Using MIDI channels onstage between Nord & Kurzweil

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Hi guys. Hope you don't mind another newbie thread.

I've been using a Nord Electro 2 rack "brain" with my Kurzweil SP88 in a frequently gigging Motown/funk cover band. The problem is, I can only play one sound at once, whether it be the Kurz sound or the Nord, because I don't have a second keyboard.

I am going to upgrade to the Electro 3 61 soon, if the ebay gods are kind. What I want to do is run a two-tiered keyboard setup that goes completely through the Nord, but splits those Nord sounds between the two keyboards and uses the Kurz as just a controller for one Nord sound and the Electro 3 keys to play another. Ideally, I would be able to play a Nord clav on one keyboard and a Nord B3 on the other. Main advantage is: I could save the weighted SP88 for the Nord sounds that feel better with a weighted keyboard and I wouldn't have to buy a bloody 4k Nord stage piano!

Is there a good guide for this sort of thing? I know how to split the keyboard, but not how to assign different sounds to different keyboard controllers. I am very new to MIDI channels and so far I just plug in the MIDI cord and play. I've checked out books like "MIDI for Dummies" and just been flabbergasted by the breadth of it all. I'm searching for specific Nord knowledge.
 
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Welcome to the forums.

MIDI out from SP88 into the Electro 3.

Are you midi literate enough to set the midi transmit channel on the SP88 to 2 then to program "performances" (or whatever Nord call them) so that:

Nord sound you want when you play the Nord keyboard is on channel 1
Nord sound you want when you play the from SP88 is on channel 2

Just turn the SP88 volume down when you don't want to hear the sound it's producing - that keeps it simple. You may be able to change some setting so that it bypasses the internal sound but ... for gigging you should probably keep it simple.

The Nord keyboard - check the manual and make sure it's only transmitting on midi channel 1 and not "omni."

Post back once you have your Nord keyboard and let us know how you get on.
 
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Apparently I'm not MIDI literate enough. I've been trying to figure this out for quite a while.

I can transmit on 2 from the Kurzweil, but the only thing I can get the Nord to do so far is give me a second organ sound for the second tier of the organ. I need to be able to control several different sounds on each channel. Is anyone here good at the MIDI on an Electro?

The Nord famously won't split, but I thought it would transmit two sounds at once.
 
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Ok i've just had a flick through the Manual quickly, here : http://www.nordkeyboards.com/downloads/manuals/nord electro 2/Nord Electro 2 Manual v3.0 (eng).pdf

Apparently the Nord Electro is Monotimbral, which means it can receive MIDI data on only ONE channel, that's it. So you basically have to decide which channel you want it to receive on and have done with it, the Nord Lead is Multitimbral to four parts (Four channels). Apparently in "Organ" mode it can become BiTimbral (two channels) so one keyboard can act as the lower manual of an organ.
You want to look at page 15 for the basics on setting up the MIDI channel.
Your need to control "several different sounds on each channel" isn't going to happen I'm afraid.
 
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Yeah, I've been slowly figuring that out. It will split between keyboards, but only in Hammond mode. I could use the Sample editor to make a split keyboard sample so I think I might do that.
 
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There are two issues you will run into with the electro 2 and 3.

Clavia (nord) messed up their MIDI control coding and cheaped out on the MIDI hardware interface by tying what is supposed to be connected to a 5V power rail to the 3.3v CPU power. I'm 100 percent sure they did this so they wouldn't have to do a voltage level shift circuit between MIDI interface and the 3.3v logic connected to the CPU.

Issues:

1. The MIDI code generated by pressing the instrument toggle (piano/organ) on the electro 2 and 3 are reversed.

Pressing the Piano/Organ button on either of the keyboards will toggle the alternate keyboard to the wrong mode.

2. The MIDI spec calls for 5V power on MIDI output pin 4. The electros are connected to 3.3V which is insufficient to power an external MIDI control processor (like a MIDI Solutions device) to correct the miss-coded keyboard command.

I just got done talking to Nord at NAMM 2012 and there response to my request for them to fix the MIDI command issue was pretty much "take a hike" / "We don't care"

I had hoped they would simply issue a firmware patch to fix this issue, but its not going to happen.

So while Nord makes some great keybaords, their after sale customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
 

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