A MIDI keyboard is an essential piece of equipment for a producer. If you plan on making beats then I highly recommend you get a MIDI keyboard.
A MIDI keyboard will allow you to control virtual instruments as well as recording drum performances. I like to think of a MIDI keyboard as a virtual piano but it can be much more than that based on the virtual instruments that you have. For example Sytrus is a virtual instrument within FL studio that allows you to play all kinds of different sounds from pianos, electronic sounds percussive sounds, and miscellaneous sound effects. All of this can be controlled from a MIDI keyboard.
Why you should produce with a MIDI keyboard
It’s not absolutely necessary to use a MIDI keyboard when producing beats but highly recommended. When you’re painting out your notes in the piano roll opposed to playing it on a MIDI keyboard it becomes hard to improvise or make up parts as you go. Also, it loses all feeling because there’s no velocity change or slight timing differences giving it a human groove. I have also found that once you learn the basics of composing with the midi keyboard it becomes a much faster process and you are able to make beats faster.
How to connect your MIDI keyboard to FL Studio
To connect your midi keyboard to your DAW you’re going to need an adapter. The easiest way to do it is a MIDI to USB cable. This cable has two MIDI connections that will go to your midi keyboard and a USB connection that will go to your computer. Most likely your adapter cable will also come with drivers that need to be installed on your computer in order for it to work. The first step is to install that disk on your computer before connecting anything. After you have successfully installed your drivers connect your MIDI connection to your midi keyboard making sure that you plug them into the appropriate spot on your keyboard (they should be labeled. Once you have done that you can plug the USB end of the cable into your computer.
If your keyboard requires a power connection turn it on at this point. After doing this your computer should recognize the USB connection as it would any other USB device such as an external hard drive or mouse. Once your computer recognizes that it is time to get set up in FL studio.
In FL Studio go to Options, MIDI Settings. Choose your device in the input and output sections of FL Studio. Now when you hit a key on your MIDI keyboard on a channel that has a VSTi you should hear it play.