The Nord Stage 2 EX offers an update to the best selling Flagship keyboard from Nord. Featuring a 1GB memory upgrade for more sounds, an upgraded interface and an ultra-lightweight Hammer Action Portable keybed so you get the playability of a real piano without the weight!
The Nord Stage 2 has become one of the most popular stage pianos for performing professionals, with it's striking Scarlett finish easily seen on stages around the world. So instead of creating a brand new model, Nord decided to upgrade the current award winning keyboard with expanded features and functionality for those who need a little more performance from their instrument.
The Stage 2 EX comes in three different models: This Stage 2 EX88 features a full size, top-of-the-line fully weighted Hammer Action keyboard that gives you the feel of a real acoustic piano but way more portable!
The other 2 options offered are the EX76, a 76 key model with an all new super light hammer action portable keybed and the Stage 2 EX Compact, which instead features a 73-note Semi Weighted Waterfall keyboard. Apart from the keyboard type and the number of accessories available, all three models have identical features.
So what are the new features on the Stage 2 EX Series?
The Expanded Stage 2 EX has been upgraded with a larger 1GB memory so that you can choose even more of your favourite sounds from the awesome Nord Piano Library. The New Factory Bank features 5 Grand Pianos, 7 Upright Pianos, 11 Electric Pianos, Clavinet, Harpsichords and a vastly improved Nord Sample Library selection including great new Strings, Choir and Folk instruments., but you can curate your own library of sounds so that your instrument is fully customised to you.
The Stage 2 EX still has that striking and iconic scarlet finish, but Nord have added bright orange accents to help you easily navigate the different sections.
Heres what Nord Say about the Stage 2 EX
Piano SectionThe Stage 2 EX Piano section features our state-of-the-art sampling techniques that capture the extraordinary nuances and real character of the individual source instruments. Combined with the Advanced String Resonance that reproduces the sound of the piano strings resonating at their fundamental or harmonic frequencies when other strings are played, and compatibility with the optional Nord Triple Pedal that adds Dynamic Pedal Noise – the result is breathtaking realism and an unsurpassed expressiveness.
In addition to vivid acoustic Grand and Upright pianos, the Piano section also features some of the finest, most desirable vintage electric pianos. The Stage 2 EX’s piano sounds are future-proof thanks to its compatibility with the Nord Piano Library. This free online library is continuously updated with both upgraded existing pianos and all-new pianos to keep your instrument constantly renewed.
A Long Release-mode adds a slightly longer release, more suitable for legato playing, emulating a looser damper tension in an acoustic or an electromechanical instrument.
Nord Triple Pedal
The Nord Triple Pedal (optional accessory) features our unique dynamic sustain pedal that enables the use of half-pedaling and "release and catch" techniques, as and also includes Sustenuto and Soft Pedals. The Nord Triple Pedal also recreates the mechanical sounds of lifting and releasing the damper mechanism, producing the characteristic thomp and sizzle sounds. The Pedal Noise feature responds dynamically to the force/momentum used when pressing or releasing the sustain pedal on the Nord Triple Pedal.
Organ SectionB3 Tone-Wheel simulation
The Stage 2 EX's dedicated organ section is based on our award winning B3 Tone-Wheel simulations, based on thorough analysis of the 91 spinning discs inside several original instruments and painstaking work on understanding exactly how all the components interact with each other. The virtual circuitry reacts not only to the settings on the panel but also during the real time performance. The Stage 2 EX will faithfully reproduce the important foldback and energy robbing characteristics; the latter will produce the gentle compression effect that makes those lovely smears absolutely wonderful. There are 3 tone wheel modes that allow you to switch from a clean, factory spec’d instrument to a worn and battered workhorse with many years of touring.
Rotary Speaker simulation
The vintage Rotary Speaker simulation adds an essential character to a live organ performance and features Slow, Fast and Stop mode as well as a Drive control. The Rotary Speaker simulation can also be used with the Piano or Synth Section.
Digital LED Drawbars
The Nord Stage 2 EX features Digital LED Drawbars, offering excellent overview over current settings and let's you easily change the drawbar settings while playing.
Transistor Organ simulations
The Organ section also includes carefully modeled simulations of two of the most famous transistor organs from the 1960’s, the Vox Continental and the Farfisa Compact.
Synth SectionThe Stage 2 EX’s powerful synthesizer engine is capable of classic analog synthesis, three operator FM synthesis, Wavetable synthesis and compatible with the Nord Sample Library. The Nord Sample Library gives Stage 2 EX owners access to the huge free library of world-class sounds, including the famous vintage Mellotron and Chamberlin samples. The included Nord Sample Editor for Mac and PC, makes it possible to create your own samples easily, and transfer them to your keyboard in no time, opening up a whole new world of possibilities!
Nord Sample LibraryThe Synth engine itself features classic analog synthesis with dual saw, hard sync and pulse wave modulation, three-operator FM synthesis with 32 different modulation frequencies, Wavetable synthesis with 62 waveforms and Sample based synthesis. A great-sounding multimode filter features 12 and 24dB low pass, high pass, band pass and notch filters. And with an Amp envelope, Modulation envelope, an LFO, and Unison control, the Stage 2 EX’s synth capabilities are hugely powerful, delivering amazing on-stage sound.
The Synth section also features an Arpeggiator that can be easily synced to the Stage 2 EX’s Master Clock for perfect timing with other elements of the Stage 2 EX, including its effects.
PROGRAMMING AND CONTROL
Programming and ControlTo make programming and on-stage control as simple as possible we have arranged the sound generators and controls of the Stage 2 EX into dedicated sections – Piano, Organ and Synth. Not only does this make for a very intuitive approach to programming but also instantly shows you which settings are active. There are no deep menus, no complicated screens to navigate. All vital functions are controlled by dedicated single-function knobs.
In addition our patented Pitch Stick and Modulation Wheel allow maximum musical expression and our efficient Morph Grouping technique is also included, allowing you to assign sound and effects parameters to physical controllers.
Extern SectionThe Nord Stage 2 EX wouldn’t be a master keyboard if it couldn’t control external devices with ease. The Extern Section is designed solely for this purpose, so that any MIDI-connected gear gets seamlessly integrated with the Stage 2 EX’s built-in instruments. Zones, splits and layers are handled exactly as if the external equipment was a part of the Stage 2 EX itself. All settings are saved together with a Program so advanced setups can be immediately recalled in real-time during a performance. You can even use the Extern Section to automatically transmit Bank Select and Program Change messages to your external units.
Each Fatar keybed is meticulously calibrated at the Nord factory to ensure an even response over the whole range.
Hammer Action (HA)
The EX 2 88 keybed uses our top-of-the-line fully weighted hammer action piano keys. Perfect for electric and acoustic piano sounds, but also works great for organ playing. Key range A-C.
Hammer Action Portable (HP)
The EX 2 HP76 keybed uses amazingly portable weighted hammer action piano keys. Perfect for electric and acoustic piano sounds, but also works great for organ playing. Key range E-G.
Semi Weighted Waterfall (SW)
The EX 2 Compact keybed type uses semi weighted organ type keys with a rounded "waterfall" tip, brilliant for rapid organ shredding and synthesizer licks, but also plays nice with piano sounds. Key range E-E.
Effect SectionNo sound is complete without the proper use of effects. In the Nord Stage 2 EX we incorporated all the effects required to cover musicians’ needs. All of the three instrument sections - Organ, Piano and Synth - can be routed individually through the Stage 2 EX’s built-in effect units. Turning the effects on and off, and controlling the routing is easily done by a touch of dedicated buttons, readily accessible at the bottom of each effects unit. The Nord Stage 2 EX has a dedicated Effect Section for each of the 2 slots.
Here you can choose from Tremolo, two Wahs, an Auto-Wah, and an AutoPan. Use the AutoWah with a Clavinet for raw funk licks, create a psychedelic vibe with an Electric Piano on AutoPan, or give a Wurlitzer some body using the Tremolo. There is also a Ring Modulator on board, an effect used by many experimental and electronic musicians.
The two Phasers, two Choruses, the Flanger and a Vibe effect are modeled from the classic analog stomp boxes that define the sound of popular music. These swirling Phasers, metallic Flangers, and thick Choruses that are used by uncompromising professionals everywhere are crystal clear and faithfully simulated on the Nord Stage 2 EX.
A delay unit has been included to create haunting echoes or slap back effects. The delay also supports a ping-pong mode, and the tempo can easily be adjusted with the tap-tempo button, or synced to the master clock. The delay also has an Analog mode for creating those classic “warped” sounds when changing the delay rate on repeats.
Amp Simulation & Equalizer
This effect section combines a three-band equalizer with a sophisticated amplifier and speaker cabinet modeler. Classic amplifiers and speakers are a crucial part to make vintage Electric piano sounds come alive. Nord offers the famous sounds of speaker simulations of a Twin Reverb, a Jazz Chorus 120 and a Wurlitzer speaker. When no Amp Model is selected, the unit provides a neutral three-band EQ with sweepable mid and a crunchy overdrive.
A Compressor and a Reverb are placed at the end of the sound chain, to help you blend your sounds more naturally together. The Reverb unit has six different Hall, Stage and Room spaces to create different atmospheres for your sounds, while the Compressor helps you keep the overall mix tight and under control.
The Master Clock function makes it easy to sync effects to other elements, like the arpeggiator, LFO or even one of the other effects. You can easily lock the effect rate to a range of note values – make the delay do quarter note triplets of what arpeggiator is playing, while the LFO gently sweeps the filter up and down in half notes, all perfectly interlocked. The Master Clock can also be controlled by an external MIDI clock – perfect for syncing your parts to a backing track, including tempo changes!