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 Funkyflash5 »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:03 am While a balanced output might have a practical benefit in a studio setting, I personally wouldn't set foot on a stage with any of my keyboards without a decent isolation / DI box incorporating good quality isolation transformers. It's just not worth the risk for such a modest and long-lasting outlay.

That's fair enough, but so far it's only getting used in the studio and it's unlikely to ever be used on a gig where I'm not the one running sound on my own board. For now I'll save a couple cables and DI for something else but if I do end up with some weird gig, I'll keep this in mind.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by tea for two »

Here's something weird.

Acoustic Piano (upright or grand) and Old (not brand new), just the sound is inspiring for me.
I can place my ear so near the keys just to hear their movements.

Digital Piano, Sampled Piano, Programmed Piano, no matter how faithful a recreation I just want to alter it.

ADSR is almost must for me in considering a Digital Piano.
My Fusion 8HD had this in spades, ADSR linked to Piano, sound mangling the Piano.
This is the reason it's still my favourite Digital Piano, alongside the 88 weighted keys being one of the better ones under £2k (even though I no longer have it).
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

tea for two wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:25 am He.
Digital Piano, Sampled Piano, Programmed Piano, no matter how faithful a recreation I just want to alter it.

I think digital pianos are like caricatures, cartoons, exaggerated examples of what a piano sounds like. So the temptation is to turn it all down, a bit less attack, a bit less bright, less velocity.
It’s surprising how smooth a real piano is, also, it has the benefit of a real acoustic room, to colour and blend the sound. I use the word real unashamedly, because "that’s" what it is, real.
It’s surprising how difficult it still is to emulate acoustic instruments, the piano is so important too, but you would never see a digital piano on stage at a serious classical recital, just like it would be unthinkable to play a sampled Sax, it’s that serious and it always amazes me how people can settle for what is actually a lot of the time, a bad sampled piano, for quite serious projects.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

It depends how you look at it.

I've long ago taken the attitude that I don't care whether these emulations are 100% accurate; what I care about is whether they're beautiful, expressive and musical.

Partly this is because the better ones are already 95-99% accurate, and with the law of diminishing returns that remaining 1-5% is such a mountain to climb for such a tiny difference that is only sometimes relevant anyway. There are just more important things to be getting on with.

Partly it's because the whole idea of 100% accuracy relies on the fallacy that there's a single definable "thing" being emulated - "THE" piano sound; "THE" Rhodes sound, Hammond sound etc. In reality there are as many different piano sounds as there are pianos. Getting emulations fimrly in the ballpark is one thing, but when you start saying an emulation is too bright or whatever, what are you comparing it with? I've heard plenty of pianos that are brighter than some sample sets.

OTOH I find that there's an inescapable experience that occurs when I start playing a truly great sampled or modelled instrument (just as there is when I play a real Steinway). I find myself "drawn in", seized with curiosity about what the instrument can do, delighting at unexpected details, and losing track of time as I get lost in "the zone". That experience is why we do all this bollox in the first place, I'm not going to waste it in order to scrutinize the ADSR envelope against some mythical perfect benchmark.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

Wurlitzer wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:13 am It depends how you look at it.

I've long ago taken the attitude that I don't care whether these emulations are 100% accurate; what I care about is whether they're beautiful, expressive and musical.

Partly this is because the better ones are already 95-99% accurate, and with the law of diminishing returns that remaining 1-5% is such a mountain to climb for such a tiny difference that is only sometimes relevant anyway. There are just more important things to be getting on with.

Partly it's because the whole idea of 100% accuracy relies on the fallacy that there's a single definable "thing" being emulated - "THE" piano sound; "THE" Rhodes sound, Hammond sound etc. In reality there are as many different piano sounds as there are pianos. Getting emulations fimrly in the ballpark is one thing, but when you start saying an emulation is too bright or whatever, what are you comparing it with? I've heard plenty of pianos that are brighter than some sample sets.

OTOH I find that there's an inescapable experience that occurs when I start playing a truly great sampled or modelled instrument (just as there is when I play a real Steinway). I find myself "drawn in", seized with curiosity about what the instrument can do, delighting at unexpected details, and losing track of time as I get lost in "the zone". That experience is why we do all this bollox in the first place, I'm not going to waste it in order to scrutinize the ADSR envelope against some mythical perfect benchmark.

I know what you’re saying, but I never use digital acoustic pianos, I just don’t get inspired by them, I think it’s also got a lot to do with the keyboard too.
I absolutely don’t have a problem with Rhodes, as that’s such a diverse sound anyway, and the keyboard, even though it’s important, for some reason doesn’t bother me as much on a digital instrument.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:38 amIt’s surprising how difficult it still is to emulate acoustic instruments, the piano is so important too, but you would never see a digital piano on stage at a serious classical recital

It is extremely difficult to emulate acoustic instruments convincingly, I completely agree. It always amuses me how easy it is to reliably tell within a few moments of walking in to a bar or club whether piano music is coming from a real acoustic instrument or from a CD or digital/virtual instrument.

And no, Obviously you wouldn't expect to see a digital piano at a classical recital.

But not everyone has the space and/or funding to support a real, good condition, well maintained concert piano.

The harsh reality is that there are an awful lot of poor quality, or just plain knackered and poorly maintained real pianos sitting around in homes, churches and other venues. You already know all about this...

So for those people, while a digital piano obviously isn't quite as good as a real piano that's been perfectly maintained and set up, it is a massively better and more practical option than a knackered real piano... or no acoustic piano at all. It is what it is: a cost-effective practical alternative.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:17 am
Arpangel wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:38 amIt’s surprising how difficult it still is to emulate acoustic instruments, the piano is so important too, but you would never see a digital piano on stage at a serious classical recital

It is extremely difficult to emulate acoustic instruments convincingly, I completely agree. It always amuses me how easy it is to reliably tell within a few moments of walking in to a bar or club whether piano music is coming from a real acoustic instrument or from a CD or digital/virtual instrument.

And no, Obviously you wouldn't expect to see a digital piano at a classical recital.

But not everyone has the space and/or funding to support a real, good condition, well maintained concert piano.

The harsh reality is that there are an awful lot of poor quality, or just plain knackered and poorly maintained real pianos sitting around in homes, churches and other venues. You already know all about this...

So for those people, while a digital piano obviously isn't quite as good as a real piano that's been perfectly maintained and set up, it is a massively better and more practical option than a knackered real piano... or no acoustic piano at all. It is what it is: a cost-effective practical alternative.

Yes you’re right, and that’s the reality of it, my partner and I, her more than me, see this all the time, "cost effective" "practical solutions"
That’s what we don’t like about the modern world, so much.
Before digital pianos, it was great to hear a good piano, if you didn’t have one, you didn’t have one! that’s what made hearing one so special, like so many other instruments.
My partner doesn’t understand any of this, or music technology, despite my interest, she comes from a musical world of the past, very much so, and I think she’s influenced me, more than me her.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by tea for two »

There was a darkly lit church near where i Iived a decade earlier. During summertime just bits of light would get in through its windows.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/193629214 ... ed-public/

Some week days it would be open.
Hardly anyone went there.
In it, a Bösendorfer Grand (I'm guessing as I wasn't looking at the brand), 1920's I presume. 88 keys not one of their extended 97.
It was and still is my favourite Piano I ever played on.
However, some days or even many days, I just wouldn't feel it. I sat down didn't do anything.

Whereas other days I felt it with my Akai Lpk25 mini keys and Sampled, Programmed Pianos.
(I don't have the ability to turn on the tap as and when).

Sometimes I will have a concept in mind. Altering the Piano sound enables me to approximate this concept.
I expect the Nord's have alterations.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by pax-eterna »

zenguitar wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:28 pm
Wurlitzer wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:12 pm And real Rhodes are a clunky ball-busting PITA, no matter how much one can be tempted to romanticise them.

All we need now is a member by the name of Rhodes to issue a rebuke :)

Andy :beamup:

Nope that post is 100% accurate :D I had a Stage 73 flat top....I would not even CONSIDER lugging one now
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

pax-eterna wrote: Thu Aug 12, 2021 1:17 am
zenguitar wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:28 pm
Wurlitzer wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:12 pm And real Rhodes are a clunky ball-busting PITA, no matter how much one can be tempted to romanticise them.

All we need now is a member by the name of Rhodes to issue a rebuke :)

Andy :beamup:

Nope that post is 100% accurate :D I had a Stage 73 flat top....I would not even CONSIDER lugging one now


It’s amazing how keyboard players complain, what about drummers? they have lots of stuff to carry around, it’s just accepted.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

Yeah but they're just like beasts of burden. They don't know any better.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:57 am I know what you’re saying, but I never use digital acoustic pianos, I just don’t get inspired by them, I think it’s also got a lot to do with the keyboard too.
I absolutely don’t have a problem with Rhodes, as that’s such a diverse sound anyway, and the keyboard, even though it’s important, for some reason doesn’t bother me as much on a digital instrument.

I agree with this. I think a large part of the difference between an acoustic piano and a digital one is not the qualities of the raw sound wave produced, but the fact that the acoustic one is a piece of wood and metal in front of you bouncing sound waves directly around the room, whereas the digital one is, necessarily, playing through an amplification and speaker system. One reason I believe this is because I've found a good part of that difference is already in place when you mic up an acoustic piano and put it through a PA. The sound may originate from a real piano, but listening to the end product is absolutely NOT the same thing as sitting in a recital hall listening to a classical pianist play an unamplified piano direct to your ears. I would have to assume this difference is never bridgable.

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.
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