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Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby luts1976 » 19 Feb 2020, 04:28

I have now played the Nord Grand in a music store twice for a total of approximately 2 hours.

The first point that needs to be clear is that this instrument is very expensive even when compared with full featured boards.

For the limited functionality it offers, it is easily the most expensive stage piano by a long way.

Having said that, the limited functionality need not be a draw back as this instrument is intended to do simple things very very well.

To put a finer point on it, the action is intended to be 'as piano like as one can buy in a portable keyboard'.

The action is good. It does a decent job of recreating a piano action with various technologies. So, to my mind, the control interface is solid and as good as you will find in a stage piano.

The action and all it's supposed subtleties and nuance is somewhat wasted on the piano sounds. For me, this is the underwhelming aspect of the instrument.

Lets take the White Grand XL. I have listened closely and played at all velocities and tried to express as much subtlety as possible.

At lower velocities it is hard to get much variation.

At higher velocities the sample starts to have a thin HF attack. This sound simply doesn't exist on a real piano.

This leads to me ponder why the samples aren't "full featured".

There just isn't any deep information there. I haven't yet researched how many velocity layers are present but there aren't anywhere near enough.

The recording and result needs to be addressed at higher velocities as well. Once harder attacks are occurring we move into the realm of the "unreal".

With the level of detail, accuracy and playability of some stand alone piano libraries (which have been around a long time now) I simply didn't understand how this "Grand" has 2GB capacity. Why isn't it 2Tb capacity with the most seriously sampled pianos in the world?

It sits at $5500 AUD (Australian) which is an absolute premium price. For that money I want a great action and incredible sounds that have the most subtle nuance available.

This simply isn't the case with the Nord Grand.

Must I wait another 10 years until this happens? Why? The tech is there now and has been there for a long time already.
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Underwhelmed by Nord Grand


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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby nordkeys » 19 Feb 2020, 18:18

Wow, this is pretty harsh. However, I recognize everyone has their own opinions, but this post is completely opposite to my experience. I have had a Grand since it was released and use in a duo that plays blues, jazz, and classics. It has exceeded my expectation in all respects. I also have a Kurzweil Forte 88, and have had Yamaha and Infinite Response keyboards in the past. I play a real grand at church. The Nord Grand is by far the best of the bunch for acoustic and electric pianos.

First, a question. What keyboards do you use and are you comparing the Grand to?

I agree it is expensive. All Nords are. Either you like the product and ignore the cost, or go to something else. I have found the Grand to be very expressive. At lower velocities, it seems to respond to me very much like some of the real grand pianos I have played. I love the action. As to your comment regarding 2GB vs 2TB memory, it is a matter of capability and cost. Using high speed flash memory allows you to change your samples to suite your playing styles - a real selling point for Nord with their huge sample libraries. Because of the speed required, however, this drives the cost of the memory up. Some day this type of memory will be practical at the 2TB level, but not now. If you think the Grand is expensive now, a lot more memory will make it a lot more expensive. Some manufacturers are using modeling as an alternative, but there is an ongoing debate about whether the modeling or sample based approach is best.

These are just a few of my comments. Keep your thoughts coming - that is what makes this forum useful to all of us. We appreciate all opinions! :keyboard2:
Last edited by nordkeys on 19 Feb 2020, 18:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby luts1976 » 19 Feb 2020, 19:11

It takes very little time for a decent spec SSD to load even a large sample set for a piano.

I was keen to buy the Nord Grand but now I’m much more likely to keep my Kawai MP7.

The piano sound from the MP7 is not great, however I will use the keyboard as a controller. It has the Kawai RH2 action.

For me, this is good quality keybed.

I think I’m just gonna run a high quality sample library (much more resolution than Nord Grand).

So far so have bought Garritan CFX which sounds great.

Also, I’m gonna muck around with the Keyscape C7.

So, my rig will be more complex than just taking a Nord Grand to a gig.

However, I will create a streamlined setup that will be more work but sound a lot better.

Kawai MP7 > Bluetooth midi > MacBook Pro > CFX/main stage> Audio Interface > speakers

Whilst this looks somewhat more cumbersome, all of the gear can sit in a rack pre patched.

I can also integrate mainstage to further streamline patch changes etc.

For 5500 Oz dollars, I can buy a Kawai RH2 controller (MP7) $1600, a MB pro $2000, audio interface $400,
Keyscape $500, Garritan CFX lite $100. Powered monitors $500 Rack case $300.

All up that’s $5400 Australian dollars which is about what Nord Grand goes for.

Not only do I get a whole lot more gear which can be used in studio etc, but I get better quality, more responsive sounds.

This is my point. For the money you should have a keyboard with all this functionality and quality for the money.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby Elias » 20 Feb 2020, 13:25

luts76 wrote:This is my point. For the money you should have a keyboard with all this functionality and quality for the money.


No disrespect but

Nope, that is not Nord Grand.
Last edited by Elias on 20 Feb 2020, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby HwyStar » 20 Feb 2020, 18:36

The MP7 is a fine board, with many different great sounds. The Nord Grand is designed to be a better Piano with slightly better action than the MP7. The NG does have a better response feeling than the MP7. That is what I found while playing both boards (separately in different locations).

If you need an Organ, go for the MP7. If you need a piano I would choose the NG. If the Kawai Piano sounds lights you up then go for that. I find it extremely boring as is all Kawai Grand Pianos. And, good luck getting it to sound any different two years from now while we have continued to get new sounds installed all the time. How many different Grand pianos do we have? Thirteen and counting? MP7? Two forever?

Only you can decide what is best for your needs. For me, there are zero comparisons.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby Mr_-G- » 21 Feb 2020, 01:05

luts76 wrote:It takes very little time for a decent spec SSD to load even a large sample set for a piano.


Unfortunately things are not as simple as you imply. See this message explaining why:
general-nord-forum-f29/why-the-memory-limitation-t14689.html#p96990

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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby musicaldudeist » 21 Feb 2020, 02:22

Out of curiousity, what do you write each sentence as a new paragraph? Not knocking you, just curious.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby DJKeys » 21 Feb 2020, 18:04

Mr_-G- wrote:
luts76 wrote:It takes very little time for a decent spec SSD to load even a large sample set for a piano.


Unfortunately things are not as simple as you imply. See this message explaining why:
general-nord-forum-f29/why-the-memory-limitation-t14689.html#p96990


This fact seems lost on most, that the Flash memory used by Nord is not the same as standard computer memory and is much more expensive.

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Last edited by DJKeys on 21 Feb 2020, 18:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby PScooter63 » 21 Feb 2020, 20:18

Hardware design aside, I’m trying to grasp the OP’s context. There’s explicit mention of “stage piano”, but then a focus on subtleties that anyone using an instrument in a stage environment knows from experience would largely be unnoticed, or even undetectable... MAYBE if they’re playing solo to a quiet classical audience. But in that context, you’d likely be using an acoustic instrument anyway?

Combine this with the other thread about portability (yes, I really believe it’s the same poster with two accounts, compare the writing style and similarity in usernames), and well... maybe he/she will come back and re-explain what they were driving at?
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Re: Underwhelmed by Nord Grand

Postby CountFosco » 21 Feb 2020, 20:52

PScooter63 wrote:yes, I really believe it’s the same poster with two accounts, compare the writing style and similarity in usernames


I think you're just being narrow minded. You've summarily dismissed the more likely explanation that there are two 44 year old aussie blokes with the nickname Luts looking at buying a Nord Grand at the same time. I don't suppose you noticed the telling factor that one of the Lutses loves the Nord Grand and the other one doesn't? You've gotta pay attention to the details PScooter. :P

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