The Nord Stage 4 - the red miracle from Sweden. What's new?

  • Innovation
  • Digital piano
  • Purchase Assistance

The new Nord Stage 4 has arrived in our showrooms. Reason enough to take a closer look at both the concept of the Nord Stage and the company behind the instrument. And, of course, to take a closer look at the many new features.

Clavia Nord Stage 4 Piano's Maene
Clavia Nord fabriek Zweden

Clavia, the Swedish parent company behind Nord

Anyone who thinks of "Nord" immediately thinks of the iconic red keyboard instruments. The red colour was very innovative when the Swedish company Clavia launched their first Nord instruments in the 1990s. They drew inspiration from the vintage transistor organs of the 60s and 70s: the Vox Continental or the Farfisa Compact are just some of the models that hipsters used to travel from stage to stage at the time.

But Hans Nordelius, the great force behind Clavia Nord, wanted his instruments to offer musicians a much more mobile solution to all their keyboard problems. A lot of keyboardists (including himself) needed not only a piano for their performances, but also a vintage electric piano (such as the Fender Rhodes), some synthesisers, and a (leaden) Hammond B3 organ. Hans Nordelius wanted to be able to meet all these needs with one concept, with a lot less transport and back problems.

Moreover, he also wanted instruments that could evolve through software updates and downloads, so that everyone could load the latest developments into their instrument. So out of this mission was born the Nord Stage! All Nord instruments are entirely developed and built in Sweden, and use the best keyboards from FATAR, the Italian world player and specialist in piano keyboards for digital and electric pianos. "Made in Europe" is therefore really appropriate here.

Nord Stage heeft alle aspecten van HammondB3, Rhodes Piano, Steinway piano, Synthesizer

Nord Stage has all aspects of HammondB3, Rhodes Piano, Steinway piano, Synthesizer


The Nord Stage is thus a digital keyboard instrument that can meet the main needs of the keyboard player in any genre of music:

  • The need for a good digital piano sound, with the unique feature of being able to load samples from different brands (Steinway, Yamaha, Bösendorfer, Fazioli, Kawai, ...)
  • The need for a good vintage electric piano sound, with a choice of various models (Rhodes, Wurlitzer), including all their specific effects (tremolo, echo, overdrive, tube amp, ...)
  • The need for a good synthesiser, capable of generating the coolest analogue synthesiser sounds
  • The need for a sampler, which can load various sounds from a free library. These sounds range from imitations of acoustic instruments (strings, percussion, wind instruments, etc.) to effects and electronic soundscapes
  • The need for an organ, focusing on the main models in history: The Hammond B3 with Leslie, The VOX continental and the Farfisa Compact. But a church organ is also no problem.


Eenvoudige bediening van de Nord Stage 4

More buttons = easier to operate

The challenge in developing the Nord Stage was therefore to be able to integrate all these aspects into one instrument, but above all to also make it easy to operate.

With as many "analogue" controls as possible: rotary knobs and push buttons instead of complicated menu structures. This is also why the Nord Stage has such a striking appearance: the many knobs make the instrument look very complicated, while on the contrary, they make everything much easier and clearer to operate. So don't be put off by it.

In the meantime, the Nord Stage's controls have been copied by other brands (some Yamaha, Roland and Viscount stage pianos, etc.), which have also switched to controls with lots of sliders and knobs.

De Nord Piano Library - Chris Maene Collection

Lets take a closer look at some of the sections of the Nord Stage...

The Piano section:

First and foremost, the Nord Stage remains a top-quality digital piano. Unlike digital pianos from brands like Yamaha, Roland or Kawai, here you can choose which sample (from which brand) you want to use. The online piano-library (free to download for every owner of a Nord) includes samples of concert pianos, shorter pianos and upright pianos by Steinway & Sons, Yamaha, Bösendorfer, Shigeru Kawai, Fazioli ánd... the Chris Maene Collection: During a visit by Hans Nordelius to Piano's Maene, the idea arose to sample some of the instruments from Chris Maene's collection. An Anton Walter pianoforte ("Mozart Piano"), a replica Steinway N°1 and an original Broadwood grand piano went to Stockholm to be sampled. Since 2017, any Nord user can download the Chris Maene Collection into their instrument for free. No less than 2 GB of memory is available for storing the piano sounds. And of course, all sounds can be run through a professional effects session (reverb, delay) to sound optimal within the environment of the concert stage or living room.


Drawbars nu ook standaard op Nord Stage 4

The Hammond B3 section:

The Hammond B3 changed all genres of music since the 1950s: from soul, R&B over Jazz, Easy Listening to contemporary pop music. Very often, samples of these sounds are used in digital keyboard instruments. But this obviously limits the real-time changeability of the sound. The Nord Stage has a mimicry based on virtual modelling, allowing every aspect of the Hammond B3 to be modified and recreated in real-time. Of course, there are the drawbars (the "pull bars") for each foot size, the typical scanner vibrato and chorus, the percussion, the overdrive caused by the tube amplifiers and the click sound of the keys. But the "Leslie effect" (the speaker box with rotating horn and drum that creates the typical slow/fast vibrato sound using the doppler effect) is not missing either. Nord has one of the best imitations of the Leslie effect available today.

The Synthesiser section:

In the 1990s, Nord developed the very popular "Nord Wave" synthesiser. At that time, the analogue synthesiser was making a revival after a period of digitalisation in the 1980s. Nord used virtual modelling to create a successful "virtual analog" copy of the typical analog synthesiser sounds of the 1970s. A slimmed-down version of the Nord Wave was also co-integrated into the Nord Stage. The current Nord Stage 4 even integrates a full engine from the Nord Wave 2. It makes the instrument a top synthesiser, incorporating the main capabilities of any analogue synthesiser.

Nieuwe effect sectie op de Nord Stage 4

The new Nord Stage 4

Those who buy a Nord Stage are set for life. The instrument hardly ages at all. Successors are often instruments with more memory, but remain compatible in terms of sample library and possibilities. Even those who bought a Nord Stage 2, 2EX or 3 should not despair now that there is the new Nord Stage 4. This time however there's more than just a (memory) update. The Nord Stage 4 has received a thorough facelift. Below we list the most notable innovations:

Organ section: The Nord Stage 4 also has the unsurpassed organ emulations like the Hammond B3 Tonewheel, Vox Continental and Farfisa Compact. On top of that, it also has two different church organ models and a Vintage Rotary Speaker (Leslie) effect. For the first time, the Nord Stage 4 also provides physical drawbars on the control panel. LED indicators in turn provide visual feedback.

Piano section: Advanced String Resonance and Dynamic Pedal Noise technology provide an even more realistic playing experience for pianists of any level.

Synthesiser section: The synth sounds in the Nord Stage 4 are generated in the Nord Wave 2 Synth Engine. The instrument provides three independent layers and offers virtual, analogue, sample-based, FM and wavetable synthesiser options. The built-in arpeggiator (something for the real synth nerd, but oh so much fun) now has polyphonic gate and pattern mode. On top of that, the Nord Sample Library offers samples of strings, basses, choirs, guitars and more. The sample memory size has been doubled compared to the Nord Stage 3.

Effects section. The Nord Stage 4 features a powerful new effects section that allows separate effects to be configured for each of the sections (piano, organ, synth).... The Delay, Amp and Modulation processors have also been revamped, and the Reverb effect has gained new "Spring" (reverb spring), "Booth" and "Cathedral" settings.

Summary key novelties Nord Stage 4

  • Physical drawbars, including LED indication
  • Each section (organ, piano, synth) includes 2 faders for easy adjustment of any dual or split voices
    PANEL A-B (Nord Stage 3) changed to LAYER SCENE with direct access to layer/split voices and sound volumes in the different groups
  • Dynamic Compressor in the piano section
  • The Synth has a Nord Wave 2 engine, making 3 synth layers available instead of 2
  • The Synth features a more convenient display
  • Polyphonic arpeggiator for the synth, with functions such as chord repeater, inversion, gate)
  • Each section (2 x organ, 2 x piano, 2 x synth) now has its own Dynamic/Chorus and Reverb effect
  • Spring Reverb (the so-called "reverb spring") has been added as a new effect 
  • 8 instead of 5 memory slots per programme
  • Routing of external audio signal possible via the synth
  • Triple Sensor keyboard (previously only available on the Nord Piano and Nord Grand)
  • Sample memory: 2GB for the piano section (identical to Nord Stage 3), 960MB for the synth section (double that of the Nord Stage 3)