Do I really need a midi controller keyboard?

Hi Forum,

This is my first post as I’m new to home recording so maybe a quick introduction might help before you hopefully help me with my first query with regard to my need (or not) for a Midi Controller Keyboard.

My band decided last year, after around 20 years of on and off gigging, that we’d call it a day. The decision was the right one but we still keep in touch for a beer and we still do a bit of jamming together. My first instrument is the electric guitar so I have quite a bit of gear including amps and effects boards/pedals, and I decided it would be a good idea to put together a simple home studio to record the odd jam and to possibly record the occasional song-writing idea.

I have just upgraded my LE 8 to Elements 8 and I’m using a Zoom R24 as my interface which appears to be working as it should. I also have an Alesis SR18 drum machine and a TC Helicon Voicelive Rack and a Roland FP-4 Stage Piano (but I’m not a piano player).

So far I have managed to record guitars and vocals, harmonica, and later added bass guitar and drums/percussion using the Alesis SR18. I have played around with adding basic effects (in post) and I think for a complete novice who knows nothing about home recording it doesn’t sound too bad played through the small PA in my studio as well as through some smaller KRK reference studio monitors.

Ok so now you know a bit about me I’ll get to the point of this post. Besides knowing almost nothing about using Cubase, I also know absolutely nothing about midi, so with the help of a couple of YouTube videos I hooked up my Roland FP-4 via USB and was amazed at what it can do with the midi instruments. I’m thinking that as the FP-4 is a stage piano and not a midi controller am I really missing out on opportunities to get to know, use and understand midi?

I’ve Googled for a bit of info on midi controllers and I quite fancied the Roland A-500 Pro, but would I be wasting my money? I don’t need drum pads as I have the Alesis SR18 and from what very little I think I know the effects of the sliders and switches on the controller keyboard can be accessed through the software. I use multiple screens on a desktop so screen space isn’t a problem for me.

Can I please ask the forum members whom I am sure know way more than I do for a bit of help with this one? I don’t want to spend unnecessarily on a new or used controller if I don’t need to. Also if you do recommend I buy a controller keyboard, is the Roland A-500 Pro a good choice?

Looking forward to you replies and thanks.