How to connect the MIDI keyboard to garageband

Written by james clark
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How to connect the MIDI keyboard to garageband
Connect MIDI to the Mac with a USB adaptor. (usb image by Bosko Martinovic from

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a standardised protocol that enables electronic musical instruments, typically keyboards, to work with computer software for creating and recording music. Instruments connect with round MIDI ports. The MIDI cable plug contains five metal pins set in a semicircle that connect to the five holes in the MIDI port on an instrument. The MIDI cable can be linked with an adaptor to connect a keyboard to work with GarageBand, an audio software program designed for Apple Mac computers. The adaptor includes a USB plug to connect with a Mac.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • MIDI cable
  • MIDI-to-USB cable

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  1. 1

    Turn off the keyboard and shut down the Mac.

  2. 2

    Plug one end of the MIDI cable into the MIDI port on the back edge of the keyboard, aligning the five pins in the plug with the holes in the port.

  3. 3

    Connect the MIDI socket on one end of the adaptor cable to the other end of the MIDI cable attached to the keyboard.

  4. 4

    Insert the USB plug on the other end of the adaptor into any unused USB port on the Mac.

  5. 5

    Double-click the GarageBand icon on the Mac desktop to start the audio software on the computer.

  6. 6

    Click "File" and select "New Project," then click on the keyboard icon that appears in the window, indicating GarageBand recognises the connected keyboard and is ready to communicate with the instrument for recording music, practicing with the built-in keyboard lessons or creating mix tracks with the keyboard.

Tips and warnings

  • Shut down the Mac and unplug the keyboard when hooking up the MIDI and USB cables.

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