5 simple Ways to connect ANY MIDI keyboard to PC or Laptop!

connect MIDI keyboard to PC, Macbook, Laptop.

In this article, we are discussing 5 main ways to connect MIDI keyboard to PC, Laptop, or a computer.

Why connect MIDI keyboard to PC, laptop or Mac?

Connecting MIDI keyboards or any other home recording gear to your PC or Laptop is one of the best ways to record your ideas into your computer using recording software like a DAW. It helps you record musical ideas quickly and develop them into songs in minutes.

Also, it helps you keep your MIDI keyboard in proper setup with external output sources like studio monitors. Thus maintaining a hassle-free approach to creating and recording music.

Related: 10 reasons to get a MIDI keyboard for music production!

In the modern era of music production, connecting different studio gear to a computer is a must. This step lets you control every studio element from a laptop or PC. Hence, this allows you to focus on your creative goals.

Related: Setting a Home Recording Studio – A step by step Guide!

How to connect MIDI keyboard to PC, Laptop, Mac or Desktop?

There are five main ways to connect a MIDI keyboard to the computer. The connections can be made using USB cables, MIDI interfaces, MIDI cables, audio interfaces, and even wirelessly using Bluetooth.

However, the first step includes identifying the connectivity ports in your MIDI keyboard. So, take a second and look at different ports on your MIDI keyboard controller. You can find different ports on the back panel of the keyboard controller.

Also Read: Setup MIDI Keyboard in Logic Pro X – A Definitive Guide!

1) Connect USB MIDI keyboard to PC, Laptop or a Mac

One simple way of connecting a MIDI keyboard to PC is through USB connection. For this type of connection, make sure that your MIDI controller comes with necessary USB port.

step#1: Get the right USB cable

connect USB MIDI keyboard to PC

Most of the USB MIDI keyboards come with an appropriate and proper USB cables to connect it to the computer.

step#2: Connect the MIDI keyboard

connect MIDI keyboard to PC

Once you have the proper USB cable, the first step is to connect it to the MIDI keyboard’s USB port.

Refer to the image to see how we have inserted the USB cable into our MIDI controller.

step#3: Connect the PC

Now, take the other end of the cable and insert it into the appropriate USB port in the PC. Your PC will automatically recognise the device for its MIDI functionality.

2) Connecting through MIDI ports

Another way to connect a MIDI keyboard to a PC is through the MIDI ports.

Most vintage or traditional keyboards come with a MIDI port to establish a connection that you can use to record MIDI information from the keyboard right into your PC.

connect MIDI keyboard to PC

However, some modern controller keyboards also include MIDI ports to connect them to a PC or control any other vintage analog synthesizer.

For example, you can connect a MIDI keyboard to a vintage synthesizer like Juno-60. Then, use the MIDI keyboard to record the sound of the Juno-60 right into DAWs like Logic, Abelton, FL Studio etc.

Let us see how you can connect a MIDI keyboard to a PC using MIDI ports.

step#1: Get the cables

The first step is to get a MIDI to USB interface cable. This cable will let you effortlessly and quickly connect MIDI keyboard to PC.

Using these cables, you can directly connect one end of the cable to the MIDI controller and the other end to your PC.

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

step#2: Connect the MIDI keyboard

connect MIDI keyboard to PC

The next step is to connect these five-pin MIDI cables to the MIDI ports on the MIDI keyboard. Locate the MIDI ports as shown in the image on your keyboard.

step#3: Connect the PC

Insert the USB end of the MIDI into the USB cable to the PC to successfully connect the MIDI keyboard to the computer.

3) Using Audio interface to connect MIDI keyboard to PC

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Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Using an audio interface is another great way to connect MIDI keyboard to the PC.

An audio interface is a hub to connect all your instruments. Signals from each instrument are routed to the audio interface and come out of the external source connected to the interface, like studio monitors.

step#1: Connect MIDI keyboard & audio interface

Firstly, you need to connect the MIDI keyboard to an audio interface. You can make this connection in multiple ways. However, it also depends on the ports available on the audio interface and MIDI controller keyboard.

This section will look at how to connect the keyboard and interface using two-way five-pin MIDI cables.

Here is the necessary connection you need to make using MIDI cables.

Plug one end of the MIDI cable into the output of the MIDI keyboard and the other end of the MIDI cable into the MIDI IN of an audio interface. 

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Refer to the article below to know how to connect the audio interface to the MIDI controller if there are no MIDI ports on the interface or keyboard.

Related: connect ANY MIDI keyboard to audio interface – A Definitive Guide

step#2: Link the audio interface with PC

Link the audio interface with the PC using either USB cable or cable supplied with the audio interface. This will depend on the type of audio interface you are using.

Related: Audio Interface Setup Diagrams – A Step-by-Step Explanation!

step#3: Power up audio interface

The last step is to turn on the audio interface. There are mainly two types of audio interfaces; some use a USB connection, while others can be powered using an external power supply.

4) Connect MIDI keyboard to PC using Bluetooth

The following method to connect the MIDI keyboard to the PC is Bluetooth. Specific MIDI controllers or keyboards come with Bluetooth capabilities that make connecting a MIDI keyboard to a PC easier.

However, you can still connect a MIDI keyboard to a PC even if the MIDI controller lacks Bluetooth support using a MIDI-Bluetooth adapter.

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Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

step#1: Turn on the Bluetooth on the MIDI keyboard

Firstly, you need to turn on the Bluetooth setting on your MIDI keyboard. You can follow the instruction manual for the same.

However, if your MIDI controller keyboard lacks Bluetooth capabilities, connecting a MIDI-bluetooth adapter will do the job.

step#2: Launch Audio-MIDI on PC

Turn on the Bluetooth settings on your computer and then launch Audio-MIDI setup.

step#3: Configure the MIDI device

Once the Audio-MIDI setup setting is launched, you can wirelessly connect the computer to the MIDI keyboard over Bluetooth.

5) Connect MIDI keyboard to PC via MIDI hub

A MIDI hub is a central point for connecting various MIDI devices to receive signals at a single point and then create pipelines to use this signal.

Unlike an audio interface, it has more than one MIDI input which can be used to connect two or more MIDI gears.

A MIDI hub is helpful if you have two or more MIDI devices, keyboards, controllers, or gear and want to control all MIDI signals from a single point, i.e., the MIDI hub itself.

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Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

step#1: Connect the MIDI devices to MIDI hub

The first step of using a MIDI hub is connecting all your MIDI devices using five-pin MIDI cables.

Connect the MIDI output of your MIDI devices to the MIDI input of the MIDI hub.

Repeat this step until all your MIDI devices are connected to the MIDI hub.

step#2: Connect the MIDI hub to computer

Connect the MIDI hub to the computer. Then, proceed with the necessary setup of the MIDI hub with your computer. Also, you will need to change the MIDI input of your DAW to the MIDI hub.

step#3: Create Pipelines

One way to use this MIDI signal is through the DAW by changing the MIDI inputs.

However, as shown in the above image, you can also create pipelines to route MIDI signals.


Connecting a MIDI keyboard to a PC isn’t complicated or time-consuming once you know how many choices you have in your hand. 

Nonetheless, it also depends on how many options your MIDI controller keyboard offers you.

Lastly, we saw five ways to connect a MIDI keyboard to a PC. These were:

  • By USB cables,
  • using MIDI cables,
  • wirelessly via Bluetooth,
  • by using an audio interface,
  • And using a MIDI hub.

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