The Nord C1, C2 and C2D Organ Forum

How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby bjavor » 18 Sep 2016, 13:58

Hello, a total newbie here. I'm not an organ player (so far), but I'm very interested in the sound and I'm considering learning it.

I was trying to decide between the Electro 5D and the C2D, and was trying to find some information regarding just how much a lower manual may be needed. Unfortunately so far I came up pretty empty. (It's difficult to fins the right google keywords/phrasing...) What I have found was that the lower manual is usually/mostly tuned to the same octaves. So is the difference only that you may have a different drawbar configuration for it? And if yes, is this something you'd miss a lot on the Electro?

A slightly related second question: The C2D has two sets of drawbars per manual, while some other brands like the Mojo have only one. How big of a difference does that make?
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Sep 2016, 13:44
Country: Switzerland
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

How important/essential is the lower manual?


Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby jfenton » 18 Sep 2016, 15:49

Well I have a Hammond SK2 and not a C2D but I'll share my opinion anyway. I once owed a Hammond B3 and two manuals is a great plus for the authentic
playing experiences. Sure you can split the Electro keyboard but it is a bit clumsy and the single drawbar layout is as well.

I miss the 4 sets of drawbars I once had with my Hammond B3. So if I were to buy again for a more real Hammond experience I would get something with both manuals and 4 sets of drawbars. Right now I use a Roland A-300Pro and it's sliders on top tier to at least give me instant access to two sets of drawbars on my SK2.

My SK2 also has extra voicings (like piano) that I like. I can play organ on top manual and piano on the bottom (or visa versa) with a simple switch push.
The piano sounds are not as authentic as my Stage 2 but they suffice. Since I don't have a C2D, I'm not sure if those features exist on that unit.

If I ever consider selling my SK2, the C2D woiuld be in the running for a replacement.

I've been watching the forum for quite a while and the more I hear about the Electro 5, the happier I am that I chose the Stage 2 EX over it. In the US I got my Stage 2 EX for about $700 USD more than the Electo 5 costs here. I thought I would miss the physical drawbars but I really don't.
  • NS2 EX Compact 73
  • Hammond SK2
  • Roland VCombo VR-09
  • Alesis VI61
User avatar
Patch Creator
Posts: 350
Joined: 03 Apr 2016, 18:21
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 24 times
Been thanked: 100 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2 EX

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby ebowen4221 » 20 Sep 2016, 06:18

My opinion on this question is that if you want to learn the organ, get the organ. An electro 5 is a great do-mostly-all keyboard, but when it comes to the organ, nothing beats the C2D.

The C2D is only an organ, and you can't load up any other sounds to the keyboard.
Nord C2, Nord Stage 2, Moog Sub37, Moog Minitaur
Hammond A100, Wurlitzer P200A
Posts: 97
Joined: 22 Mar 2012, 18:31
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 15 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord C2
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Stage 2

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby C3 Michael » 28 Oct 2016, 19:19

I love the B3 +bass on my NE5D.But I also love having the two manuals on my Hammond C3. It is great to have the bass pedals too.It has a fat full sound that way.The trouble is it is nearly impossible for me to move,lock down the tone generator,take off the Leslie switch,remove pre amp tubes,etc.The beauty of the Nord is the portability and you have piano sounds and synth sounds with organ as good as my C3 IMO.If I had to choose between the two it would ne the Nord.
C3 Michael
Posts: 14
Joined: 30 Aug 2016, 22:40
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Electro 5

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby Gustavo » 02 Nov 2016, 16:34

I believe the answer to this question depends on what you need/want and the style you are playing.

For many purposes, the split function will do just fine. But if you want to very realistically play an organ, then having two manuals (for a B3) is a must. Many players took full advantage of this and truly used all the keyboard in both manuals.

Also, keep in mind that the Vox and Farfisa were most commonly single manual. So if you use those, then the lower manual does not matter much.
Synths: Nord Stage 2 SW, Nord Lead 4R, Vintage Vibe 64 Active, Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2, Minimoog Voyager, Prophet 6, Korg Volcas
Stand: K&M Spider Pro and Hercules X Stands
Recording: Zoom UAC-8
Speakers: EV ELXP 112-P, Event Alp 5
User avatar
Former Team Member
Posts: 800
Joined: 05 Apr 2009, 18:00
Location: Monterrey, MX
Country: Mexico
Has thanked: 145 times
Been thanked: 165 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage Classic
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Stage 2

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby JoeCool » 05 Nov 2016, 14:08

You can add a lower manual to the Electro, very simple trick, but you can't produce piano or synth sounds with the C2D.
Posts: 109
Joined: 18 Mar 2012, 12:56
Country: Germany
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 24 times
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Electro 3

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby tacitus » 22 Mar 2017, 18:57

Depends on your playing style. For jazz/solo work, having two manuals is another way of compensating for not having touch sensitivity as you do on the piano. SOlo on upper manual, accompaniment on the lower, or just two different settings you can combine with either hand to give variation in dynamics (you can set the drawbars the same on both and have percussion on the upper, for example, then play what you want to empahaisis on the upper manual.

For rock and pop work, one manual is usually enough, if you're not doing the whole prog rock Jon Lord thing. I always reckoned my father would have been a great rock/pop organist, as he only had the one arm ... If you play keys in anything other than an organ-based jazz group, you may well get away with the single keyboard, but just as having the real Hammond alters the way you play, so does having two manuals. My ideal would be a B3/C3/A100 and Leslie at home for personal use and having a few people round to play it for me, and having the C2D and a Leslie for gigging (the 3300 is ideal for that, in my view). Even if you can tell the difference between a B3 and the C2D, by the time you have a real Leslie physically moving air, the difference is academic, and in a rock band, it probably doesn't make much difference at all, if you can perform as well on a clone as on the real thing. Obviously the real Hammond smells way better.
Posts: 116
Joined: 19 Sep 2013, 10:14
Country: Great Britain
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 27 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord C2D

Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby sweelinck » 18 Apr 2017, 01:39

Having only 2 manuals is already a compromise for some organ music.
Acoustic piano - Nord C2 - Roland Jupiter-50
Posts: 27
Joined: 17 Apr 2017, 23:56
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

Return to Nord C1 / C2 / C2D Organ Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests