You may remember the blog (The "Keys" to My Songwriting) where I introduced my two staple "keys" I use to write my songs on but most importantly where I started to fall in love with piano and music. They are my Baldwin upright and CASIO LK-270. I also shared my two dream pianos I envision myself to own one day where I will be writing more songs to share with you all. My CASIO LK-270 has been through it all with me from the beginning at all my gigs, showcases, photo-shoots and writing sessions. But the sad reality is that her time may be coming to a close - it has been almost 10 years since I first played on my CASIO. My CASIO holds a huge sentimental value in my heart and soul. She has shared a lot of history and memories with me throughout the years and helped me grow into the person I am today. I do seek to not replace, but rather to grow the family in my musicianship.
I have been contemplating about investing in a new keyboard for some time now and only recently became really serious - especially after I came back from Chengdu and had the chance to play the keys on the international stage! Because this is going to be one of my biggest investments, I need to make sure I do my due diligence as a musician, singer-songwriter, and consumer. I will be breaking it down to the most basic yet important features of the keyboards I am considering over the next few weeks, and would like to call upon your opinions, your experiences and expertise that will help me greatly in my final decision. The first keyboard that I am sharing with you is a strong front runner. I had the absolute crazy opportunity and privilege to play on a NORD (NORD Stage 3) during my third and final stage when I was in Chengdu! I have to admit that prior to this experience I never heard of this brand! Only after my sound check and rehearsal the day in Bailu Town I fell in love with the touch and the sound! I went to the music store not too long ago here and found her waiting for me! Here she is!
nord stage 3
Nord keyboards is a Swedish based company made by Clavia Digital Music Instruments that specializes in digital and performance keyboards. It was love at first sight that magical afternoon but I have to be aware that I don't rush into lust. They manufacture stage pianos, synthesizers and organs and are quite popular among well known musicians with its unmistakable, distinct, metal red statement panel on stage! There are 5 editions in the Nord Stage series and the music technology seems to get better and better. Nord Stage 3 is an 88-key ranging from A-C, velocity sensitive hammer action keyboard with aftertouch.
General New Features
• OLED-displays for Program and Synth section
• Seamless transitions when changing programs
• Extended Split functionality with optional Crossfade
• Song List Mode
• Extended Morph Destinations
The Nord Stage 3 has three sound generators: Piano, Synth and Organ and you can play all three sounds at once using its split functionality mode. WOW!
The PIANO SECTION is every pianists' dream land featuring a wide selection of grand pianos, uprights, electric pianos, and bringing it back to classical times with the Harpsichord and Clavinet. In addition there are 120 polyphony piano voices and filters with the ability to layer and can be updated free of charge with their exclusive NORD Piano Library.
The ORGAN SECTION is probably the least knowledgeable area I know but I have always been curious and hope to one day play an organ, learn and experiment with the different sounds. Perhaps this may be my first opportunity as the NORD STAGE 3 offers many different organ models (including 2 new pipe organs) that simulates the real deal.
The SYNTHESIZER SECTION features their top-of-the-line Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine, with sample playback and an OLED display its Oscillator functions. Another section that I'm not too familiar with but I have experimented a tiny bit with synths on my CASIO. Another area that I have always been interested to tackle and learn in order to expand my musicianship as a singer-songwriter.
The EFFECT SECTION allows the performer to instantly choose from a wide range and tweak high quality effects that includes the new filter effects, improved delay with feedback filters and separate slots for the Compressor and Reverb.
For my type of music genre, does this particular model serve my purpose? Yes but it maybe a bit too posh and extravagant for my sound. But I've always wanted to learn the art of music production and have always loved the process behind my pre-productions that I come up with in my past projects before I go into the studio. With the advancement of technology these days, we all have a home studio right at our fingertips. This model is the epitome of my potential and will come extremely handy when I do start to buckle down, learn and start my own productions for future projects. The NORD 3 PIANO is realistically more suited to Natalia Chai Music and still offers the brilliant features that I cannot wait to play around with - that is IF I do decide to go with this model in the end!
For those of you who have had the opportunity to play and experiment on any NORD models, what are your experiences? What features do you like/don't like? Please feel free to leave me your comments - I would love to hear your thoughts!