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Nord Stage 88 Review

The Nord Stage 88 has great sounds, a simple, easy to use layout, and quality onboard effects.

I’m not much of a keyboard whiz, so a big stage piano like the Nord Stage 88 can be a little bit intimidating to a guy like me. My first thought whenever I think of modern stage keyboards is “OK, how complicated is this going to be? Am I going to be able to figure this out?”

The first thing that struck me when I opened up the box of the Nord Stage 88 was its simple, logical layout. The keyboard is divided up into easy to understand sections. No confusion here – I was hooked up and playing within a couple of minutes. There aren’t any complicated menus to navigate – all the controls are manipulated by knobs. For an old school type of guy like me this is great. You simply pick the section you want with the push of a button – piano, organ, or synth – and tweak the sounds to taste with knobs. The effects section is just as simple and easy to control as the other sections – effects like tremolo, phase, flange, reverb and delay are easily called up and set to taste.

Now, on to the sounds. The sampled sounds on the Stage 88 are great – big, rich grand piano sounds, vintage organs, and pulsing synths. The stock presets (126 of them) are really cool – all of the ones I checked out were very usable in a real-world situation. Of course, all of these presets are user editable. If you accidentally erase one that you liked, you can download the factory presets from Nord’s site.

The Nord Stage 88 may be the ultimate stage piano – it has great sounds, a simple, easy to use layout, and quality onboard effects. You would be hard pressed to find a better stage piano.

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