If you have a MIDI keyboard, you may be wondering if you can use it without an audio interface. The answer is yes. A MIDI keyboard does not require an audio interface to work. It can be used standalone with a computer that has a MIDI port.
However, if you want to use your MIDI keyboard to create music, you will need a computer. This is because a MIDI keyboard does not produce sound on its own. It sends out MIDI signals that can be used to control software instruments.
You’ll Need a Computer To Get Sound Out of a Midi Keyboard
So, if you want to use a MIDI keyboard to create music, you will need a computer with a MIDI port and music software. You will also need an audio interface if you want to be able to hear the music you are creating.
If you just want to use your MIDI keyboard as a controller for other devices, such as a synthesizer, you can do that without a computer. In this case, you would connect the MIDI Out of the keyboard to the MIDI In of the other device.
You can also use a MIDI keyboard to control lighting and other devices that use MIDI. For example, you could connect a MIDI keyboard to a lighting console to control stage lighting.
Connecting MIDI Keyboards
First, most MIDI keyboards will require their own power source. This means that you’ll need to either plug it into an outlet or have batteries on hand.
Second, you’ll need to have a MIDI interface in order to connect the keyboard to your computer. Without an interface, the keyboard will likely not work.
Third, even if you have an audio interface, you may not be able to use all of the features of the MIDI keyboard. For example, some keyboards have built-in sequencers that can’t be used without the proper software.
Finally, keep in mind that not all MIDI keyboards are created equal. Some may have more features than others, and some may be better suited for specific genres of music. Do your research to find the best MIDI keyboard for your needs.
MIDI Keyboards and Interfaces
Even though audio interfaces are not necessary for a MIDI keyboard to work, having one has some advantages you can take advantage of.
For one, an audio interface can provide better sound quality than the built-in soundcard in your computer. This is especially important if you plan on using the keyboard for recording purposes.
Second, an audio interface can provide additional features that may be beneficial to you. For example, some interfaces come with built-in effects processors that can be used to enhance the sound of your keyboard.
Lastly, having an audio interface can free up some valuable space on your desk. This is because you will no longer need to have a separate soundcard taking up space.
So, while you can technically use a MIDI keyboard without an audio interface, we highly recommend using one. Doing so will provide you with better sound quality, more features, and a cleaner setup.
If you’re looking for a great audio interface to pair with your MIDI keyboard, we recommend checking out the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It’s an affordable option that offers great sound quality and comes with a few built-in effects processors that can add some extra polish to your recordings.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is also a great option. It’s not quite as feature-packed as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but it’s still a great-sounding interface that won’t break the bank.
Final Thought on If You Need a MIDI Keyboard Without an Audio Interface
Ultimately, whether or not you need an audio interface to use with your MIDI keyboard is up to you. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, you can definitely get by without one. But if you’re looking to get the most out of your setup, we highly recommend investing in a good interface. With the right interface, you’ll be able to do so much more with your MIDI keyboard, and your music will sound better as a result.