PC / Keyboard Interface Questions

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Posted by Nick Bair on December 24, 2003 at 19:43:27:

I have been making MIDI music via sequencing software for some time now. I recently developed an interest in buying an inexpensive keyboard such as the Casio CTK-671, and a MIDI interface for my PC. However, I know nothing about any of this, so I need some advice. The keyboard is GM compatible, and seems relatively adequate. I would like to be able to achieve the following:

- Input MIDI data into Cakewalk via the Casio.
- Input data into the Casio via Cakewalk or other MIDI software.
- Download data from the Casio Music Site (and, if possible, other sources) to the keyboard via the MIDI connection.

Do I need to buy some kind of PCI card to do this? I have seen USB MIDI hookups, but they seem pretty expensive. I don't have a lot of money for this endeavor, but I would be willing to spend a reasonable amount more if the benefits of doing so were worth it.

Also, the MIDI sounds on my computer are pretty lousy. Do I need to buy a new sound card to get better MIDI sounds? I know I can route MIDI data out to the keyboard and use its sounds, but is there a software option to accomplish this instead?

I realize this is a very broad-scoping post, but I am venturing into uncharted territory for myself, and I want to make sure I do it right.

Thanks in advance.

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