In this article, we will look at 3 simple ways to connect MIDI keyboard to audio interface.
Do you need an audio interface for MIDI Keyboard?
A MIDI keyboard controller can function adequately without a separate audio interface. Using an audio interface is one way among many to connect your MIDI controller to get sound as output from external speakers. Nonetheless, you can connect a MIDI controller using MIDI hubs, USB, or converter cables.
Why use an audio interface for connecting MIDI keyboard?
Connecting a MIDI keyboard controller to an audio interface may not be a bad idea. Let’s see why.
Since audio interfaces act like a hub for all input & output devices, it keeps your home studio or work equipment organized and well-kept. So, whenever you get a new instrument or gear, you can plug it directly into the audio interface and keep it at a dedicated spot without worrying about reconnecting the device.
Moreover, taking care of each element you have connected with an audio interface is convenient. The overall structure of a workstation looks well-integrated and cohesive.
Connect MIDI keyboard to audio interface using MIDI Cables
Here are 5 simple steps to connect a MIDI keyboard to an audio interface using MIDI cables.
MIDI cables are easily identifiable due to their round shape with five pins. If you have a pretty old synthesizer keyboard, then using MIDI cables might be the only way to connect your vintage keyboard to an audio interface.
Even the latest MIDI keyboards from Arturia, M-Audio, etc., come with a MIDI out port that can connect your MIDI controller to an audio interface in a few simple steps. Here is how to do that.
1) Get MIDI cable
The first thing you need to make any connection is the cable itself. The cable, in this case, to make the necessary connections is the MIDI five-pin cable.
Using this cable, we can connect a MIDI keyboard to an audio interface through MIDI wires.
In the next step, let us look at how we connect the MIDI cable to the MIDI keyboard controller.
2) Keyboard’s connection
The next step is to make the necessary connections on the MIDI keyboard controller using the five-pin MIDI cable.
For this, connect one end of the MIDI cable to the MIDI output of the keyboard controller.
3) audio interface connection
When connecting a MIDI keyboard to an audio interface using MIDI cables, it is essential to ensure that the audio interface has MIDI ports. You will not be able to connect your keyboard to the interface without the MIDI port.
Connect the other end of the MIDI cable to the MIDI input of the audio interface.
4) Power the audio interface
If you have a USB audio interface, connect it to your PC, Laptop or Computer. At this point, most of the necessary connections have been made.
5) Setup output source
Lastly, connect a single unit or pair of studio monitors to the output ports of the audio interface. This is important as both MIDI controllers and the audio interface need an external source to output the sound going to the audio interface.
Connect Yamaha Digital keyboard to an audio interface
Here are one questions that most people have struggled with. However, the steps are relatively simple.
If your Yamaha or any other digital keyboard has MIDI ports, you can connect the Yamaha digital keyboard to the audio interface using MIDI cables. Refer to the steps mentioned in the previous section.
However, if the digital keyboard does not come with MIDI ports, follow the below steps.
1) Get proper cables
You will need 1/4″ TRS cables to connect a digital keyboard to an audio interface.
Use two 1/4″ TRS cables for a stereo sound and one cable to get Mono signal from the Digital keyboard.
2) connect the Digital Keyboard
If you have a Yamaha Digital Keyboard or any other digital keyboard, you will see that there are separate output channels on the back panel of the keyboard.
These output TRS ports or channels often have written L and R over them, as shown in the image below.
Connect one end of both the 1/4″ TRS cables into them. Once you have connected the cables, move on to the next step to see the connections on the audio interface.
Moreover, connect one TRS cable to get a mono signal or use both ports to receive a stereo output signal.
3) Plug the cables in audio interface
Connect the 1/4″ TRS cables from the Digital keyboard to the TRS ports on the audio interface.
4) Power up the audio interface
This step is relatively simple as you need to power up the audio interface by connecting it to a PC, laptop, or external source.
5) Connect external output speakers
Connect studio monitors to receive the input received by the audio interface.
You can mute the speakers of the digital keyboard by connecting a 1/4″ inch jack to the phone’s output. Refer to the quarter-inch jack below.
what cables do I need to connect MIDI keyboard to an audio interface?
Here is a list of cables necessary to connnect a MIDI keyboard to an audio interface. Depending on the ports available on the MIDI controller and the audio interface, you will need at least one of these cables to make the necessary connections.
- 5-pin MIDI cable,
- USB-C to 1/4″ TRS cable,
- 1/4″ TRS to TRS.