Nord Stage 3 HP 76 Stage Keyboard
Nord Stage 3 88 Stage Keyboard
Overview from GAK
This rendition of the Stage 3 - the HP76 - features Nord’s proprietary Hammer Action Portable keybed and 76 full-size keys. This version is the one we’d recommend if you want the feel of a weighted hammer-action in an easily transportable package. Thanks to Nord’s groundbreaking design, the Stage 3 HP 76 comes in at a manageable 12.4kg. If you’re used to carting around fully weighted keyboards, you’ll know that’s a serious achievement!
The Stage 3 is the latest incarnation of Nord’s famous Stage range of keyboards. Since its inception, the Stage has been the workhorse of musicians around the world. Just check any festival or live performance anywhere and you are likely to see a Nord Stage keyboard being used. Why? Because they sound great, they are easy to use, they are versatile, they are portable and they are durable – all the things a gigging musician needs.
All the functionality you need is available directly from the front panel – no menu diving and no need for software editors. The front panel is intuitively laid out in sections, making it super easy to navigate. The Organ section covers an array of types, from classic B3s to transistor and pipe organs. Next up is the Piano section, where you’ll find Clavs, acoustic, electric & digital pianos. The Synth section features Nord’s fully blown A1 synthesiser, with additional sample playback functionality. Want to use the Stage 3 as a Controller keyboard? – That’s what the External section is for!
Finally, you get to all the onboard effects, amp simulations, EQ, compressors and reverbs – all at your fingertips.
The Stage 3 has a Panel A and B button which means you actually have TWO of everything you see, per Program. Each Panel can be edited independently of each other, including the effects, and they can be treated as separate instruments or combined either as layers or splitting the keyboard into zones, or both, to create incredibly flexible combinations of sounds that you can then store as a Program.
Effects-wise, the delay has been improved and now features Feedback filters and an analogue mode as well as a new filter mode with resonance. Nord have also provided more control over the Reverb and Compression, with the ability to add individual elements of the two to separate slots.
Nord are renowned for the quality of their pianos and you will hear them at concerts and on countless hit records. The Stage 3 comes fully loaded with a great selection of these Piano samples, but you are not stuck with these. The Nord website contains loads of free samples that are readily available to download and install into your Stage 3 for free.
Plus, Nord are constantly adding new samples to the libraries, which you can access and install. There’s a lot more than pianos available as the Nord Sample Library contains everything that isn’t a piano. These are also free to download to the Stage 3. Once downloaded, these sample instruments are accessed in the Synth Section, which then gives you all of that synth’s functionality to edit and adapt them to suit your needs. On top of all that, Nord’s free Sample Editor 3 software allows you to create your own Nord Sample Instruments and load them into your Stage 3 as well.
Therefore, your Stage 3 is totally customisable and will never go out of date so, if you change bands, you don’t have to change keyboards – just change the sounds inside to suit your new musical direction – all at no extra cost.
Pimp Your Stage 3
Nord provides some great accessories to enhance your Stage 3.
There’s the Nord Triple Pedal (unlocks additional features in the Stage 3 Piano section), the retro Nord Keyboard Stand EX/more traditional Wooden Nord Keyboard Stand (designed for when you want to play sitting down allowing you to get your legs right underneath) and the Nord Monitors (dedicated speakers that mount directly to your Stage 3). There are also two large music stands which can support 4 x A4 sheets, available either in metal or wood. For transport and protecting your Nord at home, there’s the Nord Soft Case (which features a large pocket to accommodate stands, pedals and cables). For hands-free control of Stage features such as Program Change and Rotary Speaker speed, check out the Nord Single pedal.
The Stage 3 is a prime example of why Nord are one of the leading keyboard manufacturers out there. Boasting world-class sound quality, an interface that welcomes interactivity and a top-notch build - there’s a reason why many have proclaimed the Nord Stage 3 the new industry standard.
- OLED-displays for Program and Synth section
- Seamless transitions when changing programs
- Extended Split functionality with optional Crossfade
- Song List Mode
- Extended Morph Destinations
- Doubled memory (2GB) for the Nord Piano Library
- Greatly expanded polyphony (120 voices)
- Creative Filter presets
- Layer category
- Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine with Sample playback
- Dedicated OLED display for Oscillator functions
- Expanded Memory (480 MB) for the Nord Sample Library 3.0
- Extended Polyphony
- Super Wave category (S-wave)
- Nord C2D Organ Engine
- 2 new Pipe Organ models
- Model 122 Vintage Rotary Speaker - available per Slot
- Physical Drawbars for Nord Stage 3 Compact
- Improved Delay with added Feedback filters and Analog Mode
- Filter Mode with Resonance
- Separate Compressor per Slot with Amount and Fast mode
- Separate Reverb per Slot with Bright mode
You would suppose that an octogenarian would be completely phased by the number of controls, well over 100!) but the layout is logical. The weighted feel is very good. As to the voices, give me another year or two, but I like what I have heard already!
The best keyboard sound ever
I had the Nord Stage 2, so knew that I wouldn’t go wrong with the stage 3.
A Fantastic keyboard, you will not be disappointed!