Nord Stage 2

How stage pianos should be!

Nord’s award-winning Organ, Piano and Synth technologies – All in one amazing package.

Do you know a company called Clavia DMI from Sweden? Probably not, right? But I bet you’ve heard about Nord synthesizers and keyboards, and if you haven’t, you’ve been missing the best technology in organs, pianos and synths.

Clavia DMI – Digital Musical Instruments is a Swedish manufacturer of virtual analog synthesizer, virtual electromechanical pianos and stage pianos, founded in 1983. They are really well known worldwide for their famous Nord products and of course the Ddrum triggers.

Nord has introduced their new flagship keyboard series, the Nord Stage 2 which includes everything that Nord has done in the past in just one amazingly user friendly interface!

This is the second version of Nords now famous Stage series. It utilizes their very latest sound generation technology in the three categories: piano, organ and synthesizer combined with a great user friendly interface. The Nord Stage 2 is what every stage piano should be!

I am currently playing with two different keyboard players in two different bands and they are both after one of these beauties! After doing some research, hearing it and being lucky enough to put my hands on one while my friend took it for a test drive I now know why they want it so badly and you will see what I mean when you watch a couple of videos I have for you!

As I mentioned before, the Nord Stage 2 has three different sections, piano, organ and synth. The piano section has the best acoustic piano sounds in the world and the most advanced vintage electric pianos as well as string resonance. The organ section includes the latest generation of B3 tonewheel organ modeling and simulations of classic vox and farfisa organs. And the Synth section has some of the most powerful classic analogue, FM and Wavetable synthesis. All these three sections include a very comprehensive effects section, single function control knobs and instant visibility of current settings plus much more!

Now, this beauty includes lots of features and there is heaps of things you could do and create at the same time, but, is it easy to use and manipulate, especially if you are playing live? According to Nord, yes it is! They thought about every keyboardist and arranged the sound generators and controls into dedicated sections, for piano, for keyboard and for synth.

So it has a very intuitive approach when it comes to programming, but it also shows you which settings are active by its flashy led lights-buttons. So forget about trying to see a screen, digging into menus and navigateing among thousands of options. All functions are controlled by single-function knobs.

I guess with all these cool and easy features you would assume that the feel of this keyboard is amazing and you’d be right. The Nord Stage 2 has top of the line fully weighted hammer action keys which also have been improved for response when playing rapid repeated notes. And Nord does something nobody else does – every keybed is individually and specifically tuned for a consistent response and balance.

As Nord says, “no sound is complete without the proper use of effects”. The new Nord Stage 2 incorporates all the effects required to cover every musician’s needs. Al of the three instrument sections – Organ, Piano and Synth – can be routed individually through the Stage 2’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.

So PROS of the new Nord Stage 2: EVERYTHING! Best stage piano ever! CONS: NONE!!!

This is of course a very professional level stage piano, and with that comes a very professional price tag. Depending on where you buy it, you’ll pay between $3,000 and $5,000 USD. I wouldn’t recommend buying one if you’re just starting out, but definitely keep it in mind when you go pro!

Check out these videos and fall in love again:

Finding a manager

You might be saying “why are you telling me about getting a manager if I am just starting to learn?” – I am telling you this because a manager is mmm… lets say 90% needed if you are wanting to become a professional artist and of course it is never too early to start thinking about the future and finding a manager is not an easy one.

So yeah, finding a manager is one of the most important things to do if you are planning to become a professional artist. I said that a manager is 90% needed, why? Because you do not necessarily need a manager to become popular. You could be your own manager or your band’s manager, however getting one will make things so much easier for you.

Being a manager is not an easy thing at all, it is very time consuming and not anyone could do what a manager does. A manager has to be charming but also tough enough to face the music business, also responsible, patient and of course a trader by nature – if you can’t handle this then you better continue reading.

Finding a good manager is not an easy task either. You need to be very careful about who you choose to represent you – a manager will be your face for the business side of things, so you do need a serious and trustworthy person. So what do you need to know about your possible manager?

1. References. Is he/she representing some other artist or band? Get in touch with them and ask about their experiences with the manager. Are they well connected with the music business and the music scene?
2. Type of bands the manager represents. Usually a manager is more focused on a particular type of artist. Try to find the most suitable manager for your music style.
3. Cost. How much is the manager expecting to get and how?
4. What will the manager do for you. He needs to tell you what he will specifically do for you and your music. Is he going to focus on getting your gigs but also radio interviews, merchandising sorted, is he focusing only for local gigs or also in other cities?

Something very important is when it comes to paying a Manager. I am not sure what the most common spread is, but anything between 10 and 20 percent seems fair to me. Also, never pay a Manager up front. There are many good and reputable Managers who don’t require any money up front to work for you. Also if you pay a Manager upfront they have no incentive to find work for you. A percentage of your net is the most common and best way to pay your Manager.

Managers should only take a percentage from the work they actually get for you. If you take a Manager on and you already have some gigs lined up then there is no reason you should give your Manager a percentage of those concerts.

Sign a contract! But you should never sign an exclusive contract unless you absolutely have to.
Remember, building a career in music is not an easy thing. It takes time and a lot of hard work and patience. It could take you forever but you could be lucky enough to be playing at the right moment in front of the right people and BOOM, record deal! So getting a manager is an important step in your career. Sometimes a good friend of yours might end up getting into band management.

A really good friend of mine played the manager role with a band I formed in 2000. She did an awesome job and now she is doing that for a living, so you never know what is going to happen!

What is very important is to keep working hard with your playing and to keep the dream alive.