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Learning on Nord C2D + pedalboard 27

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  • Learning on Nord C2D + pedalboard 27

    I am new to playing church organ. I have access to a church two evenings per week. I would like a practice instrument and have been looking around for solutions. I am asking for opinions on the Nord pedalboard to practice on.

    I would like a moveable solution that can be stashed away if we have guests. I will place the organ in the living room next to the stereo. Those constraints rules out the big ready made johannus, viscount etc

    One option is to build a system with MIDI components. I have read several threads on this topic with pros and cons. The costs adds up with quality components such as a good keyboard, a good pedalboard and a good height adjustable broad bench.

    Another option is to buy a Nord setup with C2D, pedalboard 27, keyboard and music stand. I have tried the C2D and although I liked the Nord Electro 5 keys more, I think it is an OK keyboard that I could learn to live with. The baroque organ is also OK, I did not understand how to try all the, according to documentation, sampled sounds but the ones I did try was likeable. I am mainly interested in baroque church music and, if I go the Nord route, I would probably explore the rest of the instruments features.

    The one thing I have not tried is the pedalboard which no shop seems to have in stock. I like that it does not require a huge bench, instead you can sit in front of the pedalboard. The pedals seems to be a few mm broader than my church's organ and the spacing betweeen two pedals seems to differ a few mm.

    Is there any church musician in the forum that can recommend the Nord 27 pedalboard for practicing?

  • #2
    I have not used a Nord 27 pedalboard, but based on looking at a picture of the pedalboard, I would recommend against it. I have played AGO, flat, and princess pedalboards. This looks worse than a princess pedalboard, and that is going some. If your intent is to become proficient with a real pedalboard for classical organ music, you need some features this unit is missing:

    These pedals are too short to be played with two feet.
    These pedals look like they are hinged at the front, instead of at the back like a real pedalboard. The pedals will move in the wrong direction when you press them down.
    They are flat, not radiating/concave like an AGO pedalboard. When you are getting started, there is no reason to make it harder than you need to.

    You also need a bench so that you are above the pedals. Sitting in front of the pedalboard would put you at a very strange angle, and would not match what you will have with a real pedalboard and bench.

    There are at least two aspects to learning the pedals. First, you need to learn to control your hands and feet together. Second, you need to learn where things are by touch, so you need to be in approximately the right position with pedals of the right dimension and geometry. These pedals don't fill any of these needs.


    • #3
      For practicing your keyboard technique, a single keyboard is perfectly OK, and the range of samples doesn't matter a whole lot. I'd think most any 61-note keyboard of decent quality would do for a start. Once when unable to have an organ in the house I practiced for months on a Casio keyboard with an "organ" sound. Not terribly exciting to the ears, but perfectly good for fingering practice.

      As to pedals, I agree with the above. A flat stubby pedalboard will not be a good substitute or give you much of a feel for a real pedalboard. I once had to make do with a 27-note Yamaha pedalboard which was slightly concave and radiating but not genuine AGO. It was OK, though there was always a bit of an adjustment to make when moving between my pedals and the AGO pedals at church. Best bet would be get hold of an old Allen or Rodgers true AGO pedalboard that has been equipped with a MIDI adapter and plug it into the MIDI-IN of your keyboard.

      If you get tired of the "organ" patch on a keyboard, you might find one of those Content CSE-220 boxes. This little MIDI device can be found now and then for a few hundred dollars and will give you a selection of about 20 decent organ stops that can be mixed and combined just like the stops on a regular organ console. You could use your pedals and 61-note keyboard to drive the box and get a rather nice sound and organ-playing experience.

      I understand your reluctance to get into Hauptwerk and other computer-centered MIDI solutions, though that might be your endpoint one of these days.

      Good luck!
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!