How to Connect a Controller Keyboard to a Sound Module

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A sound module allows a musician to create tones and replicate instruments that would otherwise be impossible in a performance setting, such as strings, horns and synthesizers. Sound modules are usually controlled via a separate keyboard interfaced using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Many newer sound modules and controller keyboards are capable of connecting by USB, though these connections still rely on MIDI architecture. Controllers with powered USB outputs can even interface with virtual sound modules when connected to a computer. Properly connecting your controller keyboard will ensure you get the most out of your sound module.

Things You'll Need

  • Keyboard with MIDI capabilities
  • Sound module
  • MIDI or USB cable
  • Determine whether you will be connecting to the sound module using the MIDI port or a powered USB port. If using MIDI, connect your controller keyboard to its power source.

  • Locate the USB or "MIDI Out" port on your controller. Connect one end of your cable to this port.

  • Locate the USB or "MIDI In" port on your sound module. Connect the other end of your cable to this port.

  • Power on your sound module, then power on your controller keyboard.

  • Refer to the instruction manual packaged with your keyboard controller, and choose and set the MIDI output channel.

  • Make sure the MIDI input channel of your sound module matches the output channel of your keyboard.

  • Using the controls on the sound module or the interfaced controls of your MIDI keyboard, choose a sound and test that playing notes on the keyboard triggers the sound module.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can assign different controllers to different channels, allowing you to have several keyboards each creating their own unique tone, or each triggering different sound modules.

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