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Keyboard to FL?

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I picked up what I believe to be a pretty great little second-hand keyboard.

61 keys

LCD screen

built in speakers

1/4' output and assignable jacks

MIDI input and output jacks

200 tones to choose from

(came with a pedal, I have an amp and a 1/4' to 1/8' jack converter)

It's got a memory and layering function, prefab rhythms, touch response, blah blah blah. I don't even know what half the stuff does or how it works yet.

ANYWAY... My problem now is, how do I connect this sucker up to my computer, and Is it compatible with FL? (if so... how do I get them working together...)

Unfortunately.. I'm a noob with the keyboard... a noob with FL... and a noob with computers. I'm in a bit of a rut.

I looked around the forums for something so basic.. but couldn't find it.. (not to my surprise). If there's already something please link me, if not I would greatly appreciate anyones help. Thank you in advance. Once again.. looking for 3 things really

- how I should hook it up

- what software I would need to use it

- if FL is a compatible software, how do connect the two

Thanks again

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Well, a few things:

-don't expect all those sounds to work through your MIDI cable, all that can send is note/pitch/misc data, no audio.

-Your built-in speakers are useless unless you wanna jam without loading FL

-you can record the audio part of your keyboard with FL [the 200 tones part] if you have the right cords and inputs

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To expand on what Overcoat says, you have two options of how you can use the keyboard in conjunction with a PC. You can do both if you like, just not really at the same time. Sorry if this is too low-level; not trying to insult you here, just don't know what you know and it's easier to say everything than come back several times explaining things you didn't understand the first time.

1) You want to use the audio output from your keyboard and record it in FL Studio. You'll need some way of making a connection from the 1/4" output jack of your keyboard into your PC. One way to do this is get an 1/8" to 1/8" male to male cable (male meaning it has a pin, not a hole; for example, headphones have an 1/8" male connector and your iPod/CD player's headphone input is a 1/8" female connector). You'd also need a 1/8" female to 1/4" male adapter to stick on one end of the cable so you can connect to your keyboard. Then, attach the 1/4" end to your keyboard and 1/8" end to the line in on your soundcard on your PC. Note that you don't want to use the microphone input if you have both a mic and line in, as the two inputs will expect the sound to be at different levels. Then, make sure FL Studio is set up to use your sound card as an input and record on a pattern (not entirely sure how to do this; I switched from FL Studio to Cubase and never recorded audio in FL Studio while I used it).

This should work, but the quality won't be all that good. A much better option is to get a proper audio interface which will both act as a sound card with a much lower latency than you'll get on any standard sound card, and provide several inputs for you to record audio on a 1/4" or XLR (microphone connection, usually 3 pin) connection, as well as MIDI, depending on the model. In that case, your setup will probably be 1/4" male to male from the keyboard into the audio interface, and whatever from the audio interface to your PC. USB is the common standard for this, but Firewire exists. Your PC likely has USB ports but may not have Firewire, so check this out before you buy an interface. If you go this route, ask around and some of us can recommend an interface that will do what you want.

Latency is the time the sound card spends processing the audio data before it plays it back. For straight playback, this is irrelevant, but for recording (whether audio or MIDI) while playing back stuff you've already recorded, it's essential to have a really low latency. I can't work with anything under 10 ms (one hundredth of a second) personally, but this depends somewhat on your style of music and a lot on you; it's a very human factor. Anyway, a standard sound card is much more likely to have a higher latency, so if you don't want the notes you play on your keyboard to be output by your sound card after a significant delay, getting a good audio interface is essential.

2) You want to use your keyboard as a MIDI controller: you play notes and send MIDI data (which note you play, when you play it, how hard you press the key, etc, but no actual sound) to FL Studio. FL Studio uses some kind of VST or soundfont to interpret the MIDI data and generate audio, which may be sampled (your notes trigger pre-recorded data) or synthesized (audio is created based on your notes and other parameters set in software).

If you want to do this, you need to run a MIDI cable from the MIDI out on your keyboard to the MIDI in on your PC. Don't have a MIDI in? You'll need a new sound card or audio interface that has a MIDI in connection. Once you have everything connected, open the MIDI panel on FL Studio (F11?) and make sure that it's recognizing your sound card or audio interface as a MIDI Input device. Then, take a pattern and use a VST or load the Fruity Soundfont Player or some other FL Studio plugin, make sure your VST/plugin/soundfont player has some sounds loaded if necessary, and start playing on the keyboard; you should hear audio generated by the plugin.

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Thank you very much! :)!!

I don't mind the over-simplification at all. In fact it's appreciated. lol

I now have the keyboard hooked up through the adapter and 1/8' to 1/8' cord (both of which I found in my house by pure chance) to my line in, and the computer recognizes that it's present.

As for getting it to correspond with FL.. I'm still gonna need a little help..

I see the MIDI input settings that Kanthos referred to... But I can't find any non-MIDI input settings (or tutorials or forums on the net). I'm sure there's a pretty simple way to get it working... but it eludes me. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond Scott and Mike. Muuuch appreciated.

By the way.. my soundcard is pretty lame, and I'll probably be back here to ask advice on what kind of interface to get... eventually. Thanks for that info!

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I'm assuming you're using FL Studio 6 or 7; I'm not familiar with anything older than those two.

When you're looking at the MIDI setup page, there's a few tabs on the left in that window. One should be Audio or something like that. Double-check the settings there, but there probably shouldn't be anything you have to do in FL Studio to get it to accept audio (besides remembering to switch on record mode :)

You should also make sure that your mic or line in channel, whichever you use, isn't muted. That'll show up in your Volume control in the Windows system tray. You might have to go into properties on the volume window and make sure mic or line in is checked off so they'll show on the main volume window, then make sure that neither is muted and that the levels are set high enough for the sound to be picked up.

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bah, thanks for your quick reply. I tried to respond earlier today, but my system went ka-put.

Anyway.. more or less along the lines of:

Now I feel reeeally stupid. Not only were the Line In and Microphone muted, and FL not in record mode... but I still don't know what to do. The Mic and Keyboard now emit sound through the system speakers, but I can't change the "In" dropdown box in the mixer from "none" to my soundcard... or either of those 2 inputs. There are no options but "none".

For the output it recognizes the soundcard however. I read the whole troubleshoot section on how to record from an external device, but everything's a dead end unless I change the "none" to one of my devices it would seem.

Any ideas?/am I doing everything wrong/missing something? lol

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Hmm...Are you expecting FL Studio to recognize audio input live by default (as in, you play it and FL Studio does something)? The only thing I can think of is that FL Studio isn't in record mode, so regardless of the audio input it's getting, it's not going to do anything with it. Other than that, I don't know what it could be.

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Hey, just wanted to thank you SO much for your help with everything.

In my frustration, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong I ended up shutting down my PC. After start up and getting back at it, my sound card was suddenly recognized. ;-)

Don't know how, don't really care. It works. And I am supremely happy.

Thanks again for the time and patience. Greatly appreciated. :smile::smile::smile:

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I just got a MIDI controller and I installed it. Fl studios recognizes that it is there, but when I try to play or press any key nothing happens. The controller is connected by USB, it is a Edirol PCR-M30 is that helps you understand the problem. Any suggestions?

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