Installing a USB or MIDI Cable Between Your sound card and Keyboard
Your external MIDI keyboard needs to be connected to your MIDI sound card via one of these two types of cables:
You might also need to connect a USB MIDI interface device between your computer and keyboard. To determine which kind of cable you need, and whether you will also need to add a USB MIDI interface between your computer and keyboard, you should examine what kind of cable connectors are available on your keyboard and computer's sound card.
Determine what kind of connector your MIDI keyboard has:
If your MIDI keyboard has a USB connector and no MIDI connector(s), then connect a USB cable between it and your computer:
Determine whether your computer's sound card has a joystick connector:
However, your sound card might have only the connectors for speakers, headphone, and microphone, and no joystick connector.
If your MIDI keyboard has one or two MIDI connectors and no USB connector, and if your sound card has a joystick connector, then connect your keyboard to your sound card with MIDI cables:
The above picture probably seems confusing because it has two joystick connectors, and two MIDI connectors. This is really just one cable. The second joystick connector is included in the cable so that a game joystick can share the same joystick connector on the sound card with the external MIDI device. The two MIDI connectors at the other end are for MIDI In and MIDI Out, but there might not be labels indicating which connector is for MIDI In versus MIDI Out. In that case you will need to figure out which cable connector is for MIDI In versus MIDI Out experimentally.
If your MIDI keyboard has one or two MIDI connectors and no USB connector, and if your sound card has no joystick connector, then add a physical MIDI USB interface between your computer and keyboard:
The following diagram shows how you would connect an E-MU Xmidi unit between your computer and your MIDI keyboard:
Connect one or two MIDI cables between the MIDI USB interface and your MIDI keyboard. The MIDI cable will have male connectors on both ends, and look like this: