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Novation Impulse Keyboards Unveiled Keyboard Controllers
Old 13th September 2011
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
For some : M audio is far behind from novation simply because automap technology ... (should i add drivers , support ect...)
not only because of that but also because of the crappy keybed as well. No comparison to novation action and quality build.
Old 13th September 2011
  #32
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Polarelch's Avatar
 

has anyone of you ever used the Impulse, before giving your harsh review about it?
So, I still have hopes this might finally be a controller keyboard that is nice to play on.

2 Wheels? No joystick? Finally!
Old 14th September 2011
  #33
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Jeezo's Avatar
I don't think the targeted people are ex SL users but i see it more like anocturn update ...

For my part i stay tuned ...
Old 19th September 2011
  #34
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

No X-Y pad :/

Old 19th September 2011
  #35
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I wish it had no wheels and be shorter for that space...
Old 19th September 2011
  #36
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I'm a huge Novation fan (using their X-Station 49) and I'd really love to see an 88 key version of this, only then will I buy it. But it looks beautiful, and because it's Novation, it probably functions beautifully too. I too would love to see a joystick!
Old 19th September 2011
  #37
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Just have to say I Love the fact it has wheels instead of a joystick.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #38
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Scoox's Avatar
In my opinion a MIDI controller that relies on software to work is not a reliable piece of gear, at least in the long run. The Novation SL mk2 has a fabulous keybed, arguably the best of all semi-weighted MIDI controllers currently on the market; however, it has flimsy rotary encoders, useless pads, a flimsy joystick, a reportedly unusable XY pad, no dedicated transport buttons, mediocre overall build quality and probably a few other idiosyncrasies that I am unaware off because I don't actually own the thing. Not to mention the never-ending supply of bugs that Automap seems to be judging by what I've read on the forums, and bearing in mind that DAWs and plugins are constantly changing, I assume that Novation must use a great deal of effort just to keep Automap compatible with the latest software.

Novation's new Impulse range is essentially a blatant copy of M-Audio's Axiom Pro, with a few more bells and whistles perhaps. Like many other companies seem to be doing these days, instead of taking an existing good product and making it better by addressing its shortcomings based on user feedback, Novation has come up with a totally different product that is of lower quality (if price is anything to go by). 61- and/or even 88-key versions of the Nocturn or the SL Compact would have been a better move in my opinion: I would have bought a Nocturn 61 without reservations, as it has the same great keybed as the SL mk2. A pity really...
Old 23rd September 2011
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
Novation's new Impulse range is essentially a blatant copy of M-Audio's Axiom Pro, with a few more bells and whistles perhaps. Like many other companies seem to be doing these days, instead of taking an existing good product and making it better by addressing its shortcomings based on user feedback, Novation has come up with a totally different product that is of lower quality (if price is anything to go by). 61- and/or even 88-key versions of the Nocturn or the SL Compact would have been a better move in my opinion: I would have bought a Nocturn 61 without reservations, as it has the same great keybed as the SL mk2. A pity really...
complete nonsense...
Old 23rd September 2011
  #40
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sonicdefault's Avatar
I've written Novation about this new line compared to the SL series which I own. My overall assessment is that it's basically the SL series reorganized with a few improvements. One change is that the texture of the keys has a more piano like feel. I was told however, that the action is essentially the same as the SL line.


-SD
Old 23rd September 2011
  #41
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Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
I've written Novation about this new line compared to the SL series which I own. My overall assessment is that it's basically the SL series reorganized with a few improvements. One change is that the texture of the keys has a more piano like feel. I was told however, that the action is essentially the same as the SL line.


-SD
Fair enough then, I'll check it out when it comes out and I will probably have to eat a big serving of humble pie!
Old 13th December 2011
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
Fair enough then, I'll check it out when it comes out and I will probably have to eat a big serving of humble pie!
Any more updates on this keyboard? I was really disappointed in the AKAI MPK key action. I really hope Novation kept the keyboard on the Impulse similar to the feel and response of the Remote SL series. I got my local retailer bringing in the 61-key version of the Impulse. I really hope this IS the board for me. I'll report back after I test it. If I don't like it... I'm hooped!
Old 13th December 2011
  #43
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Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
Any more updates on this keyboard? I was really disappointed in the AKAI MPK key action. I really hope Novation kept the keyboard on the Impulse similar to the feel and response of the Remote SL series. I got my local retailer bringing in the 61-key version of the Impulse. I really hope this IS the board for me. I'll report back after I test it. If I don't like it... I'm hooped!
Thank you, I look forward to you comments
Old 13th December 2011
  #44
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sonicdefault's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoox View Post
thank you, i look forward to you comments
+1

-sd
Old 16th December 2011
  #45
I still haven't demoed the unit plugged into Ableton, but I took a 49-key version out of the box to test the action (before the arrival of my 61-key version).

It's not a bad unit and I'd say it's definitely worth the price, considering the dedicated midi-controller product competition.

To put things into perspective, my favourite 61-key action is a toss up between the Korg Kronos and the Virus TI2 61. IMHO, these are the best feeling semi-weighted boards available. For the record, I'm a big fan of the Nord key-action (all models), and the semi-weighted higher end Roland products (specifically the new Jupiter). This should at least give you a frame of reference at where I'm coming from.

The Novation Impulse isn't quite like anything I mentioned, and probably most closely resembles the semi-weighted action of the smaller Kurzweil PC3 models (which isn't too bad). The quality of the unit is better than the old Remote SL61 mkI that I had. The Novation Impulse's pads are nice and buttons feel great. The build quality was better than expected, but it could of been a little better... My complaints: I would gladly pay an extra hundred to have it in a metal casing, and metal-ish sturdy faders.

My only complaint with the key action is the corners of the keys feel rather sharp. It's a minor gripe that I noticed after running through some scales, but not enough to turn me off of my purchase. However, the action in itself is certainly a nice compromise between full on synth action, and a light piano feel. I certainly believe I could write nice dynamic parts, along with nice synth and/or percussive parts with this board (simply based on feel). I absolutely hated the 'lifeless' stiff, and 'springy' feel of the AKAI MPK synth action... I also liked the 'new' finish that the Novation had on the keys.

The perfect controller would be the AKAI casing/build quality, with Novation's attention to 'feel' and programming. It's a damn shame that NO ONE has got this correct! It's nearly 2012... I'd give AKAI props for build quality, but at the end of the day, the most important feature (to me) is the key bed/action.

Stay tuned, and I'll let you know how the Novation Impulse behaves with Ableton. This part is the least of my worries, as I've never had any problems with the Novation Remote SL that I had from 4 years ago. I'm looking forward to having a nice, mobile, playable, and versatile controller!

My back is certainly pleased.

Cheers,

-Phil
Old 17th December 2011
  #46
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skira's Avatar
 

Novation has uploaded a new video for the Impuse which nicely shows off its features.

Old 17th December 2011
  #47
Will post something more relevant in the coming days.
Old 5th January 2012
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
Will post something more relevant in the coming days.
Hi, have you tested it more yet?

I'm wondering buying the Impulse or Nocturn.
Old 5th January 2012
  #49
I'm a big Ableton guy, so here goes:

It's not a bad controller at all. It's definitely worth the asking price and the key-action is livable. I'm a piano player, so this is one area where I'm picky. I'm still waiting for NI Komplete Ultimate to arrive because I can't stand the Ableton Live Suite pianos. I can't seem to get any nice velocity curves to jive with the internal Ableton pianos, but everything else seems fine.

Most importantly, I'm able to write and do whatever, even on piano (for now). The key texture/action/feel on the Impulse is still light years ahead of the offerings by AKAI, M-Audio and the others.., but, that isn't exactly a relevant standard.

I LOVE the layout of this board. The logic/design for controlling Ableton is just brilliant and dead simple. I love the pads, arp, control functions, etc. The knobs and sliders (and especially the mod/pitch wheels) feel better than on the Remote series. However, I would give a very slight edge to the Remote series for key action.

Im definitely using the mouse WAY less these days, and it's made my workflow more fun and efficient. I'm actually using the controls on a controller without thinking about it or losing inspiration because I'm lost in a manual...

Cons and issues to be aware of:

I would of gladly paid $200-300 more to have this board with a metal chassis and sturdier metallic knobs and faders. In its current plastic state, I don't foresee any damage 'automatically' occurring unless it's abused, dropped, or improperly transported.

I also had some major issues at first. The sustain didn't work and I had problems with the pads. As soon as Novation got back to me, I had the problem corrected immediately. You HAVE to install AutoMap to update the firmware. It fixed all the bugs automatically. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid the AutoMap software... I really wish you could update the firmware without installing AutoMap. Personally, I hate putting things on my machine that cause clutter within the Library and registry folders, especially when DAW software like Ableton already have the controller templates already available.

Conclusion:

If you're an Ableton person and an avid keyboard guy who needs a keyboard that's a utilitarian 'jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none' type feel, then this controller is for you. You'll get lots done... The action will work whether your playing piano or EPs, although electro organ gliss/slides may take getting used to as the corners are kind of edgy.

To put things into context, my favorite semi-weighted 61-key action can be found on the Virus TI2. The Impulse is certainly not at that level, BUT, it works and is only $400.00 USD. It's also a controller in which you'll actually use all the intended functions (in Ableton)!

In my dream-land, I'd have a Korg RH-3 action for piano, the Virus TI2 for 61-semi weighted synth parts, and a Nord Electro for EPs/Organs. The Impulse would be a cheaper compromise between the feel of the Virus and Nord Electro. Despite this, I still highly recommend the Impulse.

I hope this helps!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKeys View Post
Hi, have you tested it more yet?

I'm wondering buying the Impulse or Nocturn.
Old 11th January 2012
  #50
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It certainly helped me mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
Cons and issues to be aware of:
I would of gladly paid $200-300 more to have this board with a metal chassis and sturdier metallic knobs and faders. In its current plastic state, I don't foresee any damage 'automatically' occurring unless it's abused, dropped, or improperly transported.
The MPK from Akai, which many here find very sturdy and well build, is completely plastic aswel. Not many metal build keyboards to be found for this price. (though I got a used CME UF8 for 200$, which doesn't work properly )

Anyway, at least the Impulse seems to have proper support for Logic (unlike some brands ahumakai)
Old 13th January 2012
  #51
Gear Addict
 

i just got one, this has to be THE most horrible purchase of my life
Old 13th January 2012
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homunculus View Post
i just got one, this has to be THE most horrible purchase of my life
WHY ?
Old 17th January 2012
  #53
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I just picked this up. . . a total impulse buy (har har). I'm running this with Maschine and NI Komplete. I really like the feel of the keys. I tried all of the controllers at the store and this one had the best feel in its price range, in my opinion. I also really liked the Arturia Analog Experience at the same price point -- metal casing with wood panels, and the keys felt really good. What sold me on the Novation, however, was that the knobs, faders, wheels etc., felt much nicer than the Arturia. The Arturia, despite its awesome casing and key feel had really cheap feeling controls. Oh, and this thing looks bad ass, too!

After just playing with this with the Maschine and Komplete for a few hours, I barely had to look at my computer screen once. It makes for a really nice workflow.
Attached Thumbnails
Novation Impulse Keyboards Unveiled-img_2949.jpg  
Old 18th January 2012
  #54
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Impulse 61 issue with backlights

hi guys
Wondering if anyone else owning an Impulse has a similar problem as I?
I recently purchase an Impulse 61 and Drumpads 3 & 4 backlights don't work, nor mute / solo buttons 3 & 7. I thought it may be due to USB powering issues but I have tried it out on several other computers with no change.

Any ideas?

thanks peeps

Al
Melbourne
Old 18th January 2012
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by casioboi View Post
hi guys
Wondering if anyone else owning an Impulse has a similar problem as I?
I recently purchase an Impulse 61 and Drumpads 3 & 4 backlights don't work, nor mute / solo buttons 3 & 7. I thought it may be due to USB powering issues but I have tried it out on several other computers with no change.

Any ideas?

thanks peeps

Al
Melbourne
I had the same issue when I first bought mine, but with a different pad. Just install AutoMap and update the firmware. This is mandatory. On the first firmware version, my sustain didn't work either (in Ableton Live).

Try this, and see what happens. It's not a bad controller once you get it up and running.

Cheers,

-Phil
Old 18th January 2012
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Frank View Post
I just picked this up. . . a total impulse buy (har har). I'm running this with Maschine and NI Komplete. I really like the feel of the keys. I tried all of the controllers at the store and this one had the best feel in its price range, in my opinion. I also really liked the Arturia Analog Experience at the same price point -- metal casing with wood panels, and the keys felt really good. What sold me on the Novation, however, was that the knobs, faders, wheels etc., felt much nicer than the Arturia. The Arturia, despite its awesome casing and key feel had really cheap feeling controls. Oh, and this thing looks bad ass, too!

After just playing with this with the Maschine and Komplete for a few hours, I barely had to look at my computer screen once. It makes for a really nice workflow.
Just to update my previous post: After working with this for a couple days now, I'm still pretty stoked on it. My main issue: the Automap works for ****, at least with the stuff I use. I use this mostly to as a keyboard with Maschine/Komplete but I also work with more mic'd instruments in Reaper. I was hoping to use the transport controls for Reaper, but have had no luck getting the Impulse to communicate with Reaper in this fashion. Really though, without motorized faders (which I would never expect on a keyboard) controlling a DAW would just be a novelty feature for this board. Maybe others have had luck with Automap, but I think the software is pure trash that just wastes time and causes headaches which squelches the creative process. I use the knobs on Maschine which are automapped pretty damn well. I'm not depending on the Impulse to be much more than a really nice feeling controller for Maschine/Komplete.

One absolutely fantastic thing about this board is the arpeggiator. It works seamlessly tempo-synced with Maschine. It proves to be an absolutely wonderful tool for exploring creative avenues with different Komplete patches. Bottom line: if you're depending on the Impulse to use all of the control and transport functions with your plugins, VSTis, and your DAW, do your homework or make sure that the store you buy it from will let you return or exchange it if it's not working for your needs. I could probably nerd out way more than I would ever want to and get the Automap working, or wait for updates that make the features work for me; but alas, I'm a musician who purchased an instrument to aid me in the creative process -- I don't have time for that ****.
Old 5th March 2012
  #57
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hey all experts here., thinking of jumping for an Ediroll PCR 800, so will that be a good choice for me? the main DAWs i use are FL Studio, Reason and Cubase., will it be a good one to compare with Novation Impulse ? thanks and waiting for quick reply., i will be purchasing this week.
Old 15th March 2012
  #58
Qha
Gear Head
 

A warning to all considering buying Impulse!!

When you do a harp glissando with black keys from right to left, black keys often get sustained (they return up but keep playing the note forever) until you play the exact key again! It's a mechanical problem that happens with any Impulse (25, 49, 63). I was playing at the gig with some organ sound, did a harp glissando and quickly realized that my sounds were stuck. Actually there's a youtube video of that event, lol. At 0:48 I do the glissando and after that you can hear the sustained organ note in the rapping part.

Needless to say, I returned my Impulse to the store. Picked up a SL mk II instead, it doesn't have this problem.
Old 16th March 2012
  #59
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sonicdefault's Avatar
^

Thanks for letting us know. Have you heard of anyone else having this issue?


-SD
Old 16th March 2012
  #60
Qha
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
^

Thanks for letting us know. Have you heard of anyone else having this issue?


-SD
It happened to my Impulse 63, and when I returned it to store and said I thought It's probably a design problem and not a faulty unit, since every black key behaved this way if the glissando was strong enough. The seller was conspicuous, so he tried it with a brand new Impulse 25 and immediately a note got stuck and he was just like "well now this is gonna be chaos.." :D

So far I've been happy with SL mk II, notes don't get stuck and it feels more professional. I love the snappy key touch as well, that bought me over AKAI that I also considered after the incident. Only bad things I've got to say about SL mk II is that pads are inferior to Impulse, x/y-control needs quite a bit of force to register, and pitch wheel doesn't always spring back to zero if brought back genlty, but a millimeter off, which can cause occasional pitch troubles when you have a large range like octave or so.
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