Recording from keyboard’s MIDI output

I am running Audacity 3.0.2 on Windows 10. I have an Alesis Recital Pro keyboard with USB MIDI output to my laptop using a Type C to USB B cable (basically a printer cable). The problem I have with Audacity is that it is not picking up the notes I play on the keyboard thru the MIDI interface. It only picks up the sound thru my laptop’s Realtek speakers in addition to any ambient noise during recording (such as someone coughing…or the sound of a lawnmower outside). When I upload the recording as a wav. file (or MusicXML file) into such programs as Anthemscore, the resulting printed score is garbled and not note for note what I played. If I disable my laptop mike, Audacity’s sound mapper goes blank and will not allow me to record. The Audacity preferences/midi interface does recognize Alesis Pro. Question: How can I program Audacity to record direct from my keyboard’s MIDI output and not pick up ambient noise?

I program Audacity to record direct from my keyboard’s MIDI output and not pick up ambient noise?

Maybe you don’t. Audacity supports MIDI just enough to say it does if somebody asks, but not enough to be actually useful.

MIDI is machine control. It’s not music. So your job is to convert the MIDI to music “somehow” and then Audacity will be happy to record the music.

Your computer may be able to do all this. Plug the keyboard into your Windows machine and there should be a MIDI interpreter in there somewhere that can convert the machine language to music. Windows has been able to do this for decades. I can do this on a Windows 98 machine. Something in Windows Media Player?? Google. Listen to your keyboard on the computer speakers.

After you get all that sorted, then set up Windows to record Music Playing On The Computer. This would be similar to the settings to record Youtube Music if you like to do that.

Only then run Audacity and tell it to record from that special foldback software device rather than directly from the music keyboard. One typical software package is Stereo Mix. There are others. You also have to hit the right Windows Sound Environment. MME??? That’s way beyond me. I’m not a Windows person.

When you get everything recording, you may find that you can’t hear anything. That’s normal. If you count up, you are using four of the available two sound pathways in Windows. Listening is five.

Does your music keyboard have a headphone connection? Record that. Far easier than trying to steer MIDI data around.

Another Get Out Of Jail card is get one computer to make the music from the keyboard and record the music on another one. I have a newer and an older machine and I’ve been known to do it that way.


As Koz indicates, Audacity does NOT support the real-time USB-MIDI feature that you need. See this post for alternatives: