Rarely does a piece of technology come along that's amazing enough to change everything about the way that you work (my macbook pro and iPhone are two notable exceptions). One piece of equipment that's doing that right now for me is my Nord Stage keyboard. I purchased my nord over two years ago, and I'm still finding things to love about it. Here's my top 3 reasons why I think every keyboardist should at least test-drive a Nord:
The Nord keyboard front panel is filled with knobs, buttons, and controllers of all kinds- while it's not 100% one-knob-per-function (there are submenus for things like organ vibrato rate), it's as close to it as any keyboard is likely to come.
I've found over the time that I've used it that I've begun "playing" the knobs and controllers almost as much as the keys. By having that many useful knobs and buttons at your fingertips, it's super-simple to get almost any imaginable sound quickly. The Nord Stage has saved my musical neck several times when I programmed the wrong sound, and had to create a sound on the fly (sometimes even live).
- Amazing sounds
All the knobs in the world wouldn't matter if the actual programmed sounds were poor. With a wide selection of electric pianos, clavinets, uprights, and grands, the sound library really shines through mixes. The nord also has a killer drawbar organ section, and a subtractive synth section as well.
- It's shiny
With keyboardists shoved in the back corners of the stage at gigs, we need every opportunity we can get to stand out. I've received literally hundreds of compliments since I bought my nord, and it's always the first thing band members ask me about when I come in to work on a session or at a practice. The keyboard before I owned my Nord was excellent, but I never once received a single compliment about it because of it's black matte finish. It sounds shallow, but looks really do matter.
I could go on about the nord's amazing multi-effects, simple control options, simple computer interface that allows you to load custom sounds, but suffice it to say that this keyboard is well worth the look. If you haven't played one yet, be prepared to have your mind blown- it's really worth a trip to Guitar Center.