This Nord Stage 2 SW73 is part of Nord's new flagship instrument line. Utilizing their very latest piano, organ and synthesizer sound generation technology, combined with a well thoughtout, user-frien... Read More
This Nord Stage 2 SW73 is part of Nord's new flagship instrument line. Utilizing their very latest piano, organ and synthesizer sound generation technology, combined with a well thoughtout, user-friendly interface, a 73-note Semi-Weighted Waterfall keyboard, and an almost obsessive level of quality control, this Stage 2 keyboard truly sets itself apart as an instrument for professional performing musicians.
The Nord Stage 2 is compatible with the Nord Sample Library and also the Nord Sample Editor software that lets you create your own sample instruments, for infinite possibilities! Combined with Nord Piano Library compatibility the Nord Stage 2 is an instrument that offers huge expandability.
The Sound Inside
The Stage 2 has three sound generating sections; Piano, Organ, and Synthesizer, all of which can be used simultaneously. Furthermore, up to two sounds from each section can be combined in a single program for massive sonic flexibility.
The Stage 2 Piano section has evolved from the multi-award-winning Nord Piano; featuring state-of-the-art sampling techniques, the Stage 2's pianos capture the extraordinary nuances and real character of the individual source instruments. Combined with the intelligent String Resonance that reproduces the sound of the piano strings resonating at their fundamental or harmonic frequencies when other strings are played, and compatibility with the optional Nord Triple Pedal (sold separately) that adds Dynamic Pedal Noise - you get a result that is breathtaking real and has an unsurpassed expressiveness.
An all-new feature in the Nord Stage 2 is the Selectable Piano Release function. With Piano Release activated, you get a slightly longer release more suitable for legato playing. This important feature reflects adjusting the damper tension in an acoustic or an electromechanical instrument.
In addition to vivid acoustic Grand and Upright pianos, the Piano section also features some of the finest, most desirable vintage electric pianos. The Stage 2's piano sounds are future-proof thanks to its compatibility with the Nord Piano Library. This free online library is continuously updated with both upgraded existing pianos and all-new pianos to keep your instrument constantly renewed.
Over ten years have passed since Nord made their first digital model of a tone wheel organ. The Stage 2's dedicated organ section now uses their 3rd generation B3 Organ model, the same as found in the acclaimed Nord C2 Organ.
Considered by many to be the most accurate emulation of the B3 ever, the Stage 2's organ model is based on the analysis of the signals from each of the 91 spinning discs inside several original instruments and painstaking work on understanding exactly how all the components interact with each other. The virtual circuitry reacts not only to the settings on the panel but also during the realtime performance. The Stage 2 will faithfully reproduce the important foldback and energy robbing characteristics; the latter will produce the gentle compression effect that makes those lovely smears absolutely wonderful. There are 3 tone wheel modes that allow you to switch from a clean, factory spec'd instrument to a worn and battered workhorse with many years of touring.
Nord also created carefully modeled emulations of two of the most famous transistor organs from the 1960's - the Vox Continental and the Farfisa Compact. Alongside the organ's themselves, the Stage 2 features Nord's very latest rotary speaker simulation derived from the C2. Incorporating the acoustic variations that occur as a physical rotating spreads the sound around in a room, they bring the Stage 2's organs to life with remarkable realism. In terms of control, "Draw buttons" and LED bar graphs have replaced the original mechanical drawbars. This gives you the advantage of always having the correct drawbar settings after changing preset. For Organ sounds only, the Stage 2's keybed is programmed to respond at its highest trigger position, resulting in authentic feel and allowing lightning-fast organ techniques.
The Stage 2's powerful new synthesizer engine was built from the DNA of the Nord Wave. Capable of classic analog synthesis, 3 operator FM synthesis, Wavetable synthesis, and, crucially, compatibility with the Nord Sample Library. The Nord Sample Library not only gives Stage 2 owners access to the huge free library of world-class sounds, including the famous vintage Mellotron and Chamberlin samples previously only available to Nord Wave and Nord Electro 3 users, but, thanks to the included Nord Sample Editor for Mac and PC, allows user-created samples to be loaded into the instrument and thus opening up a whole new creative world of sound as well.
The Synth engine itself features classic analog synthesis with dual saw, hard sync, and pulse wave modulation, three-operator FM synthesis with 32 different modulation frequencies, Wavetable synthesis with 62 waveforms, and sample-based synthesis. A new great-sounding multimode filter features 12dB and 24dB low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filters. And, with an Amp envelope, Modulation envelope, an LFO, and Unison control, the Stage 2's synth capabilities are hugely powerful, delivering amazing on-stage sound.
The Synth section also features a new Arpeggiator that can be easily synced to the Stage 2's Master Clock for perfect timing with other elements of the Stage 2, including its effects.
Programming and Control
To make programming and on-stage control as simple as possible, Nord arranged the sound generators and controls of the Stage 2 into dedicated sections - Piano, Organ, and Synth. Not only does this make for a very intuitive approach to programming, but also instantly shows you which settings are active. There are no deep menus, no complicated screens to navigate. All vital functions are controlled by dedicated single-function knobs.
In addition, Nord's patented Pitch Stick and Modulation Wheel allow maximum musical expression and our efficient Morph Grouping technique is also included, allowing you to assign sound and effects parameters to physical controllers.
The Nord Stage 2 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 2's built-in instruments. Zones, splits, and layers are handled exactly as if the external equipment was a part of the Stage 2 itself. All settings are saved together with a Program so advanced setups can be immediately recalled in real time during a performance. You can even use the Extern Section to automatically transmit Bank Select and Program Change messages to your external units.
Naturally, a keyboard is not just about the sound but also the feel. The Stage 2 SW73 features Nord's 73-note Semi Weighted Waterfall keyboard that also has been improved for response when playing rapid repeated notes. During the assembly of each instrument in Nord's Stockholm factory, every keybed is individually and specifically tuned for a consistent response and balance.
No sound is complete without the proper use of effects. In the Stage 2's, they've incorporated all the effects required to cover musicians' needs. All of the three instrument sections can be routed individually through the Stage 2'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.
The new Master Clock function makes it easy to sync effects to other elements, like the arpeggiator, LFO, or even one of the other effects. You can easily lock the effect rate to a range of note values - make the delay do quarter note triplets of what arpeggiator is playing, while the LFO gently sweeps the filter up and down in half notes, all perfectly interlocked. The Master Clock can also be controlled by an external MIDI clock, which is perfect for syncing your parts to a backing track, including tempo changes.
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 Choruses, the Flanger, and new Vibe effect are modeled from the classic analog stompboxes that define the sound of popular music. These swirling Phasers, metallic Flangers, and thick Choruses that are used by uncompromising professionals everywhere are crystal clear and faithfully simulated on the Nord Stage 2.
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 can easily be adjusted with the tap-tempo button, or synced to the master clock. The delay also has an Analog mode for creating those classic "warped" sounds when changing the delay rate on repeats.
Amp Simulation & Equalizer
This effect section combines a 3-band equalizer with a sophisticated amplifier and speaker cabinet modeler. Classic amplifiers and speakers are a crucial part to make vintage Electric piano sounds come alive. Nord offers the famous sounds of speaker simulations of a Twin Reverb, a Jazz Chorus 120, and a Wurlitzer speaker. When no Amp Model is selected, the unit provides a neutral 3-band EQ with sweepable mid and a crunchy overdrive.
The new improved Rotary Speaker simulation, which not only brings an essential character to a live organ performance, can also be used with any of the electric or acoustic piano sounds and the synthesizer.
A Compressor and a Reverb are placed at the end of the sound chain to help you blend your sounds more naturally together. The Reverb unit has six different Hall, Stage, and Room spaces to create different atmospheres for your sounds while the Compressor helps you keep the overall mix tight and under control.
Reviewed by 3 customers
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Comments about Nord Stage 2 SW73 73-Key Stage Keyboard:
I have owned them all over the past 21 years and I have to say nothing TOUCHES the piano sound. The Fazioli sample with string resonance is SICK!!! I never even had a chance to DEMO the SW73 and from the moment I turned it on I knew this thing was a BEAST!!! GET IT NOW STOP READING THIS REVIEW AND GO AHEAD AND MAKE THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU HAVE EVER MADE. THE SYNTH section is KILLER! The organs are AMAZING! 21 pounds people. Wear it on your back with the Nord backpack carry your amp and stand along.
Comments about Nord Stage 2 SW73 73-Key Stage Keyboard:
I have been playing keys since the 80's - this board is expensive, but completely worth the money. Piano's, and organs are tremendous, and sound great in a live environment. The synths take me back to my old JX-3P and DX-7 boards. The layering and morphing is pretty simple, once you get used to it (tip: read the manual!). By the way, I gave up a Fantom X-8 to move to this board, which was about 80lbs with the case. This board in the case is less than 25lbs. So easy to travel with.
Comments about Nord Stage 2 SW73 73-Key Stage Keyboard:
If I was going to be stranded on a dessert island with only one keyboard, it would have to be a Nord Stage 2.