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  Nord Stage Compact At a Glance
Picture needed arrowReleased: 2006  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 5.0/5 |  Read reviews (1)
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Peter Kadar writes:
The Nord Stage harkens back to the 'ensemble' keyboards like the Crumar Multiman and Korg Trident. There are independant sections for the organ, piano, synth, and extern. The keyboard can be split up to three ways, and each Program has two panels, which basically multiplies the entire instrument by two.

The organs are amazing. The classic B3 model is augmented with excellent Vox Continental and Farfisa models. The Piano section has several outstanding Rhodes models, a near perfect Wurly and Clav and CP80. The acoustic pianos are excellent, but sampled in a way that is different from other manufacturers. I find they grow on you - I like them quite a bit now.

The Synth section is quite basic, but versatile and easy to use. There are three different sound creation methods to choose from: VA, FM and Digital Wavetable. Bear in mind that you can't scan through the wavetable in the same way that you could on a Waldorf synth, for example. It is a worthy and useful addition that sounds great and fits in with the simplicity of the rest of the keyboard.

The Extern section is very effective if you wish to send out on a channel or two. Very easy to use, and I like that you can disable MIDI transmission with a button touch. Of course the status of all the instrument sections, FX, and the extern section are stored on an individual program basis, which is great.

The FX are well suited to the onboard sounds, and sound excellent.

I highly recommend this keyboard becuase it does a few key things extremely well, and offers simple but elegant control of external midi gear for whatever else you might need. It is also very user friendly, and very flexible especially once you understand how the Panel A/B switching/layering works in the context of a program.

Finally, it is lightweight (22lbs for the Compact model!), and appears to be very well made. The waterfall style action feels great, and the keyboard transmits aftertouch.

I would also like to mention that it is very quick to turn controllers on and off for each section, modulate FX parameters on the fly, and fade parts in and out with the various controllers and the excellent Morph function.

Its outstanding sound quality, portability, build quality and ease of use have me hooked on my NS Compact. Highly recommended.

Comments About the Sounds:
The Nord Stage's soundset is gear towards re-creating the classic electromechanical keyboard sounds of yesterday, ie Hammond, Rhodes, Clav. Having said that, the latest pianos are much improved, and there is a simple but versatile synth section that sounds great.

(Thanks to Peter Kadar for this info.)

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