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My Nord Piano 4 Review

Postby cphollis » 14 Feb 2019, 05:00

My context? I've been playing Nords for years, and have bought (and sold) a bunch of them.

A few months back, I got connected with this acoustic singing duo. We play private events mostly, and stay pretty busy. The other musos brought some game, so I felt I had to as well. Good money, super fun, not a lot of schlep. These are single-board lightweight gigs, so I thought hard about it and decided to pull the trigger on a NP4. Fortunately, budget is usually not an issue.

I have been DELIGHTED.

Most AP players are concerned with (a) action, and (b) weight. OK, it's not the same action that I get on a Bosendorfer (or Yamaha APs), but it's pretty damn good. Heavy enough that I can dig in, light enough that I'm not tired after three hours. I can easily express myself, which is all that matters.

The board weight is easily manageable, especially if you get the super-cool Nord case with wheels and the optimally placed handle. Love that bag.

I won't comment on the AP voices, except that I have everything I need in my arsenal. Two or three go-to APs, two or three go-to DPs, and then color for Jimmy Buffet or 60's stuff. Just to be clear, I have a NS3C which I use for the live electric band.

Yep, it can do a whole boatload of more cool stuff, but not what I need for the acoustic gig. I can do maybe 80% of what the NS3C does in electric band, so no big deal.

Here are the magic bits I love?

The workflow is very natural for me, and I've been playing Nords long enough that I know where every realtime control is and what it does without having to think about it.

The all-access pass to the Nord piano and sample library is worth the price of admission alone. Especially with the new dyno EPs.

The samples have a "filter" and a "velocity" button. Both work pretty well.

They make it so much easier to bring samples into a AP-centric (or DP-centric) gig. I'm not using it, but the volume pedal thing works well for this. I prefer to do it through velocity. Some super impressive results, like the angels singing their hearts out during the climax.

BTW, if you haven't gotten in sample layering behind your APs, you should. All sorts of dramatic stuff results. The musos adore it, as does the audience. The trick is to be subtle about it.

The split function works well enough. If I have to do a flute solo for a reggae tune, the split points work OK. Yes, people will bitch about variable split points, not a concern in my world.

Amplification? At the low end, it's a Bose L1 Compact. They have this nasty bass peak at 100 Hz which I can't seem to dial down. I have tools to tame it, just don't want to bring them to a low-end casual gig.

So, bottom line, the NP4 is a keeper. I've bonded with the sound. And the action. And the form factor.

Might be the sleeper in Nord product line. For an AP-centric guy like me, all good.

Last edited by cphollis on 14 Feb 2019, 15:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 3
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Piano 4

My Nord Piano 4 Review


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