I know most of you are just gonna skip this just cause I got different oppinions then the rest of you, but I got a question. I left for college and all the equipment is with my brother, what I want to know is what do I need to do to make my computer into atleast a synth and possibly a sampler. Either or is cool. I don't know anything about computers but it is killing me not being able to do shit. And I just got a thinkpad so I figure it has to be useful. Any suggestions? The cheaper the better.
A soundcard, that's the most important thing. Look into the Soundblaster Platinum, check out the features. This version comes with a panel which attaches to the front of your computer to hook up all your other gear.
Get yourself a decent soundcard, some midi cables and a keyboard/synth with midi plug-ins. You can get various soundfont tools and programs to do anything you can with an mpc or asr. It's pretty much the same thing.
Personally....If I could do it all over again... I would have bought NO EQ. I would have went all Computer. Your computer IS a sampler. you just need the software and A nice Audio card With SCSI and MIDI connections. I could kick myself in the ass for spending thousands of dollars on samplers.