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Rusty, Music Professional
Category: Electronic Musical Instruments
Satisfied Customers: 5991
Experience:  Sound Engineer, Electrical Issues, Tone Consulting
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i have an ancient korg x5 serial no.011201 would it be compatible

Customer Question

i have an ancient korg x5 serial no.011201 would it be compatible with a new iMac computer. where could i get the necessary connectors? thank you Chris Gulley
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Electronic Musical Instruments
Expert:  Rusty replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Rusty. Yes, you can use that keyboard with your computer. Although it won't connect with USB, you can use an interface to connect it via midi, or audio.

There are a ton of interfaces out there. Depending on your needs, they can range from $150, to more expensive for the higher end pro recording interfaces. What you want to look for is a midi interface, and if you want to use it for recording what you hear on the piano, make sure it has 2 1/4" inputs, so you can connect the audio out of the keyboard into the interface, and you can record what you hear.

Midi doesn't carry any audio, only information. It can be used with an unlimited amount of instruments that you can download. Make sure the interface you choose is compatible with your Mac OS, and you will be able to connect the X5 without problems.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Rusty. Do you think I would be just as well buying a new midi keyboard . Although this was a very good one at the time maybe 15 -20years ago I imagine some of the modern Keyboards might be as good or better for $150?

Expert:  Rusty replied 4 years ago.
For $150, your choices are slim... Take a look at the M-Audio Keystation. All that is, is a basic midi controller. You plug it into your computer, and the software makes the sounds. You can buy any sounds you wish, so it will emulate any piano, organ, horns, guitar, ... The list goes on and on. It requires some Pro-Tools knowledge (or similar) and plugins.

Since midi isn't audio, only data, the computer is necessary to act like a midi sequencer. By the time you get done building the system, the cost will be like this:

M-Audio Keystation -$100
Pro Tools - $750
Plugin Package - $200
(no interface needed)

That just got more expensive, didn't it? Here's the cheapest you can do: Click here. This goes from your keyboard main outs to your mic input on your computer. That's it. You can use Garageband, Audacity, or similar free program to record your audio.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Rusty. The only thing is I have also been trying to record LPs to MP3 via a connector to the mic input unsuccessfully using Audacity.The guidance there was the mic input wasn't really suitable for that purpose and might do some damage. As you will know although other inputs on a Mac are USB. Could you reassure me that in the case of midi input it will be safe and would it be an option in the case of the LP input to get a USB connector?

Expert:  Rusty replied 4 years ago.
You can use the USB interface for an audio input, that's what they are built for. Hooking up an LP to the mic input will not damage the mic input, as long as there aren't extreme levels going into it. In Audacity, you will have to set your input device as your microphone or line in. Mac inputs are smart, and can be used as both.

In Audacity, select the Edit menu, and go to preferences. You should see your list of audio devices there. Be sure to set it to your mic/line in (which can be called something else, depending on your sound card). Make sure the levels are loud enough where the waveform doesn't go above it's limits. You should see the peaks on the top and bottom.

The USB interface will work the same way. Select it as your input device, plug into 1-2, and you will be recording successfully.