Weird MIDI Keyboard

Cubase LE Elements/AI 9 (updated)
Windows 10 Home
Dell Inspiron 15 Series
Hand Roll Piano (unknown manufacturer; uses MCUMidi4.0)
Steinberg UR22

Hi. I have this really cool little silicon keyboard that you can roll up and stick in a backpack. When I plug it into my laptop with Cubase running I can see the MIDI signal on the transport when I play a key on the keyboard.

Q: How do I get the keyboard to play and record in Cubase? I’ve done it before, I just can’t remember how I did it! Seems to me that I recorded the keyboard on a MIDI Track, then copied the track into an Instrument Track. I just can’t remember what the settings were! Please help!

The keyboard has a USB MIDI Out which doubles as a connection to the AC charging adapter. Again, when I plug it in and play something on the keyboard I can see the MIDI Output lighting up in the transport.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Add an Instrument track, enable Record on the Instrument track, and start to play/record. The MIDI data is recorded to the Instrument track.

Hi Martin, thanks for the reply. I’ve tried what you suggest to no avail. I’m still not able to record data from my keyboard to Cubase LE 9. Again, when I plug it in, I am able to see it has a related driver available for Input routing (MCUMidi4.0) in Device Setup and VST Connections. I’m not sure my keyboard is set up properly in Cubase. When I click Devices-Midi Device Manager my keyboard is not in the list. Here’s what I’ve done, following the instructions I find in the Cubase Manual and online video tutorials (which really don’t help when installing an unknown midi device):

  1. Clicked Install Device
  2. Clicked GM Device, added it, and named it “Piano”
  3. In the Output drop-down I selected MCUMidi4.0

I’m not familiar with using a midi keyboard with Cubase as you can tell. The video tutorials indicate I should be able to play the keyboard in Record mode on an instrument track, but when I do there is nothing showing on the piano roll. I am able to plug the headphone out from the keyboard into a Steinberg UR22 interface and record the actual audio coming from the piano, but the signal volume is low, making it necessary to increase gain substantially in Cubase after recording.

I really want to use this keyboard as a midi keyboard, and even though I can see the input meter bouncing on the Transport when I play the piano, I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to get it to record the midi data when I play so that I can modify it afterwards.

BTW, I am able to use the VST instruments for recording, and can create & edit the midi in the Editor windows. So I can create my own drum tracks etc. At least I can manage this much. But making this keyboard work with Cubase is a nightmare! Maybe I should just forget using this keyboard as a midi input device and go with recording and processing the audio.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


First of all, I’m wondering about the MIDI Port name: MCU is shortcut of Mackie Control Unit. This is used to control Cubase’s MixConsole and Transport controls. Are you sure this is the correct MIDI Port?

Double check Devices > Device Setup > MIDI Port Setup. Could you attach a screenshot, please?

Also double check Devices > Device Setup > Remote Devices folder. Make sure the MIDI Port you want to use (provably the MCUMidi4.0) is not used as MIDI Input of any Remote Device: Generic Remote, Track Quick Controls or VST Quick Controls. Use Not Connected instead, please.

And then I’m wondering, if you want to use Cubase’s sounds (virtual instruments) or the “keyboard” sounds.

  • If you want to use virtual instruments, you don’t have to make any Device (GM Device). Add an Instrument track and select the Instrument you want to use (HALion Sonic SE?). As an Input set MCUMidi4.0 (if this is really the one) or All MIDI Inputs. Now you can hear the virtual instrument sound at your audio output (UR22 as far as I understand).
  • If you want to use the “keyboard” sounds, add a MIDI Tracks. As an Input set MCUMidi4.0 In (if this is really the one) or All MIDI Inputs and the keyboard’s MIDI Output (probably MCUMidi4.0 Out). Now you can hear the sound from the “keyboard”.

Hi Martin, and thank you very much for taking the time to help me. I’ve done some reading about MIDI, MIDI controllers, MIDI instruments, and the different types of connections and communications protocols. I suppose I should have done this before reaching out, but at least now I understand a bit more (although, arguably I’m still a bit confused).

To make our discussion a bit easier, I will refer to the MIDI Keyboard as “Keyboard” with a capital K, and the computer keyboard with a lower-case k. I’ll try my best to attach screenshots. Again, thanks for your patience for a noob.

I have made some progress, although I’m still encountering issues. The MCUMidi4.0 is the device driver that the Keyboard uses to interface with the computer. I’ve been able to verify that it functions correctly on both input and output by using MIDI OX software - when using this software I can see the data in real-time when I play the Keyboard (ie. Note ON/OFF data appears in the MIDI OX software). MCUMidi4.0 is also listed in my computer’s Device Manager, and confirms that it’s functioning correctly. This is confirmed on the Transport in Cubase when I play the Keyboard - the MIDI In activity meter rises and falls.

I’ve also been able to figure out how to use the Chord Pads in Cubase, and how to use the Keyboard as a “remote” for activating the Chord Pads. However, when I try to record the pads to a MIDI track, I can only use the pads via the computer keyboard in Cubase - the remote Keyboard doesn’t work during record mode. I’ve ensured to Activate Remote Control for Chord Pads in the Chord Pad editor window. I’d really like to be able to use the Keyboard to play the pads remotely during recording.

I’ve also been able to record actual played keys/chords in the Key Editor window, and am learning how to manage the Key Editor (Quantize, etc.), and listen to the playback on the MIDI Track. So, at least now I can confirm that I can play the Keyboard in the Key Editor, which records what I play, although I really have to edit everything or adjust the editor settings to suit what I want to hear during playback. I’d really like to be able to have the Key Editor recognize Note ON & Note OFF signals, so I’ll have to research how to do that.

I am also able to change the sound of the MIDI data by changing the Bank Selector and Program Selector on the MIDI Track’s Inspector. This is only if I have the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth selected as the Track Output. However, despite your instructions, I’ve been unable to use the HALion SE VST Instruments to change the sounds, and I’d really like to be able to do that as well.

The equipment I’m using:
Weird “Hand Piano” - it’s silicon rubber roll-up 61 key piano. It has a Type A USB port labelled “USB Charging” (not connected to anything), a Type Micro-B USB port labelled “Power/MIDI Out” (this is the one connected to my computer, an 1/8" Headphone jack (connected to either my mixing board or to the Steinberg UR22 Interface), and an Aux In port (not connected to anything).

I can connect the Keyboard to the UR22 Interface’s input and record what I play on an Audio Track in Cubase, but I really have to manage the gain settings on the interface carefully, then edit the track in Cubase. This is fine, but again, I’d really like to be able to use the Keyboard as a direct MIDI recording device, and as a remote for the Chord Pads during recording.

I hope this information helps you provide more assistance. And once again, thank you for taking the time. Cheers!

I’ve attached some screenshots of how I have things set up in Cubase.

MIDI Track Input.png


I’m sorry, I’m lost now. You wrote:

Does it mean, the recording is working for you, now?

To do so, which HALion Sonic SE to the GM Mode in its Settings page, please.

Yes, I have been able to record what I play on the keyboard, but only in the “piano roll” editor when it’s open in its own window. Then I can quantize and/or edit the note events afterward. Not quite what I was hoping for, but I’m planning on picking up a proper MIDI keyboard that Cubase recognizes without having too much trouble.

I’m about to post another question about how to add insert effects (like reverb) to a MIDI drum track or to a VST Instrument track. I’ve tried using an FX Track, but haven’t been successful (yet). The purpose is to create drum loops, either using the HALion Sonic SE VST Instrument or by creating a MIDI drum track, then add a bit of reverb to the track so it doesn’t sound so dry. Can this be done?


The very same way you can record when the editor is not open. Just enable the Record for the track.

Maybe some screenshots of your setup would help.

You cannot add an Audio Insert effect (like Reverb) to a MIDI track. You can add it to an Instrument track directly (i.e. the Audio Return of the Instrument, which is glued to one track within the Instrument Track) in the Audio Inserts tab of the Instrument Track.