Why Might a Musical Keyboard Have Two MIDI Ports?

All musicians will agree that having an extra MIDI port is always a benefit. The best digital piano under $1000 probably can offer you more than one of such ports, but, you may ask, why might a musical keyboard have two MIDI ports?

An acronym MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It uses a 5-pin connector to send digital signals to the other devices. Actually, there are three types of MIDI ports that musical keyboards may have. The most popular of them are MIDI in and MIDI out. The first one takes MIDI data and the second one sends it out. A MIDI can also be used to connect your keyboard to the PC. A MIDI out gives you the possibility to connect your keyboard to other MIDI-capable devices. The last type is MIDI Thru, which allows you to connect multiple devices to one keyboard in a daisy chain.

So, the presence of extra ports gives you the possibility to connect more instruments and devices to your keyboard. Some advanced keyboards even include multiple MIDI connectors. However, if your MIDI controller has more than one MIDI port, what types of connections will you be able to make?

MIDI-to-USB

MIDI is an old-school type of connector, but the advent of computers has necessitated the connection of MIDI devices to PCs in order to use different software, download new sound effects and tones, and so on. Because the USB interface is the most widely used among all computers, many modern keyboards now include a USB port. If your device doesn’t have one, you can use a MIDI-to-USB cable instead.

MIDI-to-MIDI

Two MIDI cables can be used to make this type of connection. Furthermore, the MIDI devices you want to connect must have both MIDI in and MIDI out ports. This allows you to control two keyboards at the same time.

The MIDI Splitter Box can be used if a keyboard does not have enough MIDI connectors. It has several MIDI ports, allowing you to divide a MIDI signal from one input into multiple outputs (2, 4, 8, or more). However, it has a significant flaw: unlike a keyboard with two or more ports, it does not allow you to switch between them. As a result, if you have such a keyboard, you won’t need to buy a MIDI Splitter Box to control multiple devices with your keyboard.

So, concluding all that has been said above, why might a musical keyboard have two MIDI ports? The answer is quite trivial: to give you the opportunity to control several devices (such as synthesizers, samplers, and PCs) simultaneously. However, it also should be highlighted that a bigger quantity of ports is rarely found in the inexpensive models.