How to Use My Keyboard As a Musical Keyboard With Sonar 6

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How to Use My Keyboard As a Musical Keyboard With Sonar 6
A computer keyboard can be a MIDI input device with a separate program. (keyboard image by Fyerne from Fotolia.com)

Using a computer keyboard as a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) device is a solution for the low-budget or cramped studio. Although playing it will not be as quick or intuitive as a musical keyboard, it will serve the task and is certainly possible. For a digital audio workstation like Sonar, a separate program will need to be downloaded, but otherwise the connection is fairly straightforward.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download a keyboard-to-piano bridge software such as Bome's Mouse Keyboard or KB piano. These programs transform the computer keyboard into a musical device. There is a trial version available from Bome's website. Install the program as instructed and launch it.

  2. 2

    Left-click "MIDI-out" on the toolbar and select "Midi Yoke 1."

  3. 3

    Launch Sonar and create a new MIDI track (click File select new track).

  4. 4

    Click "MIDI input" on the right side of the track and select Channel 1.

  5. 5

    Play the computer keyboard as you would a musical keyboard, experimenting with which buttons correspond to which notes or sounds.

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