The Nord C1, C2 and C2D Organ Forum

C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby anotherscott » 21 Nov 2020, 18:12

I know the C2 has certain sonic advantages over the C1, but when using either board to drive an external organ sound (e.g. a VST like VB3, Blue3, B-5, B-3X, etc. or similar iOS app or hardware organ module), are there any advantages of either over the other? Do they both send the high trigger point over MIDI? Any differences in mappable controls or the way Program Changes are handled? Anything?
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C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller


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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby maxpiano » 21 Nov 2020, 19:25

Hi Scott, as far as using it as a MIDI controller for Virtual Hammonds is concerned they should behave the same, see also C1 MIDI Implementation Chart on its manual which confirms the fast trigger usage

MIDI CHANNEL
- Channel setting 1 - 16 transmits MIDI Note messages on MIDI channels 1 - 16 with fixed velocity data, using the keyboards fast trigger response. MIDI In is enabled.
-Channel setting E1 - E9 transmits MIDI Note messages on MIDI channel 1 - 9 with variable velocity data, using the keyboards normal trigger response. MIDI IN is disabled.


Not sure about panel controls (drawbars, etc.) to MIDI CCs mapping, i.e. if it is exactly same on C1 and C2 (you can compare them on their manuals, but in the end you will have to remap them on the Virtual Instrument, so...) ;-)

PS: found a cheap C1 you want to buy and use as a dual waterfall master keyboard? :mrgreen:
Last edited by maxpiano on 21 Nov 2020, 22:29, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby anotherscott » 21 Nov 2020, 21:58

I did see that in the C1 manual, the C2 manual seemed a little more ambiguous! I like that the C1 is a bit lighter, too. But I want to make sure I'm not missing some other advantae of the C2.
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby anotherscott » 05 Dec 2020, 20:23

I happened to find this difference... the C2 adds a parameter to alter the drawbutton speed. This might actually be a negative. I remember having that option on my old Electro 3 and not liking it... in Slow mode, it took too long to "push" or "pull" a drawbar setting all the way in or out, but fast mode was SO fast that anything OTHER than all the way in/out was nearly impossible, even just a quick tap would move it a lot. On the non-adjustable C1, it operates fast enough to get the bar fully in or out sufficiently fast, but you can also use quick taps to move it just a little at a time. This additional parameter in the C2 and Electro 3/4 seems to have been subsequently removed from the Electro 5 and 6, maybe they came to the same conclusion I did, that one always-usable setting is better than two frustrating settings. (Not that I know for sure that the rate on the C1 is or is not identical to the rate--or one of the available rates--on any of the other models. But I do find it usable, and better than my old E3 was.)

I also found this old thread: nord-c1-c2-c2d-organ-forum-f13/nord-c1-v-nord-c2d-t8038.html where the fifth post claims that the MIDI implementation of the C2 is better than the C1... but no details. Does anyone know what this may refer to? (I didn't see obvious MIDI differences of significance in a quick look at the manuals.)
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby Hlaalu » 05 Dec 2020, 21:06

I went reading that thread you mention, but I got the impression that by "better MIDI implementation" the poster meant something about configuring MIDI channels, having one channel per Panel, or per manual, or things like these. Which wouldn't directly affect the playability (whereas different key trigger points or the drawbar buttons delay, as you say, affect the playing much more).

Of course he didn't actually write any of that, but that's how "MIDI implementation" reads to me...

But what's the context of your question, anyway? Do you have a C1 and plan to use it as a controller? The C2D is out of stock virtually everywhere now, but even if it wasn't I doubt you would buy one just to use it as a MIDI controller...
Last edited by Hlaalu on 05 Dec 2020, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby anotherscott » 06 Dec 2020, 00:41

Yes, "MIDI implementation" is vague... it's a broad phrase that could cover many things, which could make one board a better controller than another. For example, if they differ in what MIDI is sent when you change Programs, or change Presets, or when you hit the Live buttons... one could conceivably do something more useful than the other in this respect.

Yes, I did end up picking up a C1, and although I haven't had much time with it yet, I'm really happy with it. I had forgotten how much I liked playing a true dual manual. I wouldn't rule out selling it and getting a C2 some day IF there were a real advantage, but so far, the advantages I've found--for my use--actually favor the C1. So unless someone points out some other difference to me, as I mentioned in the previous post, I'm happy with the single-mode drawbars that are behaving just as I'd like, and for the rare time I might gig with it, it's a pound lighter, which I'll take. I don't need the pipe organs of the C2, and while I wouldn't mind an improved internal organ/Leslie sound, I don't need it because my purpose was to use it as a controller in the first place. (Though even the built-in organ sound of the C1 isn't bad at all.)

I actually wouldn't want a C2D because I'm largely using it as a controller. That's where the LED drawbuttons become an advantage. They can always be in sync with my sound source, which you can't do with physical drawbars. I also have the Ocean Beach drawbar module, so I still have physical drawbars for the times that's really how I want to play... and for those instances, 1 set is sufficient for my purposes. (Though there's even room on the top panel for 2 sets of physical drawbars if I wanted.)
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby Hlaalu » 06 Dec 2020, 08:24

anotherscott wrote:Yes, "MIDI implementation" is vague... it's a broad phrase that could cover many things, which could make one board a better controller than another. For example, if they differ in what MIDI is sent when you change Programs, or change Presets, or when you hit the Live buttons... one could conceivably do something more useful than the other in this respect.


But admittedly those differences in MIDI handling (provided that there IS a difference between the C1 and C2, which we don't know...) would have a greater impact when used with another physical keyboard as a slave, not so much with a VST, which you can make respond to any MIDI message almost the way you want.

Another story would be if some messages (Program changes maybe?) aren't generated at all in the C1 or C2, in scenarios where it would have been convenient that they did. Is really the manual silent about this? Both C1's and C2's? Will have to take a look...
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Re: C1 vs. C2 as a MIDI controller

Postby anotherscott » 06 Dec 2020, 14:57

Hlaalu wrote:Another story would be if some messages (Program changes maybe?) aren't generated at all in the C1 or C2, in scenarios where it would have been convenient that they did. Is really the manual silent about this? Both C1's and C2's? Will have to take a look...

Right, there could be MIDI messages that one board sends that another does not, or are sent or not sent in different circumstances... My goal here wasn't to guess what differences could possibly exist, but rather to see if anyone knows of any, especially in light of the post about different MIDI implementation. In my own persual of the owners manuals, nothing jumped out at me, but I certainly could have missed something... or even if I didn't, manuals are not always complete or free of error/ambiguity. So someone may know of differences either because I missed something in the manual, or they may know of something that they would only know from having had personal expereience with the boards...
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