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

Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby CologneKeys » 08 Aug 2018, 20:38

Hi folks,
I'm not owning a Nord Electro yet but I'm planning to buy one. I think it's a pity that Nord forgot the pitch bend and modulation wheel - a synth without these devices makes lesser sense than with it.
My questions:
My main (Master-) Keyboard is a Yamaha MOXF 88, of course with ModWheel an PitchBend :thumbup:
1) Can I use these devices to control the Nord Electro, too?
2) What's about the range? Will the Nord Electro 6 respond to the whole range of the Yamaha MOXF 88 via MIDI?
Thank you for your helpfulness. I hope to be a proud owner of a Nord Electro 61, soon :thanx:
Regards from Cologne
Christoph
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Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard


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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby baekgaard » 08 Aug 2018, 21:16

The NE6 responds to pitch bend when you play a sound that is assigned to the lower part and it is set up as "ext to lo" -- only. So you cannot play a sound on the internal keyboard of the NE6 and picth bend it, so the functionality is a bit limited (it won't work if you planned doing splits at the same time and bend two voices). But you can play any sound on an external keyboard and bend it.

The range is fixed, +/- 2 semitones -- as it is with some other Nord synths like the NS3.

It does not respond to modwheel.

[Edit: Bug-fix/edit for anyone reading this later on: The Wave, Lead and G2 is apparently not limited to +/-2 two semitones]
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby fieldflower » 08 Aug 2018, 21:18

Is that also possible in the NE5?
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby anotherscott » 08 Aug 2018, 21:33

baekgaard wrote:But you can play any sound on an external keyboard and bend it.

Are you sure? I though you could only bend synth/sample sounds. (Not that you'd typically want to bend a piano or organ sound.)

baekgaard wrote:The range is fixed, +/- 2 semitones -- as it is with all Nord synths.

I don't think that's the case, about it being that way with all Nord synths. I'm pretty sure the Nord Wave had a larger pitch bend range.
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby baekgaard » 08 Aug 2018, 22:53

anotherscott wrote:
baekgaard wrote:But you can play any sound on an external keyboard and bend it.

Are you sure? I though you could only bend synth/sample sounds. (Not that you'd typically want to bend a piano or organ sound.)


Yes, I'm sure. At least when it comes to the 1.18 firmware.

It may be an error, of course, which will be removed -- but until then, it will allow you to play Clav Georg Duke style, should you want to (at least it worked with an acoustic piano) :-)

baekgaard wrote:The range is fixed, +/- 2 semitones -- as it is with all Nord synths.

I don't think that's the case, about it being that way with all Nord synths. I'm pretty sure the Nord Wave had a larger pitch bend range.


You are of course right, I forgot to mention the Wave, Lead and G2 etc, which offers a larger range. Mea culpa! I was thinking of the Stage series only.

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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby CologneKeys » 08 Aug 2018, 22:56

Thanks for your help. I'm a little frustrated now - what could be a reason to drop the modulation wheel (and the funnctionality at all) and pitch bend in an instrument with a synthesizer section in it? Would you forbid your guitarist to pull strings and to play with vibrato? ... missing basic synthesizer functions is a pity!
Once more my question concerning the keyboard range: would the 61 version respond to the whole range of my MOXF 88?
:thanx:
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby baekgaard » 08 Aug 2018, 22:58

fieldflower wrote:Is that also possible in the NE5?


I don't have a NE5 to test, but page 15 in the manual seems to suggest that the NE5 also can respond to pitch bend on the part played externally (check the 3rd scenario described).

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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby baekgaard » 08 Aug 2018, 23:06

CologneKeys wrote:Thanks for your help. I'm a little frustrated now - what could be a reason to drop the modulation wheel (and the funnctionality at all) and pitch bend in an instrument with a synthesizer section in it? Would you forbid your guitarist to pull strings and to play with vibrato? ... missing basic synthesizer functions is a pity!


Well, the way the mod wheel works on e.g. the NS3 is that you typically set up a morph, allowing it to change just about any parameter from A to B smoothly (including even the rotary speed, should you want to). There isn't anything similar on the Electro series, so what would you like it to control and how should it be set up -- those are the missing parts here, I think. The NE series doesn't have a full synth, but more a sample player with some added functionality.

The pitch bend works, as explained, with some limitations: Basically you can bend what you're playing on the external keyboard, where the bender is.

Oh, btw: Not all guitars have whammy bars :-)

What you CAN do, is use a control pedal to tweak some effects settings as you play. If you happen to have a controller that could re-map, maybe you can use the mod wheel for something, if you can make it send control pedal messages instead?

I understand why you'd like this to work "as on other synths", but it's a bit different in the Nord world, for various reasons.

Once more my question concerning the keyboard range: would the 61 version respond to the whole range of my MOXF 88?
:thanx:


As for the range, then yes: It plays the entire range you send to it, even if there are no equivalent built-in keys (but remember you can transpose the range octaves up and down).
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby fieldflower » 08 Aug 2018, 23:33

baekgaard wrote:
fieldflower wrote:Is that also possible in the NE5?


I don't have a NE5 to test, but page 15 in the manual seems to suggest that the NE5 also can respond to pitch bend on the part played externally (check the 3rd scenario described).


And I don't have a keyboard with pitch bend...

I can't see that it explicitly says anything about pitch bend in the manual through.
Hope someone that have tried it will chip in.
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Re: Pich Bend/ModWheel and range with external keyboard

Postby anotherscott » 08 Aug 2018, 23:49

CologneKeys wrote:what could be a reason to drop the modulation wheel (and the funnctionality at all) and pitch bend in an instrument with a synthesizer section in it?
They didn't drop it, it never had it. ;-) Electro/Electro 2 had no synth function. Electro 3 added sample playback, largely for mellotrons and the like, to complete the Electro's place as a vintage keys emulator. But once it could play back samples, well yeah, it could play samples of a Moog or anything else. That's really the extent to which the Electro was designed as a "synthesizer" -- that is to say, it wasn't. They have added some very minimal additional functions to alter those samples in terms of filter and envelope, but it's still not a "synthesizer" as most people would think of it. Adding a modulation wheel is pointless unless you make it more of a synthesizer too, because as it is, there is nothing in there for a modulation wheel to control (i.e. there's no LFO). Which is also why, even over MIDI, it wouldn't be able to respond to a mod wheel. I think Nord would say, if you want a synth, either add a Nord Lead to your Electro, or get a Nord Stage instead of the Electro. But the Electro simply is not designed to be a synth, and it just barely mimics one for very minimal synth use. It's not a synth that's missing wheels, it's a non-synth that, as a bonus, can do some synthy things. (Cup half empty, cup half full...)

fieldflower wrote:I can't see that it explicitly says anything about pitch bend in the manual through.
Hope someone that have tried it will chip in.

From the NE5 updates page on the Nord web site:
"v1.20 (2015-06-17)...Part Upper now supports MIDI Pitch Bend from external keyboard, when in MIDI Split mode. "
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