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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby Gambold » 05 Jun 2017, 20:08

This goes into the whole decision of just how much equipment are you willing to lug and setup at a typical gig.

Unless you have a personal roadie, it can get quite tiring: packing, loading, unloading and setting up two keyboards, keyboard racks, a mixer, your personal powered speaker solution, bench, and countless cables - all while the rest of your band is in a flurry on the same postage-stamp size stage. How many trips to the van is that? By the time it's show time, you're beat...and remember you have to do all again at the end of the night, and now you're really tired and probably lightly drunk.

Eventually you get sick of this, especially when your vocalist is just packing a change of clothes and the guitarist is getting everything in one trip with his collapsible four-wheeler. You start to wonder...do they really need me to sound like five different guys? Why can't I just play one instrument like everyone else?

So you buy an Electro, which is super-light, has awesome pianos and organs, and a decent-enough sample set to cover those miserable synth sounds. Is the action perfect for your solemn interpretation of Scenes from an Italian Restaurant? No. But man, suddenly going to a gig isn't like two hours at the gym. You actually have time after setup for a drink and to flirt with the barflies.

I've got a Korg SV-1 which I bring to some gigs - it's really heavy. Yeah the action is better and so are the electric pianos on it. But no, I'm not bringing both. Not until I start getting paid more, anyway :)
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?


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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby anotherscott » 05 Jun 2017, 22:05

Gambold wrote:This goes into the whole decision of just how much equipment are you willing to lug and setup at a typical gig.

Unless you have a personal roadie, it can get quite tiring: packing, loading, unloading and setting up two keyboards, keyboard racks, a mixer, your personal powered speaker solution, bench, and countless cables

All true. It's always a balance between the pleasure of keeping your rig small/light, fast/easy to set up on one hand, and having it be great sounding and satisfying to play on the other. At the first extreme, if I had to, I could probably get through pretty much any gig with a Yamaha MX49 (8.4 lbs) and a Behringer B208D (14.7 lbs), a guitar cable, a power cable, and a sustain pedal. OTOH, I did a handful of gigs last year with 6 keyboards (and still didn't bring some of my favorite/heaviest ones, nor my favorite amplification, the 60 lb JBL PRX625, though the venue had a good house system). Finding the right balance is part of what makes it so challenging to assemble the most satisfying rig for the gig.

In this case, though, if you wanted to add a weighted board to an E5DSW to make it more satisfying to play piano, all you need to add is the board itself, it's power cord, and a MIDI cable (and your stand has to support two boards). No other gear (not even a mixer, since you're not using the second board for sounds). So then it's just a matter, will you get enough more pleasure out of doing the gig to make it worth that much more effort.

Gambold wrote:You start to wonder...do they really need me to sound like five different guys? Why can't I just play one instrument like everyone else?

Yup. Somehow we've ended up taking on the role of not just piano and organ player, but brass section, string section, and who knows what else. However, those first two are really on us... we probably did indeed choose to play both piano and organ, and those boards to call out for different actions, if you want to play them expressively and with the appropriate instrument-specific techniques.

Gambold wrote:I've got a Korg SV-1 which I bring to some gigs - it's really heavy. Yeah the action is better and so are the electric pianos on it. But no, I'm not bringing both.

Bingo. I really like my SV-1, but I've never brought it to a gig, it's too heavy. But I'll bring a 20-something pound Casio. But here's the best news: Recently, I hooked up the SV1 and the E5D side-by-side, called up my favorite SV1 EP sounds, and started tweaking the Nord, trying different underlying sample sets, different EQ, different amps/overdrive... I can't say they're identical, but it did not take much effort to get the Nord EPs *much* closer to the SV1's than I'd expected. So yes, the SV1 EPs sound much better than Nord's out of the box, and play beautifully from its action, but with a little effort, you can really improve the sound of the Nord EPs, and they can play quite well from an attached weighted action that isn't nearly as heavy as having to carry around the SV1. The hardest thing about improving the stock sounds is not knowing exactly what you're aiming for. If you can hook up a keyboard you like right next to it, and keep tweaking to get it closer to your reference, you may be surprised at what you can get out of it!
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby Gambold » 05 Jun 2017, 22:30

>nd started tweaking the Nord, trying different underlying sample sets, different EQ, different amps/overdrive... I can't say they're identical, but it did not take much effort to get the Nord EPs *much* closer to the SV1's than I'd expected.<

Hey, you should post some recommendations. It's a long-standing discussion point here that the EPs are the weakest color on the Nord rainbow. I personally think they are ok...not fabulous but not terrible...and that they suffer from lack of heavy action more than the acoustic sounds.
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby orangefunk » 08 Jun 2017, 00:27

I also had the SV1 many moons ago. The 73 key version was a nice and easy machine to lug around. Though it did get tiring pulling it around the metros... a bridge too far. The Electro 73D would be a breeze in comparison.


anotherscott wrote:
Gambold wrote:I've got a Korg SV-1 which I bring to some gigs - it's really heavy. Yeah the action is better and so are the electric pianos on it. But no, I'm not bringing both.

Bingo. I really like my SV-1, but I've never brought it to a gig, it's too heavy. But I'll bring a 20-something pound Casio. But here's the best news: Recently, I hooked up the SV1 and the E5D side-by-side, called up my favorite SV1 EP sounds, and started tweaking the Nord, trying different underlying sample sets, different EQ, different amps/overdrive... I can't say they're identical, but it did not take much effort to get the Nord EPs *much* closer to the SV1's than I'd expected. So yes, the SV1 EPs sound much better than Nord's out of the box, and play beautifully from its action, but with a little effort, you can really improve the sound of the Nord EPs, and they can play quite well from an attached weighted action that isn't nearly as heavy as having to carry around the SV1. The hardest thing about improving the stock sounds is not knowing exactly what you're aiming for. If you can hook up a keyboard you like right next to it, and keep tweaking to get it closer to your reference, you may be surprised at what you can get out of it!
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby dhbp-nord » 08 Jun 2017, 00:45

Looking forward to layering Keyscape on top of my NP2, coming soon :-)

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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby silver surfer » 12 Jun 2017, 04:17

I used the Bright Grand piano when gigging with my Electro 3 and recently bought a 5D 61. I went through many of the pianos again spending a lot of time with each one. I still lean towards the Bright Grand and it sounded pretty good in a gig last night. To answer the question, I set the frequency to 1K and lower that a little. I cut the treble to 10 o'clock. Having gone through the 2, 3 and now 5D I have always struggled with the pianos, but the key to me is the EQ.
Nord Electro 5, Mackie mixer, pair of QSC K10.2's, Mogami cables
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby Gambold » 12 Jun 2017, 17:50

Agreed, the Bright Grand is the best for rock/pop ensembles, and I've tried just about all of them. I can see where some of the others would be good or better in a recording environment, since the Bright is a little two-dimensional in character - but man does it cut through the mix.

I keep waiting for something to surpass it, but I wonder if that will ever happen. Clavia's piano offerings have crested and for the past few years we've been getting models that don't, in my humble opinion, have a lot of practical use. I'm speaking of things like Mozart pianos, the Royal Grand headphone, and the disappointingly murky Velvet.

I'm sure some folks will maintain these are all fabulous but they aren't surpassing what came before in the heyday. I know the newer Nords have more memory and let you load up a bunch of them, but in the end, you're going to fall back on the one or two best ones for most of your playing, alone or with a group. Is anyone really counting the Silver or the Bambino as one of those? Or are you still playing the Lady D, Bosie, or Italian...or the Black or Blue uprights....
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby dhbp-nord » 12 Jun 2017, 18:27

Given that there has been relatively nothing on the new sound front from Nord since MusikMesse (and the launch and subsequent pulling of the layered gospel pianos) I'm betting a lot of things will happen once the Stage 3 hits the street.

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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby Gambold » 12 Jun 2017, 20:37

>and the launch and subsequent pulling of the layered gospel pianos<

That one looked like a contractual disagreement. They also promised a "standard" sampling of the Royal around the same time, then removed the text of that promise a few weeks later.

>I'm betting a lot of things will happen once the Stage 3 hits the street.<

We'll see! The factory loads for that have not yet been announced. Will they list an XL of the Royal Grand 3D as the primary acoustic piano? Or are they going to default back to the Italian? Better - they couple the launch with a brand new Grand!
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Re: Improving Electro 5D SW73 acoustic piano sounds?

Postby dhbp-nord » 12 Jun 2017, 20:58

Oscars 97 key monster Bosendorfer or Goulds lovely (but sadly damaged) CD 318 Steinway would be nice :-)

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- Alesis Q88
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- M-Audio Profire 610, FireWire Audiophile
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- Omnisphere 2, Keyscape
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