How to Play a MIDI on a Laptop

Written by rooney buckland
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How to Play a MIDI on a Laptop
You can use MIDI to record to your computer. (laptop image by Du...¡an Zidar from

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a way to record music from a keyboard. It allows you the freedom of recording notes from a keyboard while using samples and sounds from your computer. MIDI is also a great way to record sheet music to avoid typing it note by note. MIDI works with both PC and Mac. Most software programs have a MIDI setting, which is why more and more people are using MIDI to record their music.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • MIDI keyboard
  • Computer with USB or MIDI input
  • Software with MIDI capability
  • MIDI or USB cord

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  1. 1

    Locate the available inputs/outputs on your MIDI keyboard and laptop. Your keyboard will either have a MIDI out or a USB out. Laptops rarely have MIDI inputs, but, if yours does, you can use a MIDI to MIDI cord. If not, you'll need to get a MIDI to USB interface. If your MIDI keyboard has a USB output, a USB to USB cord will work. Whichever cord you use, connect one end to the output of the keyboard and the other end to the input of your laptop.

    How to Play a MIDI on a Laptop
    You can use USB to connect a MIDI keyboard to your computer. (cord usb image by YURY MARYUNIN from
  2. 2

    Turn the MIDI keyboard on. Open your software. Most software programs will read that you have connected the MIDI cord.

  3. 3

    Choose "MIDI In" as your input source for your software. In most programs, you can navigate to the Input/Output dialogue box by going to File/Preferences or Edit/Preferences. Under "Input," scroll to find "MIDI In."

  4. 4

    Add a MIDI track to your session. Depending on the program you are using, adjust the sound the MIDI will make on that track by opening the MIDI dialogue box and searching through your sound library. Some programs will ask you to set the MIDI samples before you add the MIDI track.

  5. 5

    Arm your MIDI track for recording. Press record. Play your keyboard. The software will record what you play.

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