How to Use Your PC Keyboard for a MIDI Input
By Patrick Bryant
Updated September 22, 2017
MIDI input devices are used together with sampling and mixing software--like Apple GarageBand, Propellerhead Reason and Fruity Loops--to play music and to create songs. The standard MIDI controller resembles a digital piano that you can physically plug into your computer using a MIDI cable or a MIDI-USB cable. If you do not own a MIDI controller, you are not out of luck. It is possible to use your PC's keyboard as a MIDI input device in the same manner as a MIDI controller.
Install the Apple GarageBand software on your computer if you have a Mac--most Mac computers come with the software pre-installed. Open the software once you have installed it by double-clicking the icon on your desktop.
Click the "Window" tab at the top of your screen, then select "Musical Typing." This will allow you to use your PC's keyboard as a MIDI input device within GarageBand.
Play your keyboard with GarageBand by pressing the keys indicated by the virtual keyboard at the bottom of your screen.
Download Bome's Mouse Keyboard software and save the .exe file in a place that you can remember.
Find and download a virtual MIDI driver--just type "virtual MIDI driver" into Google. A recommended driver is MIDI-OX (http://www.midiox.com/). Install the virtual MIDI driver on your machine by opening the .exe file and following the steps of the installation wizard.
Install Bome's Mouse Keyboard on your computer by opening the .exe file you downloaded earlier. Open the program when you have finished installing it.
Configure Bome's Mouse Keyboard with your MIDI-receivable software--i.e., Propellerhead Reason or Fruity Loops. In the Bome's interface, select "File," then "Import," then "Knob Presets." Click the "Add to existing knob presets" option. Browse to "My Documents" then "Bome's Mouse Keyboard." Select the "Presets" folder then double-click the .ini file in the folder--if you have Reason installed on your computer, this file will be something like "Reason3_knobs.ini."
Select the "Knobs" option from the top navigation bar in the Bome's interface, then select "Presets" and whichever file name you chose before--i.e., "Reason 3." Click the "Midi Out" option from the top navigation bar and select the virtual MIDI driver that you downloaded earlier. You may now use your PC keyboard as a MIDI input device.
Patrick Bryant has been writing since 2004, and his work appears on eHow and Answerbag. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English from Winthrop University with minors in business studies and entrepreneurship.