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Getting Started with Midi Keyboards

Getting Started with Midi Keyboards

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If you’re new to MIDI keyboards and MIDI, we’ll explain what they are how it works, and how to get started with them. We will help you configure a MIDI keyboard with your DAW. Follow the steps below to get started.

What is a Midi Keyboard?

If you are already familiar with what a MIDI Keyboard is, you can skip this paragraph. Rest can continue.

A MIDI keyboard is a device that can send commands to a MIDI-equipped device. When you press a key or pad, it creates a MIDI signal. This signal is sent to the device it’s connected to with the use of either a USB or MIDI cable. Some MIDI keyboards have additional programmable pads, encoders, and faders, giving you more flexibility and functionality both the studio and on stage. In the end, they all achieve the same goal; creating and performing music

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Connecting MIDI Keyboard with your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Most MIDI keyboards connect to your computer via USB. While configuration may vary, USB is more common over MIDI because you only need one cable, rather than multiple. It can often provide bus power meaning you don’t need an external power supply, as well. Some MIDI keyboards are class compliant and use generic drivers, but others require third-party driver software before it will work in your DAW.

Connecting the Keyboard via USB Cable

Connecting a MIDI keyboard is very easy; connect the USB from the keyboard to your computer’s USB Port and start making music. As per what model you have bought, you may need to install any necessary software before connecting the controller. Check the user manual accompanied with your midi keyboard for more information about driver software, firmware, and power requirements. Remember the 3 easy steps:

  • Download and install the MIDI keyboard’s driver software, if required.
  • Connect the MIDI keyboard via USB; either directly to the computer or using a powered USB hub.
  • Configure the DAW with the MIDI keyboard.
Getting Started with MIDI Keyboards | Sweetwater

Connecting the Keyboard via MIDI Cables

MIDI cables unlike USB cables send data only one direction, so make sure to connect the MIDI Output port(s) to the correct MIDI Input port(s), or else MIDI data will not be transferred, and you won’t be able to play your MIDI Keyboard. Do not forget to follow these 3 easy steps to connect your MIDI keyboard successfully:

  • If you’re connecting multiple MIDI capable devices, connect a MIDI cable from the MIDI THRU port on the first device to the MIDI IN port on the next one.
  • Connect a MIDI cable from the MIDI OUT port on the last external device to a MIDI IN port to a MIDI interface or audio interface (if applicable).
  • Configure the DAW with the MIDI keyboard and make sure to enable the proper MIDI ports on the MIDI or audio interface within the DAW.
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Once you are connected, you need to play your music keyboard, check each and every key. Turn each and every knob and check all the faders to ensure your keyboard is working properly. If a problem arises, you need to contact us with an escalation.