Clavia Nord Piano
Clavia Nord Piano

Nord Piano, Digital Piano from Clavia.

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songboy 03/06/2012

Clavia Nord Piano : songboy's user review

« The best darn keyboard I have ever used »

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The nord Piano has 88 keys, stretching all 7 octaves. It has a stereo/mono output, headphone output, 3 pedal sustain input, 1/8" stereo audio input, midi in/out and usb. The keyboard has 500mb of memory that you can store any of the Nord Piano Library samples in. The great thing is they are always releasing new samples and you can keep them all on your computer and swap the internal sounds at your leisure via the software included with the keyboard. There are several effects including tremelo, phaser, auto wah, chorus, amp simulation, reverb and EQ. Yes, they can all be edited via the front panel.


The general setup of this keyboard is very basic. It's only function is to emulate traditional piano style instruments. These include Grand Piano, upright Piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzers, Clavinets, and Harpsichords. The effects are all manipulated via the control panel and most have dedicated knobs while others have small, easy to use buttons that cycle through the options. Setup is as easy as plugging the audio output into an amp or sound system and powering on. The manual is well written and runs through the basics of what this keyboard can do. In all honesty though, there aren't any hidden features or anything that you won't notice after using this board for a half hour. The LCD display is kind of small which can be a pain, but NORD included a 5 button preset selector that lets you switch between instruments quickly and painlessly live. This is extremely handy for any performer who needs to be on his toes.


The samples in this keyboard are literally the best I have ever heard. I own a real Rhodes keyboard and the sound difference between the two is almost imperceptible. In fact, the nord sounds better right now because my Rhodes needs to be tuned and have a tine replaced. The Piano samples are amazing. I admit that they don't sound as good as the Steinway in the studio I work, but they are far better than any other keyboard I have used and are extremely well received by audience and fellow musicians. We also have a Whurly A200 in the studio and Nord got that one right on too. The expressiveness of this board is really one of the biggest selling points. In one word, AMAZING! I used a cheap Maudio Keystation Pro for so long, I forgot how much expression I was missing. After sitting on the NP 88 for 1 minute, I was reminded what it feels like to play a real instrument. My love for Piano has been rekindled thanks to this board. You get a couple of options for velocity settings but I still have mine on the default and love it. The effects are fantastic. The reverb is full and lush and the amp simulations are really really good. My only beef is that the effects are not in stereo. It's not a total loss as I run my rhodes patches in mono and I don't really use effects except for reverb with the piano but it would have been nice to have stereo effects, especially for the Chorus. All the sounds on this board are excellent. It is absolutely amazing when you look at the size of some of the samples then hear them. I have huge samples of pianos on my computer that don't sound as good as these tiny (in comparison) samples.


What I like most about this keyboard is the sound quality, the expressiveness of the keybed and most of all, it only weighs 40lbs. Now I can have a top notch rhodes sound without killing my back every week. On top of that, I also have a spot on clavinet, whurly and harpsichord and an extremely beautiful, full, well rounded piano without having to tax my computer's CPU. The only thing I don't like is the fact that there are no Organs on this board. I guess you need to buy the "STAGE" nord keyboard for that, but it would have been nice. I paid under $2000 for a used one which is a lot of money, but, for a performing keyboardist, this is worth every penny. The sound quality is unbelievable and will impress everyone you play it for. I have used a few different keyboard from Kurzweil, Roland and Korg. The Roland boards I have used have really good actions, but I never really cared for the sounds. The Kurzweil's are aslo good but not as good as the Nord. The Korgs I have used don't come anywhere close. Yes, I highly recommend this keyboard for anyone who wants to sound amazing, have all the keyboards you wish you could have on stage without the need for Roadies and have seriously good expressive samples.