How to Connect a Roland Keyboard

By Chris Anzalone ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 1/4" audio cable
  • 1/8" audio adapter
  • RCA cables
  • Audio interface
  • MIDI cable
  • MIDI instrument

The Roland company specializes in digital instruments, particularly keyboard synthesizers like their popular Fantom and Juno series. Since Roland keyboards are designed to interact with other digital instrumentation through MIDI integration and also with traditional music equipment for recording purposes, these keyboards contain input and output sources for both digital notation and raw audio transfer. With the right connections, your Roland keyboard can function as a powerful part of a larger musical arrangement.

Connecting Your Roland Keyboard to a Computer

Attach a 1/8” plug adapter to a 1/4” audio cable and connect the adapter to your computer’s headphone port or Line-In port. Connect the opposing end of the cable to the 1/4” “Output” jack on the back of your Roland keyboard. You should see two “Output” jacks side by side. Insert your cable into the jack that reads “Mono.”

Connect using RCA cables. If your Roland keyboard contains white and red RCA jacks for output, plug the corresponding white and red cables into the jacks. You must use a cable with RCA plugs on one end and a 1/8” headphone-style plug on the opposing end, so you can plug into your Line-In port.

Connect via USB. For an even cleaner connection with no background noise from the computer, connect a USB audio interface (a device resembling an external sound card with ports for your instruments) to your USB port. On the interface itself, plug a 1/4” audio cable into an available 1/4” “Input” jack. Plug the opposing end into the “Output” jack on your Roland keyboard.

Conencting Your Roland Keyboard to a MIDI Instrument/Device

Connect a five-prong MIDI cable to the corresponding MIDI jack on the back of your Roland keyboard. If transferring music notation from your Roland keyboard to a secondary device, use the “MIDI Out” port. If transferring from the secondary device to your keyboard, use the “MIDI In” port.

Connect the other end of your cable to the corresponding MIDI jack on your secondary instrument. If you used the “MIDI In” port on your keyboard, you must use the “MIDI Out” port on your second instrument to enable a signal, and vice versa.

Turn on your keyboard and your additional MIDI device to enable a transfer.