How to Use a Computer Keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard in Cubase

Written by robert ceville
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How to Use a Computer Keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard in Cubase
Using your computer's keyboard as a MIDI input device is possible with the QuicKeys VST. (keyboard image by Fyerne from Fotolia.com)

Since Cubase does not have an internal option for using a "qwerty" keyboard, you need to be able to find an alternative for inputing musical information from your computer's keyboard. Using your computer's on-board keyboard as a musical instrument is a cost-effective solution as a MIDI controller for your virtual studio. "QuicKeys" was developed to address VST hosts that do not come with this function initially.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Cubase
  • QuicKeys VST

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download and install the "QuicKeys VST" into Cuabse's VST directory folder. QuicKeys will act just as any other VST would in Cubase, except it does not generate sound.

  2. 2

    Load an empty template into Cubase so you can load "QuicKeys" without making any changes to any of your current projects.

  3. 3

    Add "QuicKeys" as a virtual instrument to one of the MIDI tracks within Cubase. You will need to chain another VST to that same channel to be able to generate any sound.

  4. 4

    Use the keys of your computer's keyboard to input musical notes, just as you would a traditional keyboard.

    How to Use a Computer Keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard in Cubase
    Using your computer's keyboard as a MIDI input device is possible with the QuicKeys VST. (keyboard image by Fyerne from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • You can use QuicKeys to send CC (Control Change) messages in addition to being able to send note information to the sequencer.
  • Since playing a qwerty keyboard is very different from a traditional instrument, there is also an auto-chord feature added to QuicKeys.

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