Gigging musicians will want to check out the Nord Piano 88, which has been designed with live performance in mind. This new 88 key stage piano from Nord weighs in at just 39.6 pounds, but it’s heavy on features. In addition to 24 banks of 5 programs totaling 120 different program possibilities, it includes modeling of sympathetic string resonance and authentic pedal noise, which capture the realism of an acoustic upright or grand piano. The factory sounds loaded into the piano memory can also be exchanged and replaced with new sounds from the Nord piano library, which are free and downloadable from the Nord website through the Piano 88’s USB connectivity. MIDI over USB is also available with this unit, in addition to standard 5-pin MIDI connectors.

The Nord Piano 88 feature set includes the standards as well, with three bands of EQ, three amp models, six reverb algorithms (two each of stage, hall, and room), and an effects library with the usual suspects. Some handy global and panel options on the unit: the transpose feature, with a range of -6 to +6 semitones, and Kbd touch, which allows you to alter the velocity response of the piano. Finally, the Piano 88 comes with a triple pedal, with sustain, soft pedal, and sostenuto, to make full use of the capabilities of this piano player’s keyboard.

stutteredit large screenshot

Also announced at NAMM and available now is the Stutter Edit plugin from iZotope. The result of a collaboration with electronica musician BT (‘stutter edit’ is the name of his signature musical technique), the plugin is a playable effect for laptop performers on stage or in the studio.

The Stutter Edit performs real time audio slicing and manipulation, with gate, pan, delays, filters, and lo-fi settings in addition to the stutter effects. Designed with an intuitive MIDI control layout that allows you to play the effect as if it were an instrument, the plugin allows on-the-spot rhythmic variation effects and sonic coloring.

“Stutter Edit exists because I wanted to step on stage with a laptop and improvise the complex and musical rhythmic effects that sometimes took me days of trial and error to create,” explains BT. “I’m elated to partner with iZotope and unveil Stutter Edit to the world, and I can’t wait to see what other producers, composers and sound designers will do with this insane new effect. I truly believe this will dramatically change the topography and scope of what is possible with live sound design and remixing.”

To hear the full potential of the effects engine, check out this demo video, or listen to audio examples of the various effects on iZotope’s features page.  The Stutter Edit will be available for $149 through Feb. 14th, and $249 thereafter. –Mike Bauer