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How to Transfer Music From a Computer to a Keyboard

by Sarah McLeod
pianola elettronica image by naian from Fotolia.com

Keyboards capable of receiving and transmitting audio files have musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) ports. The first digital keyboards with MIDI ports required the separate purchase of a MIDI interface if files were to be transferred to and from a computer. The interface acted as an adaptor with inputs for both MIDI connectors and USB cables. Roland set a music production precedent with the creation of the first digital keyboard equipped with USB MIDI ports that allow for the transferrance of audio files with a single USB cable, according to RolandUS.com. This creation has made the manufacture of MIDI port only keyboards obsolete.

Connect Keyboard to Computer

Step 1

Use a keyboard with a MIDI port only. Ensure that the keyboard is powered down and connect it the to the MIDI interface using the interface's audio cables. Connect the interface "Audio In" cable to the keyboard's "Audio Out" port and the keyboard's "Audio In" port to the interface's "Audio Out" cable. Turn on the keyboard and the computer. Connect the interface via USB cable to the computer. The computer will detect the new hardware.

Step 2

Use a keyboard with USB MIDI functionality. Follow your keyboard instruction manual to set your USB functionality to storage mode, as opposed to MIDI mode. Files can be transferred from storage mode while MIDI is used for sending and receiving messages. Some keyboards may allow the USB function to serve both purposes simultaneously. Once storage mode is selected, power down the keyboard.

Start the computer and connect it to the keyboard via a USB cable. Turn the keyboard on. The computer will detect the new hardware. To ensure a proper connection, computer control panels will show the drive to which connection has been made and a file name associated with the brand of keyboard.

Transferring Files from Computer to Keyboard

Step 1

Specify on the keyboard whether a connection is to be made to a storage card or an internal memory area. If an automatic prompt does not appear when the keyboard is powered on, consult the keyboard instruction manual.

Step 2

Determine what computer directory is recognized by the keyboard. This information also may be found in the keyboard instruction manual. Ensure that all audio files to be transferred are saved to this directory. You may have to create an audio import location on your computer for successful data transference.

Press your keyboard's applicable function keys to load or save directory data. You may have to reselect the audio file destination. Press the keyboard function key to import audio files from your computer. The process is complete when a confirmation screen appears.

Items you will need

  • MIDI interface (if keyboard does not have a USB MIDI port)
  • USB cable

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