Our Nord Stage 3 Compact Review
While the founder of Nord first created a digital percussion plate in 1983, it wasn’t until 1995 that the company released their first synthesizer. They build all of their instruments by hand, relying on an impressive R&D team to spawn new instruments and their production crew to add improvements and features that improve the playability and function of their release.
Thanks to their commitment to improving past designs and their passion for updating and streamlining their equipment, Nord is known for releasing powerful and durable equipment, and the Nord Stage 3 Compact is no exception.
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What Is the Nord Stage 3 Compact?
The Nord Stage 3 Compact is an incredibly light stage piano featuring 73 keys that are designed for providing perfect sound control and for excelling on stage. It is a fifth-generation Nord stage series keyboard that has been updated and downsized to include all of the power and control that you expect from Nord keyboards in a smaller and more portable size. The original Nord stage was released in 2005, and the Nord Stage 3 Compact was released in 2017.
It has three sound-generating sections, which can all be used separately or be played at the same time. Musicians who want even more sonic flexibility will enjoy that they can have two synths, two pianos, and two organs, as well as effects, played at the same time thanks to the two separate slots that the Nord Stage 3 Compact contains. It was designed to provide an incredible selection of clavinet, electric and acoustic piano, and harpsichord tones from the Nord piano library.
Who Is this Stage Piano Designed for?
Thanks to the smaller size of the Nord Stage 3 Compact, this is a perfect option for taking to gigs. You won’t have to worry about whether or not you are going to be able to handle a larger piece of equipment, as it is very lightweight and easy to maneuver. It’s great for recording but is best used for live performances, thanks to the power it contains.
The setup on the Nord Stage 3 Compact is fairly basic and easy to understand, which makes it a little more accessible to new musicians than some other Nord models. While beginners and intermediate musicians will be able to enjoy great sounds and tones from the Nord Stage 3 Compact, it has so much power that it is perfect for advanced and even professional musicians. More advanced musicians will also be able to enjoy better sound control and quality as they mix and layer different sounds in their music.
The Nord Stage 3 Compact ships by itself, which is normal for this type of musical equipment. It has everything that you need to start making music, although you will need to invest in headphones or a high-quality amp. It’s best to get a more powerful amp, and not one geared towards beginners, as you want to enjoy all of the power and sound that the Nord Stage 3 Compact has to offer, and lower quality amps can make this more difficult.
Additionally, a quality computer that can be connected is important, as the Nord Stage 3 Compact can integrate external MIDI modules. Thanks to the USB port, it’s easy to connect external equipment to the Nord Stage 3 Compact.
Primary Features of the Nord Stage 3 Compact
The synth section of the Nord Stage 3 Compact really shines and has sample playback, an impressive OLED display for Oscillator functions, and the Nord Lead A1 Synth Engine. This engine is known for having great warmth and power. Other great features include:
- 73 semi-weighted keys
- 400 programs and eight banks
- Pitch stick and modulation wheel
- 120-note polyphony on piano, 34-note polyphony on synthesizer
- Incredibly portable, only weighs 22 pounds
- Five live buffers
- MIDI functionality
- Percussion controls
- Chorus and vibrato control
- Two drawbar presets on each slot
Thanks to the effect section, musicians can enjoy extended morphable parameters, enhanced delay effects, and separate compressor and reverbs for every slot. There are high-quality effects that you can instantly access and use, and they are all modeled in the design of classic stomp boxes.
Featuring the latest generation of Nord’s vintage 122 Rotary Speaker simulation, the Nord Stage 3 Compact is able to add a lot of character to live organ performances. It can be used with both the synth or the piano section.
Alternatives to the Stage 3 Compact
If the Nord Stage 3 Compact isn’t the best option for you, then you may want to consider the Nord Piano 4. This has 66 notes and a triple sensor key bed that provides incredible piano feel and touch when played. You can easily play new notes without lifting the key, which allows for smooth repetitions and seamless transitions. Additionally, the copy/paste and move functions allow you to switch your programs into your desired order for fast creation.
The Korg SV-1BK is another great option, especially for musicians who are on a budget. It has 73 keys, amazing piano sounds, and vintage keyboard sounds. Additionally, the six modulation FX, real tube valve reactor, and powerful stereo outs make it a great option for musicians who need control over their sound, but can’t overspend.
Conclusion – Is the Nord Stage 3 Compact a Good Option for You?
The Nord Stage 3 Compact is a great option for aspiring and more advanced musicians, bands, and even churches. It’s shockingly powerful, and although there is a bit of a learning curve, it is worth investing the time and energy into understanding how to make the most out of the sound and power it offers.
Any musician who wants a unique sound and lots of control over their music will love the Nord Stage 3 Compact. The higher price tag may put it out of reach of some musicians, but if you can afford it and want the most powerful equipment on the market, then you need to consider this digital stage piano as your best option.
We hope our Nord Stage 3 Compact review has been helpful.