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Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby SteveNordP3 » 23 May 2018, 03:18

I have frequently praised the samples from Nord and whined about what is to me a confusing choice of keybed in the Fatar for the NP3. Recently, someone mentioned the Kawai as having a great keyboard feel and I went to find samples of it and just didn't like the piano sounds. In a different search, I came across this digital piano shootout by Sweetwater (a large music dealer in the US).

This is fascinating to me. Again - to my ears - the Nord samples are just head and shoulders above the competition. Some of these other pianos sound like toys. And they didn't even use the Lady D which is my favorite of the bunch.

Listen through - what do you think?

And note the last 2 "behind the scenes" audio files from the process itself. Further unsolicited confirmation at the stunning excellence of the Nord samples. The sound is superior - the keybed leaves me wanting - yet where else would I turn at this point? Anyone listening doesn't feel the keyboard - they hear the sound. And the Nord sounds are what I want people to hear. I'd still prefer they put them in a rack unit - are you listening Nord??? - but for now, the NP3 will have to do. And given the sound shootout in the link below - it's not a terrible problem to have!

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/7-bes ... -shootout/

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Nord samples in piano shootout


Re: Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby maxpiano » 23 May 2018, 03:38

Thanks for sharing that shootout page, looks interesting :)
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Re: Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby PScooter63 » 23 May 2018, 06:09

I shared this shootout page with another forum member a few months ago. It was nice to revisit it today.

I wish Sweetwater had adjusted for unity gain - the Royal 3D sounds hands-down unbelievable to me, right up to the point of clipping at the most dynamic moments.

I play variants of some of these instruments regularly, in their non-portable, furniture-cabinet livery. The Kawai SK example sounds a lot better in person, emanating from the CA-series cabinetry (and those have the best action I've encountered in any digital instrument... too bad it's not at all portable).

Roland's SuperNatural modeling is clever in rehearsal, but it doesn't really "sell" itself in a more critical setting. Yamaha is, well, the same as it ever was. Not necessarily a bad thing, you can't really fault them for being so ubiquitous. You know what you're getting, and it's good. Same with Kurzweil.

But in these venues of mine, when there's an occasion that calls for something truly special... I bring my E4 HP (yeah, that keybed).
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Re: Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby kijix » 06 Jun 2018, 04:55

nord is the best by far but i agree with the fatar keybed.. no idea what they are thinking with that. time to team up with an acoustic piano mfr and get a real wooden hammer action or something, disappointed the piano 4 had basically no update at all but polyphony. the dexibell s9 has some kind of wood plastic hybrid thing going on, curious how it feels. currently the kawais are the best feeling for action
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Re: Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby anotherscott » 29 Jun 2018, 15:36

kijix wrote:time to team up with an acoustic piano mfr and get a real wooden hammer action or something

Probably unlikely. You can't just put in an existing real piano action. Well, you could, but it would be heavy and expensive. (See Yamaha Avant Grand.) So something new has to be developed, not too expensive, not too heavy, from a company who doesn't already make portable stuff (since most companies don't sell to competitors). And Nord probably can't even buy in really high volumes. This is why Fatar gets all the business that they do!

One other possible issue... I once had a conversation with someone who worked at a company that used Fatar actions, and he said that they had looked into making their own, and it was hard to come up with something competitive that didn't infringe someone's patent. All these complications that you don't necessarily think about!
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Re: Nord samples in piano shootout

Postby OG3playsnord » 14 Jul 2018, 02:20

Correct, when you add an authentic feeling keybed the weight just goes up significantly. Besides the Piano3, I also own a VPiano and CP1 I bought a decade ago when they were first released. Both are heavy keyboards where a struggling non-crew supported musician will definitely NOT be able to lug around town.

I tried triggering my old StageEX off my CP1 and RD700NX, but neither had the 'right' feel.. the Nord is best slaved by a Nord key bed..thus I got the Piano3.
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