The favorite red stage piano now featured beefed up features, streamlined interface – and three independent engines plus seamless transitions between sounds.

Nord has been regularly updating their line of instruments, and now the Nord Electro gets a 2018 revision. It’s one instrument that packs multiple vintage sounds – electro mechanical and acoustic instruments – plus a sample-based synth engine.

And what sets Nord apart from, say, those Japanese giants is that it’s a small, independent maker. They’ve got only thirty employees. I’ve been to their factory/office in Stockholm, where European wood becomes the end panels and the instruments are assembled by hand. Now, that’s not just to make an ethical stand – the result is instruments that are distinctively conservative and tailored closely to what players want.

So, the Electro 6 isn’t likely to steal thunder from other announcements this month in the industry. But it does have a bunch of stuff that will appeal to keyboardists. Here’s what’s new:

The big deal is, it’s 3-part multi-timbral. You can split and layer all three sections. You can make six split points and even optional split point crossfades. There’s an Organize mode and a new UI to put it all together.

So, there’s a fresh case for using dedicated hardware in place of a laptop and software for these functions, if the Electro 6 has the sounds you need.

Also improved:

Organ: Dual Organ mode, plus two new pipe organs.
Piano: new filters for softness, mid, or brilliance.
Sample synth: 512MB memory, doubled from Electro 5.
Expanded polyphony in both piano, sample synth.

If you’ve got a late model Electro, this is probably not reason to upgrade. But it could be a strong upgrade from a lower-end stage instrument.

Coming this spring; pricing TBA. (The Electro 5 has a street around US$3000.) You get different options depending on which keybed you want:

Nord Electro 6D 61 features a 61-note Semi Weighted Waterfall keybed (C-C) with Physical Drawbars
Nord Electro 6D 73 features a 73-note Semi Weighted Waterfall keybed (E-E) with Physical Drawbars
Nord Electro 6 HP features a 73-note Hammer Action Portable keybed (E-E) with LED Drawbars