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Problems with Novation Impulse 61
Old 16th December 2012
Here for the gear

Problems with Novation Impulse 61

Hi guys

Earlier this week I purchased an Impulse 49 Since then, I've been facing a number of issues which I describe below. It was very frustrating to find that Novation requires every post on their forum to be moderated - a completely ridiculous policy - so it is impossible to get support from the community. I have written in to technical support. Hopefully there will be a response. In the meantime, wonder if this is a problem that others have faced?

Issue 1 - when using the arpeggiator, instead of a single 8-note sequence, I see what appears to be TWO sequences running simultaneously. Two pads actually light up at once! This is very bizarre and not what the arpeggiator is supposed to do, which is to cycle through each note sequentially.

Issue 2 - I tried to map one of the knobs to a control in Ableton Live (LFO rate for Operator), but when turning the knob clockwise, the value rises very slowly, but when turning it counter clock wise, the value falls almost instantly. This makes it impossible to control the rate in any meaningful way.

This still happens when I am not running Automap, so the issue is not a software conflict there.

Old 1st March 2013
I'm posting here because I also have had problems with my Impulse 49, and I'm hoping that perhaps the OP has subsequently found out some info or located some knowledgable persons who can help, or if anyone can figure this out:

When transmitting on any of the MIDI channels 9 through 16, the keyboard only sends note on signals, never any note off signals, so every note sustains infinitely until I restart my synth. Channels 1 through 8 work perfectly normally. It does this regardless of what unit it's hooked up to or what the parameters are on the controller.
Old 1st March 2013
Gear Maniac

Hey there,

I have had an Impulse49 as my main controller for over a year now. I too have experienced novations not-so-great moderated forum, I fixed my own issues and got the reply a month later...seriously.

With ableton live, automap does not function as advertised because it automatically just connects to live and you dont even see it running/dont need it to. I dont fully understand it but I have never managed to open the software.
However, the controllers options which are sort of in automaps setup can help a bit (but not much)

Issue 1:
The arp has a swing control, as well as changing the step length.
Shift-ARP will bring you to some options, flip through them and you will find that you can set the arp length to 8 which it probably already is, the other is setting the swing to 0, i found this helped me alot as it was triggering two but randomizing between which one it wants to use. I also found the gate control really nice fyi.

Issue 2:
The rotary knobs have acceleration, i find that if you twitch the knob fast and slight it will throw the setting very far due to acceleration. This is "handy" but unreliable. In the automap software (white background setup stuff, not the black background actual automap) set the encoders to have no acceleration and to a speed that you like, im finding slower is better as those darn knobs are so light that you can breath on them and change settings by accident. I almost wanna pour some honey on them or something to stiffen them up.

There might be a chance that certain synths dont utilize 9-16 properly, but im not sure. I get locked notes sometimes and having the panic buttons readily available is nice, the stop button will solve this too but..well its a stop button.

My older issue with the impulse was actually a hardware issue and i ended up getting a replacement, when in clip launch the controller decided it was a musician and would just start launching clips intermittently and ruining sessions or key solos.

Other fixes:
I find using the USB on the back of your pc is more reliable, dont use a hub. Some levels of distortion in box mounted usb ports interphere with the signals, also I find ableton will boot up and remember the MIDI setup info if its motherboard mounted usb, while the front mounted usb will change its port number and i would have to setup my midi in and outs all over again..reboot..then load it up.
Old 1st March 2013
Gear Maniac

also...wanting to sell my 49 so i can get a 61, I have been playing piano about a minimum 4 hours a day (more than i have ever practiced guitar when I was a teen) the results are making me very happy, and already I want more under my fingers faster than the octave switching.

The Impulse is a great tool, I have a ton of control over ableton which keeps my hands off the mouse and keyboard. I find forcing myself to use the features instead of clicking something eventually teaches me to be faster at using things that felt clumsy at first (like the transport controls and shift-octave as a clip launch X-Y grid control)

The tempo settings can be finiky, i use ableton as the master tempo still. (setting up scenes with 120 BPM 136BPM etc and using clip launch to select the bpm is far better workflow in my opinion)

im at work and just throwing down stuff, so i will probably post little bits at a time.
Old 1st March 2013
Gear Maniac

oh, another thing on the encoders...

Make an FX rack.
Do your macroing there, dont directly midi map the controls, let the impulse use its plugin function.
If you go to each track and click the header of your fx racks, (making the blue tiny hand appear) then when you switch between tracks the fx rack will swap the knobs in use. So you can use your shift-octave to move between each synth and adjust each one with the knobs without touching the mouse.
If you want "hardwired" midi mapped knobs, hit that midi button beside your knobs (there is another one beside the mixer which is nice that they are seperate) , use that midi button and you can map your LFO/sends or whatever to that knob permanantly. Use the shift-plugin shift-midi to page up and down, making for an endless list of control (only annoying thing is the LCD should really tell you a page number..guuuh why?!)
I find the Novation Impulse is getting more powerful the more I develope its settings.
Have fun!
Old 8th March 2013

Hi all,

Please contact us through the email support page on our website. This is where we can most effectively help and try to respond to customers as quickly as possible.
Contact Support |
Old 15th March 2013
So I got in touch with the guys at Novation and they got my problem fixed within a few days. Top notch customer support. Here's what they said about my infinite stuck notes problem, in case anyone else runs into the same thing...

"Thanks for your mail,

The problem you have been experiencing is due to a bug in the latest Impulse firmware. This bug will be corrected in a future firmware release. In the meantime, if you have access to a computer, you can get around this by loading an older version of the firmware as found in the this article:

What to do if a Impulse firmware update fails .: Novation Answerbase

The article also provides instructions for loading the file.

Let me know how it goes.

Best Regards,
Matt Pliskin // Novation Technical Support"
Old 21st March 2013
Gear Maniac

hah, i guess i havent updated mine recently
Old 26th May 2013
Here for the gear
Glitzerstrahl's Avatar
Did the OP or anyone else ever find a solution to the '2 pads light up at once' problem with the arp? I have the same issue and no amount of menu diving seems to fix it...
Old 23rd March 2016
Here for the gear

Hello all, I have been using the impulse 61 for a couple of months now and have absolutely loved the feel and functionality of the keyboard. One of the issues I have is that it doesn't as easily map with FL studio as well as others and I have to manually connect things,(unless I can easily say have it automap harmor without manually doing it though I would still end up doing it manually lol...) I also noticed that my Arp seems to use 4 instead of 8, though I haven't had the chance to fully troubleshoot that in the Arp settings. My swing is set at 1 and it still does that though... so who knows.

The REAL reason I am on this thread however is that my knobs are not working properly...The only span from 41 to 60 percent on knob 6 and 8. I haven't to my knowledge spilled anything on it, though I am not certain they worked when I got it. I Tested it out, but think I might not necessarily have noticed the values right away because I was taking alot in at that time with my new controller I was hoping that maybe there was a setting that would effect that somewhere since they both only go to the same spanned values, and before it was like 54 and 30 something I its 41 60...
Old 20th January 2019
Here for the gear

its the swing

Just change Swing in arp setup to 50 to solve the two pads at the same time-problem..
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