I am kind of new to making Hip-Hop music (I have been writing Hip-Hop for 5 years). I have been using a PC and virtual instruments. I bought an E-Mu X-Board 61 and the 1212M with ProteusX. I wanted more instruments, so I purchased Colossus from East West Studios. Then I bought Kontact 3 from Native Instruments. The Colossus VST's sound great. I really like virtual instruments. I love that I can click with the mouse and compose using the software. I just bought a Mac Pro 8 Core and plan to buy a Digi 003 to do some live stuff along with my virtual instruments. Am I missing something? I hear everyone talking about MPC's and Triton, Karma, Motif, etc. Am I out of the loop on what sounds good? I have a plethora of musical interest and I really love live instrument sounds, but Hip-Hop and loop based music appeals to me. Should I venture out and buy an MPC? Please, give me your advice and opinions on virtual instruments.
Ok, first of all, there is no right or wrong gear. 9th Wonder used Fruity Loops in a way that nobody thought it could be used...and he does beats for the likes of Jay-Z. It's all a matter of taste. most hip hop producers use what they first learned to use and what people showed them how to use. The MPC has just been passed down from producer to fellow producer.
I love the feel of an MPC and that's what I learned on. But you could use a virtual drum machine in your DAW and load up any drum sounds that you could also load into an MPC. The one thing that I think people get wrong with starting out hip hop production is the drums. I cannot stress this enough: YOUR DRUMS HAVE TO BANG HARRRRDDDD!
My personal favorite site for drum sounds is www.industrydrums.com. There are plenty of others but that's the best one in my opinion. Let me know if you have any other questions.