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NS2 in the nude

Postby mjbrands » 31 Mar 2012, 03:43

I was curious to see what my NS2 actually contained so I could compare it a bit to my Nord Wave.

This image shows the major components on the NS2 main board.
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 1.53.02 AM.png
NS2 main board
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 1.53.02 AM.png (1.58 MiB) Viewed 9449 times

If I remember correctly the Wave contains four of the same DSPs, 3 x 512 mbit Flash (192 MB), a 96k Hz 24-bit Cirrus Logic or AKM DAC and also a Freescale ColdFire MCU (40 to 50 MHz, I think). I might open it again to verify the DSPs, DAC and opamps (I think the Wave used different ones, maybe some kind of Burr-Brown).

Nord Wave.png
Nord Wave
Nord Wave.png (1.18 MiB) Viewed 9447 times

From memory (as I don't have it anymore), the Nord Lead 2X also contains a group of four DSPs (similar type, but older/slower version).

It seems that Fatar does not make a 73-key waterfall keyboard (or Clavia decided not to use it). The NS2 SW73 actually contains a keybed with 76 keys, but the lowest and the two highest keys are not present; the key contacts can be seen in the pictures though. Part of the plastic on either end of the keybed has been removed (cut or grind) to allow them to fit under the wooden end cheeks.

IMG_0102.JPG
Chopped off keyboard (left)
IMG_0102.JPG (53.03 KiB) Viewed 9449 times

IMG_0103.JPG
Chopped off keyboard (right)
IMG_0103.JPG (45.75 KiB) Viewed 9449 times

Apart from being a bit of 'porn' for engineers, this post shows the basic setup of the 1995 Nord Lead 1 (that arguably started the whole Virtual Analog-craze) up to the 2011 NS2 is pretty similar (this includes the Modular G2/G2X). You see the same thing with the Access Virus synths.

Here is a Nord Lead 3:
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 2.57.03 AM.png
Nord Lead 3
Screen Shot 2012-03-31 at 2.57.03 AM.png (1.25 MiB) Viewed 9449 times

It has six 120 MHz 56362 DSPs.

And here a Nord Rack 2. The Nord Lead 2X has 96k Hz 24-bit DACs and possibly newer DSPs.
Nord Rack 2.png
Nord Rack 2
Nord Rack 2.png (927.91 KiB) Viewed 9449 times

Here is an image showing the two DSPs in the Access Virus TI. Note the Wave has 2x more and the NS2 3x more of the same DSPs on-board.
Image

Some more insides:
Last edited by mjbrands on 31 Jul 2012, 12:30, edited 5 times in total.
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NS2 in the nude


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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby cleito » 31 Mar 2012, 08:05

Thanks for some Nord porn! LOL
:thumbup:
About the extra contact for the keys, I read in other topic about it and I guess its not possible to use it and make a 76 waterfall like the NSC could be made.
:thumbdown:
Last edited by cleito on 31 Jul 2012, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby sakari » 31 Mar 2012, 12:07

Thanks for posting this, it is very interesting! and special thanks for labelling the components!
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby mjbrands » 31 Mar 2012, 13:49

cleito wrote:About the extra contact for the keys, I read in other topic about it and I guess its not possible to use it and make a 76 waterfall like the NSC could be made.

That wouldn't work, as the lugs at the front under which the keys hook have been removed to make it fit with the wooden end cheeks. I suppose you could put in the keybed from a donor keyboard, but you'd still have to modify the wooden end cheeks. I like my NS2 SW73 just the way it is, but I think I remember some people complaining about not having a low E - we'll, it seems the have it but they can't use it ;)
Last edited by mjbrands on 31 Jul 2012, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby Bistikas » 31 Mar 2012, 14:12

Can you please press the extra contacts and see if they make a sound? On the older stages and electros they do, but they say that they have blocked them on the stage 2. Just to be sure though.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby mjbrands » 31 Mar 2012, 16:44

Bistikas wrote:Can you please press the extra contacts and see if they make a sound? On the older stages and electros they do, but they say that they have blocked them on the stage 2. Just to be sure though.

Right now I don't want to open it again, but I'm pretty sure the keybed itself is unmodified - the PCB is intact, the rubber cups are present. If they modified anything, they must filter out those keys in software. However, there is a jumper on the main board that is appearently used to configure the number of keys (likely the same mainboard is used in all NS2s). The jumper is somewhat visible in the top picture, to the right of the ColdFire micro controller and above a capacitor. It has four contacts and currently there is a green jumper on the leftmost two contacts. Above the contacts there is a line stretching across all four pins labeled 73, while below the two leftmost pins there is the text COMP and below the two rightmost 76. I'm 90% sure I remember the labeling correctly.

Edit: I just checked the picture; all text is written above the pins and if you know what to expect (73, 76 and COMP) you can make it out in the picture. It says "keyboard model" to the right of the pins.
Last edited by mjbrands on 31 Jul 2012, 12:30, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby Bistikas » 01 Apr 2012, 12:25

I'll have to play with that jumper when I get a NS2 I guess. What do you think COMP means? It would make sense if it was 73, 76, 88 or COMP, 76, 88.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby anotherscott » 01 Apr 2012, 15:41

Bistikas wrote:I'll have to play with that jumper when I get a NS2 I guess. What do you think COMP means? It would make sense if it was 73, 76, 88 or COMP, 76, 88.

At first I guessed at "complete" but actually, if COMP is the label for the two leftmost pins, and it is those 2 leftmost pins that are jumpered for the 73 whose guts we're seeing, then maybe it does stand for compact, and then the question isn't what "comp" means, but rather why it says 73 in a line that straddles the 4 pins!

I wonder what the purpose of the jumper is... i.e. what actually changes based on the position of the jumper. Maybe that's what prevents the "hidden" notes from triggering, and a repositioning of that jumper could allow those contacts to function again, if you wanted them to. But either way, there could also be other things it does, like altering the velocity response to the internal keyboard based on which action is installed, or who knows what else...

Maybe the difference between "73" and "comp" is that there are two settings for that keybed, and one disables the "hidden" notes and one doesn't?

It's all just guesswork, though...
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby mjbrands » 02 Apr 2012, 01:37

I don't think Clavia went through a lot of trouble to make it 'impossible' for people to use the extra key contacts. I don't see any way of doing that in a nice way - if I wanted a 76-key version, I could've bought the 76-key version for maybe 200-300 euro more. If those contacts are 'disabled', it seems (to me anyway) more logical they did it to improve reliability - you wouldn't want some freak defect to cause those 'ghost' keys to generate key presses.

I'm not sure about this, but I think that electrically the 76 (and the chopped down 73 in the NS2 SW73) and the 88 key version return different electrical signals when (for example) middle C is pressed. If you move that jumper, middle C might suddenly become the A above middle C (or something like that). At least that's what I think. Velocity curves will probably also change.

The keybed is connected to the main board by two flat cables with an orange connector. You can see those very well in the Nord Lead 3 pictures. Additionally there's a connector for aftertouch (the blue one in the NL3 picture). The NS2 doesn't have a connector like that, but it is likely the blue connector with the black wires on the left.
Last edited by mjbrands on 31 Jul 2012, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NS2 in the nude

Postby bdodds » 02 Apr 2012, 02:41

I smell another "electro 74" in the making. :)
Last edited by bdodds on 31 Jul 2012, 12:31, edited 2 times in total.
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