MIDI cable for computer sound cards lets you connect your musical instrument that has a MIDI In/Out connectors to your sound card.

The sound card usually has the connector type that lets you connect joystick to the computer. In order to use MIDI capabilities of the card you'll need a cable which is usually sold separately of the sound card. The cable has on its one end the Joystick type connector that should be inserted into the sound card and also an extension cord with the same kind of connector that the sound card, so that you could connect both your instrument and joystick at the same time.

On it's other end the cable has two MIDI connectors, each is a big round 5-pin connector. One connector is for MIDI Out and the other for MIDI In of your keyboard.

MIDI cables are not just for sound cards -- they allow you to connect any two MIDI devices, provided one has a MIDI Out or MIDI Through port, and the other has a MIDI In port.

For example, you might use a MIDI cable to connect the MIDI Out port of your MIDI keyboard to the MIDI In port of a separate tone module, in order to use the keyboard to trigger sounds in the tone module.

Another thing you can do with MIDI cables is called "daisy-chaining". Here's an example: You might use one MIDI cable to connect the MIDI Out of a hardware sequencer to the MIDI In of a synthesizer, and another to connect the MIDI Through of the synthesizer to the MIDI In of another synth, and a third to connect the MIDI Through of the second synth to the MIDI In of a drum machine, etc. This is a method that allows all the "downstream" MIDI devices to receive input from the sequencer.

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