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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 its name as it takes up much less space on your deskt... Click To Read More About This Product

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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 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.

Unit One
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.

Unit two
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.

EQ/Amp Simulation
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.

Rotary Speaker
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.

Master Effects
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
Headphone Output: 1/4"
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
Weight: 21lb.
Pro Coverage
One year parts and labor warranty on all Nord and Ddrum products with the exception of 30 day warranty on drum triggers.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
NordStage EX Compact Keyboard

(based on 3 reviews)

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


The best portable electric piano on the market

By Peter

from Los Angeles, CA

Comments about Nord Stage EX Compact Keyboard:

I've owned a Nord stage for 4 years, and just upgraded to the EX. I use my Nord everyday on every session and gig. Its super-portable (20 lbs. or so), and has the best Rhodes, Wurly, Clav, B3, and acoustic pianos sounds in the market hands down. My colleagues are always blown away by the realism of the sounds. I have the original electro-mechanical keys at home, and their great but you don't have to break your back to carry this one out. And finally you don't have to apologize for your sounds, like some other brands......Its a great workstation too (improving on the single-timbre Electros), you can split the board with the Organ/Piano/or Synth section. The B3 on this thing is the best out there, the virtual drawbars are the key, far better than the CX-3s, Vk-8s, and even Hammond's digital B3. The mini-synth section on it has enough features to keep even a synth-nut happy (if you need a full synth, get the Lead 2x). You can dial in a pad real quick and sneak it in under a Rhodes mid-performance. The almost knob-per-function approach makes it intuitive and quick, unlike the menu based workstations. Go get one.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)



By Jahrel

from richmond, va

Comments about Nord Stage EX Compact Keyboard:

There is nothing better... I played with a MOTIF ES for 5 years. And a roland digital piano. THe second I pulled the nord stage ex out. Everyone commented and said it was a night and day improvement over the "BIG 3" names in keyboards. The Pianos, Rhodes and Organs are Top notch, and almost as good as the real thing. It cost a lot, but its worth every penny cause you sound like a million bucks...that was cheezy but if you get one you'll never buy another keyboard, you only have to update the last piano sample on their website. Its the smartest purchase a keyboardist could make to improve their sound.

(3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


Nord Stage EX

By Bill

from harvey, LA

Comments about Nord Stage EX Compact Keyboard:

I purchased this keyboard rather blindly, which I don't like to do, but had no choice because G.C. didn't stock it at the time. I was trying to replace my Motif ES8. What it all boils down to is the quality of the samples and the playability of the patches. The acoustic pianos did not come close to what I have in my Motif. The B-3 was the best feature of the keyboard. The synth section wasn't bad. One big problem is that the keyboard doesn't have a mono output jack. If you don't run your rig in stereo, this board will not sound it's best, which still didn't cut it for me.

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