Nomad 0.4 for macOS and Windows

I started the Nomad 0.4 build from the previous 0.3.2 version for making the Nord Modular (classic / NM1) open source editor work again on macOS. The focus is on running the application without changes of it's previous version: to resolve MIDI in/out issues and have a build for newer Java and macOS versions. I'm actually a Windows user and trying to help to get Apple owners with a working version again. Jan Punter (aka Blue Hell from helped out looking for solutions, testing and debugging several options and found a solution for 'emulating' working MIDI devices on macOS. Thank you Jan!

Further more, I did not write Nomad. I did start writing jMod in 1995, which was not more than a Patch GUI without hardware support, but it kicked off an early staring point of NMEdit/Nomad. Most of the kudos must go to Christian Schneider (Nomad Editor), Marcus Andersson (Nord Modular communication libraries) and Jan Punter (reverse engineering the Nord Modular protocol).

The current version runs on macOS, so the main focus is achieved! The user base is not that large, so by downloading it you are also testing. Please be gentle, I don't own Apple hardware and can not test every single macOS version. I run it in VitualBox on Mojave.


You need Java:

For macOS, there now is a bundled Java version! See downloads below.

Please use Java version 8, this is the version I'm developing and testing on. You can download the JRE here: JRE 8 latest version or JRE 8 update 202.
REMARK: When working with Oracle Java JRE/JDK 8 update 211 (or later), you have to pay a licence when using it commercially. Use Oracle Java JRE/JDK 8 update 202 or earlier for a commercially free version. For personal use you can use the lastest version for free. See: "releases starting April 16, 2019"

For Windows:

Install Java JRE 8 and download and unzip the somewhere and double click the nomad.cmd file.

For macOS:

  1. You can download the latest version with Java 8 Update 202 bundled or you need to have the Java Runtime (JRE) installed to run Nomad.
    This was always the case, but Apple decided to remove Java by default from macOS since 10.7, so you need to install it in later versions of macOS (>= 10.7).
    You need Java 7 or 8 (we only tested 8), because the added (working) MIDI libraries are made for version 7 and 8. I don't expect the older (pre-installed) Java 6 to work, so please use Java version 8. The default Java home location is assumed when starting Nomad. This is set to `/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home/` and can be changed in the `Contents/Resources/Java/` script in the package if needed.

  2. Download the
    Download and unzip the somewhere. This might also directly into the /Application/ folder. You should see the new red Nomad icon without the 'broken package' overlay on it and open it without any errors. It might be that the very first time the application does not pass the splash screen, we are aware of this issue. If there is no splash screen, there might be an issue with the default Java home location. You can change the Java home location Nomad is using, see above about installing Java.

    If double clicking asks you to install Java version 1.6, but you know you have a later version, don't install Java 1.6. This is an old legacy version we want to move away from. Please download and install the JRE version 8 on which I'm are currently developing and testing on. If you don't want to do this, then please stop here!

  3. You might need to open the Nomad app package.
    If there is no splash screen or you see a 'broken package' overlay, you unfortunatly need to open the package and you need to do this little workaround.

    Go into the package (right click the icon / .app folder and click `Show Package Contents`), browse to `Contents/Resources/Java` and double click the `nomad.jar`.

  4. Gatekeeper.
    Apple doesn't trust nomad.jar. I'm not a registered developer... For more information from the Apple website, go here and read about: Safely open apps on your Mac.

    Click the ? icon:

    Scroll to 'Open the General pane for me':

    Click 'Open Anyway':

    Now the 'Open' button apears:

  5. Success?
    If all goes well, Nomad has started. The icon and splash screen are red, to indicate this is the 0.4 version. The first time it might be that the splash screen apears, but noting else (known issue). Quit and go into the package a second time, browse and double clicking the `nomad.jar` should work now.

Connect to synth:

In Nomad you need to 'add a synth' first: (File > New > Synth > Nord Modular). When you have added a synth you need to go the synth connection settings and configure the ports. This is the wrench icon in the left bottom window, besides the synth image. This is were things have changed!

In the midi input and midi output drop-down boxes, you should see your midi hardware ports. On macOS these are prefixed with `CoreMIDI4J - ` (or similar, see image below on this page). If something is different, please tell us! (via Forums you got this link from). On Windows systems, there are no duplicated ports, select the original ones.

Click apply and close, you will go back to the editor.

Now your current patch from the NM should load. If not, you need to connect to the synth first, this is the orange diamond icon in the left bottom Window, besides the synth.

Time to fiddle around. If things do not work or are unclear, please let me know.


Version macOS Windows
0.4.20191218 bundled with JRE 8u202 0.4.20191218_JRE_8u202  
0.4.20191218 0.4.20191218 Nomad 0.4.20191218
0.4.20191216 0.4.20191216 Nomad 0.4.20191216
0.4.20191212 0.4.20191212 Nomad 0.4.20191212

GitHub repositories

Nomad: GitHub Airell/nmedit repository
CoreMidi4J: GitHub DerekCook/CoreMidi4J repository <- the libraries that made this possible!

Tested environments

OS Version Java Version Result
macOS <= 10.11 - Not tested! Please tell me if it works or not!
macOS 10.12, Sierra Unknown Works, tested on hardware
macOS 10.13, High Sierra Oracle Java JRE 8 update 202 and 231 Works, tested on hardware
macOS 10.14, Mojave Oracle Java JRE 8 update 202 and 231 Works, tested on a virtual machine
macOS 10.14, Mojave Open JDK 9 and 13 Does not work
macOS 10.15, Catalina Unknown Works, tested on hardware after updating to latest MIDI driver software
Windows 7 and 10 Oracle Java JRE 8 update 202 Works, tested on hardware


OS/Java Version Issue Fix/Workaround
macOS Start with double click from app folder Fixed in 0.4.20191218 (to be verified more)
Windows/macOS? Opening or Saving .pch files result in a 'Could not find service to open file.' error. Fixed in 0.4.20191216
macOS Making Nomad work again in macOS and have working MIDI communication Fixed in 0.4.20191212

Known issues

OS/Java Version Issue Fix/Workaround
Windows Naming a patch results in a red text box Impact unknown, blocking?
macOS Real time knob and lights info do not get updated Try to rotate the knob past the shown value again
all Reflected renaming modules is not reflected in the 'Knobs' window -
all Allignment of knobs in the 'Knobs' window depends on the name (or lack thereof) -
all Deleting modules does not work (all the time) -


OS/Java Version Request Done in version
macOS Remove 'Boot menu' -
all Close Dialogs with Escape button -
all Less 'Are you sure' messages -
all Highlighting cable (with single/double click) -
all Different modes of knob movement (cicrular/vertical/horizontal) -
all Make remembering last edits configurable -
all Cable shake with Alt-Space (or temporarly hide cables) -
all Make 'Knobs' window stay visible if the focus is lost (configurable) -
all Numeral feedback on the knobs -


Midi ports

A screenshot of the Java ports in Nomad and macOS MIDI Studio:

Main screen

This site is created with VIM and pre-millennium html knowledge... (I'd rather spend time on Nomad than on a fancy website).