Everything about the Nord Electro 2, Electro 3, Electro 4, Electro 5, and Nord Electro 6.

Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby beejayiam » 08 Jan 2021, 08:29

I really like my Electro's pianos and strings that I play most of the time. Surprisingly I feel like the B3 isn't in the same league as the Xk3C or newer Hammonds or even the Mojo organs. I can "tweak" things so I don't mind the organ sounds to much but I find myself also lusting for a dual manual. Is there an established compatible lower unit for the Electros? I'm wondering if a Hammond XK5 lower would work with the Nord. Especially since my board is a 73 key unit I would surmise the Hammond would mount to it without too much work. I'm also assuming the Midi Protocols are standard so there wouldn't be an issue there either, anyone know about this for sure? Thanks
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Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73


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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby Hlaalu » 08 Jan 2021, 12:33

beejayiam wrote:I really like my Electro's pianos and strings that I play most of the time. Surprisingly I feel like the B3 isn't in the same league as the Xk3C or newer Hammonds or even the Mojo organs. I can "tweak" things so I don't mind the organ sounds to much but I find myself also lusting for a dual manual. Is there an established compatible lower unit for the Electros? I'm wondering if a Hammond XK5 lower would work with the Nord. Especially since my board is a 73 key unit I would surmise the Hammond would mount to it without too much work. I'm also assuming the Midi Protocols are standard so there wouldn't be an issue there either, anyone know about this for sure? Thanks


The lower manual for the XK-5 doesn't have MIDI ports, only a proprietary port (H-Bus). Probably because of its multicontact keybed which makes standard MIDI communication tricky.

Perhaps you could look for a lower mannual for the XK-3c, but even then I think you'd need some work to get it look nice while secured ontop of it -- if aesthetics matter to you of course.

The topic of lower/upper manual for organs, and in general of MIDI keyboards designed for organ playing is a sad one, because there are virtually no MIDI keyboards for this use. I would go as far as saying that you could be better off getting another, perhaps used, older model Electro.
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby beejayiam » 08 Jan 2021, 17:32

Thanks for the info
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby dwagar » 12 Jan 2021, 20:58

you might find an Electro 2-73 for a decent price
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby anotherscott » 12 Jan 2021, 21:31

Pretty much any keyboard with a 5-pin MIDI out should be fine... the trick is getting the manuals close together. Here's something I did putting a Vox Continental 73 under a Nord Stage 3 Compact (they also make a 61 if you want it to be closer in size to a 61 Electro above it, or you might still prefer the 73 for piano use). I chose to cover pretty much all the controls on the Vox, to create more of a double-manual effect, but I left enough exposed so I could still hit the Vox's patch recall buttons, since it happens to have a bunch of really good sounds of its own (and in that respect, could also nicely complement an Electro, adding things like mono synth with portamento and pitch bend, better strings/brass, etc.). One of the things that most appealed to me about the Vox, though, is that it has an especially nice action, actually better than Nord's regardless of whether you mostly use it for organs or pianos. (Sadly, it's own tonewheel organ sounds are only okay, not as good as what's in the Electro, so you won't see an improvement there.) FOr any approach along these lines, you'd need a stand that lets you rest the front of the Nord on top of the lower board while also supporting it from the back. This is an old Invisble stand, but there are other ways to do it.Image
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby ProblemChild » 22 Feb 2021, 07:36

I was asking the same thing about my NE3 a while back. The lower keyboard, in this instance, needs to have two important characteristics (besides a MIDI connection and MIDI channel capability):
1 - Organ keys, not hammer action keys.
2. - Little or no controls on top so the Nord can sit directly on top of it so as to be like a Hammond console.

My NE3 is a 73 key model so the choice for me came down to 2: Roland A33 or Studiologic SL760. I ended up with the A33.
If you have a 61 key Electro, look for a Studiologic SL61. You would have to reach under the Nord to to get to the MIDI channel button but at lease there are no controls sticking up on top of the controller. Unfortunately, the SL61 is hard to come by and Roland didn't make a 61 key version of the A33.

My setup works so the two keyboards are only about 1/4 inch more apart than a Hammond B3. I can still jump between the two with different drawbar settings so I essentially have a portable B3 that I run through a modified Leslie 47. Only if you're picky can you tell the difference. Most folks at the bars don't know and don't care. It sounds good to them :-)
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby ProblemChild » 22 Feb 2021, 07:37

Oh, and don't bother with M-audio or Alesis Q. I tried that. They are cheap and the keys misfire.
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby Hlaalu » 22 Feb 2021, 08:02

Similar to my experience... I ended up with a Roland A800, which doesn't have waterfall keybed strictly speaking (good luck finding a MIDI controller with that) but its action is OK for organ, allowing palm smears without getting your hand stuck. I use it as a upper manual for the NS3 88 though. It's a bit too distant from it but I have no choice, I can't cover up the Stage 3 panel.
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Re: Lower Manual for a Electro 6d 73

Postby anotherscott » 22 Feb 2021, 15:48

ProblemChild wrote:I was asking the same thing about my NE3 a while back. The lower keyboard, in this instance, needs to have two important characteristics (besides a MIDI connection and MIDI channel capability):
1 - Organ keys, not hammer action keys.
2. - Little or no controls on top so the Nord can sit directly on top of it so as to be like a Hammond console.
...
If you have a 61 key Electro, look for a Studiologic SL61. You would have to reach under the Nord to to get to the MIDI channel button but at lease there are no controls sticking up on top of the controller.

Yes, that's basically the approach I took with that Vox under the Nord illustrated in my eralier post, except I did have to deal with controls sticking up on top of the Vox. For this usage, I did not have to access any of those controls, but I dif have to be concerned about not wanting to rest the weight of the Nord on the raised knobs of the Vox, which could conceivably damage them, as they are presumably not meant to support such weight. So I have a couple of rubber "stoppers" under each front corner of the Nord, to rais the Nord just slightly above the top of the knobs on the Vox.
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