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Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Clavia intros Nord C2 Combo Organ: impressively versatile

Clavia Nord C2 combo organ

Last month, Clavia announced its new Nord C2 Combo Organ, combining the sounds of a B3 tonewheel organ, a Vox Continental, a Farfisa and a baroque pipe organ.

Beautifully constructed, the C2 uses cutting edge sampling technology to extract the best sounds from each instrument.

The C2 is an extremely versatile instrument, providing not only rock organ players a new palette of sounds, but also the perfect instrument to use in churches, concert and congregation halls or any other venue where a high quality pipe organ instrument is paramount.


From the golden age of organ building, Clavia has carefully chosen a baroque organ with a devastatingly beautiful sound and wide range of expression for the C2 pipe organ part. Using cutting edge sampling technique, no efforts have been spared in producing the richest and most varied sound palette for the pipe organ player.

The C2 pipe organ is built upon two basic types of organ pipes; flue pipes and reed pipes. The flue pipes have a softer timbre and the reed pipes a more nasal tone quality. For each keyboard division the player can choose from different sets of pipes, stops, to produce different timbres. The C2´s setup of stops make up a well-balanced blend of tonal qualities capable of expressing the most dramatic music to conveying the subtlest of organ pieces.

Stops and Couplers

In the pipe organ each manual has its own sound; the Great division being the part of the organ with the majestic sound, whereas the Swell has a more mellow tonal quality. The Couplers are used to activate combinations of different stops from both manuals, so that pressing keys on one manual also connects stops from the other manual or pedal, making them sound as well. The Pedal division has three bass stops, which the user can choose to play from the lower manual, by attaching the Nord Pedal Keys 27 (accessory), or by attaching a 30-note classic digital organ pedal (optional).


Swell (Manual II)

Fugara 8
Rohrflöte 8
Principal 4
Spitzflöte 4
Nasat 3
Flöte 2
Vox Celeste
Scharf II-III
Oboe 8

Great (Manual I)

Principal 8
Gamba 8
Gedackt 8
Octava 4
Rohrflöte 4
Qvinta 3
Octava 2
Mixtur III-IV
Trumpet 8


Subbas 16
F-got 16
Gedackt 8


SW 16/GR
Swell 16
Swell 4

The disposition has the fundamental tonal character of a baroque organ. The total number of stops is 21; 9 stops for every manual and 3 pedal stops (of which one is a combined Subbas 16 and F-got 16). In addition to the three unison couplers usually found in two manual organs, the C2 Combo Organ also features three octave couplers and a special coupler that adds the Pedal to the leftmost note played on the Great manual.

Swell pedal and tremulant

One of the crucial ingredients for creating a vivid sound is the swell pedal. In the C2 Combo Organ this functions exactly as in the real-life models, giving the player intimate control over volume and dynamics of the swell manual. Another indispensable aid to make the pipe organ sound even a bit more vibrant is the tremulant. This is a function that basically gives small and very rapid variations in volume, thereby causing the sound to “tremulate”. The C2 provides two speeds, each with three variable depths.

It´s not only about the music, it´s also about the player

So, not only does the C2 Combo Organ provide an extremely well balanced set of pipes, stops and couplers, but has also kept the setup close to reality for the pipe organ player to easily find his way around. Controls are exactly where you will expect to find them, and in no time you will discover that this portable and compact instrument does the whole work that the organ in the town church has done. But is so much easier to carry along.


Clavia has made digital models of tonewheel organs for more than a decade and the C2 Combo Organ is equipped with its third generation tonewheel model.

Not only has Clavia analyzed the signals from each of the 91 spinning discs inside several original instruments, but has also paid years of attention to each and everyone of the intricate details that makes the characteristics of the actual sound in a vintage organ. How the tonewheels interact with each other, what the crosstalk and leakage in the original designs means to the sound, and what happens when you use the instrument to the limits of its ability.

Clavia knows this, and has made sure that the C2 tonewheel model responds in a manner with what it thinks is hands down the best performance organ on the market.

The virtual circuitry in the B3 model reacts not only to the settings on the panel but also during the real time performance. The C2 Combo Organ will faithfully reproduce the important foldback and energy robbing characteristics; the latter will produce the gentle compression effect that makes those lovely smears absolutely wonderful. There are 4 tonewheel modes that allows you to switch from a clean, factory spec’d instrument to a worn and battered workhorse with some 40 years worth of touring.

It’s all about the performance

The individual tonewheel levels are controlled with Clavia’s digital drawbars that are just as fast and ergonomic to set up as their physical counterparts. This modern design provides you with the ability to store your favourite settings, to be instantly recalled and edited in real time during a performance. You also get the unique opportunity to dial in a new setting with the digital drawbars while playing, without the change taking effect until you say so.

Get your fingers on the waterfall type keyboard and you will not only hear, but also feel the difference. An ultra fast trigger-to-sound response time in the C2 Combo Organ offers a superior performance compared with any other hardware or software products, just as the originals. Clavia has modelled the crucial key click and key release bursts from the mechanical busbar design with its close to 1200 switches. The actual keys themselves have a firm mechanical action to provide you with the rock solid feel of an original vintage instrument.

You have direct access to every important function on the panel. Clavia has a strong belief in that a performance is not only about what you play, but also how you use an instrument.

Vibrato, chorus and percussion

Other essential mechanical and electrical components in the original instrument like the scanner that provides the vibrato and chorus with their deep impact on the sound, and the components and behavior of the percussion are of course present in the C2 Combo Organ. The vibrato and chorus with the rotating scanner and its analog circuitry are carefully modeled to be as alive as the tonewheels.

Everything in the percussion including the monophonic behavior, filter, distortion, and envelope characteristics has been carefully and faithfully replicated. You can adjust some of the percussion functions to be able to set the sound to suit your needs and we even give you the option to keep the 9th drawbar or not, when the percussion is turned on.


The C2 Combo Organ includes accurate models of the two most popular transistor organs of the 1960s, offering you that massive savage sound created by their 12-top oscillator frequency-divider designs. With the C2, you get the same dynamic behaviour and unique response as in the original instruments.

The Farfisa Compact Deluxe, considered by many to be the mother of transistor organs, involves routing matrixes and complex filter combinations that offer a tailored sound with massive energy and high-end. The Vox Continental’s brute design brings you a more hollow tone, but still with a very intense character.

As with the tonewheel organ, both transistor organs have their own unique, irreplaceable personalities. Combine them with any of the C2 Combo Organ’s speaker simulations, add some distortion, adjust EQ and they will definitely light your fire.


A dual manual organ would not be complete without the ability to play bass notes on a pedal board. The C2 Combo Organ includes two additional bass register drawbars with selectable timbre from vintage tonewheels, pipe organ bass stops or a synth bass, modeled after a famous vintage add-on unit.

The bass can be controlled with any MIDI-equipped bass pedal board connected to the dedicated Bass Pedal MIDI input, or by splitting the lower manual.


The C2’s rotary speaker simulation features a true life-like experience. It incorporates the acoustic variations that occur as a physical rotating speaker spreads the sound around in a room, providing the full experience of moving the air around. The rotary speed can be controlled with a foot switch, from the panel or by using a half-moon switch (accessory).

The rotary simulation in the C2 is Clavia’s best one yet, created by mic’ing up several original cabinets with different sets of treble and bass rotors and spending lots of time analyzing their audio responses. This painstaking effort means a brand new rotary model in the C2 Combo Organ which is available together with the previous rotary that so many users have said so many nice things about.

Connect the C2 Combo Organ to a quality cabinet with the standard 11-pin Leslie connector and use the Half Moon switch or the C2 panel buttons to control the rotary speed. The Leslie interface on the C2 uses a high voltage output which is vital to experience the true soul of a screaming, or for that matter, a whispering organ. This high level output is also available on a ¼” jack on the C2 back panel.


The 3-band equalizer along with three types of speaker simulations and a powerful overdrive offers you total control of your sound. Add a feedback-delay with tap-tempo functionality, and several types of reverberation and you truly have an all-in-one effect section with stunning sound right out of the box. This will tailor your sounds for any occasion.


With so many organ types at your disposal, it is vital to be able to route these to appropriate amplifier- and sound systems. The C2 Combo Organ is equipped with a stereo output pair (L and R on 1/4″ jacks) and a set of high level outputs (a 1/4″ jack and a 11-pin Leslie* connector). This provides you with the flexibility to e.g. route the tonewheel to a rotary speaker and the pipe organ to a PA. It is also possible to use the tonewheel in a rotary and a PA with rotary simulation at the same time, or to route the transistor models to an amplifier.


A swell pedal is an essential tool for expressiveness with any organ and the C2 is of course capable of using any good quality expression pedal. The rotary speed can be controlled from a foot switch or the half moon switch, and there’s also a sustain pedal input.

The MIDI connectors allow you to use the Nord C2 to control other units or to use it together with a computer or sequencer. Plug in your mp3 or CD player to the monitor input to be able to play along, rehearse or jam with previously recorded music without the need of an external mixer or sound system. The signal that is present at this input will be monitored through the C2’s headphone output.


Having three vintage organs and a baroque pipe organ in your studio is fun, but it’s even better when you can easily carry them with you to a gig. That is why the C2 Combo Organ is lightweight and portable. With the optional gig bag, you can carry the massive power of these monster organs in one hand; weighing in at merely 15,5 kg (34 lb) you will save energy for your performance.

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