How Do I Connect My MIDI Keyboard to My Computer?

Connecting a MIDI keyboard to a computer is not difficult once you know how. If you are a musician or a composer, attaching your keyboard brings in a whole new dimension, changing your humble laptop into a fully functioning musical instrument.  So the big question is how do I connect my midi keyboard to my computer?

Let’s find out.

How do I connect my MIDI keyboard to my computer?

First, up locate the MIDI port on your keyboard. This will probably be situated at the back of the unit and you will see two ports labelled “MIDI OUT” and “MIDI IN”. If you can’t find these, there should be a USB port instead.

Now check out the ports on your computer. You can connect to your PC through a USB port if you have a MIDI to USB connector or a USB port on your keyboard. Some computers come with a pre-installed MIDI port but not all. If not you will have to go through the USB.

If you want to connect directly to the soundcard on your computer, you will need a 15-pin game port, which should be found on the back of your PC.

How do I connect my MIDI keyboard to my computer with the soundcard?

Connect the 15-pin male connector to the 15-pin port on the back of your PC. Connect the 5-pin “MIDI OUT” connector to the “MIDI IN” port on your keyboard. Connect the 5-pin “MIDI IN” connector to the “MIDI OUT” port on your keyboard.

How do I connect my MIDI Keyboard to My Computer with a USB port?

To connect the keyboard using a USB connection or MIDI to MIDI connection, connect one end of the USB or MIDI cord to the appropriate port on your PC. Connect the other end to the corresponding port on your MIDI controller keyboard.

Once you have physically connected the MIDI keyboard to the computer, the next stage is to configure the software.  You may find that your computer does this automatically, but if not check out the user’s manual. You may need to download drivers from the manufacturer.

Once the MIDI keyboard is connected to the computer, you should then go back to the manufacturer site to find out how to install the software and set up your keyboard.

In some cases, you may not be able to connect your MIDI keyboard to your computer, because you may not have the right connections. This is an easy fix. There is a range of USB to MIDI interfaces that you can buy online to make this connection easy. You can actually attach a keyboard to a tablet, iPhone, or other device that may not have the right ports and sockets by using an inexpensive adaptor.