Novation Music have introduced a range of new controllers that not only assist with smooth music making in Ableton Live but also easily adapt to almost any DAW software you are using and we will tell you about the Novation Impulse keyboards and why they are a hit with home studio musicians.
Novation are no new comers to the MIDI controller industry and have releases a string of successful controllers that have helped establish the popular grid like pad controllers with their Launchpad range and also introduced a range of popular keyboard controllers called Launchkey.
The latest from Novation is what I will be talking about now and that is the Impulse range of keyboards which allow full control of a DAW and the parameters for VST instruments or effects. Like most MIDI controllers the transport buttons are here and work well for receding and playback and they work as expected with no problems at all.
There are 61, 49 and 25 key versions of the Impulse keyboards. The semi-weighted action and aftertouch keys are comfortable to play and allow for a large amount of control and can really bring the feel of any instrument played to life. Organs, Pianos and synths all sound and feel good when played using a Novation Impulse keyboard.
There are 9 faders all together with eight of them being grouped which makes them great for channel levels and the ninth one separate which can be used for a master volume. The faders are low-profile which means they are down low into the unit making it harder to knock accidentally. The 25 key version only has one fader making it more compact for desktop musicians. The faders can be used to control your DAW software mixer or any other function you want by switching between MIDI and Mixer modes using buttons to the left of the faders.
Every control can be mapped to anything you wish by using the new and intuitive Automap software which will assist you in a visual way to assign a control on the keyboard to a dial or action on your DAW software. The Automap software integrates with your DAW software and as of version 4.0 the software is stable and is also visually pleasing to use.
There are eight knobs that can be assigned to things like panning and effects. You can easily switch between using them to control your plugins or to control custom MIDI functions in your DAW software.
Then there are the pads! Yes the pads that let you drop drum tracks and other beats. The pads on the Novation Impulse keyboards are pressure sensitive which means you can record MIDI data like drums and different strengths simple by pressing the pad harder of softer. The pads also allow for easier creation of beats using three modes. Roll mode creates a roll of notes at what ever speed you need, arpeggiator mode which allows to to control the arpeggiator steps of a synth or instrument by pressing the pad on or off and clip launch mode which is specifically for Ableton Live and will launch a clip in the currently selected scene.
The keyboard has the usual MIDI in and MIDI out ports at the back and can be powered by USB from your desktop or notebook computer so you do not need an external power supply.