Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

Wurlitzer wrote: Thu Aug 12, 2021 10:03 pm
Whereas in a Rhodes (or anything else electro-mechanical) that part of the difference doesn't exist, because even the "real" instrument still relies on amplification and speakers to make usable sound.

Despite the amplifier and speakers, a Rhodes still has that interaction between mechanical parts, it’s a hammer striking something that will be different for every note, you may be able to sample that, but it will only be one snapshot of every individual note, they won’t change every time you play it, like a real Rhodes would.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

It will if it's modelled.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

Wurlitzer wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:14 pm It will if it's modelled.

Airfix are making Rhodes kits?

:D:D:D
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

I just tried a Piano 5 and a CP88

I couldn’t assess the sound, though I liked what I heard from both. Noisy shop, crap PA and no headphones. I will have to return.

I did prefer the action on the Yamaha but I thought the action on the Nord was fine. Interestingly there was a Piano 4 above it and that felt different again. It felt softer but it could be a clapped out and years old display model.

All three were vastly superior to the action on my MODX8 but that’s to be expected and not really a fair comparison.

I didn’t find the controls of the CP88 at all inviting. It looked cluttered. I disliked the metal switches. They reminded me of my terrible DIY audio efforts that always fall apart.

The Nord panel drew me in. It said, it’s safe here play with me. The strong contrast between the controls and the red background is effective. I’m sure the Yamaha panel becomes second nature but my initial reaction was negative.

I was impressed by both. It will come down to sound, the value or otherwise of the differing feature set and whether I’m willing to pay a premium for the Nord. What it wont come down to is the key bed. They were different but both an upgrade from what I’m used to.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

jellyjim wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 5:14 pmI was impressed by both. It will come down to sound, the value or otherwise of the differing feature set and whether I’m willing to pay a premium for the Nord. What it wont come down to is the key bed. They were different but both an upgrade from what I’m used to.

Agreed, the actions on both those instruments are among the very best available.

For me though, the obvious difference would be the number of sounds they give access to. The sounds of both instruments are very high quality, but the number included in the Yamaha is tiny. Probably enough pianos and EPs to be getting on with, but rapidly falls off a cliff when it comes to variety of strings, brass etc. By contrast, the Nord not only contains high quality sounds but gives you access to their online sample library where you can download others and customise the instrument to contain exactly what you need.

I was considering the CP88 but ended up buying its predecessor the CP4, mainly because its got a far greater range of sounds (which still manage to be almost entirely stunning quality) and partly because a good deal came up on a used one. I'm extremely happy with it, and the action is sublime. It seems the only thing the CP88 added to it was the more immediate onboard controls, so if you're not impressed by those I can't see what would justify it.

I considered the Nord but it's overkill for what I need. In your position I'd take it over the CP88 though, any day. And that thing about an instrument "drawing you in" - that's your musical spirit trying to tell you something. Always listen to that.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Wurlitzer wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:21 pmAnd that thing about an instrument "drawing you in" - that's your musical spirit trying to tell you something. Always listen to that.

Oh you silver-tongued devil! I think that might have just tipped me over the edge :lol:

My band mate has a CP4. He loves it.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by ajay_m »

Given that this thread has broadened to an overall discussion focussed around electric and acoustic piano, plus ergonomics, my home studio has evolved gradually to try and give me beautiful sounds but without faffing around too much with the computer. Where I'm at currently is that I have an old technics spx30 88 note weighted keyboard whose action I still prefer to anything else I've ever tried, but I don't use its inbuilt sounds just set up as a master keyboard.
For acoustic piano I have a Reaper project that loads the embertone walker piano which is far and away the most realistic grand piano I have ever heard and for Rhodes sounds I use the neosoul library which again nails the grit and imperfection of the originals very well.
Then I have a Hydrasynth keyboard which is now my 'goto' synth.
But now I have added an Akai Force and this actually has a very nice modelled EP where you can change params like pickup height etc and it also has a surprisingly nice acoustic piano and can be set up as a very quick scratchpad for idea capturing without having to use the computer at all. So now I do find myself more often just pressing New project on the force and bringing up a quick template that I can just playing and recording in to with good enough sounds but lots of knobs and buttons so I can quickly then adjust track pan and balance, whack some drums down and quickly build up an idea.

So the Nord solution I think is 'jack of all trades, master of none'. It's a good gigging solution but in a studio I think a more bespoke approach gets much closer to the 'having a real grand piano and a real rhodes' scenario but without sacrificing practicality which in my case is that everything has to fit through a hatch into my loft conversion studio and weigh no more than I can lift single handed.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

ajay_m wrote: Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:37 ameverything has to fit through a hatch into my loft conversion studio and weigh no more than I can lift single handed.

That sounds like an "Oblique Strategy" :D
Great post though, you’ve summed it up.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Well, I did it, and ...

It's captivating. It's totally surpassed my expectations.

It's not just the sound, which is wonderful, it's the relationship between what I do to the instrument and what comes out of it.

In the piano section, I feel like I'm sat at a piano.

In the sample section playing say some pads or lead sounds, I feel like I'm sat at a synthesiser.

In addition, the immediacy of it just absolutely clicks with me. I forget how much menu diving leaves me stone cold uninspired after a while. It's effectively got 6 stomp boxes stuck on the front panel. The effects sound great and they're all right there saying tweak me, tweak me.

There's some weird mojo going on too with the sound engine. I've a sample set for Logic's sampler of some Moog One patches (downloaded from Matt Johnson of Jamiroquai's website). They sound nice in Logic. I made them into a patch for my Quantum too. Where they also sound nice. But on the Nord, they just sound fantastic. Really warm and dynamic. Odd. It's just a sample playback engine.

And I love the action.

Bottom line, it's FUN! The whole package just screams play me, play me.

My only concern is that it's got me VERY curious about the presumably sooner or later inbound Nord Stage 4! If this is what they do with a piano and a sampler I'd like to know what they do with an organ and a synthesiser.

Way to go Nord. Not saying it'd suit everybody and I'm not a massively experienced pianist so don't have many examples to compare against, but it certainly clicks with me. :thumbup:
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

:clap::thumbup::D
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

jellyjim wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:28 pm It's totally surpassed my expectations.

I'm very glad we didn't let you make us talk you out of it. Enjoy! :D
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:57 am:clap::thumbup::D


I thought I could detect some Nord love in your replies Hugh ;)

Eddy Deegan wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:49 am
jellyjim wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:28 pm It's totally surpassed my expectations.

I'm very glad we didn't let you make us talk you out of it. Enjoy! :D


Haha. My "accountant" wants to know who else is "responsible for this". I'll pass on a link to this thread :D
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Martin Walker »

jellyjim wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:02 pm My "accountant" wants to know who else is "responsible for this". I'll pass on a link to this thread :D

But you'll be able to offset the cost of your new keyboard baby against tax, so most accountants will be all for it ;)

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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Martin Walker wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:10 pm
jellyjim wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:02 pm My "accountant" wants to know who else is "responsible for this". I'll pass on a link to this thread :D

But you'll be able to offset the cost of your new keyboard baby against tax, so most accountants will be all for it ;)

Martin

Unfortunately I did p/ex so I actually spent £1,850 which is I believe under the threshold for VAT exemption on capital purchases :(

But I can offset it against company profits
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

I've noticed some audible mechanical noise from the internal power supply today. A hum. Noticeable in a quiet room. Is this to be expected?
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

jellyjim wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:01 pm I've noticed some audible mechanical noise from the internal power supply today. A hum. Noticeable in a quiet room. Is this to be expected?

It seems to have gone. Weird! It's been a long day.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Martin Walker »

jellyjim wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:27 pm
jellyjim wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:01 pm I've noticed some audible mechanical noise from the internal power supply today. A hum. Noticeable in a quiet room. Is this to be expected?

It seems to have gone. Weird! It's been a long day.

This can often be due to incoming distortion on the mains waveform (from nearby power tools, factories and the like) that results in the transformer windings vibrating. When such interference goes, the transformer buzzing will disappear.

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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Hmm. It’s back.

I’ve tried different power sockets.

I’ve been doing some research and internet says “yup Nord use transformers, they can get buzzy!”

But after two days?! I can hear it wearing headphones. It’s pretty audible.

Ah man is nothing simple? :-(

The bit of info I haven’t shared is that it turned up late courtesy of TNT and the box was partially opened and damaged in one corner. It was all a bit of a rush so I accepted it assuming there was a second inner carton. There wasn’t!

I spoke to the retailer and they kind of said “but that’s what packaging’s for” and insisted it’ll be fine and that even if it had been dropped you’d know if there was a fault immediately.

Day one it was silent. Not today!

Should it be sitting here buzzing at me? Surely not? Surely not for £2k5!
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

Call Nord and ask if it’s normal, if not, send it back.
Sooner rather than later.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Arpangel wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:01 am Call Nord and ask if it’s normal, if not, send it back.
Sooner rather than later.

I've emailed support. If they don't reply today I'll call for sure.

Further research suggests transformer and OLED noise are both common issues with Nords, though I can't ascertain whether this should be expected of new items. Who knew?! Not me! Perhaps these aren't instruments for the home and Nord expect them to spend most their lives on stages and in rehearsal rooms where such noises will rarely ever be noticed.

Gah! All I'm trying to do is play some piano. Everything's rubbish. Wake me up when it's all over please :headbang:
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