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Which Nord Keyboard?

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  • Which Nord Keyboard?

    I have a Yamaha XS7 and use a helicon vocal live 2 for keys and vocals in a band with bass drums and guitarist also. I can set up xs 7 with customised voices and performance to do almost any cover or write originals. Really happy with all this. Still I went to the music store and played the Nord EX88. When I got the XS7 a Nord was on my shortlist. I'm really happy with the XS7 but wondered about adding a Nord as I love the sounds and ease of use and lightweight transportable piano feel keys of the EX88. Is that the best Nord to get? I play a wide range of mainly covers jamming and live from all eras. Existing threads didn't seem to cover this. Any Nord fans out there who can advise? The EX 88 is on sale at my local store about 20% off.

  • #2
    Hi Occmed,

    I have not played the EX88, but own an Electro 3. Nord seems to make keyboards for all different types of players so which is the best kind of depends on your specific needs.

    I do a lot of improv stuff and prefer the sounds of vintage electric pianos and organs. The Electro was made specifically for this. The Stage EX88 has weighted keys, I believe. This may be more appropriate if you're predominantly a pianist.

    I've owned the Electro 3 for almost a month and am extremely happy with all it can do.

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    • #3
      I went thru exactly this decision for the last couple of months. Finally decided on the Stage EX Compact which I've had for one week now (love it, by the way). Sounds like you love the key sounds (as do I) so either the Stage or the Electro will give you that. It depends on your other requirements. For example:

      You probably want the Stage EX if:


        In my case, I wanted it for performing live and frequently do keyboard splits to get multiple sounds for songs. This drove me to the Stage over the Electro. I also wanted ultra light weight cuz I'm tired of schlepping heavy stuff. That meant the Compact, not the 76 or 88.

        Decide what's most important to you and the choice will be obvious.

        One last thing -- if you haven't already, you might check out the recently announced Korg SV-1. Given that you like weighted keys and realistic vintage sounds, that box might be just what you're looking for.

        Cheers, V
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Blue">Live:</font></b><br />
      <font size="1">Nord Stage EX Compact, Korg M50-73, Digitech RP500, Epiphone Les Paul 60s Gold Top reissue, Mackie 1402 VLZ mixer</font><br />
      <br />
      <b><font color="Blue">Studio:</font></b><br />
      <font size="1">Roland RD-700, MOTU Traveler, Roland JV-1010, M-Audio Midisport 2x2, Sonar 8.5 PE, EZ Drummer, numerous soft synth toys, Windows XP</font></div>

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      • #4
        Great deal on sale for the Nord Stage EX 88 reduced by 33.33% so I handed over the cash and have set it up at this stage with MIDI Through on Yamaha Motif XS7 which then MIDI connects to the Helicon Vocal Live 2. I can play either or both keyboards this way and have MIDI input to VL2 for vocal harmonies etc.
        I have never had 2 state of the art keyboards together before. How do you keyboard players find yourself integrating multiple keyboards into your playing jamming performing and recording?

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        • #5
          If you're asking how to physically hook up two keyboards, I use a mixer. I frequently also play with a guitar setup and also a microphone. So, it's convenient to wire everything up at my local spot and balance volumes with a mixer. Then I just run an XLR pair to the main board.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Blue">Live:</font></b><br />
          <font size="1">Nord Stage EX Compact, Korg M50-73, Digitech RP500, Epiphone Les Paul 60s Gold Top reissue, Mackie 1402 VLZ mixer</font><br />
          <br />
          <b><font color="Blue">Studio:</font></b><br />
          <font size="1">Roland RD-700, MOTU Traveler, Roland JV-1010, M-Audio Midisport 2x2, Sonar 8.5 PE, EZ Drummer, numerous soft synth toys, Windows XP</font></div>

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          • #6
            I love my Yamaha Motif XS7. It does nearly everything. I felt a bit greedy buying another keyboard the Nord EX 88 Stage at a reduced price....for about 5 minutes! The Nord Stage EX 88 is a beautiful instrument. It is not a work station but built as a live keyboard. It has immediate access to terrific quality pianos B3 Farfisa Vox EPs and analogue synth sounds and easily added tweaks, effects and splits and layers. Really fun to play with. It has added a different dimension (in areas I hate to admit the Motif was a little weak on). Great to have the 2 keys in Combination. Any thoughts muso community?

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            • #7
              Bring it on... I started with the XS7, which I got frustrated with all the technology, and then when I got other boards to compare it to, I didn't like the sounds overall as much.

              When I got the Korg M3 i was surprised at how much more I liked the sounds compared to the XS. But when I got the Stage (classic) for a killer deal, I've been in players heaven ever since.

              Perhaps 'cause I grew up playing piano and am mostly a piano-wurli-organ-lead kind of guy, I don't need more than a a handful of sounds,and they're all great on the Nord- I know where I am, you can do almost everything on the front panel, which is great in the thick of a jam, and the playing satisfaction is beyond belief- I actually practice now, whereas with my Japanese keyboards i tend to tinker. And when i play out, I get LOTS of compliments on the sounds. Overall i just feel more confident and easily expressed on the Stage than on the other boards- and to me it's a good sign that I'm happy just playing piano or wurli all night, don't need 1,000 sounds, just a few that really fit in the pocket.

              The Stage is an amazing board- better that than the electro, 'cause you can split and layer; the leslie sim is awesome, the synth section is way more vibrant than romplers synths, and the 88 weighted action (medium weighted) weighs only 41 pounds! and is only 51" long (I can fit it in 76 note gig bags).

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