How to Convert Any Piano to MIDI

By Jonathan Lister ; Updated September 15, 2017

MIDI (musical interface digital instrument) technology is now available to turn any acoustic piano in a MIDI controller, unleashing a variety of pre-set and customizable sounds. With a few simple, non-invasive components to set up, a pianist can be playing synthesized rhythms, amp modules and guitar effects by touching any one of the piano's 88 keys.

Set Up MIDI Controller System

Place the scanner bar at the back of the piano keys resting against the fallboard. Line up the hard rubber feet of the scanner bar at each end of the piano's cheek blocks at either end of the piano's keys. Check that the felt back of the scanner bar is resting flush against the piano's fallboard.

Align the mark in the center of the scanner board that faces the keys with the piano's "middle C" note. Loosen the thumbscrews located at each end of the scanner bar by hand counter-clockwise to allow the bar to shift into alignment. Tighten the screws by turning them clockwise by hand when the scanner bar's center mark is over "middle C."

Place the pedal sensor beneath the piano's foot pedals an inch away. Attach the first USB cable to the pedal sensor, then attach it to the "pedal input jack" on the control module. Attach the remaining USB cable to the scanner box, attaching the remaining end to the "scanner box input jack" on the control module. Turn the control module to the "on" position to begin automatic scanning of the piano's keys.

About the Author

Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.