keyboards (probably not correct term)

so to a beginner i feel i have two options where music production and keyboards is concerned:

1 is the Daw with its built on or add-on(correct term? probably not) keyboards.

2 is buying a keyboard, again probably not called a keyboard - is it synthesizer? or even 'midi' synthesizer???

so with the first option is it right that i can preset the pc keyboard keys to act as separate keys on the keyboard/synth(synth, nice eh!?) on the daw?, thus making it easier to work with. OR, is it that you have to key each note on screen with the mouse?

and with the second option, which is clearly the more expensive but miles better option, that being the physical presence of a keyboard or synthesizer, can anyone give me any pointers as to which ones are good?cheap?

Mr Fletch

VIP Junglist
the term you are looking for is a "Midi Keyboard". A small keyboard that connects to your PC, allowing you to play and record notes directly into your DAW of choice.

Most people will probably advise you they are a nessecity, but in my humble opinion this is not the case. Sure, they are extremely helpful, and may save you time in the long run, but you can produce completely polished, finished tracks without one. I have been producing seriously now for about two years, and to this day I have never needed a midi keyboard. I may get one in the future, but right now I dont feel that not having one is holding me back in any way....

But that being said, everyone works differently, and some will say they could not work without one. I guess for me, not having one means I've never needed one, and the piano roll of my DAW works just fine.