Do You Really Need Hardware To Produce Music?
Quick answer = NO, But It Does Help!
I believe that in order to produce high quality, great sounding mixes, you do not need hardware.
However, I do think that it helps to have a MIDI keyboard as it will help inspire you into making great chord progressions. As having lots of hardware may look good and give you a hands on approach there is no massive reason why you should have it. My reasoning is that you can do most of the things you could do on any MIDI controller with a computer software. If you have access to hardware, it should 100% be used but it is not vital to be used for high quality mixes, in my opinion. From my experience as a producer
I know people who I have collaborated with who are mad on hardware and I also have worked with people who do not use any hardware to produce. These two different types of producers produce exactly the same genre as each other and not one produces better than the other. I am not saying that hardware should never be used or that it doesn't help, I am just saying that is is not vital to be used although it can speed up the process of producing.