How to Play a MIDI Keyboard Through Reaper

By Robert Ceville

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • MIDI interface

  • MIDI cable

Setting up Reaper to work with your MIDI keyboard only takes about five minutes.
i keyboard image by Vasiliy Koval from

Reaper has become one of the most popular digital audio workstations for virtual studios over the past few years, due to its stability and features. One of its features is full MIDI implementation and control by external controllers, such as keyboards. Once the MIDI keyboard is connected to your MIDI interface, you will still have to configure Reaper correctly. With the right instruction, you will be able to play software synthesizer instruments directly from your keyboard.

Connect the MIDI keyboard to your computer's MIDI interface and then to the computer. Plug one of the MIDI cables into the keyboard's "MIDI OUT" port and then into the MIDI interface's "MIDI IN" port.

Power up the keyboard by plugging the power cable into the "DC IN" jack on the back, and then into a wall outlet that is not being used. Press the "Power" button on the back of the keyboard at this time, as well.

Open Reaper by double-clicking the desktop icon or by going to "Start," "All Programs," and then selecting Reaper from the list of installed programs.

Click the "Options" tab on the top of the graphic user interface, then select "Preferences."

Select "MIDI Devices" under the "Audio" section on the left side of the "Preferences" screen.

Double-click on the name of your MIDI interface from the top section of that screen to open the "Configure MIDI Input" screen. Click the box next to "Enable MIDI input from this device" to place a check mark, then click "OK." Your MIDI keyboard will now be ready to start sending Reaper note and control change information.