Hey Adam, so it totally depends for your own workflow as a producer (which you only find over time).
For myself, I try to keep things very simple.. meaning not much equipment, not too many sounds, and understanding the full picture of what’s actually going on, and what I truly need to make beats.
So.. here’s a question for you.. what is an external drum pad? It’s just a MIDI Controller, isn’t it?
Next question.. what is a MIDI Keyboard? It’s just a MIDI Controller.. same thing, right?
Our DAWs take advantage of the MIDI Protocol, meaning we can use various controllers to trigger sounds or move various parameters within a DAW (any music program, including FL Studio).
So.. then what makes an External Drum Pad different than a MIDI Keyboard?
In short.. the feeling of how you play the notes.. that’s it!
Some people like that drum pad feeling when pushing down their fingers.. it’s cushioned, and has a nice bounce feel to them.
But.. you can simply do this with piano keys, they just aren’t that rubber kind of feeling..
So for myself, I just like a MIDI Keyboard to do all my MIDI Note playing.. so if I’m playing melodies, or loading up the FPC to play drum loops.. or sampling with many slicing, your piano keys offer way more versatility because there’s way more keys to work with.
This is really just an opinion-based workflow..
So in short.. I like a MIDI Keyboard as it’s just one tool to make beats, while giving me the transport buttons (play, stop, record, forward, back, and loop), having some knobs/sliders, and saving money!
For submissions sounds.. could you clarify?
The questions area was designed just to answer these one-off questions, and if you have further feedback I try to leave it open for a couple days.. if not I close them as answered.
Follow-up, and talk soon!