What is some of the best affordable hardware and software for producing music? I just want a basic starter kit that will help me get to know the basics. I only want the absolute essentials for now.
For software, check out DAWs like Tracktion and Reaper.
For hardware, take a look at the AudioBox USB audio interface.
If you're wanting to record MIDI and have a synthesiser that supports the interface, Yamaha UX16.