How Do MIDI Keyboard Work: Important Processes Involved

Knowing how a MIDI keyboard works is an important aspect that musicians should understand because being able doing so can help you appreciate the value of the device and take advantage of the benefits it provides.

Unfortunately, a lot of musicians are aware of this and their lack of know-how prevents them from using the keyboard to the best of its advantage. So to educate you, this article discusses some of the most important processes involved in the functioning of a MIDI keyboard.

MIDI keyboards are electrically powered

Just like other devices used for musical purposes, a MIDI keyboard consumes and makes use of electricity to  function. In reality, the keyboard is equipped with keys, lights and other electronic components that need to be powered to operate. Due to this, every unit of a MIDI keyboard has a particular system devoted to energize it.

At the present time, almost all of the MIDI keyboard models sold on the market are either equipped with slots where a USB cable or an external power source cable is attached to supply the needed power for the device.

But based on the studies that were currently conducted by experts, the models that are powered using a USB chord prove to be the most preferred type since they are more convenient to use and can be easily connected to a computer.

MIDI keyboards communicate with computers

MIDI keyboards are designed to communicate and work with computers. This is because connecting the device to a compatible computer boosts its functionality, and in some cases provides useful features that are not readily available without the needed integration.

In addition to that, many MIDI keyboards are built to function better with the aid of software which is commonly downloaded to a computer.

Given the importance of the computer in allowing the keyboard to fully deliver on its purposes, almost all of these are programmed to be compatible with various computer operating systems like the Mac OS and the existing versions of Windows OS.

Not only that, MIDI keyboards are also equipped with a plug-and-play feature that allows them to automatically connect to computers as soon as the USB chord is attached in place, without the need to download or install a driver.

MIDI keyboards make use of DAWs

Aside from communicating with computers, MIDI keyboards also makes use of the so-called digital audio workstations, or DAWs, to deliver their best performance.

What these workstations do is provide you with an area where all mixing and tweaking of sounds are done. These are also responsible for providing you with additional features such as the digital instruments that further enhances the sound quality generated using the keyboard.

These days, existing MIDI keyboard models are usually built to be compatible with different digital audio workstations such as the Logic, Ableton Live and Cubase. However, there are also a number of models that are designed to work best with a particular DAW.

Although a lot of musicians view the keyboards that are compatible with various DAWs as the better option. Many sound experts agree that getting a device which is compatible with a particular DAW version is a good move since the exclusiveness that exists between the workstation and the device usually come with special features and added functions that the other option does not provide.

MIDI keyboards can play and record music

Finally, every musician who is planning and interested in using a MIDI keyboard should know that the device can be used to play and record music that you have created with the help of the functionalities, features and virtual instrument sounds provided by the keyboard.

To do this, you usually connect the device to a compatible computer, and probably to a separate audio system that will enable the sound to be played. This is also the particular feature of the device that makes it an ideal tool for DJs who are usually involved in live performances.


Understanding all of the important processes involved in the functioning of a MIDI player, any individual, be it a musician or a DJ, will readily realize the value of this device. Not only that, most of the information discussed above will most likely guide those who are interested to use it to obtain the advantages that the keyboard readily provides you.