Is it possible to connect a midi keyboard to a PC, WITHOUT using a midi to usb cable.. Thus instead using a midi to audio jack cable. And then be able to record midi, for example on a DAW? I tried some possibilities but couldn't figure it out. And when I try to google all I get is midi to usb cables. I also have an amplifier if that could perhaps assist with something ? anyone ?

The reason I ask is because I have this old Roland xp-80 I want to connect to my PC. I have a lot of cables hence I thought if I could solve it with what I had it'd save me a buck

2 Answers 2


There are other ways to connect a MIDI keyboard to a PC besides a MIDI to USB cable -- there are MIDI to MIDI, MIDI to ethernet, MIDI to bluetooth, MIDI to wifi adapters -- but I don't know of any MIDI to audio jack connections for good reason:

MIDI is not a system containing audio information. It's a set of numbers just like USB data in essence (though there are many more complications); it's no more suited to coming in via an audio cable than an external HD would be.

If you just want to record audio out from your keyboard to your PC then you should be able to do audio out to audio in, but then it's the same as recording from a CD or Microphone. You won't be able to edit any MIDI data afterwards.


You won't be able to connect Midi to a PC audio with just a cable. However, citing the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry for the Roland XP-80:

The Roland XP-80 is a music workstation that uses digital PCM subtractive synthesis

That's not a Midi keyboard, or rather, a Midi keyboard is only the smallest part of its circuitry. The keyboard has 6.3mm sound output jacks, and an adapter for those to your sound card input is going to do the trick.

Signal-to-noise level is going to be analog quality but you can expect the general sound quality to be better than you can get with software Midi expanders as long as they come with a price tag significantly below that of your Roland.

In short: you should be happy not to connect via Midi if your goal is to work with the actual sound samples. A (bidirectional) Midi adapter might still make sense since a DAW might be able to work more flexibly with Midi rather than audio data and you can then still use your Roland for converting the finalized Midi to sound.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.