How to Turn Your Keyboard Into a Musical Instrument


New musical instruments can be expensive and time-consuming to learn. Your personal computer’s keyboard can serve as a musical instrument if you use it as a MIDI controller. Music recording and creation software allows you to assign notes and musical functions to your keyboard’s keys whereas you can make music as you would with any other instrument. Use a MIDI arrangement utility if your music creation of recording software does not allow you to assign MIDI functions to your keyboard’s keys.

Things You'll Need

  • Audio creation software
  • Virtual MIDI control utility (optional)
  • Install a MIDI audio creation utility onto your personal computer. Try Digidesign Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, Apple Logic, Sony Acid Music Studio or Ableton Live if you do not have one in mind. You may try GarageBand for free if you are an Apple user, as the program comes pre-installed on your computer.

  • Assign your computer’s keyboard as the audio creation program’s MIDI controller if you are required to do so as a result of not having a musical keyboard controller. Select the utility’s “Preferences” tab and choose your computer keyboard from the list of MIDI devices.

  • Download and install a third-party MIDI control utility such as Virtual MIDI Controller or Virtual MIDI Control Interface if the audio creation utility does not recognize computer keyboards as MIDI controllers. The virtual MIDI control utility acts as a digital MIDI controller through which you may assign your keyboards keys to notes, sounds and other functions.

  • Assign your desired notes to the computer keyboard’s keys. Open the audio creation utility or virtual MIDI control utility’s “Preferences” tab and set the notes to your keyboard’s keys if the default arrangement is not right for you. Your keyboard is a musical instrument once the assignments are to your liking.

  • Push the keyboard’s keys to play the corresponding sounds to use it as a musical instrument.

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  • Photo Credit keyboard image by Fyerne from
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