How To Connect Your Piano To Your Computer To Help You Practice, Write and Orchestrate Your Own Music (VIDEO)

OLD MIDI Setup From Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels

OK, so this photo is of a pretty OLD MIDI setup, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia!

In this post, I’ll show you how to hook up your electronic piano or keyboard to your computer and begin taking advantage of the fabulous technology known as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

There will actually be very little video about the actual hookup, since that part is very simple. In fact, here’s what you need:

  • A MIDI-enabled piano or keyboard (look for the MIDI In, Out and Thru connections on the back)
  • A computer with an available USB port
  • A USB-MIDI interface, like theĀ E-Mu Xmidi 1X1 V3 USB MIDI Interface found at Amazon (about $25)

And here’s what to do:

  • Plug the interface into your computer and let your computer automatically install the drivers. If it does NOT, you may need to use the CD included with your MIDI interface, or simply download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website
  • Using a MIDI cable (available online or from your local music store), or simply using the interface itself (like the E-Mu), connect the MIDI OUT port from your keyboard to the MIDI IN port on the interface
  • Using another MIDI cable, or the interface itself, connect the MIDI IN port from your keyboard to the MIDI OUT port on the interface

That’s it!

This video goes a little more detail on all this:

Now comes the REALLY fun part!

You can now use your keyboard to enter music into notation programs like Finale NotePad, AND you can record performances – NOT the audio, but the actual performance as MIDI events (also known as sequencing) using a free tool like Anvil Studio.

Check out this video for all the details:

I hope this blog post and these videos gave you just enough information to be dangerous with your computer and electronic piano or keyboard! Once you get the hang of MIDI and begin using these software tools, you’ll find a whole new world of musical creativity and fun, literally at your fingertips.

So, jump in, play around, and explore the amazing, musical world of MIDI!

AND…

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post, have any questions, or might like me to put together a more formal course on the subject. Thanks!