Audacity not recognizing line from keyboard

I am new to every last bit of this so please forgive me if this is a stupid question …

I’d like to try recording from my Yamaha keyboard and thought I could do so simply by connecting my keyboard to the computer (using Windows 10) with a USB cable and recording in Audacity. However, my computer is recognizing the cable/keyboard; Audacity is not.

What am I doing wrong? Do I need a different type of cable? Something that plugs into a different spot? I figured it would sound ‘cleaner’ to record this way rather than via a mic (which I don’t have anyway) … thinking of background noises, etc? … but, like I said … I have no idea what I’m doing!

Thank you in advance for any assistance!

Check the specs for your keyboard, The USB port might be MIDI only. MIDI isn’t digital audio. It’s “notes & timing” messages and the sound is then generated by virtual instruments (software).

Audacity is NOT a MIDI application (it has some limited MIDI capabilities).

If you have a desktop/tower computer you can connect headphone-out* or line-out from your keyboard to line-in (blue) on your soundcard. The mic input on a laptop is not “correct”. If you don’t have a soundcard with line-in there are USB audio interfaces with line-in.

It’s probably easier to record the audio than to use MIDI and with the audio connection you’ll get the actual sound of the keyboard. But with MIDI you can edit the notes & timing after recording or change to a completely different virtual instrument.


  • If the the headphone output is the only analog output you have, you’ll probably need a splitter to listen to your headphones while recording. You can listen through the computer but there is latency (a delay) and if the delay is noticeable it’s difficult to perform.

That’s how I do it. My Yamaha keyboard digital output is MIDI only. I record the analog headphone signal.

MIDI is machine control. It tells something else how to make music. Because it’s machine control, you can do tricks like tell the system to sound different instruments than the one you’re playing.

There are some bad problems with MIDI. Almost any MIDI software can let your hear your performance, but it’s really hard to turn a live performance into MIDI.

Audacity isn’t actually MIDI software. It has a couple of MIDI tools because everybody kept jumping up and down about not being able to do anything.


So before you give up on this check your owner’s manual. For example, on page 50 of the manual for the Yamaha PSR 373, it says:

Connecting the [USB TO HOST] terminal of this
instrument and the computer via a USB cable allows
you to do the following.

 When Storage Mode (Function 056; page 55)
is set to on.
• File transfer (Song, Style, Backup)

 When Storage Mode is set to off.
• Performance data communication by MIDI
• Audio data communication by USB

Simply by connecting the instrument and a computer
via a USB cable, the instrument is recognized by the
computer. However, a dedicated driver must be
installed for audio data communication. For details,
refer to “Computer-related Operations” on the website
(page 8).

If Storage Mode is ON, you can only use USB for file transfer.

As DVDdoug says above, you can record via the keyboard’s headphone jack, OR

With Storage Mode OFF, you can use the USB to record, BUT

you can record using MIDI with a third-party program designed for that purpose, (search on google), OR

you can download the USB audio driver from the Yamaha site (again, see your manual to see if this is possible), and record with Audacity.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Let us know how you make out. :smiley: