How to connect a laptop to a mixer amp

Updated February 21, 2017

Sound engineers use mixer amps to adjust the volume and tonal qualities of audio components and musical instruments. Electric guitars, keyboards, microphones and tape decks can be connected to the five-pin MIDI and RCA-audio input jacks. A laptop can also be hooked up to a mixer amp to use as a digital recording studio. Once stored on a computer, the recorded audio file can be burnt to a CD or uploaded to a personal music device such as an iPod or MP3 player. The connection requires an adaptor cable to convert the MIDI plug for use with a laptop.

Shut down the laptop.

Insert the five-pin MIDI plug on one end of the adaptor into an MIDI output jack on the mixer amp. Take care to align the five metal pins in the plug with the five holes in the MIDI jack.

Connect the USB plug on the other end of the adaptor to a free USB port on the laptop. Most laptops have at least two USB ports on the right-hand edge and two additional ports along the back edge.

Power on the computer and wait for the "New Hardware Detected" message to appear, indicating the laptop recognises the mixer amp.


Unplug the mixer amp from the electrical socket while hooking up the laptop, musical instruments and other audio gear.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop with recording software
  • MIDI-to-USB adaptor cable
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.