The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Novation Impulse Keyboards Unveiled Keyboard Controllers
Old 17th March 2012
  #61
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qha View Post
I...
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...

I have an SL MKII too, so it looks like I won't be moving to the Impulse line! I appreciate the response and information!


-SD
Old 19th March 2012
  #62
Qha
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
I have an SL MKII too, so it looks like I won't be moving to the Impulse line! I appreciate the response and information!


-SD
No problem. The more I use the SL mkII the more I love it. Small details like touch sensitive knobs, switchable mod wheel return spring, large and brilliant display design, and bright and informative leds make it the coolest keyboard I've probably ever used.

One thing that bothers me is that I didn't make a clear youtube video out of the Impulse glissando problem before I returned it. I could've prevented some bad purchases and provided direct feedback to Novation that way. Maybe someone who still has Impulse could try to replicate the problem?
Old 21st March 2012
  #63
Focusrite
 

Hi Qha,

Sorry to hear you had this problem with your Impulse. I have spent some time trying to replicate the behaviour you describe on an Impulse 25 here but have been unable to find any problems.

If anyone else is experiencing similar issues, please let me know as I am keen to get to the bottom of this and avoid other Impulse users having a similar first experiencing to Qha.

Best regards,

Neil Marron
Novation Technical Support
Old 22nd March 2012
  #64
Qha
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil (Focusrite) View Post
Hi Qha,

Sorry to hear you had this problem with your Impulse. I have spent some time trying to replicate the behaviour you describe on an Impulse 25 here but have been unable to find any problems.

If anyone else is experiencing similar issues, please let me know as I am keen to get to the bottom of this and avoid other Impulse users having a similar first experiencing to Qha.

Best regards,

Neil Marron
Novation Technical Support
I tried the problem with two different units that were also different sizes (25 / 61), and the problem occurred with basically every black key, so while this might be a problem of a specific shipment, it's hard for me to think so. I'm sure you'll find the problem if you do this right:

1) Take any midi sound with long decay such as strings or organ so you hear it better
2) Make a fairly strong harp glissando from right to left using the black keys (I don't know if 'harp glissando' is the right way to call it, but I mean just playing a scale by sliding your finger the way organ players do)
3) repeat 2) and a note will get stuck eventually.

You can always argue that you shouldn't make fairly strong harp glissandos anyway since it might damage the keys in a bad scenario, but playing and organ sound at a gig while knowing some notes might get stuck in normal use certainly doesn't sound good to me, and in fact messed up one of my gigs.

Last edited by Qha; 23rd March 2012 at 02:03 AM.. Reason: Added the bold part, kinda important
Old 26th March 2012
  #65
Here for the gear
 

Just spotted that deadmau5 has an Impulse49 in his label's recording studio as the central midi controller. If that makes a difference to anyone.
Old 26th March 2012
  #66
Here for the gear
 
FOURZERO3's Avatar
 

OMG deadmau5 uses Impulse49??? I WANT ONE NOW! :P
Old 3rd April 2012
  #67
Focusrite
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qha View Post
I tried the problem with two different units that were also different sizes (25 / 61), and the problem occurred with basically every black key, so while this might be a problem of a specific shipment, it's hard for me to think so. I'm sure you'll find the problem if you do this right:

1) Take any midi sound with long decay such as strings or organ so you hear it better
2) Make a fairly strong harp glissando from right to left using the black keys (I don't know if 'harp glissando' is the right way to call it, but I mean just playing a scale by sliding your finger the way organ players do)
3) repeat 2) and a note will get stuck eventually.

You can always argue that you shouldn't make fairly strong harp glissandos anyway since it might damage the keys in a bad scenario, but playing and organ sound at a gig while knowing some notes might get stuck in normal use certainly doesn't sound good to me, and in fact messed up one of my gigs.
Hi Qha,

Thanks for the precise repro steps. I have now managed to replicate this issue and have passed it onto our developers to fix in a firmware update.

Apologies that we could not catch this before you returned the unit.

Best regards,

Neil Marron
Novation Technical Support
Old 3rd April 2012
  #68
Qha
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil (Focusrite) View Post
Hi Qha,

Thanks for the precise repro steps. I have now managed to replicate this issue and have passed it onto our developers to fix in a firmware update.

Apologies that we could not catch this before you returned the unit.

Best regards,

Neil Marron
Novation Technical Support
No problem, happy that my steps were helpful! Also good news if it can be addressed with a firmware upgrade! And no problem, I'm very happy with SL mk II anyway, totally love it. Actually, together with Reason, it was my weapon of choice on a live television show a week ago! The joystick was very useful with those Skrillex-sounds :P
Old 31st May 2012
  #69
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil (Focusrite) View Post
Hi Qha,

Thanks for the precise repro steps. I have now managed to replicate this issue and have passed it onto our developers to fix in a firmware update.

Apologies that we could not catch this before you returned the unit.

Best regards,

Neil Marron
Novation Technical Support
Has this issue been resolved or still in the works? Was thinking of picking up an Impulse soon.
Old 1st June 2012
  #70
Gear Addict
 
dariva's Avatar
Hi there - I own an Impulse 61 for several months now and should say the overall impression this unit yields is on the cheap, unstable side .....However, I have to say immediately that it is nevertheless really useful unit, because of the arpeggiator which is really fun to play, easy midi control setup (don't mean Automap but good old fashioned cc controls) , and overall intuitive operation.

My biggest gripes are connected to the keyboard and the pad lights and their on/off state. The keys are noisy and they bounce on release, which often results in recording short notes. The pad lights went off on half of them just a month after I got the device. Also, in arpeggiator mode, some pads will turn off on their own, while the pattern is playing....

I did not return it because it got the job done and it still does, but if I loose the thing, I probably am going to look around for an alternative....That said, I remember that the Impulse was cheaper than other brands, so.... I guess this answers it all.

I do have a feature request which I believe would be really usefull - please, get those pads to cover more than 8 notes, let us have a transposition functionality for them as well, so that we can be able to cover larger drum sets....

Cheers!
Old 3rd June 2012
  #71
I am having the exact same problem with the pads. Your post echoes my thoughts exactly...

It's definitely useful (the Impulse), but as always, you get what you pay for...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dariva View Post
Hi there - I own an Impulse 61 for several months now and should say the overall impression this unit yields is on the cheap, unstable side .....However, I have to say immediately that it is nevertheless really useful unit, because of the arpeggiator which is really fun to play, easy midi control setup (don't mean Automap but good old fashioned cc controls) , and overall intuitive operation.

My biggest gripes are connected to the keyboard and the pad lights and their on/off state. The keys are noisy and they bounce on release, which often results in recording short notes. The pad lights went off on half of them just a month after I got the device. Also, in arpeggiator mode, some pads will turn off on their own, while the pattern is playing....

I did not return it because it got the job done and it still does, but if I loose the thing, I probably am going to look around for an alternative....That said, I remember that the Impulse was cheaper than other brands, so.... I guess this answers it all.

I do have a feature request which I believe would be really usefull - please, get those pads to cover more than 8 notes, let us have a transposition functionality for them as well, so that we can be able to cover larger drum sets....

Cheers!
Old 14th June 2012
  #72
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Frank View Post
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 ****.
What's up Dr Frank

Now that you've had the Impulse for some months... are you still happy with it?

I'm thinking about buying an Impulse controller... I'll also be using it with Maschine.

Your feedback as a owner of this controller would be very useful... thanks.
Old 29th June 2012
  #73
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
In my endless quest for a suitable MIDI controller I have learnt one thing: they all suck. I haven't tried it myself, but looking at the price of the Impulse I'd say you won't be fully satisfied with it. Many of us would like to pay more for the ideal controller. Unfortunately no company is making such a controller. There are things money can't buy because they simply don't exist. So, right now, whatever you buy I guarantee you will be disappointed one way or another. Enjoy.
Old 29th June 2012
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Polarelch's Avatar
 

Scoox, I am also very disappointed of these kind of products.
A serious controller keyboard is still missing.

However, I have high hopes for the AKAI Max 49.
Old 29th June 2012
  #75
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
whatever you buy I guarantee you will be disappointed one way or another. Enjoy.
LOL
Old 29th June 2012
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarelch View Post
Scoox, I am also very disappointed of these kind of products.
A serious controller keyboard is still missing.

However, I have high hopes for the AKAI Max 49.
It's perfectly normal to have high hopes for a new controller. It's like when you get a new job because your last job was depressing.

I totally agree that a serious MIDI controller is still missing. There's a big business opportunity there for one of us to seize.

Regarding your high hopes for the AKAI Max 49, let me help here: it has no knobs. What the heck? MPK knobs used to be amongst the best if not the best, getting rid of them was a big step backwards. People like to turn knobs. This is controller castration.

The AKAI Max 49 looks grand in the pictures, but so does a BigMac. The touch faders are theoretically great but in practice they are not, that's why professional mixers use real faders. Think about it, there is no tactile feedback. The problem with faders in MIDI controllers has always been that, unlike (some) rotary encoders, faders must be motorized in order to mirror the software status. Motorized faders are of course very expensive. Cheap motorised faders become normal faders within one year of purchase. AKAI's is an interesting solution because a touch strip is solid-state and therefore, provided it accepts MIDI feedback, will always match the software, plus it's less likely to break. Unfortunately the AKAI Max 49 is new, and when I hear the word "new" I also hear "guinea pig". Based on my experience, when a controller features touch sensitive things I foresee trouble (check the forums).

The thing we should be asking is: Do this crazy AKAI touch strips accept MIDI feedback? Surprisingly, a lot of MIDI controllers that sport endless rotary encoders don't accept MIDI feedback from the software! For example M-Audio's Axiom mkI and mkII. Using traditional pots would have been better (more tactile), but "rotary encoder" sounds hotter to inexperienced users and first-time buyers who are probably more interested in the pretty LEDs.

My solution to the fader dilemma would have been to use good quality non-motorised faders (as found in most mixers) and to put an LED strip to the side of each fader, then implement soft-takeover in the hardware. This way the LEDs would always match the software, and the all the user would need to do is move the fader to the lit LED.

A better solution is to get rid of the stupid faders altogether and spend the money on good quality hi-res rotary encoders. We don't want faders if they are going to be crap. 17 knobs is much better than 8 knobs and 9 ****ty faders any time. My cheap-n-cheerful BCR2000 is perfect and accepts MIDI feedback. I've had it for a year and it's still going strong.

When I see a group of girls, none of which looks particularly attractive, but one has nice legs, the other one has nice knockers, the other one has a nice bum, nice hair, and so on, my brain thinks: "hmmm, MIDI controller". That's why rigged up a very affordable Keystation+BCR2000+padKONTROL+Bome's MIDI Translator combo. This stuff lights up like a Christmas tree. Apart from the keystation's keys being somewhat substandard and not sending full-range MIDI velocity (I work around this with Bome's MIDI Translator), this solution gets pretty close to my dream controller.
Old 23rd July 2012
  #77
Here for the gear
 

I was looking into buying a new keyboard controller myself and checked the M-Audio Axiom Pro 61 and the Novation Impulse 61 on-line and according to the features (and looks), I was hoping that the Impulse actually had a nice keyboard-touch and that the knobs, wheels and faders felt sturdy.

So I went to a shop to try them out both and although I so wanted the Impulse to feel better than the Axiom, the opposite was true: the Axiom Pro's keyboard played way better, the knobs and wheels on the Impulse were so toy-like and felt not stable.

So in the end it wasn't a difficult decision: quality over features, I went for the Axiom Pro.

The hyper control works ok, but you don't really have a great overview on the tiny screen, so you need to look at the computer monitor anyway. Don't know if it works faster/better than Automap though.

I must add that I make music for film and ambient music for the most part.
Old 12th August 2012
  #78
Gear Addict
 

We're stuck making frankenstiens for now, and I'm fine with that - or I would be, if I could find a decent 61 key keyboard without all the nonsense - I like the novation keys (even the impulse keys I like quite a bit!) but I don't want that extra crap on the top of the impulse, and I'd rather a remote zero + novation keys rather than remote SL...

I think the only realistic solution is to buy a synth and never use the sounds.

If anyone has a better idea, please chime in! Keystation+padKontrol+BCR2000 (or BCF2000) sounds great, except for the keystation part....
Old 12th August 2012
  #79
Lives for gear
 
CoolColJ's Avatar
 

I find it funny these controllers cost more than a synth by itself....
Old 13th August 2012
  #80
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 

The MPK49 and Impulse49 are both sale-priced at $300. Aside from the apparently discontinued MiniAK, there are no synths in that price range, certainly none that offer the knobs and pads and aftertouch.
Old 13th August 2012
  #81
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakrum View Post
If anyone has a better idea, please chime in! Keystation+padKontrol+BCR2000 (or BCF2000) sounds great, except for the keystation part....
The Keystation is a big silver technological turd, but at least a cheap one. I hate to spend hard-earned money on stuff I half-like.

I know the idea of having an all-in-one device is very appealing, but now that I have dedicated devices I am beginning to become aware of the advantages of my set-up:
  1. I can arrange the various modules whichever way I want. With the all-in-one controller the pads may be located on the far right corner, which may be too far for comfortable ergonomic use. A small dedicated pad controller like the padKONTROl can easily be moved to a more ergonomic place when it needs to be used.
  2. No single point of failure. If one of the bits dies, I only need to replace that one bit, so it's bound to be cheaper.
  3. I can expand and upgrade as I need. In the future, if a better keybed becomes available, I can buy that and continue to use the other parts of the set-up that I am already happy with.
  4. Modular set-up means you can mix and match the best products in the market to create your own super controller. This is much better than a single controller where only half the features work as expected.
  5. All parts of my set-up are both class-compliant USB MIDI devices and have MIDI out ports so I'll be able to use them forever as long as they don't break.

I will add that the padKONTROL is wonderful! I keep asking myself why I didn't buy this earlier. The more I use it the more I love it. The pads are so sensitive I can do drum rolls with two fingers on one pad. It really makes playing drums a dream come true. In my opinion it is much better than Maschine if you are just looking for a pad controller that does exactly what I should--and very well.
Old 31st December 2012
  #82
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
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.
Hi,
I got an Impulse yesterday and have found the key edges sharp. Do they eventually get smoother through playing?
Old 31st December 2012
  #83
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvibe View Post
Hi,
I got an Impulse yesterday and have found the key edges sharp. Do they eventually get smoother through playing?
I doubt it. If you mean rough injection moulding seams, you might be able to rub those down with a piece of cloth and patience, although you shouldn't need to do that.
Old 31st December 2012
  #84
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
I doubt it. If you mean rough injection moulding seams, you might be able to rub those down with a piece of cloth and patience, although you shouldn't need to do that.
Thanks - what kind of cloth would you recommend?

The strange thing is, I bought an Impulse 2 weeks ago that didn't have sharp keys- I returned it because of another problem, and now this replacement keyboard has sharp edges.
Old 1st January 2013
  #85
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvibe View Post
Thanks - what kind of cloth would you recommend?

The strange thing is, I bought an Impulse 2 weeks ago that didn't have sharp keys- I returned it because of another problem, and now this replacement keyboard has sharp edges.
Cotton cloth to begin with e.g. an old t-shirt or a pair of boxers. Socks are too rough and may scratch the keys. Applying a little pressure as you rub will generate a small amount of heat thus making any sharp edges easier to round off. Obviously try it on just one key first in case it does not work well. Don't use solvents or alcohol as it may damage the plastic. I used this method to fix a few scratched keys of my Keystation.

The little soft gray cloth that used to be supplied with Apple Cinema displays is very good for polishing shiny keys at the end, if you've got one.
Old 2nd January 2013
  #86
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoox View Post
Cotton cloth to begin with e.g. an old t-shirt or a pair of boxers. Socks are too rough and may scratch the keys. Applying a little pressure as you rub will generate a small amount of heat thus making any sharp edges easier to round off. Obviously try it on just one key first in case it does not work well. Don't use solvents or alcohol as it may damage the plastic. I used this method to fix a few scratched keys of my Keystation.

The little soft gray cloth that used to be supplied with Apple Cinema displays is very good for polishing shiny keys at the end, if you've got one.
Thanks for the tip - that's gonna be a real long process with 61 keys
Old 7th September 2013
  #87
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
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!?
Thanks for the info! (Didn't open this thread before today. Better late than never.)

Buying the Impulse 49 "nicely used" from a friend of mine, so getting my hands on it in about a week.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump