How To Connect A Digital Piano To Your Device?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

Nowadays, there are many different ways for musicians to play, practice, and perform. Connecting your instrument to a desktop computer, a Mac, or even an iPad is one of the most effective methods.

Even if it may sound easy, it can be difficult to do this for the first time. The cables, wires, or ports can all be confusing and challenging. In this article, I will be showing you the correct way to connect your keyboard to your device.

What is Musical Instrument Digital Interface?

A communication protocol known as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) enables digital instruments to connect with other hardware and vice versa. 

The key that was pressed, how hard you pressed it, and how long you held it down are all recorded when you press a key, pedal, or controller on your keyboard. All of these can be captured and transmitted as MIDI data to an external device.

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Equipment Needed To Connect Your Piano To A Device

In connecting your digital piano to your device, having the necessary and right equipment will help make this process faster and easier. The primary equipment you will need to prepare is a cable compatible with the port found in your keyboard. This may vary depending on your keyboard’s brand and model, commonly ranging from MIDI to USB cable or USB type A to USB type B cable, but regardless of that, both cables will enable you to connect your keyboard to your external device allowing for MIDI data transfer. 

Prograde keyboards and earlier models utilize a MIDI connection exclusive only for MIDI in/out ports. On the other hand, newer modeled keyboards are equipped with a USB type-B port. Even though your keyboards may feature a USB type-A port, it’s not suitable for transferring MIDI data and is only meant to be used with flash drives to save your keyboard’s external sounds.

Cables And Adapters For Your Device:

There may be alternatives to using cables and adapters to connect your keyboard to external devices. High-end and more recent keyboard models already come with Bluetooth MIDI connectivity, which, provided your device supports it, wirelessly connects your keyboard to your device.

To avoid incurring any additional costs from buying cables and adapters, it is highly suggested that you check whether your keyboard has Bluetooth MIDI connectivity.

Keyboard Connectivity (Port)Computers/Laptops (USB Type-A)Macbooks/Laptops/Android Devices (USB Type-C)iOS Devices (Lightning Port)Android Devices(Micro -USB)
USB Type-BUSB type-A to USB Type-B cableUSB type-C to USB Type-B cable


USB type-A to USB Type-B cable with USB type-A (Female) to USB type-C (Male) adapter
Lightning Port to USB type-B cable


USB type-A to USB Type-B cable with USB Camera (Female) to Lightning Port (Male)to Adapter
USB type-A to USB Type-B cable with USB type-A (Female) to Micro-USB (Male) adapter
MIDI In/OutMIDI to USB InterfaceMIDI to USB Interface with USB type-A (Female) to USB type-C (Male) adapterMIDI to USB Interface with USB Camera (Female) to Lightning Port (Male) AdapterMIDI to USB Interface with USB type-A (Female) to Micro-USB (Male) adapter 

How To Connect Your Keyboard To An External Device 

Keyboard To Computer:

It’s simple to connect your keyboard to a computer and only requires you one cable. However, this depends on the port your keyboard is equipped with.

Keyboard’s USB Type-B Port

Cable Needed: USB type-A to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: Not Applicable

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s USB type-A connector into your computer’s USB type-A port..
  3. You’re all set!

Keyboard’s MIDI In/Out Port (5 pins)

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB Interface cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-C (Male) to USB Type-A (Female). This is only applicable if your keyboard has MIDI ports while your computer has an irregular-sized USB port. This allows you to use the MIDI to USB interface.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s USB type-A connector into your computer’s USB type-A port.
  4. You’re all set!

If you’re wondering why to place the MIDI connector opposite to your keyboard’s MIDI port, this is primarily because the signal flow associated with MIDI should go from your keyboard directly to your computer, which then goes directly into your speakers. Hence, the sound moves in and out, transferring data between your keyboard and computer.   

Keyboard to MacBook:

In comparison to a keyboard to desktop computer connection, this form of connection is more complex because older MacBook models have a USB type-A port whereas current models have a USB type-C port or lightning port. Because of this, it’s crucial to have the appropriate cable and adapter ready for the specific model of MacBook you own.

Keyboard’s USB Type-B Port:

Older Model Macbooks (2006-2015)

Cable Needed: USB type-A to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: Not Applicable

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s USB type-A connector into your Macbook’s USB type-A port.
  3. You’re all set!
Newer Model Macbooks (2016-Present)
USB Type-C Macbooks

Cable Needed: USB type-C to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to USB type-C (Male) adapter. If you are using a USB type-A to USB Type-B cable.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s USB type-C connector into your Macbook’s USB type-C port.
  4. You’re all set!
Lightning Port Macbooks

Cable Needed: Lightning Port to USB type-B cable

Adapter Needed: USB Camera (Female) to Lightning Port (Male) Adapter. This is only applicable if you are using a USB type-A to USB Type-B cable.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s lightning connector into your Macbook’s lightning port.
  4. You’re all set!

Keyboard’s MIDI In/Out Port (5 Pins)

Older Model Macbook (2006-2015)

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB interface cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A 

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s USB type-A connector into your MacBook’s USB type-A port.
  4. You’re all set!
Newer Model Macbook (2016-Present)
USB Type-C Macbooks

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB Type-C cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to USB type-C (Male) adapter. If you are using a USB type-A to USB Type-B cable.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and Plug the cable’s USB type-C connector into your MacBook’s USB type-C port.
  4. You’re all set!
Lightning Port Macbooks

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB interface cable

Adapter Needed: USB Type-A (Female) to Lightning Port (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s lightning port connector into your MacBook’s lightning port.
  4. You’re all set!

Keyboard to iOS Device

The type of cable and adapter needed for the keyboard to iOS device connection is similar to that needed for the Macbook and depends on the type of port your iOS device has, either a lightning port or a 30-pin port. 

Keyboard’s Type-B

30-Pin Port iOS Devices (iPhone 4s Below and Ipad 3 Below)

Cable Needed: USB Type-C to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: USB Type-C (Female) to Apple 30-pin (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s 30-pin Apple connector into your iOS device’s 30-pin Apple port.
  4. You’re all set!
Lightning Port (iPhone 5 Above and Ipad 4 Above)

Cable Needed: Lightning port to USB Type-B cable or MIDI to USB interface cable

Adapter Needed: USB Type-A (Female) to Lightning Port (Male) Adapter, only if you’re using a MIDI to USB interface cable.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. Use an adapter-to-cable if necessary.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the Cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s lightning port connector into your iOS device’s lightning port.
  4. You’re all set!

Keyboard’s MIDI In/Out Port (5 Pins)

30-Pin Port iOS Devices (iPhone 4s Below and Ipad 3 Below)

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB Type-C cable

Adapter Needed: USB Type-C (Female) to Apple 30-pin (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s 30-pin Apple connector into your iOS device’s 30-pin Apple port.
  4. You’re all set!
Lightning Port (iPhone 5 Above and Ipad 4 Above)

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB Type-A cable

Adapter Needed: USB Type-A (Female) to Lightning Port (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s lightning port connector into your iOS Device’s lightning port.
  4. You’re all set!

Keyboard to Android

Just like the previous two keyboard connections, android devices also come with either one of these two ports, a Micro-USB or a USB Type-C.

Keyboard’s Type-B

Android Micro-USB

Cable Needed: USB type-A to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to Micro-USB (Male) adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s Micro-USB connector into your Android device’s Micro-USB port.
  4. You’re all set!
Android Type-C

Cable Needed: USB type-A to USB Type-B cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to USB Type-C (Male) adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s USB Type-B connector into your keyboard’s USB type-B port and plug the cable’s USB Type-C connector into your Android device’s USB Type-C port.
  4. You’re all set!

Keyboard’s MIDI In/Out Port (5 Pins)

Android Micro-USB

Cable Needed: MIDI to USB Interface Cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to Micro-USB (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable.
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s Micro-USB connector into your Android device’s Micro-USB port.
  4. You’re all set!
Android Type-C

Cable Needed:  MIDI to USB Interface Cable

Adapter Needed: USB type-A (Female) to USB Type-C (Male) Adapter

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the cable to be used.
  2. If necessary, use an adapter-to-cable. 
  3. Firmly plug the cable’s MIDI (In) connector into your keyboard’s MIDI (Out) port, connect the cable’s MIDI (Out) connector into the keyboard’s MIDI (In) port, and plug the cable’s USB Type-C connector into your Android device’s USB Type-C port.
  4. You’re all set!

MIDI Bluetooth Adapter

If you’re the type of person who hates seeing all those cables and wires tangled up and your keyboard isn’t Bluetooth-enabled, there are smart devices that can still enable you to wirelessly connect your keyboard to your device. For instance, keyboards with MIDI In/Out Ports but no Bluetooth connectivity may benefit from a MIDI BlueTooth Adapter. As the name suggests, this device enables wireless MIDI data interchange between your keyboard and a selected device as though it had Bluetooth connectivity.