First, let me say I am an absolute newbie. I have a couple of Yamaha keyboards and wish to play other instruments than just the voices that come with it. I found questions like this answered, How to play a MIDI controller keyboard on Windows? however neither of the 2 programs suggested, Simplepiano and Virtualpiano, are available anymore and Reaper appears to be some sort of gift from an advanced alien science. I just want to play different instruments (voices?) through my keyboard, no recording or manipulation at this time. I have tried over a dozen programs and the only one that I get to work is HELM, but I've only managed to play abstract synth sounds. I am running Win7 32 bit

Please advise and Thank you so much in advance

  • 1
    The question you give is already a duplicate; the question referred from that seems more univerdal.
    – guidot
    May 8, 2019 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Your best bet is to use a VST host and VST plugins.

VST plugins are pieces of software that either generate or modify sounds; software synthesizers and effects, so to speak. As the name "plugin" implies, they aren't standalone, but operate inside some other piece of software, the "host" - often a "Digital Audio Workstation" (DAW) like Reaper, which is usually quite complex and overpowered for what you need.

However, there are simpler programs that play the role of host, and do nothing else. Search on the web for "free 32 bit VST host", and try to get one of these programs to run.

The host then allows you to load one or more plugins. Depending on what you want, search for "free vst synth", "free vst piano", "free vst orchestral instruments" or whatever you're looking for.

It sounds like you've already got the connection between your keyboard and the PC going, but for the sake of completeness: you also need a MIDI-to-USB converter if your keyboards have MIDI output, or a USB cable if that's the output your keyboard provides. To check if the right signals arrive, MidiOX is usually a good program to have around.

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