I have a Yamaha P-105 piano and an Alesis drum machine.

The Yamaha has an out 'USB to Host' for connecting to a computer's USB port.

I want to use the keyboard to control the sounds on the Alesis drum machine which uses standard MIDI.

How can I connect these two? It seems like Yamaha didn't think about that.

Basically, I think I need a cable that has female USB and on the other end will send to the standard MIDI IN.

  • In a pinch, you could use a midi computer interface and route the MIDI signals from the keyboard through the computer to the controller, but the latency is probably going to be horrible.
    – Babu
    Jul 25, 2013 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


If all you've got is USB on your Yamaha, I think you're only gonna be able to connect it to your computer. I could be wrong, but i don't thiiiiink little usb=>midi devices exist. You'll have to google it or wait for someone who knows for sure...

So one way around it is to have your midi sequencer on your pc route the yamaha midi to the Alesis.

  • Stephen, I think you are correct. It's just disappointing. Looks like I'll be selling my keyboard and drum machine and getting a Yamaha workstation keyboard like the Motif, or something that suits my needs better.
    – osakagreg
    Jul 23, 2013 at 20:55
  • If I were you, I'd sell the Alesis and use a softsynth for drums. But, of course, I'm not - I'm sure ya got your reasons :) Jul 23, 2013 at 21:14

Normally, you'd need a computer to connect the Yamaha P-105 to, since its USB interface is only of the "to-host" kind, i.e. it needs a USB host, which acts as the controller of the USB connection. Also the computer is needed to interpret the incoming MIDI-over-USB data and route it into your music software or to another MIDI interface attached to your computer.

But there is actually a little box which acts as USB host and translates MIDI-over-USB into old-fashioned DIN-5 MIDI, the Kenton MIDI USB Host. With this device you can connect MIDI gear with a USB to-host interface to other MIDI equipment without the need for a computer. It's not exactly cheap, though (around 100€/90 pounds). It depends on your existing gear whether it is worth the investment or if it's more economical to get a better master keyboard with a standard MIDI interface.

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