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

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Tip

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Cubase
  • QuicKeys VST
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About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.