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General Discussion of the Nord Stage (EX), Nord Stage 2 (EX), and Nord Stage 3 Synths, FAQ, Troubleshooting etc.

Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby hatsofftomary » 30 Aug 2013, 23:32

How do I access the .pdf?
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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial


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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby Johannes » 31 Aug 2013, 01:00

hatsofftomary wrote:How do I access the .pdf?


Hi, you should be able to get it from the download sexton, direct link : The Nord Stage MIDI Tutorial

Should work if you are logged in. Let me know if you have problems!
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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby baxterbradford » 01 Nov 2013, 17:23

Really helpful indeed. I've just joined forum so I can get this set up for Stage EX with Pro Tools via Apogee Duet and USB lead.


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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby Dave1992 » 12 Feb 2014, 01:55

Thank you for the great read! It did cover a lot of questions I had, but there still remains one.

My question rather concerns a live setting, which will potentially also influence a purchase decision I am making at the moment (which is why I can't just try it out and see for myself, yet).

The live scenario I have in mind is as follows:

I would like to use my NS2's sounds, but also use it as a midi controller running on a Macbook with Logic, using Mainstage. This general part is covered very nicely in the tutorial, I believe. But it's the practical details that are so crucial in a live setting that I am not completely sure about, yet. Ideally, I would like to create a "setlist-scenario" (in Mainstage, for instance), where I would change to the next patch (changing patches in my NS2 AND in my software simultaneously, depending on what is required in the following song/song section) by pressing a button (on my NS2 or on my Macbook). However, all different programmes should be different in their setup, so that I would be able to play my NS2 Rhodes in "Song 1" while my software synth would be mute, then press only one button to access "Song 2" and play synths from my Macbook/Mainstage which would also be controlled with the knobs on my NS2 (but with the in-built sounds from my NS2 turning mute automatically, of course), and then press that button again to acces "Song 3" which would layer my NS2-piano with strings from Mainstage. Ideally, I would like each parameter setting (=which knob on my NS2 controls which parameter in my software) to be unique for each "Song".

How to set this up for one song is quite clear to me after having read that wonderful tutorial, using the two slots on my NS2. But I'm not sure whether and how to make my live scenario work, where a programme change on my NS2 would change the settings in Mainstage accordingly (change to the next song/patch) and load midi-settings unique to each patch. It would require every single patch/programme to be adjusted perfectly and to be able to be saved as it is, so that accessing "Song 4" gives me all the sounds I need from my NS2 and all the sounds I need from my Macbook, all the saved parameters for each sound and all the midi assignations for the patch coming from my Macbook.

Is this doable? If so, how?
If not, are there any practical alternatives to guarantee a seemless live setting where making use of the NS2's in-built sounds and controlling sounds from Mainstage with my NS2 is possible, loading complete pre-arranged patches on both by pressing one button?



I know this question might be very detailed, but it would not only help in creating a proper live setting, but mainly help in deciding what kind of gear to buy next.
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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby pablomastodon » 12 Feb 2014, 03:30

By turning OFF all midi feeds in the Midi Menu and then using the External Sections A&B to address external devices such as your Mainstage rig, you can assign 1) pgm chg, 2) vol (cc=7), and 3) one additional midi cc value (you select both cc# and value) independently as to each Slot. Each program on the Nord can have unique discrete settings for all these parameters.

Additionally, you have the option of setting External A&B to global midi channels (operate as to all programs), or to have midi channels of Ext A&B vary on a per program basis.

Assuming that your Mainstage can respond to incoming pgm chg messages, the Stage 2 will be your dream kbd.

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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby Dave1992 » 12 Feb 2014, 11:32

Thank you!

Just to clarify:

Will turning off all midi feeds in the Midi Menu have the effect that my NS2 will not react to any incoming midi messages, or does this serve a different purpose?

Just had a quick look at the External Section. All I'd need to do is match the programme change number with the programme number in Mainstage (providing Mainstage responds to this command), right?

However, can I still actively control, say, the volume, a filter and an EQ in Mainstage by knobs on my NS2? Sending the commands in the External Menu will simply load a preset, so to speak, but can I assign more rotary knobs than the one in the External Section to effects in Mainstage (by using the "learn" function, for instance)?

I probably should have added that I already own a NS2 (and it certainly is a dream), but that I'm thinking about investing in a proper Macbook and use Mainstage live, which I haven't done yet, let alone tried out with my Nord. So I don't know if Mainstage could respond to programme change messages... Is there anyone here who knows, or even has tried out this live setting themself..?

It's a tad bit confusing trying to map out the situation and settings in my head, without having a Macbook with Mainstage running in front of me, yet. It would be extremely helpful if someone could guarantee that I could accomplish what I described in my earlier post; so that I could change from playing Nord-sounds only, to a patch where I would use Mainstage sounds only (but control them and their effects via my Nord's knobs/faders, much like a simple midi controller), to a patch where I would combine both, all by pressing one button.
Last edited by Dave1992 on 12 Feb 2014, 13:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby pablomastodon » 13 Feb 2014, 09:26

responding in order:

Yes, turning off midi settings in Midi Menu will have the effect that your NS2 will not respond to incoming midi messages. If you have specific needs regarding incoming midi signals being routed to specific instrument sections, it's okay to go ahead and make those settings. The really important ones to set to OFF are Global and Slot A/B in terms of avoiding confusion in your midi life.

Yes, your general understanding of External pgm chg is correct. Hit the button in Ext Section until Pgm Chg LED is lit, then use the knob to dial in desired #, store the program on the Nord and whenever you recall that program, the designated Pgm Chg message will be sent on the channel to which that Ext Section is set.

The External Section also provides two additional controls: volume and any addt'l midi cc # of your choosing, but not three like you asked for. It is technically possible to use other knobs on the Nord front panel for sending other cc messages, but this is not a practical idea, because to do so you'd have to go back into Midi Menu and turn Global or Slot A/B midi channel back on, which will in turn create potential for much midi confusion. Note, however, that you can choose a different optional midi cc # for each slot, and for each program, so using your example you can use it to control filter on one Mainstage program and EQ on a different Mainstage program (disclaimer: I am completely ignorant of any and all things Mainstage except as they may be similar to any other typical DAW). If you want to be adventurous, you can even choose to set both Ext Slots A&B to the same channel, set different optional midi cc's for each; I wouldn't necessarily recommend this though. It opens up the possibility of setting different volume and/or pgm chg messages on the same midi channel at the same time, causing conflicts.

You must use the External Section in order to make use of the auto-transmit pgm chg, volume and optional midi cc features provided there, but if you wanted to get a little fancy, you could set up a program on the Nord in which an instrument section is enabled, thereby allowing you to use its knobs as addt'l midi cc transmission sources, and simply turn that section's level all the way down so that nothing extraneous and unwanted appears at the Nord's audio outputs. That could easily get quite convoluted though...might be better to simply add a little controller device connected to the Nord's midi input. If set to the same channel as Ext Section, I believe that you will get midi thruput to Mainstage. Not having actually tested this first hand, I'm not 100% on that, but my recollection is that this will work.

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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby Dave1992 » 13 Feb 2014, 16:22

The picture in my head is getting clearer now and I'm feeling quite confident in investing in the necessary gear now!

There's one last thing regarding the pgm chg control in the External Section, though. I'm not sure what the point of it is, when (if I understood correctly) a programme change in my NS2 can (at least in theory) automatically send information to Mainstage via midi, telling it which programme it should open at the same time, no? If I wanted to change programme in Mainstage and use its softsynth sounds only for one song, I'd simply load a programme on my Nord where all Sections are mute, but have an automatic pgm chg message sent for this Nord programme, which will tell Mainstage what to do, without having to activate and turn the control on my External Section manually. At least that's how I thought it could work.
The only point the prg chg control in the External Section might have, in my eyes, is to change a Mainstage programme WITHOUT changing my Nord programme, so I could continue playing my NS2 piano but load a different kind of softstrings on top. But even then I could still simply duplicate the programme on my NS2, but only make the second version automatically send a midi message telling Mainstage to change to its next programme. Might not be the most elegant version, but it should work, shouldn't it? I just imagine having to think of which knob of the two to turn to change which programme where might be the cause for some problems in the heat of the moment on-stage. I'd rather turn the fat know in the centre whenever I need to change something (whether in my NS2 or in Mainstage) and let the pre-saved midi commands select the right sounds for me.

I hope I understood correctly how the midi commands you can save per NS2 programme could work...
Last edited by Dave1992 on 14 Feb 2014, 11:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby pablomastodon » 14 Feb 2014, 17:53

Hi Dave,

You have a correct understanding of how it is used, and an incorrect understanding I think of what I was saying...

The Pgm Chg control in External Section is not very friendly for live use -- it can be done, but that's not the best way. Best way is to dial in those Pgm Chgs in advance during your pre-gig preparation session, and store them into Nord programs so that YES, when you turn the big knob in the center of the Nord, all the other things simply happen automatically, just as you suggested. Very friendly indeed.

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Re: Nord Stage and MIDI tutorial

Postby Dave1992 » 14 Feb 2014, 19:19

Thank you very much for your time, Pablo. You've helped me loads!
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