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How to connect music keyboard to computer soundcard?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Steven O., Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Steven O.

    Steven O. Guest

    I'm sure this is probably a basic question for everyone here, but
    although I'm generally very literate technically, this is a new area
    for me.

    I'll quote from the e-mail sent to me by my dear old Mom:

    "just bought [my boyfriend] his birthday present - a casio keyboard.
    we would like to know how to save our musical creations to disk.
    there are midi in and out terminals on the keyboards, but i see no
    terminals on any of my computers that match the keyboard midi
    terminal. also there's a diagram in midi instructions that shows a
    midi interface card in the computer."

    "what can be done about the absence of a matching terminal in the
    computer for the midi cable? can cables be gotten that connect via

    "in case, using the computer to transfer and store music from the
    keyboard becomes too much of a hassle, are there independent devices
    out there to which one can connect a keyboard for transfering and
    storing music?"

    I don't know what kind of computer my Mom's boyfriend has -- but let's
    assume it's a fairly recent model computer (PC, not Mac), with a
    fairly standard soundcard. Is there some kind of cable that my Mom
    should be able to buy at CompUSA or Radio Shack that would go from the
    Midi terminals on the keyboard to someplace on the sound card? Or, as
    my Mom asks, can Midi on the keyboard be connected to USB?

    Any basic tips to get us started would be much appreciated.

    Steve O.

    "Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs.
    Steven O., Jun 11, 2005
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  2. Steven O.

    Ricky Hunt Guest

    It most likely has a Soundblaster type card (unless the sound is on the
    motherboard). If so, you can just get a gameport-to-MIDI cable like this:
    http://www.musicmall.com/cmp/sbmid.htm. Though for about $10 more you can
    get a USB-to-MIDI: http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOUNO which would be easier
    to hook-up. Of course all these do is transmit MIDI data so they'll have to
    get some kind of recording software (like this:
    http://www.cakewalk.com/Products/MusicCreator/default.asp) since MIDI is
    only note data and not actual sound. If he's happy with the sound of the
    Casio you can just get a cord (probably dual 1/4"-to-1/8"-stereo) and
    connect the audio outs of the Casio into the soundcard of the computer and
    record the audio directly. A cord like that will cost you about $5 at Radio
    Shack. Then you could use freeware like this:
    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to record the audio and then just burn it
    to CD. Of course if you get the software like Cakewalk's you can do both
    (MIDI and audio).
    Ricky Hunt, Jun 11, 2005
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  3. You may have a SoundBlaster type sound card with an integral midi
    interface on the gameport. You need a simple adaptor cable.

    However, most computers made in the last couple of years have onboard
    sound, part of the motherboard. There is usually no midi port. So
    you need a USB midi interface. It's rather more than just an adaptor
    cable, but not too expensive. Your local musi-tech shop has them.

    You will want a sequencer program to run on the computer. There are
    free ones, I believe, which will get you started and show you what
    sequencers are capable of. Someone suggest the best currently out
    there? I'm not into that end of the market :)

    CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
    "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
    Laurence Payne, Jun 11, 2005
  4. Steven O.

    Geoff Wood Guest

    You want to save MIDI to disk, or audio ?

    Geoff Wood, Jun 11, 2005
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