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Our guide to the Nord Piano Sample file sizes
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Our guide to the Nord Piano Sample file sizes

One of the great features of Nord keyboards is the ability to freely swap in and out piano samples to customise your keyboard to suit your playing requirements.

Nord’s state-of-the-art sampling technology captures all the nuances and character of all of the pianos in their exclusive Piano Library and these can all be easily replaced using Nord’s Sound Manager app. However, there is sometimes some confusion regarding the quality of the samples when related to their file sizes. This short blog is intended to clarify those issues and dispel some myths!

Nord understand that different players have different needs when it comes to piano sounds, so their Piano Samples come in various sizes, allowing you to decide which ones to download, depending on the type of sounds you are after  and the size of your instrument’s memory.  

The XL files are better sound quality than the Small ones - yes?

No! The first myth to dispel is that there is no difference in audio quality between the different file sizes. The Small, Medium, Large and XL Piano files were all sampled from the same pianos at the same time, so they all share the same stereo piano samples and velocity mapping.  

The differences in file size are due to all the additional ‘pedal down’ String Resonance sample layers that each file contains.

Advanced String Resonance  

‘Pedal down’ String Resonance is unique to Nord and accurately reproduces the complex interplay of the piano strings, including all the rich ambience of a real piano when playing with the pedal down. This ambience of the piano samples is sometimes mistaken for reverb, when, in fact, it is actually the natural acoustics of the piano itself.

Nord Triple Pedal with Dynamic Pedal Noise  

The Nord Triple Pedal enables players to use the Pedal Noise feature which dynamically simulates the mechanical sounds of lifting and releasing the damper mechanism.

So, what does each file size contain?


In the table, below, you can see that all the sizes contain the same stereo samples and velocity mapping.

The Medium size files then have the additional ‘pedal down’ String Resonance samples added to the important central area of the keybed.

The Large size files have the ‘pedal down’ String Resonance samples added, but for the entire length of the keybed.

And the XL files have the ‘pedal down’ String Resonance and the piano samples fully mapped across the whole keybed.

So, what are the best sizes to use?

If you are a gigging musician, requiring a large variety of different piano sounds, then you could load in the S or M piano files. The more subtle differences offered by the L and XL files would never be heard or appreciated when you are playing in a big venue with a band and these smaller files would allow you to fit more pianos into your keyboard. 

Nord are also considering players with older models that might not have the capacity for the larger file sizes. By providing smaller file sizes, players with older Nord keyboards can still have access to the majority of the Nord Pianos in the Piano Library, even when new Pianos are added.

If you are using your Nord for recording, home use or more intimate acoustic and solo performances, then the L or XL files would be the best option. All the ‘pedal down’ and String Resonance noise would enhance the performance by bringing extra realism to your Piano sound.

Customise your keyboard


Having these different file sizes available, means that each Nord owner can easily mix and match to get the best combination of pianos to suit their particular requirements. And, as they are all free, these can be swapped out at any time if those requirements change. 

Check out our Sound Manager Speedy Tutorials for more details on how to easily transfer Piano samples in and out of your Nord keyboard!


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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.