Novation Impulse

Novation Announce Impulse Controller Range

The latest music production product out of the Novation stable is Impulse, an entirely new range of keyboard controllers. Sitting side by side with the existing Remote SL range, Impulse has enough points of difference to warrant its inception – some features feel like a devolution from the SL, some things are cool and new, and some are just different. Importantly, though, the price is right for a more ‘entry level’ offering.

the keys look great – especially for a keyboard in its price range

It’s an interesting design choice, one that we’re not totally sold on just yet but it’s certainly got a distinctive look. Features wise, the keys look great – especially for a keyboard in its price range – with solid rather than lipped design and aftertouch capability; the pads feature aftertouch too and three colour back lighting. Other than the lighting, the lack of detailed displays mean visual feedback on the keyboard isn’t as strong as on the SL series, but Impulse does benefit from dedicated transport controls and separate pitch and mod wheels and an onboard brain capable of arpeggiator.

At considerably less spend than the SL series, competing aggressively with the M-Audio Axiom series might be one of the goals for Impulse. We’ll see how it feels soon enough when we get one in for review, and you can also see for yourself soon enough as they’re shipping this month (for $250, $350, and $399 for the 25/49/61 key versions, respectively).

  • Sparko

    I like the big novation you have in your videos, which one do u think i shoudl get?

  • Baz

    Oh god it’s ugly. but Novation rock, so maybe it’ll be okay…

  • Kc2ine

    why not 37 keys version!!! come on, who needs 25 keys?

  • HouseLightsOn

    It is ugly, and ‘blocky’. But the worst thing is how glitchy the automap feature is. I just got one yesterday and am already thinking of trying to return it to the shop for something else, anything else. The automap has a life of its own, switching on and off without warning so that sometimes the Impulse controls the transport controls in Live, and, well, sometimes it does something entirely different. For all the noise about how seamless the integration is, I wish I’d just gone for something with less flash lights (stupid looking and utterly useless, by the way). I had a Novation X-Station a few years ago and regret now ever letting it go. At least it was reliable. AND it had sliders, which the Impulse 25 doesn’t. Not recommended, I’m afraid. Which leaves me at least still looking for a half-decent laptop keyboard with, perhaps, a few sliders and a keyboard that doesn’t seem to have been made out of cardboard. In fairness, the Impulse keyboard feels very good, but on a 25 key keyboard the feel is not terribly important, to me at least. A laptop studio is, after all, just that: it’s not Wembley. (Hence, Novation might keep their LEDs to themselves next time!)

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