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Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby paboivin » 29 Nov 2019, 21:25

Just got the Nord Piano 4. The initial objective is to reproduce my grand piano as best possible and have mobility - happy there.

I was surprised by the limited number of Grand in the piano partition, but I thought, no problem, plenty of sounds on the website.

But the very first sound I try to download I get the message about not enough memory right off the bat and I can't seem to be able to put the sound on any of the free spots, needs to be in the piano partition.

So being a techie comfortable with partitioning on different OS etc.... I thought no big deal but don't see anyway via the NSM to go such a thing. Also researching this forum and the manuals regarding memory issues I could not find much.

So I am wondering if I am missing something here. I thought I would be able to just load up stuff at my heart's desire, but now I would need to, back up unit, delete sounds and upload what I want within the very limited 1GB range, and I have no way to partition the NP4 unit to accommodate more sounds?

Thanks!
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Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations


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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby ajstan » 29 Nov 2019, 21:48

Correct. What part of the product page was confusing to you and led you to think that you could “load up stuff at your heart’s desire”? It clearly states 1GB for the Nord Piano Library and 512MB for the Nord Sample Library.

https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-piano-4

The Stage 3 and the Grand each have 2GB for the Piano Library, but that’s as large as it gets for now. I’m not aware of any keyboard that does what you want with a piano library equivalent to Nord. You might be happier with a software-based solution where you’re only limited by the amount of storage on your computer and the speed it takes to switch between samples.
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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby Rusty Mike » 30 Nov 2019, 01:50

As a matter of practice, I have piano samples that I use all the time, some that I really don’t get along with and still others that seem ok but not really “prime time”. As you wade your way through the instrument I’m sure the same will happen to you. As you gravitate toward some pianos and away from others, the samples you choose to keep in memory will normalize.

I have two grands and an upright that cover everything I need for AP’s and then three or four EP’s. The leftover memory is used for curiosities or experimentation. I think many fellow forumites would have a similar approach.

You can consider using the small samples for pianos you are auditioning or comparing, then move up to the larger sizes for the keepers. It’s also been stated in this forum that some of the L and XL nuances are lost in the din of the music, so don’t exclude S and M samples as the situation warrants.
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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby cphollis » 30 Nov 2019, 02:39

If you're playing as part of a band, anything above an "M" sized sample is a waste of piano memory. Louder bands get "S" samples. I'll use "L" when recording as part of a group, or solo/duo/trio acoustic stuff. I have yet to hear any meaningful difference between an L and XL sample, but I'm sure it's there somewhere.

I also have a NP4, and find the piano memory more than enough for what I do. 3-4 go-to acoustic grands, an upright or two, some choice EPs, etc. and I'm good. But, as RustyMike points out, choices have to be made.

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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby harmonizer » 30 Nov 2019, 04:10

paboivin, I think you will find that even if you end up using the larger size versions of the piano samples, once you figure the ones you like the best, you will only end up using 3 or 4 AP sounds, plus 1 or 2 EP sounds, perhaps a Wurli, and the Clav. The EP/Wurli/Clav samples are smaller than the AP sounds, so they will not have as much impact on space usage in your Piano bank.

Most people consider the "White Grand" to be the latest and greatest AP sound from Nord. If I were in your shoes, I would want to be trying out the largest size version of the White Grand as one of the first things I would try. Don't feel bad if you need to delete some of the preloaded AP sounds in order to do this - you *should* be able to find any of the preloaded sounds in the downloadable AP sounds from the Nord web site.
Last edited by harmonizer on 30 Nov 2019, 04:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby lawman » 30 Nov 2019, 10:36

Hi, paboivin,
Others have observed that Nord users generally get pretty happy pretty quickly with a limited number of samples that all fit within their instruments' memory capacity. Your problem is not really one of available memory, but rather one of sample selection. The sound demos in the Nord Sound Library are helpful on this front, and an awful lot has been said about "favorite sounds" on this forum. My days of performing with groups are behind me, so I generally tend to gravitate toward the larger samples with more detailed sounds. Having said that, though, all of my "go to" piano samples would fit within a 1GB memory budget, as follows: (1) 3 Grands, including the White Grand (best all around), the Grand Imperial (a little throatier), and the Royal Grand 3D (a little brighter, in case I find some folks to sit in with). (2) 3 Uprights, including the Black Upright (best all around), the Bambino (a real "upright" sound, like the blond piano in my grade school's cafeteria), and the Saloon, for that specialized old western detuned sound (think of the honky tonk piano ending in ELP's "The Sheriff"). (3) 3 Rhodes, including the EP8 Nefertiti (best all around, with a little Chorus and the timbre set to "Bright"), the EP5 Suitcase, and (purely for nostalgia) the EP6 Sparkletop. (4) Another EP, the Wurlitzer 2 Amped, for Rod Stewart/Faces and Supertramp stuff. (5) All of the Clavs, which are provided as a group, for when you're feeling Superstitious. And, finally, (6) one Harpsi (TBD), for when you absolutely positively must nail a 2-Part Invention. XL samples for the Grands and the Rhodes, L's for the Uprights. Total = 981MB (assuming 15MB for the Harpsi). Obviously, others will disagree with my selections and evaluations, but fwiw this is my "Stranded on a Desert Island with only 1GB" list. If you feel squeamish about testing and comparing different sounds by deleting/replacing samples, keep in mind that that you can easily perform a full restore operation which will return your instrument to its original settings.

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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby fieldflower » 30 Nov 2019, 15:42

I can vouch for the same as many previous have said - once I found my sweethearts I don't find the memory limiting anymore (NE5, so same 1GB).
I hardly even use half of the pianos I have in the memory, and my sweethearts are XL samples.

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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby paboivin » 30 Nov 2019, 16:48

Thanks guys for the quick and generous responses. As I explored all the capabilities of the NSManager (backup, download, upload, substitute, etc) yesterday after my post I found the memory limitations are secondary, although 2GB would have been nice.
I was also surprised that when I downloaded all of the WhiteGrand sample sizes, there were not that much diff between XL and M for example. So yes, downloading smaller size samples and leaving the upward path for the favorite played in well exposed settings.

Bottom line, if within an hour, I can pretty much set any sounds I want, experiment, and then restore to anyone of my backups.... I am good. Of course unless my desire of a "now" situation exceeds 1GB.

I still might upgrade to a NS3-88, I still have a few weeks of trial time with this NP4, but for now it's all good and most importantly realizing how great and responsive this forum is, is quite the value added to the whole Nord experience.

Again, thx!
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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby Rusty Mike » 01 Dec 2019, 02:53

Enjoy your Nord - whichever one you choose to keep. And welcome to the community!
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Re: Nord Piano 4 - memory limitations

Postby lawman » 01 Dec 2019, 11:47

You appear to be mostly a piano guy, so if you're seriously thinking about trading in your NP4 for an NS3, be aware that the actions are quite different. The NS3 action is a compromise suitable for use with organ and synth as well as piano samples. It is therefore a little lighter and less piano-y than the NP4. If you're simply looking for the NS3's larger piano memory and are fundamentally focused on piano, you'd be better off going for the NG, which has an improved action as well as the larger memory. I wouldn't buy an NS3 without trying one first, even if some travel is required.

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