Stage-73 V2 - General Questions

The Stage 73 is a faithful recreation of the classic Fender electric piano. Its sound is modeled by computing the instruments physical components. By using accurate mathematical models of each instrument’s components, any sound detail can be easily recreated without having to use any samples.

The Stage 73 features 2 keyboard models, the Stage and the Suitcase. Both have their own character and functions. To switch from one to the other, click on the dedicated button on the top right part of the window.

  • Stage Model

  • The Stage model has a basic tone control and can reproduce the sound characters of the ’73 and ‘74 tone circuit models. You can go from one to the other by using the switch on the front panel.

    • The Tone knob (’73 model only) controls the amount of brightness.

    • The Bass Boost knob (’74 model only) boosts the bass content.

    • The Volume knob defines the output level.

    While both models share most of their components, having different tone circuits gives each of them distinctive color possibilities.

  • Suitcase Model

  • The Suitcase model features a preamp, a power amp, a dual tone control and vibrato.

    • Enable or disable the Power Amp with the plug on the left end of the front panel.

    • Control the tone with the Treble and Bass sliders.

    • Enable or disable the Vibrato with the dedicated switch and adjust its Intensity and Speed with both corresponding knobs.

    Useful tips:

  • Plug in the Power Amp and push up the Volume to overdrive the amplifier and create warm harmonics.

  • The Volume parameter controls the output level before the Power Amp/Effects section. If you are using effects, adjust the instrument’s main volume with the Out parameter on the FX Panel.

  • Use the Vibrato’s unique signature to add movement and depth to your sound.
  • The Advanced Panel can be opened by clicking on Advanced button on the upper right corner of the window. You will find exclusive features that extend the instruments functionality. Notice that while some parameters produce notable changes, other will be subtle to the untrained ear.

    Velocity Curve

    This is an essential tool that lets you tailor the instrument’s response to your playing. The velocity corresponds to the force with which a note is played. This measurement is converted to a number attached to every MIDI note and is fundamental to capture the player’s expression. Like with acoustic instruments, playing stronger affects the volume and, most importantly, the harmonic content, which is key for the instrument’s expressiveness.

    With the velocity curve, you can determine the instrument’s response to your playing. Left-click anywhere on the curve to add a node, and right-click to delete it. You can drag the node where you want on the curve. Drag a segment between 2 nodes to create an exponential or a logarithmic curve.

    Play around with the instrument while changing the velocity curve and focus on how it affects the instrument’s response to your playing. If you feel that you have to restrain yourself from playing hard, or push yourself to play harder in order to get the right sound, set your custom velocity curve so you can play as naturally as possible.

    Instrument Section

    The Instrument section provides alternative sound engine models together with other sound-defining parameters.

    Feel free to explore the endless possibilities by switching models, changing the hammer hardness and trying out different output captures. You can also modify the global tuning of the instrument.

    Useful tips:

  • A hard hammer produces a fast attack with rich harmonic content. A soft hammer will produce more delicate tones.

  • The output setting determines if the sound is captured using a direct line (mono or stereo) or from the ambient (room).

  • Noise Section

    This section lets you adjust the noises produced by the instrument’s mechanical parts and electronic components. You can play around with the pickup, the hammers, the tines and the damper noises to make your sound more personal and find your own signature.

    Useful tips:

  • The inherent background noise in vintage hardware has contributed to its characteristic warm organic tones. Push up the pickup noise to enjoy the full experience.

  • An authentic electric piano sound wouldn’t be such without its mechanical component’s characteristic noises. Just find the right balance that fits your needs.

  • Mechanics Section

    This section lets you fine-tune your sound by controlling the pickup’s positions and the damper’s response.

  • The Pickup Distance determines the distance between the pickups and the tines.
  • The Pickup Alignment adjusts the Pickup’s alignment relative to the Tines.
  • The Damper Duration defines the amount of time for the damper to become fully effective.

  • Useful tips:

  • A greater pickup distance will diminish the presence of the higher harmonics. The pickup alignment affects the harmonic balance, enhancing some of them while diming others.

  • On a piano, dampers mute the sound when keys are released. The damper duration parameter softens the damper strength, creating a fade-out when keys are released.

  • Set high values for Pickup distance, alignment and damper duration, and add a long reverb for surreal key sounds.
  • The Effects panel lets you combine up to 4 effect pedals, an amplifier and a reverb all together. To open the Effects panel, click on the FX button in the upper right corner of the window.

    Choose one of the 13 effect pedals available from a Flanger to a Cry Wah. Explore endless possibilities by mixing several effects together and find the ones that fit to your sound.

    Note that the effect slots are set in series. Changing the order of your selected effects could deeply change the outcome. Simply drag and drop and effect to an empty slot to rearrange your order if needed.

    Each effect slot, as well as the Amplifier and the Reverb have their own bypass button.