Now your Nord can sound like the very first Steinway, No. 1

The instrument was crafted, literally, in a kitchen in 1836 in Seesen, near Hannover. But it defined piano history. It’s pianoforte “Steinway No. 1,” built by Steinway founder Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg. And now its sound is inside more modern electronic keyboards, from Swedish builder Clavia. Clavia aren’t unveiling any new gear this week, but they do have two interesting new sound libraries. One is “Steinway No. 1.” There’s been a lot of effort between the original instrument and Herr Steinweg’s kitchen and you. Expert builder Chris Meane of Belgium got an exclusive authorization from the Steinway company to recreate the …


Nord’s Electro 5 Revises A Favorite Stage Piano

Year after year, a lot of what the music instruments industry does is iterative – evolutionary, not revolutionary. But for the day-in, day-out operation of a lot of gigging musicians, some of the less-thrilling announcements are the ones that simply make life better. That means, for example, Clavia’s announcement of a new Nord Electro 5 keyboard matters. The number of stage musicians who rely on the signature red keyboards from Sweden is simply stunning. Nord aren’t cheap, but their attention to detail has earned them a lot of impassioned enthusiasts. I actually had the pleasure of visiting Clavia when I …


This is Clavia’s New Analog Modeling Synthesizer, the Nord Lead A1 [Pics, Sounds]

We love analog. But for all the talk about analog synths, there are some advantages to modeling analog sounds in digital – like getting a handmade hardware synth that still has 24-voice polyphony. So, the Nord Lead A1 is an analog-modeling synth, not an analog synth. It builds on the Swedish firm’s knowledge of analog modeling, reproducing the sounds of analog synthesizers, but by doing the work in digital form, still delivers up to four parts and 24 voices, for more thickly-layered sounds. New in this Nord Lead: quicker access to a bunch of parameters as consolidated on one knob …


Nord Drum 2, Playable Drum Synth, Gets More Sound Options, Nord Pad Companion [Photos]

Swedish maker Nord may be known for keyboards, and justly so, but their drum products are perhaps even more distinctive. If it seems like Nord only just released something called “Nord Drum,” it’s true. But they’re already back with a sequel, and Nord Pad as an accessory. The latter’s compact trigger design could appeal to producers and musicians who don’t have room for a whole kit. The original Nord Drum was a four-channel “modeling” virtual analog synth. The new model is six channels, and has more sound options. As before, you can trigger synthesized drum sounds from conventional electronic pads …


Nord Reveals New Keyboard: Four-Part Polyphonic Nord Lead 4 [Pics, Sound Samples]

The good news: there’s a new Nord, it looks nice enough, and it’s likely to make Clavia fans very happy. The bad news: some of us will have to go on dreaming of a follow-up to the innovative Nord Modular. Instead of that, this is a Nord Lead 4. Despite sharing a name with previous Nords, Clavia says this is an all-new synth. The focus appears to be “performance features” – making layering and sync easier – and focusing on providing more choices in effects and filters. First, the specs: 4-part multi-timbral – not so interesting in itself, but there …


Piano Lovers: Nord Electro Keyboard Adds Hammer Action in Just 24 Pounds

After years of compromise, it seems like a great time to be in the market for a stage keyboard. I’m biased coming from a piano background, but I’ve always loved hammer-action instruments, even for playing sounds other than acoustic. Earlier this month, I noted that Yamaha’s MOX line offered hammer action in a 32.6-pound keyboard for US$1699. Nord has a hammer action offering of their own: the new Nord Electro 3 HP. It sheds some keys, with a 73-key E-E range keybed, but also some pounds, weighing a very luggable 24.25 pounds. The “handmade,” Swedish-built instrument has some other nice …


Clavia Nord Wave Synth Details

Photo by Rainer Knobloch. Who woulda thunk it? Early 2007 has brought one big synth announcement after another. We’ve got some official details of the Nord Wave synth from Clavia, and this new keyboard looks like it may please long-time Nord fans and newcomers alike. Clavia has released “Musikmesse preview information”, so specs may change. But here’s a basic look at what they’re promising: Sampled waveforms: Oscillators can now use full waveforms (not single wavetables, Clavia hastens to add), while still routing through fully-analog circuitry. Oscillator models: Virtual analog, FM, wavetable, sample-playback can be applied in combination (which I hear …


This Week in Synths: Musicmesse, Rarities for Sale, Donimoog Modular, Buchla Vids

The Rest of the Messe As you know, the Frankfurt Musicmesse opened on Wednesday the 28th. There were quite a few exciting announcements including the Nord Wave, Arturia Origen Keyboard, the Dexter and of course the biggest announcement in my opinion, the Solaris hardware synth by John Bowen Synth Designs. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the interview by James here. Aside from the major announcements there was quite a bit more worth checking out in the synth world including this gorgeous MacBeth M5N, a white version of the M5 with a few updates including snappier envelopes, …


NAMM: Double Your Fun with the Nord C1 Combo Organ

The Clavia booth showcased the new Nord C1 combo organ (the product says C3, but they’re changing it to C1), featuring two sets of digital drawbars for the keys and a third one for bass pedals—in this case a Roland PK-7A connected via MIDI. Emulations include the B3, Vox Continental, and Farfisa, which are based on the most intimate mechanical details. (Nice playing, dude—and the wheel crosstalk and coil energy robbing in your sound was hot!) There are built-in rotating speaker effects, as well as a real 11-pin Leslie output. The C1’s Half Moon Switch (at the far left of …