Nord Stage and Nord Piano are Expensive!
You see Nord piano's - whether electro, stages or their line of dual manual organs everywhere. It's called 'seeing red' and you hear lots of Nord users on Facebook, Instagram and even on the road boasting about their portability and tone generation.
It's clear that Nord has the 'Organ Tonewheel' dialed in as well as electric pianos. As an owner that frequently uses a Nord Electro 4 I was eager to capture the same Nord tones but with a weighted keys. Unfortunately my search led me to Nord Piano and the Nord Stage both which are well over $2,500.
After continuing my research I found a great solution that allows 88 key weighted action along with the great nord electric piano (and in my opinion just above average grand piano tones) without the big Nord sticker price. That solution is the Nord Electro Rack!
What is a Nord Electro Rack?
It is a rack mount of the Nord electro tone and sound banks. A rack simply has all the tones stored inside of it but does not have a 'controller' or keys to tell it what is being played.
If it doesn't have keys then how does it work?
Well you need a 'controller,' or essentially any piano you like the feel and action of that has a 5 pin MIDI output.
Any piano regardless of size and age will be able to control the Nord Electro Rack as long as you have a 5 pin midi cable to connect them.
How do I connect it?
From your 'controller' or piano, insert the 5 pin midi cable into the 'Midi OUT' port and insert the Midi cable into the 'MIDI IN' on the back of the nord rack.
Connect you sustain and other expression pedals directly into the nord rack.
Where do I find a Nord Rack?
From the research I conducted they typically were sold and marketed outside the USA. I was able to find one for $400 USD located in Australia. After shipping it was around $500 and I connected it to a $400 controller I already owned.
What are some limitations?
Well first, it is a "Nord Electro 2 Rack" so you will be using the nord electro 2 sound bank. You can update the tones using a standard PC.
The Nord Electro 2 Rack is a great option for those looking for nord tones but do not have the means to drop several thousand even on a second hand instrument. I wish you luck finding one!