How to record from Casio WK-240

Is there a way to record directly from my midi keyboard via a midi USB cable? I want Audacity to record the various sounds of my midi keyboard.

I am using Audacity 2.1.2 for Windows 8.

Thank you!

No, Audacity doesn’t understand MIDI input. There is a FAQ that covers what you can do:


via a midi USB cable?

Not directly, no. You can record the line-out or headphone out of the keyboard. I use a Behringer UCA202 USB adapter because my Windows laptop doesn’t have a stereo-in.

Alternately, you can use the midi keyboard to “play” the midi interpreter inside your Windows laptop and use self-recording to record that—but the sound in that case is coming from the computer, not the keyboard.

Midi is machine control, not sound.


That possibility is not mentioned in the FAQ. That requires the USB MIDI cable, presumably? Can most MIDI keyboards do that?


My pre-USB MIDI system could do that. I don’t see why not. Cakewalk could play the keyboard from the PC, or the PC from the keyboard. As we are fond of pointing out, it’s just machine control commands flying back and forth.

I don’t know how common MIDI interpreters are in modern computers. I haven’t actually tried to do that since my old, ironing-board keyboard. I used to “play” my keyboard and change the MIDI instrument IDs for odd effect.

Downloading and playing existing MIDi songs was my introduction to MIDI as programming language. It’s not just arranging and playing 16 instruments. Is that still the MIDI limit?

You do have to be careful. My large, floor-standing Yamaha keyboard uses careful sampling of real instruments for its tones. The interpreter in the PC uses whatever instruments they could throw together. The main MIDI instruments, piano (MIDI 1 thru 3, I think), are probably OK, but some of the others are clearly floor sweepings.

It’s the same problem with soundcards. Their chief attributes are being cheap and inexpensive.

A note on sampling “real instruments.” Nowhere is it written that instruments have to be limited to reality. I like producing lush, rich bass support tones by playing “chorus” (human) and “violins” way lower than they were ever meant to go.

So I can totally sympathize with people wanting to record their keyboard. You can create desirable celebrity sounds and effects with a $49 Costco keyboard—as long as you don’t need to record them, to bring this around.


Another side note. Macs were doing this when PCs were still doing c:>. I’d be shocked if my machines couldn’t handle this. I wonder how much a Cakewalk license is?


Apparently, I can play the built-in Mac Garageband MIDI synthesizer from my Yamaha keyboard, but not the other way 'round. So that’s the answer to playing the computer from the keyboard. Jury’s out on how Windows machines handle this.


AFAIK Windows, OSX and Linux have the basic MIDI driver built-in. That’s only the driver for the interface, sending and receiving MIDI commands. It’s like the serial driver, that’s also built-in, but it works at a different pace.

When it comes to interpreting the commands in the computer, you’ll need software. And the same goes for composing MIDI songs.

When it comes to sending or receiving MIDI, every Terminal or serial comms program should be able to also send MIDI. You type the commands and the comms program sends them. You can also send MIDI (text) files to the keyboard that way. But that’s rather primitive…

That’s what I use to test MIDI interfaces. When it comes to MIDI composing, I don’t know nothing… :laughing:

A very old comms program, that is still maintained and still working with the latest OSX, is Dave Alverson’s zTerm. It has been updated over the years, and reached version 1.2…

I priced Cakewalk. [rapid intake of breath][sitting down]

It’s a full-on DAW now, and priced accordingly.

I don’t need to hear the Piano Scherzo in Bb on an alto sackbut that bad.


You could try Mutools’ Mulabs. It’s one third the price and there’s a free, limited version:

I don’t use it myself, but I know a couple of users who seem stuck to it :sunglasses:

On a Mac? The demo person said he was on Windows and started describing how to get ASIO drivers to work.


Musescore is cross-platform (and open source)
I’ve only used it on Linux (works well).

For really good MIDI sound on a computer, you need a good software sampler / synth, such as “Linux Sampler” (free), Steinberg HALion (about $200 to 4500 US), “NI Kontakt” (from about $100 to $1000 US) or the big daddy for real sampled instruments, “Vienna Symphonic Library” (about 10,000 Euro for the full works). There are also numerous free “SF2” (“sound font”) sample player. The SoundFont format was largely developed and popularised by EMU and Sound Blaster, and there are thousands of free soundfonts that can be downloaded from the Internet (the quality ranges from awful to excellent).

The other option is to use a hardware midi synth / sampler and record it as audio. This is often the easiest option if you have an electronic keyboard with sounds that you like.