Novation Impulse MIDI Keyboard Controller

Updated April 1, 2019 |  by Hollagully


Novation Impulse

  • 25, 49 or 61 note velocity sensitive semi-weighted keyboard with assignable aftertouch
  • Automap 4 control software enables instant hands-on access to your DAW and plug-ins
  • Comprehensive DAW/plug-in control surface
  • 9 sliders (49 & 61 note) 1 slider (25 note), 8 rotary encoders, 8 multi-colour backlit velocity-sensitive pads, 6 dedicated transport controls
  • 2 octave / transpose buttons
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • Arpeggiator with tap tempo and roll
  • 1 USB connection, MIDI In and Out, 1/4” connections for Expression & Sustain pedals 
  • Custom blue-backlit LCD display
  • Multi-function drum pads let you warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live
  • Ships with Ableton Live Lite 9, Novation Bass Station, Loopmasters sample library, and Mike The Drummer

The Novation Impulse series are top in their class of USB MIDI keyboard controllers, offering supreme expression, precision and full controls of your DAW, all on from the device itself. Ideal for the home, school, or project studio, the Novation Impulse are available in 25, 49, and 61-key versions with the only difference being that the 25-key omits the the faders to offer better portability.

One of the strongest features of the Impulse are their first-class highly responsive semi-weighted keyboard with assignable aftertouch. Feeling much more like a real acoustic instrument rather than a cheap computer gizmo, the keys respond very musically allowing much more human expression than its competitors. Novation’s unique High Rate Scan (HRS) technology scans the keyboard 10,000 times per second capturing all of the subtle nuances of your performance.

Tailor the parameters in your DAW from the Impulse itself without the need of reaching for the mouse. Nine faders, eight rotary knobs, eight 3-colour backlit velocity-sensitive pads with aftertouch, a collection of dedicated/assignable buttons and transport controls, and a LCD screen allow you to stay in the flow of your performance.

The drum pads offer plenty of features many other MIDI keyboard controllers can’t, like warping arpeggios in real time, rolling beats and launching clips in Ableton Live (included.) The arpeggiator is fully customizable and controllable, allowing you to manipulate swing, octave range, length of sequence, and more.

In order to connect the Novation Impulse to your DAW for creating your mapping set up, it comes with Novations Automap V4, their proprietary application that automatically detects what software you’re using and configures the Impulse to be able to control all parameters of the given software—whether it’s a DAW, virtual instrument, or plugin.

On the back you’ll find nothing more than a USB port, inputs for sustain and expression pedals, a pair of MIDI I/O sockets and a Kensington lock slot. Its nice that they have included the MIDI connections as it is convenient for anyone who wants to control hardware synth modules without introducing unnecessary latency.

Finally, the Novation Impulse all ships with Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station, Loopmasters sample library, and Mike The Drummer. If you’re looking for a versatile MIDI keyboard controller that feels natural like a real piano while being your command central for your entire virtual studio, then the Novation Impulse should sit comfortably near the top of your shortlist.


Mac OS 10.7 or later
Windows 7 or later

Further Reading:

To help you out on your quest to find a great MIDI keyboard controller for your home studio, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that make a good runner up to the Novation Impulse.

We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to MIDI Keyboard Controllers that will teach you all the features, functions and freedoms offered by these incredible instrument. By the end of it you’ll be equipped with enough knowledge to make an informed decision of what kind of keyboard controller will suit your studio to get your ideas flowing faster than ever.


Novation LaunchkeyAkai MPK Mini MKII, Alesis V49, M-Audio Oxygen 49


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