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5. A MIDI Keyboard or Controller

You’ll need a MIDI keyboard, which is the computer language that was invented in the ’70s through which hardware gear can link up and send signals to each other. While you’ll want a keyboard that has USB capabilities, they’re still commonly called a MIDI keyboard or keyboard controller — we know it’s a little confusing. They can be as cheap as $30 on Craigslist, $60-$120 for a basic one new, or up to the $400 range for those that come bundled with software. M-Audio makes reliable, utilitarian controllers that totally get the job done. For nicer feeling keys and nicer design, Arturia makes great controllers that come with awesome vintage-sounding software. Beyond keyboards, there are tons of controllers out there that can help you make beats, control samples and loops, and even play drums. For more information on that, you can check out our extensive list of the best beat-making tools around [LINK to feature article when its URL is available].

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