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This page explains how to connect a MIDI keyboard / piano / instrument (like the one shown below) To your PC to record music in MIDI format using a USB MIDI cable.

To connect a MIDI keyboard / piano to a PC computer you will probably need a USB MIDI cable/adapter, such as this one (There are several different brands and models - the one pictured below is the brand you can purchase in our online store *We our currently out of stock - however, you can purchase a similar unit at various music shops online):

Some very old computers may have a 15-pin MIDI connector, in which case you can use this type of MIDI cable:

cable MIDImidi cableMIDI recording

Both type of cables have 2 round 5-pin MIDI connections on one end which plug into your MIDI musical keyboard/piano/device/instrument. Here's what these ports look like:

If using the USB-style MIDI cable, connect the USB connector into one of your USB ports on your computer. Connect the round MIDI plug labeled 'out' to the 'in' port on your MIDI keyboard. Then connect the 'in' plug to the 'out' port on your keyboard. This may seem reversed, but what is 'out' to the PC is 'in' to the keyboard. With the USB MIDI connectors you must install a software driver for it - some cables, like the one we sell, come with the driver pre-loaded and auto-install once you connect the USB plug. The USB MIDI cables can be extended with male-to-female MIDI extension cables.

The 'Thru' port (if you have it) allows you to connect up more than one MIDI instrument in a chain together, so you can record from or play to them simultaneously.

Some MIDI piano/keyboards may already come with a USB cable included, so you do not need to buy it separately.

If you have the old-style connector, plug the 15 pin male PC interface plug into the back of your computer, next to where your speakers are plugged in (into the sound card). It shares the port with the joystick - this is why these connectors often have another 15-pin plug to attach the joystick as well.

Now fire up Music MasterWorks to record using your MIDI cable (click here for free 35 day trial). Select the record button (no need to select a device, it will by default record from all MIDI input devices that are available). Play your keyboard and you will see the 'Recording...' message change to 'Receiving MIDI Messages...'. When you are finished hit the 'Done' button. You will now be given several choices, including where you want the recorded section to be placed (it will default to the play/record line), and how you want it mixed. Click here to purchase Music Masterworks and/or a MIDI recording cable.

The USB MIDI cable you can buy at our online store includes 3 indicator lights: whether it is plugged into a USB port (red), and a green and yellow indicator light for MIDI activity as shown below: