Nice. Thanks for the write-up :). I'll try to go tit-for-tat-ish:
Computer - I also just splurged on an M1 machine, I got the M1 13" MacBook Pro as soon as they popped in that sweet Apple silicon. Also upgraded to 16 GB of RAM, the only thing I don't think I can easily upgrade myself. I'm one of the snobs that's been on the Ableton bandwagon for a solid decade. Like you said, future software releases will have native M1 communication, instead of whatever go-between translator the softwares currently use. And that is going to be awesome. Because right now, for instance, Ableton runs only marginally better on my M1 vs. my Intel i9, but I'm expecting to free up muuuuuuuuch more processing capability in a year or two, hopefully I can just stack effects endlessly and keep the latency to less than 10 ms.
Audio Input - Ah geeze. I have an old M-Audio Interface for my external card. It's noisy, and it'll glitch out sometimes and require a reboot. I'm looking at others. I'll likely get something with built-in pre amps instead of going through a couple of ART tube amps like I currently do.
Keyboard - Singular, at the moment. And technically, it's a controller, an Alesis VI49. For anyone wanting clarification, a controller can only make noise when routed through a computer; It is incapable of making sounds by itself. I took piano lessons my entire childhood, and when my parents could see I was serious about it, they sprung for an upright piano, a Baldwin Spinnet. Not having the full 88 keys is OK for me right now, since I'm usually only playing with one hand while turning knobs with the other, and I don't do live shows anyway (yet), only composition and production.
Mics - Only using a couple of cheap-ish condenser mics right now. I think it's all about the processing, i.e. the variance between mics usually seems (to me) dwarfed by even just minor differences in processing. But I do eventually plan to buy a build kit. Still need to get a workbench for my garage, and probably something better than a $25 chinese knock-off soldering iron. This is where I stand to improve the most, I usually don't do vocals, but I can sing, and I've written so. many. lyrics. over the last couple of years. It's just so hard to get over how much I hate the way my voice sounds, on top of the inherent difficulty of processing and mixing vocals well.
Guitars - I have an Ibanez acoustic and an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, and then one bass, a five string, something ESP and Ltd., dunno. Maybe I'll add to the roster someday, but I do not regret learning bass on a five string. I usually only play a riff once and loop it, but I refuse to cheat, i.e. splice together samples or speed up a slowly-played riff, because I want to keep things performable, if you will.
Drums - Another "Ah geeze". It's a Roland V-something, and it's not even mine, but it gets the job done for adding that human touch to a groove vs. drawing something in with a mouse or even tapping fingers on a pad. I can drumroll well enough on it (it's not even mesh), but the kick pedal doesn't have a beater arm, so the mecahanics and the feel of it frustrates me to no end. I can't easily do doubles on it, whereas on a real kit, I can usually squeeze out triples. And if you're keeping time with your hi hat pedal foot, you can forget doing doubles with your other foot on the kick. Thanks for listening to me bitch about it, my wife can take the night off :).
Yeah the M1 bluetooth stuff is so weird. My wireless keyboard will just stop working occasionally, and the refresh rate of my cursor will drop to like 10 fps sometimes. I haven't found what triggers either, and yeah, sucks. Other than that, I haven't had compatibility issues with anything else.
Got a lot of stuff in the works. I'm in a phase where I'll tinker around until I have a good mix, get a few good loops, and then move on. It's great! Truly serves as an artistic outlet, which I didn't have for a few years when I went back to school.
I thought I was in a band, but we've lost one member to parenting, and the other apparently prefers to spend all his free time playing Grand Theft Auto Online. The former is admirable, and he's a fantastic dad. The latter is pathetic. I really expected them to be over here all the time once we got vaxxed, but nope. Honestly? It really hurts my feelings. Present tense.
I guess it's back to my solo project.
Also privileged af, here.