This is probably a silly question, and it is certainly a n00bish one, but if I buy a MIDI controller keyboard, can I simply just plug it in and use it straightaway to control VST instruments on Fruity Loops and Cubase and suchlike ?
As long as the VST accept midi data and you have some way of connecting the midi (or USB) output on the controller to your computer than you are good to go.
so if its a USB MIDI controller then I should have no issues then ?
Yes, as long as the VST is meant to be manipulated via midi data - some VST are meant to operate on live signals. Do you understand the difference? For things like soft synths or any other midi based VST's it will work - for ones requiring an actual audio signal it will not.
yeah I think that will be ok, because the synths I am using can be tested sometimes by pressing keys on my typing keyboard.