« The Ferrari scene keyboards? »Publié le 12/29/11 à 05:05
The mechanical keyboard (hammer action) comes from Fatar (TP/40) set by North. The hit is a bit lighter than the competition scene keyboards (Roland, Yamaha, Kawai). This is not what is best in terms of emulation of acoustic piano touch, but it is a good compromise which allows for a good expression on the piano, while keeping some gameplay for instruments that lend themselves less (organ, synth). Note that the touch is (in my opinion) significantly better compared to the previous Stage that had a consistency more "elastic".
Under the hood, three main sections: Organ, Piano and Synth, all in duplicate, on two panels combined and split into layers. Clearly, you can mix up two organs + 2 + 2 pianos synths on all or part of the keyboard. Let's add to that a section "extern" to control external sound banks, and a section full effect of good quality.
Note that the instruments are assigned to one or other of the two stereo outputs, which can be technically significant live.
Two sample memory, 500MB for pianos (acoustic, electric clavinet and harpsichord) and 380Mo for the various samples used by the synthesizer part. All sounds are replacements from North libraries, which are enriched continuously.
Need to buy the triple pedal to use the half pedaling and pedal noise. The pedal is provided a simple swith on / off: I would have appreciated a simple pedal progressive "North" (especially since there is no full compatibility with the pedals progressive trade).
I had some concerns on that side, but still looks like a cockpit of Boeing, the handling is very fast. Most settings are allowing immediate access to quickly build a patch "on the fly" or adjust in real time a patch has already been stored. We are far from workstations and menus / sub menus keyboards Japanese scene: here everything is done on a small 2 line display and knobs for direct access. In short, the old, double-clutching and heel-toe, no programmable automatic transmission. This is less flexible in the options, but incomparably faster to implement.
Among the features really clever, a morphing feature allows you to assign different settings to controllers. We can control filters, effects, levels and even create crossfades between instruments at once to dial or pedal. Useful live. In terms of news, click a master can now sync arpeggiator, LFO, and various effect parameters.
One can of course save their patches (400 locations). The factory patches can give an idea of the possibilities of the machine, but they are generally pretty average.
Sounds are one of the best of current knowledge Nord (2011): The piano section is the North piano, organ section contains three organs of C2, and the synth is a kind of Nord Wave simplified but bringing new products.
Section piano: See my detailed opinion on the North piano. In short: The acoustic pianos are quite unique in their genre, you can choose from a large library of piano strong personalities. The latest developments (sympathetic resonance, and half pedaling repedaling) provides a definite plus. Marriage samples - keyboard is well studied, and easily found its mark. Possibility of using the North Triple pedal for more realistic (unfortunately expensive and heavy, not really compatible alternative). Rhodes also large collection of various generations and settings, including a Sparkletop of beauty (there would be others in preparation). One clavinet and wurli, played only a bit hollow, but once worked with convincing effects. In the sounds I use less, a CP80 and a large collection of harpsichords.
Organ Section: The section B3 and Leslie are truly stunning. I had a Nord Electro 3 (organs of C1) and of the Stage 2 is really a step up. The sound is warm and vintage at will. Affected side, an option to trigger the sounds early in the race of the key, making it playable on the organ keyboard, however, more suited to piano sounds.
Section synth: I will not dwell on the synthesis part and I am less stalled. It has a single oscillator (against 2 for the Nord Wave), but the "unison" can dramatically thicken the sound as overlaying several oscillators. With the ability to mix two synths in layers, there are many possibilities. The big news from the Stage 1 is to allow (as in électro3) reading samples, which can grind at leisure through the filters of the synth section. Found in the Northern Sample Library a large collection (rather unique) sound of vintage keyboards: mellotron, chamberlin synths and 80s. There are also more traditional sounds of acoustic instruments: strings, brass, guitars, bass and various instruments. It is also possible to incorporate its own samples. The sounds are very successful vintage, the string sections as well. For some acoustic instruments, we may regret that this sampler handles only the single layer. Indeed, the bass solo strings and other instruments could benefit from using solid samples multilayers (gain in expressivity and / or ability to have different joints depending on the velocity). This is often the case with competitors. But hey, a keyboard on stage, it is not to play bass or guitar right? Also new is an arpeggiator, simple but useful that can be synchronized to cutting rhythm master wanted to click.
The effects are good and comprehensive (more comprehensive and flexible than the Nord Piano and electro 3, on which we can not, for example fine-tune the depth of vibrato). The Analog Delay is very effective, amp simulation / Eq very useful, especially on electric pianos. We thus have four double "rack" effects (1 for each panel), which is added the Leslie and the compressor and reverb which are global.
In short, very happy with this keyboard that I use for several weeks.
It is expensive and a little apart in the category of stage keyboards. I began to taste the instruments by the North Electro 3, used in parallel with my keyboard at the time (Roland RD700SX), I went to the North Piano, then the Stage 2 and I do not regret at all.
A small conclusion + and - to Audiofanzine:
Keyboard + thought of as an "instrument" in its own right, facing vintage.
+ Sound and replaceable library scalable and continuous improvement.
+ A unique collection of samples of acoustic pianos that capture well the personality of each piano: Bosendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha, Petrof, tail, baby grand, human ...
+ Simulation of organ at the top
+ Section synth can now use a large collection of samples
+ Discount on resale under the Roland and Yamaha consors
- Cher, price of accessories
- Less versatile sounds "generalists" (bass, horns, guitar ...)
- Sustain Pedal provided non-progressive, optional triple pedal