414147 - 04/26/15 10:46 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 926
Loc: Hernando, MS
I think the nord stage's action is quite good and enjoyable to play. The main problem that I have with it is that it is loud! (mechanical noise). I have a roland RD-800 also which has a much more authentic (compared to acoustic piano) action and I can admit that I vastly prefer playing piano on it. But I do not enjoy playing organ sounds on my RD-800 near as much. The nord action is a much better general purpose action. It's good for piano, good for organ, and good for synth stuff (except the impossible to use, carpal tunnel inducing aftertouch controls -sheesh!). The nord action is a jack of all trades, but master of none. The RD-800 action is perfect for playing with a piano feel, but provides other compromises when playing other patches. Of course, you'll get used to anything you're playing and they are all capable boards, but definitely there are preferences.

Also I'd note that the nord action is on the light side for piano. It felt really weird to me when I first got it, in fact I initially had buyer's remorse and thought of returning it. But after a couple of weeks with it, I found that I really enjoyed playing it. I wonder if a lot of people have played the action 2 or 3 times and go, Nord's Suck! and never give it a real shot. I grew to prefer a lighter action (due to a non piano-related hand injury), but it did take a little time for me to get used to it. I will say this, whatever Nord does to tweak their actions, they connect fantastically well to the sound engine. That's part of what makes them so fun to play.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2414210 - 04/26/15 02:43 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
Let me repeat, I'm not looking for "authentic" piano feel. I have a grand piano and a kawai that fill that dept. So piano afficianados that are looking for that perfect graded hammer action will never like the Nord, I already know that and that's not what I'm looking for. I specifically like the action on the Nord because its not too heavy and not too light. Its just the right amount of snappiness for the kind of typical gigging I do that usually involves epianos and other stuff a lot more than piano, and perfectly acceptable for playing acoustic piano parts too. Personally I think Nord got it absolutely right. That's a subjective opinion of course, but back to my original question....

The Fatar keybeds come in a numerous variations, so I'm trying to find out EXACTLY what is being used in the Nord.

Next to that trying to find out which keyboards out there feel close to the same as the Nord. I don't want to hear about all the heavier Graded action keyboards that other people think are closer to a real acoustic piano feel. I want to find something that zeros in exactly to what Nord did in the Stage.

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#2414291 - 04/26/15 06:33 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 926
Loc: Hernando, MS
Dewdman42,
Specifically the Nord Stage 2 HA88 uses the Fatar TP40M action (the M is for medium, there's also an H (heavy) and L (light) variant). The variant of the Nord stage 2 also has aftertouch controls, so that may alter the feel somewhat (The nord piano uses the same action without the aftertouch controls, and some people report a slight difference in the feeling). I don't know which other boards use that specific action, but hopefully it will help you narrow your search.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2414378 - Yesterday at 01:18 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
that helps a lot actually, thanks! I haven't been able to find it in anything else other then the now antiquated StudioLogic VMK-176. I heard some older Kurzweil's use the TP-40L, which I might actually like, but I need to try to be sure and seems impossible to find an opportunity to do that. Otherwise I'm down to looking at other keyboards, even if different keybeds, which have a similar feel as the HA88. Since you own the HA88, can you comment about that? Have you ever played any other keyboards which you felt came close to the feel of the HA88?

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#2414414 - Yesterday at 05:11 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
PhJ. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 215
Loc: Brussels

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#2414427 - Yesterday at 06:17 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 804
If you want the action from the Stage 2 but can't afford and are planning on using midi sounds then just buy a used one. You get the action you desire and the internal sounds of Stage (x).
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2414527 - Yesterday at 11:22 AM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4014
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I think trying to find a cheaper source for the NS action will end in disappointment. True, the Nord is noted for the way it "connects" with its sound engine, but the action itself is known as anything but special. If you get a cheaper controller, and then use it for software pianos, you will have to deal with touch curves, latency issues, and completely different sounds than the ones that impressed you. In short, it's not going to feel the same - probably quite different, in fact. You won't be able to tweak it the way Nord did.

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#2414548 - Yesterday at 12:18 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3624
Originally Posted By Dewdman42
I don't want to hear about all the heavier Graded action keyboards that other people think are closer to a real acoustic piano feel. I want to find something that zeros in exactly to what Nord did in the Stage.

Graded just means heavier toward the bottom and lighter toward the top. They don't necessarily feel heavier than the Nord (nor necessarily more "realistic" overall, for that matter).

I agree that the Nord Stage weighted actions are among the best for an "all around" action that needs to be, say, decent for organ as well. I also think the Kawai MP7 is particularly good for that, and would be a less expensive option to consider.

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#2414610 - Yesterday at 03:16 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
Even used Nord Stage is way beyond the budget. I have contemplated that, but no I will have to make do with something else, just trying to find out what the other alternatives are which would most closely match the feel of that board. Another thing I really like about the Nord keyboards is that they are extremely light. They are awesome keyboards for sure, but they are definitely quite pricey.

So I did see that list Phj, thanks for sending it. I've seen another version of it in english here as well:

http://billfulton.com/music-news/fatar-keyboard-and-other-actions/

Some of the information on those lists may not be accurate or current. For example, the Studiologic VMK line, is said to to be TP-40M on those lists, but studiologic site says they are TP-40GH. Maybe GH is roughly the same weight as TP-40M around the middle of the keyboard? What do people think about that? Seems like everyone is gravitating towards using the GH version of that keybed, not sure, but I think I did play a VMK-161 plus a few years ago and I felt it was not quite as light as the Nord that was in the same shop at the time.

Then I see more and more people starting to use the TP-100 in various keyboards and I'm not sure what that feels like, supposedly its a lighter keyboard also. But this may be one I need to find a way to try I guess, but no idea how it compares to the feel of the Nord stage or which keyboards for sure are using it, as this list mentioned, seems to be from around 2011


Edited by Dewdman42 (Yesterday at 03:16 PM)

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#2414613 - Yesterday at 03:22 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: anotherscott]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
Originally Posted By anotherscott
Originally Posted By Dewdman42
I don't want to hear about all the heavier Graded action keyboards that other people think are closer to a real acoustic piano feel. I want to find something that zeros in exactly to what Nord did in the Stage.

Graded just means heavier toward the bottom and lighter toward the top. They don't necessarily feel heavier than the Nord (nor necessarily more "realistic" overall, for that matter).

I agree that the Nord Stage weighted actions are among the best for an "all around" action that needs to be, say, decent for organ as well. I also think the Kawai MP7 is particularly good for that, and would be a less expensive option to consider.


Oh really I need to check out the MP7. Do you know if its using one of the Fatar keybeds? (for reference).

in my case, no plan to play organ on it. I have a semi weighted above it for stuff like that. Mainly this will be used for epianos, clavs, pianos and stuff like that. Anything even remotely synthy I will play on another keyboard above. Personally I think even semi-weighted keys are too stiff to play hammond organ properly, need waterfall keys...and ideally totally unweighted to really smear the keyboard and do a few things on the organ. I just like the lighter feeling of the Nord stage for playing the kinds of things I typically need to play in a band on piano and epiano. I would not be able to stand practicing classical piano on it. I have a Kawai MP-9000 at home which I sometimes use for piano, but even that one I find sub par compared to a real piano...so believe me I am as picky as the next guy about real acoustic piano keybed action when it comes to serious piano playing. Thank god I am inheriting my grandmother's Mason and Hamlin grand soon. But for band work, I much prefer something like that Nord for covering weighted key stuff parts, its quick and snappy, easy to play fast little riffs, blues, etc.. yet weighted enough to prevent bad notes from getting struck, etc. .its a compromise that I like.

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#2414707 - Yesterday at 07:19 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3624
Originally Posted By Dewdman42
Then I see more and more people starting to use the TP-100 in various keyboards and I'm not sure what that feels like, supposedly its a lighter keyboard also.

It doesn't feel at all like a TP40. It is light in weight, but the action itself feels heavier, less responsive than the TP40.

Originally Posted By Dewdman42
I need to check out the MP7. Do you know if its using one of the Fatar keybeds?

Kawai uses their own actions, not Fatar's.

Originally Posted By Dewdman42
I think even semi-weighted keys are too stiff to play hammond organ properly

Semi-weighteds vary a lot, just as weighted actions do. For example, Roland VR700, Jupiter 50, Jupiter 80, Korg Kronos SWs are not as "stiff" (resistant) as those from Nord and Kurzweil.

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#2414780 - Yesterday at 11:31 PM Re: which midi controller is same action as Nord Stage? [Re: Dewdman42]
Dewdman42 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 9
OH yea. I have now a Jupiter 80, Triton Pro and Yamaha S90. The S90 is close. Not quite as responsive as the Nord HA88, but getting close to what I'm looking for in terms of feeling less weighted then say my Kawai MP-90000. The Triton is fine semi weighted board, but its a big heavy keyboard I want to sell. I want to sell the S90 for the same reason. The Jupiter-80 is a fun keyboard, but I might sell it due to cost and size also, it sounds great, but now I use Mainstage and Omnisphere2 soon and many other plugins I own, so the JP80 is overkill and kinda big for gigging. It doesn't really have great keys for organ and not great for piano either.

The JP80 has a spectacular semi weighted keyboard, but its not weighted enough for what I'm looking for here...

Thanks for telling me about the TP-100 that does NOT sound like what I want. I want responsive for sure. If the keys feel too sluggish I will hate it. What I like about the Nord is that it feels "snappy" for lack of a better word, but it doesn't feel overly difficult to press the keys down either. They are just balanced in the right way so that there is a little resistance to push them down, but not overly so..and when you release they snap right back.

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