Nord Piano 4 Stage Piano
Overview by GAK
Nord are back with another fantastic update of their already impressive Digital Piano. The onboard Nord Sample Library memory has been doubled to a whopping 512 MB and you can store up to 1GB of exclusive sounds from Nord’s Piano Library.
With a Triple Sensor keybed, dedicated piano filters, seamless sound transitions, split point crossfades, an expanded 120 voices of polyphony and a brand new Bright reverb mode - the Nord Piano 4 is easily one of the best digital pianos money can buy.
Here’s what Nord say:
The Nord Piano is a relatively new addition to the Nord range of keyboards and we are currently on the Piano 4. It was born out of customers loving the piano sounds in the Stage and Electro ranges but not wanting/needing any of that extra functionality. Therefore, the Piano 4 is a simple, easy to use instrument specifically aimed at Piano players and comes packed with a selection of Nord’s amazing acoustic, electric and digital piano samples such as the White Grand, the Royal Grand 3D, Rhodes, Wurlitzer and DX pianos.
Realistic Playing Experience
The Nord Piano 4’s main feature is the Triple Sensor keybed. This is different to the keybed found in the Stage 3 and offers a further level of dynamic control over the piano sounds when it is played. This dynamic response may seem subtle to some, but to piano players, it is a game-changer and very much appreciated.
Thanks to the Piano 4’s Advanced String Resonance technology, the Grand and Upright piano sounds sound highly authentic. This system accurately reproduces the delicate interplay between piano strings when they resonate at their harmonic/fundamental frequencies.
You can use the dedicated piano filters to accentuate softness, mid or brilliance. Used in tandem with the three selectable dynamic curves, you can tailor the Piano 4’s playing experience to fit your personal style.
A huge bonus of the Piano 4 is that it ships with the Nord Triple Pedal as standard. This pedal provides even more realistic control of the piano sounds such as a velocity sensitive sustain pedal for control of mechanical piano acoustics noise, Soft pedal (Una Corda) and Sostenuto.
Intuitive, Immediate Layout
With an array of dedicated buttons and knobs for all its essential functions, the Piano 4 is an ideal companion in a live setting. You don’t need to be a sound design guru to create beautfiul sounds with this instrument!
Even advanced functions such as transposing, setting split points and creating a layered sound can be done in secons. Everything you need is at your fingertips.
The program secion has been refined to make accessing and recalling your favourite sounds easier than ever. You can use the Organize mode with its copy/paste/move functionality to effortlessly arrange your sounds in preparation for a live performance, with a variety of catergories and sorting options. A crystal-clear OLED display provides the visual feedback.
The Piano 4 comes equipped with an array of gorgeous piano sounds, which have the nuance and dynamic touch that you’d expect from the real deal. The factory sounds include 6 Grand Pianos, 5 Upright Pianos, 11 Electric Pianos, a Clavinet and Harpsichords. What’s more, you can use the Nord Sound manager (on Mac or Windows) you can easily replace sounds, with an intuitive drag and drop system. There’s 1GB of memory dedicated to the Piano section, so you can experiment with the huge range of new sounds from Nord’s Piano Library.
Versatile Sampling Capabilities
As well as the jaw-dropping Piano 4 also has a Sample/Synth section which you can combine with the Piano section to create lush layers of piano and strings/pads etc. In addition, you can split the keyboard and have each section playing in its own zone – maybe a double bass in the left hand and an upright piano in the right, for example. As the Sample/Synth section is compatible with the Nord Sample Library, you can load any of their sounds into it for free so it can be a vintage synth or a marimba or an electric bass, or anything else you may need. Once you’ve loaded up your sample instrument, you can enjoy performing them with the Piano 4’s fantastic keybed and piano action.
The Effects section to the right of the keyboard contains a wide variety of effects, with immediate & hands-on control of all the parameters so you can easily enhance, adapt and customise your sounds to suit your requirements. They’re based on sought-after stompbox pedals and run in stereo, for optimal width and richness. For added flexibility, the effects can be freely assigned to the Piano and Sample/Synth sections. Setting this up is a breeze, thanks to the rocker switches in each part of the effects section.
Effect 1 features Pan, Tremolo, Wah-wah and Ring Modulator. For hands-free control of these effects, you can hook up an external expression pedal. This is particularly handy if you want to use the Wah in tandem with the Clav for some funky comping.
Effect 2 is where the lush modulations live, with Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, a new Vibe effect. There’s two selectable depths for each effect, with an adjustable rate.
Next in the chain is the Stereo digital delay, which features three feedback modes and a tap-tempo button.
This leads into the 3-band EQ, which has a sweepable mid frequency. It a great way to sculpt the sound of the Piano 4 so it fits better in a band mix.
Finally, there’s an amp sim/compressor (which can add squash or warm grit) and the Master Reverb, which has three modes (Room, Stage, Hall) and a dry/wet mix control so you can dial-in the right amount of ambience.
Expandable – for free!
As with the other keyboards in the Nord range, the Piano 4 is expandable. It’s compatible with both the Nord Piano Library and the Nord Sample Library. This means you can swap out any sounds on the Piano 4 for any in the libraries, so you can customise the instrument to work the way you want it to. The best part is - they’re all free! Nord are always adding new instruments to their libraries so, if a new piano comes out, you can download it for free and try it out.
And, if you wanted to, you could use Nord’s Sample Editor 3 software to create your own Sample Instruments and then load them into your Piano 4. All these capabilties effectively future-proof your instrument, allowing you to constantly refresh and update its sound palette.
- 88-note Triple Sensor keybed with grand weighted action
- Nord Virtual Hammer Action Technology
- Seamless Transitions
- Layer and Split with Split Point crossfades
- OLED display excellent overview
- Enhanced Organize Mode
- Numeric Pad for direct Program access
- Greatly expanded Polyphony (120 voices)
- Creative Piano Filters
- 1 GB memory for Nord Piano Library
- 3 Dynamic Curves
- Dynamic Pedal Noise with Nord Triple Pedal (included)
- Advanced String Resonance
- Soft Release
- Greatly expanded Polyphony
- 512 MB Memory for Nord Sample Library 3.0
- Dedicated Sample Synth section with Attack, Decay/Release and dynamic controls
- High quality stereo effects modelled after classic stomp boxes
- Reverb with Bright Mode
My son loves it. My husband is envious and wants one too!
The products durability and excellence will show over the coming months but so far all good and working.