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Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

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Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby paulreso1 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:13 pm

I’m looking for input on adding a keyboard for organ and electric piano to my small home studio. I was looking at the Nord Electro 6D or Hammond SK Pro but I’m finding it hard to choose between them (without playing them) and wondered if there were any users of these who could share their experiences pros/cons....I’m Also interested in any other options of similar quality

Thanks in advance,
Paul
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby The Elf » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:37 am

Once again I find myself saying... look at the Yamaha reface CP and YC. The CP especially is insanely good for the money, and has taken over all my electric piano duties. The YC isn't far behind. Both of these humble little devices are far better than they have any right to be.
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:57 am

I’m watching this thread, as I still haven’t got myself sorted with an EP/organ.
The Refaces are good, but you’ll have to use an external keyboard, the feeling of that is very important, but I always say that an integrated sound/keyboard instrument is much better, it just feels more immediate. I played my Reface CP from its keyboard all the time, it just felt better, but the small keys made me sell it.
I haven’t bought anything yet, I can’t make up my mind, I’ve played Nords, friends have had them, they are just OK to me, and a bit over priced.
Hammond have some good ones, Korg, EP? still not sure, if it were me, and it’s probably what I’m going to do, us to get a real Rhodes, or a reissue, and a modern Hammond of some kind for the organ.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby Fortunecookie » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:35 am

Never used any Hammond organs but from the SK demos I've seen they sound pretty good, they do seem quite pricey though,I have used Nord Electros and had an older Stage 2 for some years, and whilst they might seem overpriced for what they are, they are a bit of a swiss army Knife type of instrument,they don't do anything brilliantly but kind of all cover all the basics,and are a breeze to use without having to dig into the manuals

the Electros are a good starting point for a staple Organ/EP set,if you don't need a full Blown Stage Instrument and don't forget that you can load in any sound you want with the Nord Sample Editor,which is so easy to create your own sounds from a Wav file and transfer them quickly and easily,so whilst a traditional Organ/EP Device might be your thing at least with the Nord if you get Bored with the Factory Sound Library you can still load in your own sounds to mix it up

I'd also look at something like the Korg SV1/SV2,with a decent sound set onboard(although the organs are limited in comparison to the Nords Organs)but the SV still has a palette of usable sounds that you can tweak to your taste with the onboard fx and stuff,and its a really nice instrument to play,Korg sold bucket loads of them so you should be able to find a first generation SV1 for a bargain if your on a budget.
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:30 pm

paulreso1 wrote:I’m looking for input on adding a keyboard for organ and electric piano to my small home studio.

This is a very personal choice partly because a keyboard that does both must have many compromises, but also because it seems everyone has a different view on what an EP and Hammond should sound like!

The short answer is that you really are going to have to try before you buy, just because everyone will have a different view as they have different requirements and expectations.

Fundamentally, an electric piano really needs a weighted keybed to provide the right feel to allow expressive playing... But a Hammond keyboard needs to be ultra light to allow fast playing and hand gliss etc. The two keyboards you mention both favour the organ keybed over the EP.

The SK Pro uses Hammond's latest sound engine, from the XK5, along with a simplified version of the bespoke keybed to emulate the original multi-contact design. That's important to some players and some musical genres, but won't be significant at all to others. Personally, I think the Hammond sound engines get closer to a vintage console than any other clone, including Nord, and incorporate a lot of tweakability to tailor the sound exactly as you want it.

On the other hand, the 'other instrument' side of things hasn't been Hammond's forte. I use the previous generation SKX -- the second manual and second set of drawbars are critical for the kind of music I play -- and while it's very usable on stage as an EP, the sounds aren't as good as Nord's offerings IMHO. Some of that impression might also come from the lack of physical feedback from the keyboard though...

I haven't tried the SK Pro yet, but I've heard the demos and while I can hear improvements in the piano sounds I'm not sure they've yet matched the best of the pack. The potential is there for updates, of course, but my experience is that Hammond's 'other sounds' development tends to be slow and not as enthusiastic as many would like.

Nord are the opposite, always working hard to develop improvements in their modelling and generally doing a good job. Again, I've had very limited experience of the Electro 6D (although I do own a Stage) but I think Nord's Hammond and Leslie clones are pretty good, and there's a huge flexibility in the 'other sounds' side of things. I quite like their EP options.

The control surface layout on the instrument may also be an important consideration if you want to 'play' the drawbars and switch between patches and presets quickly.

And finally, if this is for a home studio rather than for gigging, don't ignore the virtual instrument market as there are some really great options there too.
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby Dave B » Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:12 pm

+1 for what Hugh said.

I use the original SK2 and rate it as the best investment in a piece of gear that I've probably ever made, but I'm not blind to it's weaknesses.

For live, it's been amazing. I've played blues, reggae, ska, rock, etc and it's sounded great and the extra sounds have been so useful.

In the studio, the Hammond is all I use it for. For me (imho and ymmv), it's the best Hammond sound I can get out of soooo many clones / plugins. But for piano / ep, I'd reach for something else when recording. Whilst the sounds are very usable, they are their own thing. I should really try them midi'd to a weighted keyboard, but I don't think that they would be 'right' from my perspective.
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby paulreso1 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:53 pm

Thanks for all the input on this.. really appreciated...

A quick update... I followed the advice given and tried the different Nord key beds at PMT this morning... ended up preferring something else entirely-the Roland R2000. No denying the benefit of trying keyboards out under your very own fingers!
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Re: Experience with Nord Electro or Hammond SK Pro?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:09 pm

:D :thumbup:
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