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Nord Stage EX Compact Keyboard
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Though it boasts the best of Clavia's award-winning technologies like its fellow series companions, the Nord Stage EX Compact keyboard lives up to it...Read More
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Acoustic grands, classic organs, electric pianos, clavinet, synths, and FX in a compact keyboard.
Though it boasts the best of Clavia's award-winning technologies like its fellow series companions, the Nord Stage EX Compact keyboard lives up to its name as it takes up much less space on your desktop or stage setup. Thanks to smart design it is still able to host the same three instrument sections”Organ, Piano and Synth”plus an extensive effects section. You can use two sounds of each Section simultaneously”like two Organ manuals, two Synthesizers, and two Pianos”or they can be combined in any split or layered configuration to better fit your performance.
News Flash: A free update from Nord brings Piano String Resonance to the Nord Stage EX!
The Nord Stage EX has been updated to OS version 5.1, an important update that adds several new exciting features including Piano String Resonance. This feature, together with specifically designed new acoustic piano sounds in the Nord Piano Library, recreates the wonderful acoustic phenomenon that occurs inside the body of a piano. This happens when un-dampened strings or parts of strings may resonate at their fundamental or overtone frequencies when other strings are sounded. This feature livens up the Stage EX's already acclaimed pianos and provides a very natural impression of the original acoustic instrument. In addition, a new Piano Unison feature allows two pianos, selected in Panel A and B, to be detuned to create a nice blend with a natural unison effect or even a honky-tonk sound.
New-to-the-series features in the Stage EX Keyboard
The Stage EX Compact stems directly from the Nord Stage, but has gone through a major hardware change and also received a cosmetic makeover. The new features include:
¢Increased memory capacity for the piano samples. The EX Compact synth has twice the internal memory capacity compared to the former models, an increase from 128 to 256MB
¢The front panel sports a new color scheme
The increased memory allows you to add more pianos from the Nord Stage Piano Library, to bring an even greater selection of these sounds to each and every performance.
The Nord Stage EX's user interface is designed from a basic concept”All vital functions are represented on the front panel so they are easy to access, and never further away than a press of a single button. Using more than 20 years of experience in designing instruments for professional musicians, Nord has made the technology completely transparent for you the user. With the Nord Stage EX keyboard you only need to focus on your performance, which means never having to struggle with the technology.
The Stage EX Compact features Nord's patented Pitch Stick and Modulation Wheel for maximum musical expression. A top-of-the-line, 73-key semi-weighted organ (waterfall profile) keyboard with Aftertouch makes you feel that the Stage's sound is balancing at the tip of your fingers, completely under your control. The efficient Morph Grouping technique is also included, allowing you to assign sound and effects parameters to one physical controller.
All together, the Nord Stage EX Compact is a musical, reliable, efficient, and road-worthy synth that provides the tools needed to express your passion for playing.
The Organ Section
The Organ Section offers three different organs, including a very accurate-sounding B3 Organ model. The B3 Organ offers many innovative solutions to mimic the typical B3 sound, such as:
”A true organ architecture, based on digital models of 91 tonewheels, giving full polyphony and overtones with natural warmness
”A complex digital model of the original chorus & vibrato scanner
”Modeling of the individual random contact bounces for each partial
”Emulation of the unique frequency characteristics of the built-in preamplifier, forming the body of the B3 sound
”Simulation of the energy robbing on the tonewheels that results in the typical compressed B3 sound
”Authentic tuning of the tone wheels according to the original B3 design
”True B3 swell-pedal characteristics
It also includes carefully modeled emulations of two of the most famous transistor organs from the 1960s, the Vox Continental and the Farfisa Compact.
"Draw buttons" and LED bar graphs have replaced the original mechanical drawbars of Nord's earlier models. This gives you the advantage of always having the correct drawbar settings after changing preset.
The Piano Section
The Piano Section includes 6 main sound groups: Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos, Electric Grand, Electric Pianos, Wurlitzer, and Clavinet. Nord's commitment to authenticity is manifest in the pianos subtle nuances throughout the whole dynamic range. The source instruments are recorded at multiple velocity levels, providing very accurate and expressive pianos. The key-releases were also sampled, creating the real sound of dampers returning when the keys are lifted.
The Acoustic Pianos are also recorded with sustain pedal down. When played with the sustain pedal, the Stage EX's pianos recreate the sympathetic string resonance produced by acoustic piano strings. This adds to the authenticity of the piano sounds by giving them natural body. The Clavinet has an equalizer of its own, which mimics the original D6 tone tabs, and also includes the four Clavinet pickup selections.
Pianos come in many varieties, and while a Steinway sounds great, it might not be the sound you need at the moment. For this reason, Nord made the piano section very flexible, allowing you to replace any piano with other sounds from Clavias library of Piano samples free of charge. Use the Nord Stage's USB port and the Nord Stage Manager to swap sounds quickly from your Mac or PC.
The Synth Section
Don't let the panel fool you, the Stage's Synth Section is a wolf in sheep's clothing”small, but with a big sound. After more than 10 years of designing synthesizers, Nord wanted to challenge themselves to creating a powerful synth with a few controls that would equal the quick and easy manipulation of the Organ and Piano sections. After all, why should you have to be an expert programmer to create lively and nuanced synth patches? The result is the Nord Stage's "power mini synth". Created on a multi-oscillator concept involving up to 9 oscillators per voice in different algorithms, all controlled from one button and one knob, it offers:
¢Classic Analog Synthesis with dual saw, hard sync, and pulse wave modulation
¢3-operator FM Synthesis with 32 different modulation frequencies
¢Wavetable Synthesis with 32 waveforms, a first for a Clavia synth
With the Unison knob, you can fatten your sound for lush pads, thick comps, and fiery leads. Nord has also included a 12/24dB Low-pass Filter with resonance, Amp envelope, Modulation envelope, an LFO, and two-band equalizer. Three different Synth banks are provided”Synth, Pad, and Bass”for the creation and storage of your own patches, and each bank holds up to 100 sound programs.
The Extern Section
The Nord Stage EX Compact wouldn't be a master keyboard if it couldn't control external devices with ease. The Extern Section is designed solely for this purpose, so that any MIDI-connected gear gets seamlessly integrated with the Stage's built-in instruments. Zones, splits, and layers are handled exactly as if the external equipment was a part of the Stage itself. All settings are saved together with a Program so advanced setups can be immediately recalled in realtime during a performance.
No sound is complete without the proper use of effects. In the Nord Stage keyboard you get the variety of effects required to cover musicians' needs. All of the 3 instrument sections”Organ, Piano and Synth”can individually be routed through the Stage's built-in effect units. Turning the effects on and off, and controlling the routing is easily done by a touch of dedicated buttons, readily accessible at the bottom of each effects unit.
Here you can choose from Tremolo, two Wahs, an Auto-Wah, and an AutoPan. Use the AutoWah with a Clavinet for raw funk licks, create a psychedelic vibe with an Electric Piano on AutoPan, or give a Wurlitzer some body using the Tremolo. There is also a Ring Modulator on board, an effect used by many experimental and electronic musicians.
The two Phasers, two Flangers, and two Choruses here are modeled from the classic analog stomp boxes that define the sound of popular music. The swirling Phasers, metallic Flangers, and thick Choruses are the kind used by uncompromising professionals everywhere, are crystal clear, and have been faithfully simulated for the Nord Stage EX keyboard.
A delay unit has been included to create haunting echoes or slap-back effects. The delay also supports a ping-pong mode, and the tempo is easily adjusted with the tap-tempo button. A recent update provides you with the option of two delay modes. The enhanced Analog mode will change the pitch on any repeats if the delay time is changed for those classic warped sounds.
This effect section combines a 3-band equalizer with a sophisticated amplifier and speaker cabinet modeler. Classic amplifiers and speakers are a crucial part of making vintage Electric piano sounds come alive. Clavia offers the famous sounds of tube and solid state amplifiers with a Twin Reverb, Jazz Chorus 120, and a Wurlitzer speaker cabinet model. When no Amp Model is selected, the unit provides a neutral 3-band EQ and a crunchy overdrive.
The Stage EX Compact synth also has a Rotary Speaker emulation based on the Leslie 122, which not only brings an essential character to a live organ performance, but can also be used with any of the electric or acoustic piano sounds or the synthesizer.
A Compressor and Reverb placed at the end of the sound chain help blend your sounds more naturally together. The Reverb unit has Hall, Stage, and Room spaces to create different atmospheres for your sounds, while the simple Compressor helps you keep the overall mix tight and under control.
- Semi-weighted organ (waterfall profile) keyboard with Aftertouch
- Increased memory capacity for the piano samples to 256MB
- The front panel sports a new color scheme
- Organ section with faithful emulations of 3 Classic models, including the B3, Vox Continentals, and the Farfisa Compact
- Piano section with 6 selectable categories
- Synth section generating Subtractive, FM and Wavetable synthesis
- External section making the Nord Stage serve as a master keyboard
- Effects section adding comprehensive effects to your performance
- Backlit LCD display
- MIDI In (1)
- 1/4" TS Phone Rotor Speed Pedal
- 1/4" TS Phone Sustain Pedal
- 1/4" TRS Phone Control Pedal
- 1/4" TRS Phone Organ Swell Pedal
Stage EX Compact Keyboard
1/4" TS Phone Rotor Speed Pedal
1/4" TS Phone Sustain Pedal
1/4" TRS Phone Control Pedal
1/4" TRS Phone Organ Swell Pedal
Headphone Output: 1/4"
Dimensions: 44"W x 4"H x 12"D
Reviewed by 3 customers
Displaying reviews 1-3
I must say I have owned a Nord Electro 2 for quite some time now and have been in love with it. I grew up playing a Hammond B3, Rhodes and Wurly's and I must say Nord has got all those covered even up against the new Korg Sv1 which really is like comparing Microsoft to Apple. The Stage caught my eye when I read I can control one sound with a midi controller and the other with the Stage simultaneously and that was the big selling point for me. I just got my nord stage in this past weekend and I was amazed at how instantly I could program it with ease and use it carefree in a live situation. I mean finally I could play Rhodes on my stage and with a midi controller be playing B3 sounds @ the same time with the same Board I mean Im in heaven. Now to the sound purest Im sure there will be those who don't feel the stage captures all the nuances that the original did I tell you this that you wont find a better piece of Hardware that can have all the classics in on board and pretty much run your whole rig off of this keyboard. Im Sold, hell I should be sponsored by Nord I love their products so much. Don't hesitate, just buy it!
Out of the box the grand piano sound needed a bit of tweaking to satisfy me. Really it only took me about a half hour of playing and tweaking before I was satisfied. It definitely sounds better than my Roland FP 4. The Rhodes and Wurly are spot on. The organs are spectacular. I?ve lugged a B3 and know how hard it is to set up. All the little gremlins throughout the night can drive you insane. Yet, I honestly can say I?ve only had the B3 FOH sound awesome in a handful of gigs. I plug the Nord Stage Compact in had the FOH sound spectacular instantly. I use the synth portion only sporadically, but it is very capable. Honestly if you use this board in a recording studio possibly a fanatical gear head is going to pick out the fact your not using the real instrument. Really if you find fault live with this instrument maybe you should consider hauling the real thing around since that is the only thing that could possibly be better.
This is the best thing I've bought in my entire life. Everytime it's switched on I get a good feeling. It does everything and does it well. Those Nord Samples are awesome. Some of the combination presets which blend piano, organ & synths are way off the charts. Nord really did their homework on this unit. I wanted the spring-loaded organ style keys for my aged fingers, as I have a Yamaha CP-33 for weighted piano action. This sounds like a bunch of quality instruments. You will be the only limit to its' abilities. Get one...