MIDI Keyboard - essential or extraneous for drone composition?

I’m trying to determine whether or not a MIDI keyboard will be an essential or extraneous element for composition of abstract ambient drone soundscapes in Ardour. Much of the ambient scene is music constructed from manipulated tape and field recordings, with very little in the way of melody, but I’m wondering if a keyboard interface would still facilitate the organic process of composition. If a keyboard is essential, I’m leaning toward the M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV, as I likely will not need the range of full keyboard and I imagine that the additional controls of this model will prove useful down the road. It seems to be the best value for its price point.

I know the Paulstrech function within Audacity is a popular essential, as are Zynaddsubfx and Renoise, though 99% what I create will be beatless. And Calf Reverb appears to be a decent FOSS plugin to lend itself to created sustained drones. In addition to the community’s input regarding the applicability of MIDI hardware, I’d also love to hear about your processes and go-to software tools for drone composition.

A keyboard is an expressive input, especially if you use something like a Roli Seaboard or LinnStrument. Depends solely on your personal preference. Are you on the constructing side or on the playing side. For me its simply faster and way more fun to play than to construct. If you got an expressive input like keyboard or faderbox, you certainly have both options and could still construct. Expressive input is the spice which is missing in a lot of constructed soundscapes…