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Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 49 Keys
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- Ultra-responsive semi weighted keyboard with aftertouch
- Full DAW/plug-in control surface with 8 knobs, 9 faders and buttons
- Automap 4 control software enables instant hands-on access to your DAW and plug-ins
- Multi-function drum pads enable you to warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live
- Includes downloads for: Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station synth, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and a Loopmasters Sample Pack. Novation now offers a 3-Year Warranty on this and all other Novation products.
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon Warehouse||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||28.30 x 6.29 x 15.10 inches||7.13 x 12.52 x 1.73 inches||12.99 x 6.77 x 1.61 inches||12.28 x 29.06 x 3.39 inches||9.60 x 37.60 x 4.53 inches|
|Item Weight||12.46 lbs||1.63 lbs||1.00 lbs||12.94 lbs||6.28 lbs|
Novation's Impulse is a range of professional USB/MIDI controllers. They each have a precision keyboard and a full control surface powered by a brand new version of Novation's Automap control software - Automap 4 (which makes getting hands-on with your DAW/plug-ins fast and simple). Impulse also has 8 back-lit drum pads which can warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton live. Impulse, available with 25, 49 or 61 keys, gives you instant access to your DAW's mixer, transport, and plug-ins. Impulse also comes with a stack of free software and sounds including: 1) Ableton Live Lite - powerful loop based music-making software , 2) Novation Bass Station - legendary analogue bass synth as a software plug-in , 3) Loopmasters sample library - over 4GB of royalty-free samples, and 4) Mike The Drummer - 502MB of live drum loops and breaks.
From the Manufacturer
Novation Impulse USB Midi Controller Keyboard
Impulse is a range of professional USB/MIDI controllers. They each have a precision keyboard and a full control surface powered by a brand new version of Novation's Automap control software, Automap 4, which makes getting hands-on with your DAW/plug-ins fast and simple. Impulse also has 8 backlit drum pads that can warp arpeggios, roll beats, and launch Live clips.
Precision Keyboard: Ultra-Responsive, Semi-Weighted Keyboard with Aftertouch Impulse has a precision 'players' keyboard.
It is semi-weighted with assignable aftertouch and has been designed to feel like an instrument rather than a computer peripheral. In addition to feeling good, it is incredibly accurate--this means it can translate musical expression (how you play the keyboard) extremely effectively. So your performance is reflected exactly by the synth or software instrument you are triggering.
Automap 4 Control Software Spend More Time Making Music, Less Time Reading User Guides
Many MIDI controllers have knobs, faders and buttons, but using them is difficult and time consuming. Impulse (as with all Novation controllers) comes with Automap control software. This gives you instant mapping to the things you need to control, meaning you can make full use of faders, knobs and buttons on Impulse to get hands-on with your DAW and plug-ins.
Full DAW/Plug-In Control Surface
With 8 knobs, 9 faders and buttons, and a custom LCD screen (1 fader and button on Impulse 25), the control surface allows you to get hands-on control for your DAW and plug-ins. Novation has worked with all the major DAWs and plug-ins to make sure that you get instant control of your mixer, transport controls and plug-in instruments and effects.
Multi-Function Drum Pads: Warp Arpeggios, Roll Beats and Launch Clips in Ableton Live
Impulse has 8 quality-feel drum pads that are velocity-sensitive with aftertouch. These are backlit with 3-color LEDs which means they can do things other drum pads can't, like warping arpeggios in real time, rolling beats and launching clips in Ableton Live (Ableton Live Lite 8 comes with Impulse).
Works with All Major DAWs and Plug-In Instruments and Effects
Novation has worked with major music software manufacturers to ensure Impulse gives you instant hands-on control. In addition to the major DAWs--Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Ableton Live--Impulse and Automap 4 have been specially designed to give you full control of 3rd party plug-in instruments and effects, like Native Instruments, Waves, or FXpansion.
USB Bus Powered
Impulse is USB powered, with expression and sustain pedal inputs as well as MIDI in and out ports for connecting external MIDI instruments.
Which Novation Impulse Professional USB/MIDI Controller is right for you?
|Impulse 25||Impulse 49||Impulse 61|
|Number of keys||25||49||61|
|Unit size (LxWxH)||20.6" x 13" x 3.9"||33.3" x 13" x 3.93"||40.2" x 13" x 3.9"|
|Precision semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch|
|Ableton Live Lite, Novation's Bass Station synth and a Loopmasters sample pack included|
|Expression and sustain pedal inputs|
|MIDI in and out ports for connecting external MIDI instruments|
|Number of faders||1||9||9|
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I grew up playing a Yamaha PSR learning keyboard, so I've learned to be proficient on synth style keys. In addition, I was a piano primary music composition major in college. I spent the majority of my youth locked in my bedroom recording tracks: rock, techno, ambient classical contemporary, pop, hip hop, etc. Now that I'm older, I work at a church where I like to explore different piano sample sounds for the worship service (mostly using Kontakt) and I like to layer many instruments to create these lush, cinematic sounds for when my band is slim. I'll put a bass guitar in my left hand and of course piano in the full range.
So, I like that these MIDI keyboard have the faders and knobs to allow me to control the (mostly Low Pass Filters) of my pad sounds, to bring them in and out as I need to.
So, the question is, why spend 400 bucks on this novation when I could spend nearly the same and get a keyboard that has BUILT IN sounds? Good question.
The ideal situation would be to have a powerful, great sounding keyboard, like a Nord Stage, or Yamaha Motif, and use that to control my laptop sounds in Kontakt. I could even buy a MIDI controller with no keys, just knobs and faders, very cheaply. This is something I might do at some point, for my stage performances in MY venue where I can leave the stuff set up.
However, a MIDI controller with the keybed, like this, allows for easy transportation and setup.
As a professional piano player and recording guy, I know that keybeds action/velocity curve can either be preference, OR it can be straight up poorly made, like when a key stroke randomly jumps out more loudly than the others.
However, I've seen young guys on youtube, playing a Novation, and they are awful keyboard players. Then, as they are playing, they say "Yeah, this velocity curve isn't that great". Umm..actually YOU are not that great. haha
So on the this Novation.
It is heavy and a bit bulky, compared to the Launchkey I own. But, that's not a terrible thing.
The knobs and faders feel good. Not like an Allen and Heath soundboard, of course, but they feel decent and comfortable. not wobbly and loose.
Drum trigger/pads...I don't do a lot of triggering/ableton stuff. If I play detailed sampled drum tracks, I use the keybed. So for me, the drum triggers are fine.
Keybed - this is the big one for people. This keybed feels great. I seem to hit more notes when I do random, sloppy runs and scales. It's very forgiving. and again it just feels great. Some people have said they are annoyed at the velocity curve adjustment within this keyboard. I would advise them to not use it. Use the built in velocity curve adjustments in your virtual instrument. you have so much more control that way.
It mapped itself to REAPER just fine. But I don'[t use it for mixing too much.
So, this is a great keyboard/Midi controller. I'm very happy with it.
I have the Launchkey 49 as my "throw around" keyboard. it's great, and it small. But for serious stuff, I use this. I've also just purchased the SL mkii off Ebay (why not on amazon? what's up with that?) So it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against this one.
SO I got the SL mkii
the knobs, faders, controls, etc feel great and professional. the unit is strong and heavy. However, the velocity curve simply has too much dynamic range and is too responsive to the smallest variation in playing strength. the impulse feels way better.
1. The feel of the keyboard is really stable. The keys feel nice with enough action to actually feel a little like real keys. I wouldn't say it's weighted (even semi) as much as I'd say there is a little bit of tactile response, like the difference in a typewriter vs. a mechanical keyboard. I personally like it, although full weight would be perfect. The pads are stable and faders and knobs feel pretty robust.
2. The Automap software does make it easy to get started. BUT please follow this if you're on a Mac: ALWAYS start the Automap Server application before you open your DAW and AFTER you've plugged in the controller. As long as I follow that rule, Automap works like a charm. If you accidentally open your DAW before launching the Automap server, you'll have to completely delete and re-install the software. Just a heads up!!
3. Bundled AddictingKeys and Addicting Drums 2 are great. Be aware!! you get a copy of the software but only get to choose 1 kit! In fact, if you plan to use the addicting drums software (which I found I actually really loved), you may want to skip registering and just buying the software bundle when it goes on sale. You'll save yourself a lot of money. If you do what I did, you'll only get 1 kit and have to buy more separately. Good news is the software goes on sale frequently.
1. The pads, as others have mentioned, do have some weird sensitivity to them in that you'll frequently push and get duplicate notes recorded. I've found them useful for scratch work but I wouldn't use them live to trigger anything. However, due to my usage, I don't need them for that reason, so you may be able to toggle the sensitivity to get it to work, I just haven't spent the time to do it.
2. There appears to be a lot of functionality in the whole middle section of the controller, but other than hard-coding it in, automap doesn't let you use that to toggle between plug-ins in the default condition with Logic Pro. I found it really odd that they had a preset on-board for GarageBand and like 6 other DAWS but not Logic. I personally have gotten by just fine without it, as I only use it for writing music and less for production/live. I'd like to test the functionality because I want to use it for MainStage some day. I'll update if I figure out the best way to use it.
Overall, I am happy with this product for the relative price. I'll update more but so far it does what I need and probably a lot more that I don't.
Top international reviews
Con: it's the prettiest looking thing (considering their Launchkey is very stylish). It's quite heavy, and very bulky. Takes up quite a lot of room on my desk, considering it's just the 49 key version. The faders (sliding action) don't feel very nice, not too bad, just a bit gritty (might get better with a bit of use). On the odd occasion I found the fader not lining-up 100% with the control on screen, but it was only fractionally off (and might be me not setting it correctly in the first place).
Overall, very pleased! I bought it for the semi-weighted key and it doesn't disappoint.
Well the first thing you notice is how light it is, it weighs nothing, but then you realise that this is because it is entirely plastic. You can hear it creak as it flexes when you move it and it doesn't feel very solid. This seems to be a common thing these days, manufacturers call them light and portable, i call them cheaply made. I have some vintage synths that are built like tanks and are still going after 35 years, i doubt this will be, but hey... i might not even be here in another 35 years, lol, and if it's just sat in the studio i suppose it will be ok, but i wouldn't dare gig with it.
The keybed is ok, a little odd perhaps but quite playable, buttons are rubbery, a little vague but ok, the automap has worked fine with Cubase 9.5 but i can't comment on any other DAW's.
It was bought primarily for the arpegiator, as iv'e many synths that don't have one, so i thought it would be handy and for this it serves its purpose well.
When all is said and done, this isn't an expensive instrument so you can't expect it to be built like one, but for what its supposed to do, i'm quite happy with it.
The second thing is that I've given up using this controller as a platform for use with this software as I have found the so called 'Automap 4' feature included as set of instructions downloaded from Novations site, (which incidentally leads one to believe it will automatically allow control of almost any DAW, Sonar being one of those platforms), so difficult to set up it hasn't been worth the effort. I am a musician first and not a software whiz kid, I actually found it really annoying … BUT!
The third thing I have to mention is that the key bed is great and for the money ... well, really great! I have found the pads are a bit precious about the position you have to strike them (kind of dead centre) but the 'playability' works and although it's always a little difficult getting to grips with a new keyboard, I think it's going to be worth it.
Yes, yes I was going to send this back but haven't,(liar liar pants on fire sort of thing). My thinking given time, is that it'll be worth it. I'll just programme the Novations MIDI over time with Sonar's own mapping and in the meantime just use my old Tascam fw1082 as a controller … happy days!
Overall my feeling is that Cakewalk Sonar Platinum is the kid the kid no-one wants to play with … and with that in mind you buy this or any other controller and take your chances, but without reservation, for an ordinary playable keyboard, it ticks the box!
In terms of software compatibility, I've used it extensively with both Logic and Ableton on a Mac. The automap software is pretty bad, so I just did manual configuration in Logic which took all of 15 minutes. The Ableton controller implementation is flawless with no configuration needed.
The reason I paid more for this one is it has real MIDI output which I can connect to a Nord Rack synth, and it works flawlessly. Even better, since the knobs on the Impulse are MIDI-assignable, I can control a few of the major Nord functions without needing to reach over to the synth.
My only regret is I don't have space for more than a 25 key version at the moment!
Excellent customer support, I couldn't figure how to change presets (its simple to do on the Impulse my fault for not reading the manual) they replied and told me how to do it within a couple of days.