How to Connect a Piano Keyboard to the Computer in 4 Simple Ways

A digital piano lets you expand your sound experiments greatly, but it needs a PC or another device for mixing, sampling, and recording the sound. Even the best portable keyboard piano with a lot of functions cannot compare to the variety of tools and samples you can download to your PC. Knowing how to connect a piano keyboard to a computer will let you know how many cords you need and make use of different ports on both sides, or skip them, at your choice.

The actual connection type depends on the connectivity of your keyboard and the ports available on the computer. It’s also good to learn the assignment of each port on the keyboard. It might turn out that a USB Type-A connection serves for read-only or record-only purposes letting you use some samples for your play, or record the composition you perform. However, connecting to the PC through this port mightn’t work at all. Below I described the ways to hook up your keyboard to a computer and make it work.

Plugging Cables or Going Wireless

There are two general types of making your keyboard and a PC a single setup:

  • getting cords in the right place;
  • establishing a wireless link.

Here are more details about these two methods. If you wonder how to connect a piano keyboard to a laptop or PC, they’re also workable.

  • USB Type-B port on the keyboard. To run a cable between your digital piano and a computer, you’ll need a USB Type-A to B cable (both male ends). Plug in the USB-B into the piano port, and the USB-A end—into the PC. For a laptop, you might need adaptors as well (e.g. an A to C USB adapter).
  • MIDI port on the keyboard. It’s quite often that this port is a single means of connection for the digital piano. Use the USB-A to MIDI cable. This is a three-part interface, two ends of which (the MIDI IN and MIDI OUT) go into the keyboard ports, and the USB-A plugs into the relevant port on the computer. The MIDI IN cable goes into the MIDI OUT port (as it delivers the data that goes OUT the keyboard INTO the computer), and vice versa.
  • Audio interface. Apart from letting you hook up microphones, other instruments, and devices, the audio interface provides an option to connect to a PC via the USB port. The MIDI cord from the piano must be connected to the MIDI IN of the audio interface, and the audio interface must be connected to the computer via USB.
  • Bluetooth. If both your computer and the digital piano are equipped with Bluetooth, simply activate it on the keyboard, then on the PC, and connect. There are also Bluetooth adapters available for both keyboards and PC, letting you go wireless with any device. The USB Bluetooth adapter goes into the PC port, and the Bluetooth two-cable MIDI adapter plugs into the keyboard.