How to Record a Digital Piano 

Written by: Leslie Carmichael

Gone are the days of using a cassette tape and boombox to make crackly, static-filled recordings of your own musical compositions. Instead, one of the benefits of playing a digital piano is the ease with which you can make quality recordings and share them. You can do this several ways depending on the type of digital piano you have. 

You might want to make a recording to hear how your musicianship is improving, or perhaps you want to record so you can play or sing along with your own music. On the other hand, maybe you need to make a recording for a project or give it to a friend. Digital music makes this easy. Keep reading to find out how to record a digital piano. 


How to Record Your Digital Piano Using the On-Board Track Recorder 

Most digital pianos have built-in multi-track recorders. Of course, you’ll want to refer to your owner’s manual for the specific details, but the process is pretty simple. 

  1. Get your music ready. 
  2. Set the tempo of your click track using your metronome. This will help you keep a steady tempo throughout your recording. 
  3. Select your track, if applicable. 
  4. Press record and begin playing. 
  5. After your song is finished, stop recording and hit save. 

Depending on your model of digital piano, you might be able to save your work to a USB device or SD card so you can copy it to a computer. In addition, you may have the option to save the recording as a .wav file, which includes the actual sounds, or a .midi file, which only consists of the data about the sounds. 

Some digital pianos have multi-track recorders, which means you can split your recordings into several layers. For example, you might want to record just the right hand on track one and just the left hand on track two. Or perhaps you want to record the piano part on track one and add a strings sound to track two. There are plenty of options for onboard recordings. 

If your digital piano does not have a USB or SD port, you might want to choose a different method of recording so that you can play your music on devices other than just your digital piano. 

How to Record Your Digital Piano Using MIDI

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This popular technology has been around for about 30 years, so you are very likely to find a MIDI line out on the back of your digital piano. 

Check out our buying and reviews of the best midi keyboards

To record using MIDI, you will need a MIDI cable and something to record on, such as an iPad or a laptop. The hardest part is finding the right cable for recording because you’ll need it to connect from whatever port your digital piano has to whatever port your recording device has. 

For example, your digital piano may have a USB midi line out, which you could connect to your laptop using a USB line in. Or perhaps you are recording to an iPad, in which case you’ll need to record using a cable that has a MIDI interface to your digital piano and an adapter to go in the lightning port of your iPad. Again, your user manual will help you with this. You can also check out this article about connecting multiple midi devices.

Next, you’ll need something to record on. 

I prefer to use my digital piano as a MIDI controller and record into Garage Band on my iPad. Still, you can use any app or software that can record MIDI, such as Cakewalk, Wave From, or Piano Time. Here’s how:

  1. Attach your cables and turn on your digital piano and iPad. 
  2. Open Garage Band or other app. 
  3. Select new song. 
  4. Select the instrument sound you want to record. This could be piano, orchestra, strings, etc. Remember, the keyboard is just sending data to the recording device. The recording device is what is actually making the sound for this project. 
  5. Set your metronome tempo, if desired. You may need to set other parameters, such as volume and the number of measures. 
  6. Hit record. 
  7. Record your music and then hit stop. 
  8. Save your project. 

How to Record Your Digital Piano Using Audio Line Out 

You can also record the audio of your digital piano using software or apps such as Garage Band, but this time you’ll need an audio cable, not a MIDI cable. You can use the audio line out from your digital piano. However, you’ll need to use a microphone line-in for your recording device. So you’ll need to figure out what type of cable you need, depending on the ports on your digital piano and on your recording device. In some cases, if your recording device, such as your laptop and your digital piano, both use Bluetooth, you could stream directly to your recording device by pairing it with Bluetooth. 

You’ll need an app or software that records audio, not MIDI. This could be Garage Band, QuickTime, or some other recording software. You can find some Garage Band tips and tricks here. 

Here’s how to record using your audio line out: 

  1. Attach your cables or pair your Bluetooth. 
  2. Turn on your digital piano and open your software app. 
  3. This time, you’ll be recording actual audio files, so it will be a bigger file than a MIDI file would be. 
  4. Set up your song on your software.
  5. Open new song. 
  6. Set the number of measures. 
  7. Choose your tempo. 
  8. Select record. 
  9. Record your music and then hit stop. 
  10. Make sure you save your file. 
  11. Add any effects you desire and save your file again. 

Your software may ask you to convert your file to .wav or .mp3, two popular file formats used for saving music. These formats make your music playable on your phone, mp3 player, or other electronic devices. 


Although recording your digital piano may seem complicated at first, once you practice it a few times by following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to figure it out. Don’t forget to consult your owner’s manual for the cables you’ll need for your digital piano and make sure you can connect them correctly to your recording device. No matter which of the following methods you use to record, always take the time to save your work: 

  • Record Your Digital Piano Using the On-Board Track Recorder 
  • Record Your Digital Piano Using MIDI
  • Record Your Digital Piano Using the Audio Line Out
Written By:
If anyone knows a thing or two about pianos, it's Leslie. Having played piano for the past 25 years and teaching for the past 15 years, she has vast experience compared to most. She loves to share her honest opinions about the brands and manufacturers in the industry. In her free time, Leslie loves to play with her dogs and go on hikes.

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