Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Jump to content

MIDI keyboard - basic question


Recommended Posts



I am sorry about how basic this is, but we all start somewhere, right? Essentially, I think I just don't quite understand how MIDI works:


I have a full-sized MIDI keyboard which I want to record with. I am using my Helix as an audio interface as well as a guitar processor and, combining the Helix FX with the 5 or 6 voices built into the keyboard I can create quite a wide range of sounds. Happy days.


However, the keyboard only has 2 outputs - a MIDI output and the headphone jack. Knowing the Helix has a MIDI input, I bought a MIDI cable and assumed I could run the keyboard into the Helix and select the input on the Helix as the MIDI. However, I cannot find a setting which allows me to do this. Moreover, when I connect them and press keys it changes settings and presets and stuff. I understand that MIDI signals can be used to trigger certain changes in the Helix, although I'm not interested in that at the moment. All I want to do is run the keyboard through the Helix (utilising some of its FX on the way) and into my DAW (Reaper) to record.


I CAN record the keyboard, but it involves running out of the headphone jack of the keyboard (via a 1/8 to 1/4 jack adaptor) and into the guitar input of the Helix. The sound quality isn't the best and there is a little background hiss. I'm sure there must be a way to just take the MIDI signal and that this must result in better sound quality.


Any help greatly appreciated!



Link to comment
Share on other sites



without going into too much detail (you can do your own research), but just to point you the right way, the problem is that midi carries no audio information. 

Midi is data, i.e. pitches, durations, velocities, controllers on/off, etc. used to command / control equipment.

What your keyboard is sending to the helix via midi is not the sound. it's the info on which keys you are pressing.


You can control your helix with the midi coming from your keyboard (turning effects on/off, changing patches, parameters, etc.) but there is no audio there to be processed that's why midi can't be an input to be processed by the helix.


If you want the audio coming from you keyboard to be processed by the Helix you will indeed need to go the analog wiring route. The most appropriate input on your helix would be the aux in and not guitar in.


Hope this broad explanation helps.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...