How to Connect a Musical Keyboard to Your Computer

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Recording music to a computer is now possible with a real keyboard and a piano. You just need to connect the musical instrument to the computer so that the music played and recorded can be digital. Editing, enhancing, and creating a new song with the aid of good software can be easily done once this is completed.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- MIDI/ USB cable
- MIDI/ USB/ soundcard game port
- musical keyboard manual
- musical keyboard
Step 1
Study the musical keyboard’s manual and included cables. Check the types of cables included in the package. Most musical keyboards today have Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) in and out cables. Some may include connections for MIDI and USB ports.
Step 2
Determine the ports in the computer. It should have a port compatible with the musical keyboard’s cable, which is mostly MIDI. Common computers today already have MIDI ports. However, there are some that do not have this kind of port. USB and soundcard game ports can be your alternatives in a case like this.
Step 3
Decide on the best connection from the musical keyboard to the computer. It can be MIDI to USB, MIDI to soundcard gameport, MIDI to MIDI, or USB to USB.
Step 4
Make sure the computer and keyboard are not connected to any electric outlet. Remove the plugged cables to the computer and the keyboard.
Step 5
Connect the MIDI cable to the keyboard port. The MIDI in should be connected to the IN port, while the MIDI out should be connected to the OUT port. There is usually a label at the back of the keyboard that says IN and OUT.
Step 6
Proceed to this step if your computer has a USB port and your keyboard has a USB cable. This option is ideal if you will connect the musical keyboard to a laptop. You do not have to worry about software configurations since most USB ports today are plug-and-play.
Step 7
Use this step if your keyboard has a MIDI cable and your computer has a MIDI port. Most soundcards today have MIDI ports. Just plug the cable and you are ready to play the musical keyboard.
Step 8
Newer musical keyboards today have USB in and out cables. If your computer has a USB port, just connect the USB out cable to the port and you are already done.
Step 9
If none of these options is available, then your option is to use your soundcard gameport. This can be a cheaper option but gameports nowadays are not that common. However, since it is also connected to the soundcard, it should also work well with your musical keyboard.
Step 10
Connect the keyboard and computer to the power outlet to determine if the connection is fine. You may also be required to install a device driver for the musical keyboard.