How to Turn Your Digital Keyboard into a MIDI Controller


If you're a music producer or musician, you're probably familiar with MIDI controllers and how they work. They allow you to control your digital audio workstation (DAW) software by sending MIDI signals, which can trigger various virtual instruments and effects. However, if you don't already own a MIDI controller, you might be hesitant to invest in one. Fortunately, if you have a digital keyboard, you can easily turn it into a MIDI controller with just a USB cable and a few simple settings.

Connecting Your Keyboard to Your Computer

The first step to turning your digital keyboard into a MIDI controller is to connect it to your computer. To do this, you'll need a USB cable that can connect your keyboard to your computer's USB port. Once you've connected the cable, your computer should recognize the keyboard as a USB device.

💡 Note: you may need to install drivers for your keyboard to work properly. You can do this by going to the keyboard’s manufacturer website and select the driver for your model.

Setting Up Your Keyboard as a MIDI Controller

Once your keyboard is connected to your computer, the next step is to configure it as a MIDI controller. This process will vary depending on the make and model of your keyboard, but typically involves selecting the MIDI output channel and enabling MIDI transmission. You can usually find these settings on your keyboard’s main screen.

Make sure to set your MIDI IN/OUT to USB (bc you are using a USB cable). Next, select your SYNC tab and set that to MIDI (bc you want to use this keyboard as a MIDI controller).

Controlling Your DAW with Your Keyboard

Once your keyboard is set up as a MIDI controller, you can use it to control your instrument software. This can include playing virtual instruments, triggering drum samples, and more. The specific functions your keyboard can control will depend on your DAW software and the MIDI mapping you've set up. Many DAWs also allow you to customize your MIDI mappings, so you can assign specific functions to different keys or knobs on your keyboard.


By following these simple steps, you can easily turn your digital keyboard into a powerful MIDI controller for your DAW. Not only does this save you money on buying a separate MIDI controller, but it also allows you to make use of a piece of equipment you already own. So, if you're looking to expand your music production capabilities, give your digital keyboard a try as a MIDI controller!

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