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

NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby DidDunIt » 12 Jul 2018, 01:32

I just bought a Nord Stage 3. It’s my first good keyboard so I’m still lacking when it comes to using proper technical language in describing my issues. I’m concerned that there’s something wrong with the Headphones jack. When I’m playing piano samples (and electric piano patches), I can hear static. It’s very noticeable especially when I have the piano patches set to bright. When I turn down the treble in the AMP SIM/EQ, but still I want to be able to achieve a tiny sound! This
I should note that any cheap 3.55mm to 1/4” piece sounded AWFUL in my Bose headphones. I had to borrow one from my job to get a good sound in the phones.
I’d rather not mail my keyboard back to Sweetwater, but I’m concerned my keyboard is defective and in need of replacement/repair. Anyone else have a similar issue?
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NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples


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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby ajstan » 12 Jul 2018, 01:49

Yes, there is a hiss when using the bright EQ in the piano section, which is probably best used for live performance when you want to cut through a mix. Otherwise, just use the regular EQ section to dial the sound in. If you’re hearing static, it may be in the headphone cord or the adapter you’re using. I found that using a good adapter significantly improved the sound of my headphones.
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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby PScooter63 » 12 Jul 2018, 05:06

I'd try an alternate set of headphones, just to be sure. Maybe a pair designed for studio use, rather than consumer... many include their own adapter.

(I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with Bose headphones, just that the alternate pair need to be good quality. Shipping the keyboard back sounds like a last resort, after all other possibilities have been firmly eliminated.)

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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby analogika » 12 Jul 2018, 08:07

And yes, there was a massive shipment of cheap 1/8” to 1/4” adapters that flooded the western market a year or two ago, all of which were broken — one channel was out of phase, and both were shorted to center, so whatever signal was supposed to be in the middle just got cancelled out.

There has been at least a half-dozen threads on this forum from people wondering whether the headphone out on their Nord was broken.

That has nothing to do with the hiss on some of the samples, though. It is impossible to record analog sound without some kind of hiss. Many manufacturers process their samples to make them “perfect”, which results in the usual useful, but lifeless and boring sample pianos. They add exciters and other tricks to make them “supernatural” instead.
Clavia prefers to do minimal to no processing, to preserve the quirks and kinks of the beautiful instruments they sample (for example, they didn’t correct a slightly-detuned key on the Nefertiti Rhodes until people loudly complained — I’m still pissed that they did, and I kept and still use the original sample. At least they didn’t fix the unevenness of the worn hammers in the upper-mid octaves, and the slight distortion on a couple of the pickups...!).

Hiss wasn’t an issue before, since it requires extreme EQ settings to really show up. But with the slightly more brilliant-sounding Stage 3, coupled with the new “Bright” EQ setting, it can be annoying on a few samples in certain contexts — though hardly in a rehearsal or Stage setting, which the EQ is primarily aimed at.
Last edited by analogika on 12 Jul 2018, 08:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby DidDunIt » 12 Jul 2018, 17:31

analogika wrote:And yes, there was a massive shipment of cheap 1/8” to 1/4” adapters that flooded the western market a year or two ago, all of which were broken — one channel was out of phase, and both were shorted to center, so whatever signal was supposed to be in the middle just got cancelled out.

There has been at least a half-dozen threads on this forum from people wondering whether the headphone out on their Nord was broken.

That has nothing to do with the hiss on some of the samples, though. It is impossible to record analog sound without some kind of hiss. Many manufacturers process their samples to make them “perfect”, which results in the usual useful, but lifeless and boring sample pianos. They add exciters and other tricks to make them “supernatural” instead.
Clavia prefers to do minimal to no processing, to preserve the quirks and kinks of the beautiful instruments they sample (for example, they didn’t correct a slightly-detuned key on the Nefertiti Rhodes until people loudly complained — I’m still pissed that they did, and I kept and still use the original sample. At least they didn’t fix the unevenness of the worn hammers in the upper-mid octaves, and the slight distortion on a couple of the pickups...!).

Hiss wasn’t an issue before, since it requires extreme EQ settings to really show up. But with the slightly more brilliant-sounding Stage 3, coupled with the new “Bright” EQ setting, it can be annoying on a few samples in certain contexts — though hardly in a rehearsal or Stage setting, which the EQ is primarily aimed at.


Thanks a lot for the info! You’ve definitely calmed my concern that I bought a defective instrument. I never knew that about sampling. Wish I had been able to hear that detuned key, that’s pretty interesting. Good to know about the adapters. I bought two from two different stores near me, different brands, and they bouth sounded like garbage. That was “confirmation” to me that my instrument was defective. I sighed with relief upon reading these responses :) Thank you!
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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby DidDunIt » 12 Jul 2018, 17:32

PScooter63 wrote:I'd try an alternate set of headphones, just to be sure. Maybe a pair designed for studio use, rather than consumer... many include their own adapter.

(I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with Bose headphones, just that the alternate pair need to be good quality. Shipping the keyboard back sounds like a last resort, after all other possibilities have been firmly eliminated.)


What brand would you recommend? I need a good set of studio-only phones. My Bose are bluetooth-intended, though I can use them well in production on my laptop.
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Re: NS3 Static-y Noise on Piano Samples

Postby fieldflower » 15 Jul 2018, 11:07

analogika wrote:(for example, they didn’t correct a slightly-detuned key on the Nefertiti Rhodes until people loudly complained — I’m still pissed that they did, and I kept and still use the original sample. At least they didn’t fix the unevenness of the worn hammers in the upper-mid octaves, and the slight distortion on a couple of the pickups...!).


Could You by any chance post the original Nefertiti sample with the original detuned key?
Would be fun having that one...
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