How to Connect a MIDI Keyboard to Cubase

Written by james clark | 13/05/2017
How to Connect a MIDI Keyboard to Cubase
Connect an electronic keyboard to Cubase with a MIDI adaptor cable. (Piano image by Guillaume BAUDRY from

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a data protocol for connecting electronic instruments to other digital devices such as a computer so the components can communicate with each other. The distinctive plug on each end of a MIDI cable contains five metal pins arranged in a semicircle that align with the holes in a MIDI port on devices such as an electronic keyboard. Cubase is a recording studio software package that installs on a computer. Connecting a MIDI keyboard to a computer with Cubase requires an adaptor cable and a USB plug.

Insert one end of the MIDI cable into the MIDI socket on the back edge of the keyboard, taking care to align the pins in the plug with the holes in the socket.

Attach the other end of the cable to the MIDI socket on one end of the adaptor cable, then insert the USB plug on the other end of the adaptor into an unused USB port on the computer.

Switch on the keyboard and turn on the computer, then double-click Cubase from the program list on the computer or the Cubase icon on the desktop. To find the program list in a Windows system, click the "Start" or Flag button in the lower left corner of the screen and click "All Programs." To find Cubase on an Apple computer, click "Find" and select "Applications."

Click the "File" tab in the upper left corner of the software to select "New Project," then click the MIDI tab near the top middle of the screen to select the connected keyboard from a drop-down menu.


Turn off the keyboard and shut down the computer while connecting the audio cable.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn off the keyboard and shut down the computer while connecting the audio cable.

Things you need

  • MIDI cable
  • MIDI to USB adaptor cable
  • Computer with Cubase software installed

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