I am using Macos 10.15.7, and Garageband 10.3.5. I have a MIDI keyboard plugged in via a USB cable. I configured the MIDI device using "Audio Midi Studio.app". I added my keyboard, and tested it using Midi Studio -> Test Setup. The test was successful, the Midi Studio App plays sounds on my external keyboard.

When I run Garage Band, under Preferences -> Audio/MIDI -> Devices my keyboard does not appear in the list of available devices.

I've read articles on how to debug the USB connection to the keyboard, but from what I can tell (including a successful test where I hear the keyboard playing) that is fine. It's just that Garage Band doesn't see the device.

2 Answers 2


I think that the device setting that you are looking for is only for microphone and sound output. You should see a section a little lower that says the number of MIDI devices detected.

So when you start the application, choose the Software Instrument after first connecting the keyboard. When you record, notes hit on the keyboard should appear in the window and play on the speakers.

  • 2
    Ah, so is Garageband capable of capturing notes from external instruments but not capable of sending notes to them ?
    – jay613
    Jul 15, 2021 at 13:27

GarageBand can only accept MIDI inputs. This "just works" as noted in the other Answer here. You can record notes from a MIDI instrument in GarageBand.

GarageBand cannot control (output) MIDI instruments and cannot produce MIDI files. There are third party software hacks that allow you to do this but it's not a feature of GarageBand.

Sources: 1 2

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .