Novation Impulse MIDI controller keyboards unveiled

Novation Impulse: coming this month.
Novation Impulse: coming this month.

Novation has unveiled a new range of MIDI keyboards known as Impulse. The usual 25-, 49- and 61-note models are on offer, as are rotary encoders, drum pads and an LCD display.

You can see the Impulse in action in the video above; the official press release is below and you can find out more on the Novation website.

Novation Impulse press release

Impulse is Novation's brand new, cutting-edge range of professional USB/MIDI controllers, available in 25-, 49- and 61-key models. Each has an ultra-responsive, semi-weighted keybed with aftertouch, making it feel and play like a real, expressive musical instrument. Impulse controllers have eight rotary encoders, full transport control, a large LCD and 55mm faders, enabling highly expressive performance and unsurpassed control of your music software, with excellent value for money.

Key Features

- Precision semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch.
- Eight rotary encoders, full transport control, nine assignable buttons & 55mm faders (nine on Impulse 49 and 61; one on Impulse 25).
- Eight drum pads with multicolour LED backlights and multi-mode operation.
- Large LCD with actively updating readout.
- Robust and rugged hardware design.
- USB powered, with expression and sustain pedal inputs as well as MIDI input and output ports.
- Comes with Xcite+ Pack: Novation Automap, Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station and 1.5GB of Loopmasters/Mike The Drummer samples.

All eight of Impulse's drum pads are backlit with multi-coloured LEDs, and they operate in different modes, such as following the pattern being played by Impulse's on-board groovebox-style arpeggiator/step sequencer. You can change the pattern in real time and engage a beat roll function, to improvise with drum patterns on the fly. In addition to this, the drum pads can be used to trigger clips in Ableton Live's session view; illuminating yellow if a clip is loaded, green if it is playing and red if it is set to record. Of course, you can add further character to your performance with the pitch and modulation wheels. Impulse is designed to give you complete control of your music-making software. The knobs, faders and buttons put your mixer, instruments and effects at your fingertips, with the convenience of the included Automap control software. Impulse's large LCD screen shows important information about what you are controlling, as you are touching it, and tra nsport buttons provide direct hardware command over your session and easy navigation around your music software.

As well as a precision keyboard, drums pads and a full control surface, each Impulse controller comes with Novation's award-winning Automap control software, for fast and simple DAW and plug-in control. Impulse also comes with Ableton Live Lite, Novation's Bass Station soft synth and a Loopmasters sample pack, giving you all you need to start making music. Impulse controllers are powered via the computer's USB connection, and there are expression and sustain pedal inputs on the rear panel, as well as a MIDI input and output, so you can use Impulse as part of a larger hardware setup.

Novation's Impulse Range will be shipping in September 2011.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.