Can a Regular Electronic Keyboard be Used as a MIDI Controller?

Can a Regular Electronic Keyboard be Used as a MIDI Controller?

My home studio is one of many that has a MIDI keyboard. It’s nice to use a piece of equipment for various tasks because music equipment can get pricey. Can a regular electronic keyboard be used as a MIDI controller? So, can you play conventional keyboard games on the MIDI keyboard you use only for recording? If they have their sounds, MIDI keyboards can be utilized as standard keyboards. If MIDI keyboards are only used as MIDI controllers, they cannot be utilized as regular keyboards. These don’t have any unique noises. To play sounds, they link and transmit MIDI data to sound sources. 

A “normal keyboard” is what?

A typical keyboard produces its sounds. It might, for instance, have built-in speakers that you can hear when you switch it on, choose a sound you like, and press a few keys. Numerous keyboard designs fall under the general category of “normal” keyboards.

  • Workstations
  • Arrangers
  • Synthesizers
  • electronic pianos
  • stage pianos

But speakers are not required on the keyboard. It is regarded as a standard keyboard if it produces sound in some way. Many professional and semi-professional keyboards (stage pianos, some prominent synths) lack speakers. But they continue to make noise! You have two options for getting the sound out of them:

  • Hook up a set of headphones.
  • Add a keyboard amplifier.
  • Join a loudspeaker system

When you consider how these keyboards are used, this makes sense. Speaking in front of an audience while performing solo, in a band, or at home, speakers built into a keyboard need to be louder to be helpful. They wouldn’t likely sound all that great, either. As was already said, there are numerous varieties of MIDI keyboards. If your primary instrument is the piano, you may wish to get a digital piano that you can use as a piano and a MIDI keyboard. Regardless of your budget, this article on how much to spend on a digital piano should assist you in deciding if you’re in the market.

A MIDI keyboard is what?

In this context, the MIDI keyboard refers to a keyboard that is only a MIDI controller. No sound is produced by it on its own. You won’t hear any sound coming out of it, whatever of the keys you press. Its sole function is to transmit MIDI data to a sound-producing device. Using MIDI data, a device can be instructed on what notes to play, how long to play them for, how loud to play them, etc. A pure MIDI controller keyboard cannot be used independently as a standard keyboard. I recommend reading my post on what MIDI keyboards can do to learn more about the features of MIDI keyboards and why they are such effective studio instruments. A MIDI cable must be connected between your MIDI keyboard and the target device for it to play the target device. The kinds of gadgets that you may link it to are…

  • running on a computer is a virtual instrument
  • sound unit
  • A second MIDI keyboard
  • using an instrument app on a smartphone
  • regular keyboards that support MIDI

In reality, many keyboards combine the two styles above. This indicates that they have one or more MIDI ports and make their sounds. They can therefore play music from another piece of music hardware, such as a computer running virtual instrument software or a sound module, in addition to being regular keyboards. They function just like MIDI controllers in this regard. Nowadays, the majority of “standard” keyboards include MIDI connectivity. Therefore, even while a MIDI controller keyboard cannot be used on its own as a regular keyboard, a traditional keyboard can frequently be used as a MIDI keyboard. A keyboard used for songwriting, rehearsing, and practice is a standard setup in a home studio. It is also a recording tool, frequently connected via MIDI to a computer running DAW software. I’ve had a setup like that in my home studio for many years.

I play a lot of music on my digital piano. I frequently use it to record the piano and other keyboard parts, and it is also permanently connected to my computer via MIDI. Using a MIDI controller as a standard keyboard, I’ve emphasized throughout this post that pure MIDI controllers cannot be used as standard keyboards on their own. However, when combined with a sound source with a MIDI input and generating its sounds, they practically function as a standard keyboard. The valuable source’s MIDI IN would be connected to the keyboard’s MIDI OUT. Any previously stated sound source, such as a computer running virtual instrument software or a sound module, could be a good source. The valuable source would likely need to be linked to a keyboard amplifier or PA system to hear the sound.

Which keyboard style is best for you?

Can a regular electronic keyboard be used as a MIDI controller? I suggest a MIDI controller keyboard if you intend to use your keyboard just for MIDI home recording. It might be challenging to decide precisely what equipment to acquire when outfitting your home studio. Your decision on what you need to connect and operate your MIDI keyboard in your studio should be aided by my post on “do a MIDI keyboard need an audio interface.” A conventional keyboard is more appropriate if you want to use your keyboard more as a tool for general playings, such as practice, learning, and composition. A digital piano can be an excellent option depending on what you want to play.

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