Nord is a popular brand of piano and synthesizer for live performance and is a favorite of the OnSong staff. What's great is that you can use OnSong to set the patch you want to play using OnSong's powerful MIDI capabilities.
Connecting to the Nord
OnSong uses CoreMIDI which means that any method of connecting your iOS device to MIDI will work. The easiest way is to use a standard USB printer cable and an Apple-branded Camera Connection Kit. While other USB adapters may work, they could have issues if they are not properly sanctioned by Apple. Simply connect the Apple Camera Connection Kit into your iOS device's Lightning port, and then connect the rectangular end of the USB cable into the Camera Connection Kit and then house-shaped end into the Nord's USB connector.
Testing the Connection
Every time you connect a MIDI device to the iOS device, it is registered as a MIDI source, destination, or both. Tap on the gear icon in the Menubar to open the Utilities Menu. Next, tap on Settings and choose MIDI Settings. Locate the Sources and Destinations options at the top of the menu. Tap into these and confirm that the Nord is available both as a MIDI source and destination. MIDI sources are devices that can provide MIDI events to OnSong. MIDI destinations are devices that can receive MIDI events. Nord keyboards are able to do both.
OnSong can change patches on keyboards using MIDI Program Changes. You can send MIDI events to your Nord for each song in your library. To do this on text-based chord charts, you can tap and hold on the title of the song to open the Section Mapping Menu. Here you can set up MIDI events to send when the song is viewed. To change the patches on the Nord, add a Program Change by tapping on the + button to open the MIDI Editor. Choose the Program Change type. You can then set the Program Change value (1-128) and then Bank Select (LSB 1-127) to select any patch in the Nord keyboard member.
If you're using an imported file such as a PDF, you can still do this with just a few more steps. Tap on the "A"/cursor icon in the Menubar to open the Song Editor. Next, tap on the information icon in the Menubar to open the Metadata Editor Menu. Scroll to the MIDI section at the bottom and tap on the send option. This will display the same MIDI Events interface where you can set MIDI to be send. The difference is that this will be saved to the text content of the song. Just tap Done and save your changes to have the MIDI associated with the song to be sent when viewed.
Every MIDI instrument handles program changes differently. Nord products tend to organize these patches into banks designated by a letter such as A, B, C, D, etc. Each bank has patches, but they are often organized in groups of five. These allow the patches to be matched to "live" buttons for quickly changing the patch while performing live. What this means is that patches will be listed as A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A11, A12, A13, A14, A15, A21, A22, etc. You'll notice that there is no A6. Every fifth number increments the "tenth". On my Nord Piano 3, it appears that these numbers go from 1 through 95. In reality, I have far less options. In reality I have 50 patches per bank.
To change patches, we need to remember this. If we want to switch to A55, we actually send program change 30. To calculate this, take the "tens" of the number, in this case "5" and multiple by "5" and add the "ones". The program change to use is thus 5x5+5 = 30. Don't blame OnSong. This is just how Nord designed the keyboard and, it does make a bit of sense once you work with it a little.
You can issue a program change and it will select the proper patch within the selected bank. Again, Nord keyboards use banks that are organized by letter. To use a program in bank "B", we need to use a bank select. OnSong allows you to send bank selects right along with a program change and handles sending things in the right order. To change to bank B, you would select MSB 0 and LSB 1 in the Bank Select section of the Program Change MIDI Editor. It is important to send the MSB with a value of 0. Omitting this appears to have no effect on changing the bank. You can change to Bank A with a value of 0, Bank B with a value of 1, Bank C with a value of 2, Bank D with a value or 3, etc. Remember that you combine these with a Program Change.
Listening for MIDI
Another way to do this is to let the Nord do the work! Use the program knob on the Nord to go to a patch just before the patch you want to record. For instance, if you want to record patch B23, go to patch B22. Next, in the MIDI Events Menu in OnSong, turn on the Listen for MIDI events switch at the bottom. Then use the knob on your Nord to change to B23. This program change along with bank selects will be recorded in your MIDI Events Menu, requiring no programming on your behalf.
I hope that helps get you started with using OnSong with a Nord keyboard. Some details may vary between different models and versions of Nord keyboards. Please consult the user manual of your keyboard for information on how to connect and configure your Nord with MIDI.