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Review MIDI keyboard Novation Impulse 25. Where to buy it?

Novation Digital Music Systems Ltd. is a British music equipment manufacturer, founded in 1992 by Ian Jannaway and Mark Thompson as Novation Electronic Music Systems. I’ll tell you how this post is built. First I list the features of this Novation Impulse 25 keyboard. Then you have a video or two, purchase links and useful comments from other users and then you have one of the most useful parts; comparison tables with similar keyboards so you can compare.

  • 25 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg

review novation-impulse-25
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €165/£149/$168 and offers 25 full-size semi-weighted and aftertouch keys. This means that they have real pressure sensitivity, giving more realism than those without this function.

And as function controls it gives us 8 backlit Drum-Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. It offers the option of automation, where each button or function assigns itself a parameter or function.

In connections, the Novation Impulse 25 features an integrated USB connection (where it is also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression pedal inputs.

And it offers Xcite+ Software Pack licenses, Ableton Live Lite.

Now that we’ve seen the features of this Novation Impulse 25 keyboard check out these related videos to learn more.

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Novation Impulse 25 vs Novation Launchkey 25 MK3

The Novation Impulse 25 MIDI Keyboard and the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 are both priced at €165/£149/$168, both branded and priced the same. We will have an interesting face-to-face:

  • Both have 25 full-size keys, the keys on the Impulse 25 are semi-heavy and have an Aftertouch function.
  • In controls, the Novation Impulse 25 offers 8 backlit Drum-Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. When the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 offers 16 sensitive, backlit pads, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.
  • In connections, the Novation Impulse 25 features an integrated USB connection (where it is also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression pedal inputs. And the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 integrates USB connection (where it is also powered), MIDI output and sustain pedal input.
  • The Novation Impulse 25 includes licenses for Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite. While the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 includes licenses of Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Impulse 25

Novation Launchkey 25 MK3

  • 25 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 463 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 1.81 kg

In our first comparison, we have two MIDI controllers of the same brand, Novation, and the same price. On the one hand, the Novation Impulse 25, which as we have already seen offers 25 sensitive, semi-heavy and aftertouch keys, 8 backlit Drum Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. And on the other hand, the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 offers 25 sensitive keys, 16 sensitive and backlit pads, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.

In the advantages of the first one, the Novation Impulse 25, we find a better keyboard due to the semi-controlled and aftertouch, and its 55mm fader that will be very useful in functions such as mixing and provides greater precision. The advantages of the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 include a larger number of assignable pads, which can be used as clip triggers or assigned to certain samples, usually percussion. And also the large number of licenses it offers, which for beginners are of great value. In general, Novation Impulse 25 is a better choice.

And here’s a video of the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 review.

Novation Impulse 25 vs Akai MPK 225

The Novation Impulse 25 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €165/£149/$168 when the Akai MPK 225 is priced at €239/£215/$248. Let’s go to the face-to-face:

  • Both have 25 full-size semi-weighted keys, the keys on the Novation Impulse 25 have the Aftertouch function, which is an advantage over the first one.
  • In controls, the Novation Impulse 25 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. When the Akai MPK 225 offers 8 MPC (MIDI Production Center) pads, 8 assignable knobs, 4 keys, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels. In addition to other buttons.
  • In connections, both integrate a USB connection (where they are also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression pedal inputs.
  • The Novation Impulse 25 includes licenses for Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite. While the Akai MPK 225 includes software licenses (downloads): Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist 2.0 and Akai Pro MPC Essentials.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Impulse 25

Akai MPK 225

  • 25 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • With 25 semi-weighted keys
  • 8 MPC Pads with RGB lighting
  • 8 controllers and 4 keys
  • Inputs for Expression Pedal and Sustain
  • Arpeggiator
  • MPC Note Repeat, MPC Full Level
  • Tap Tempo and Time Division
  • Backlit LCD display
  • DAW integration by numerous transport controls and parameters
  • Buttons for second-level control
  • 1x jack input for the expression pedal and one for sustain pedal
  • USB-MIDI and 5-pin MIDI In/Out
  • IOS compatible with Apple Camera Connection Kit (not included)
  • Includes Software (Downloads): Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist 2.0 and Akai Pro MPC Essentials
  • Size: 489 x 298 x 92 mm
  • Weight: 2,76kg

This time we have a very close comparison since we find two very similar devices, on the one hand, the Novation Impulse 25 with the functions and features that we have already analyzed, and on the other hand, we have the Akai MPK 225 that offers 25 semi-weighted keys, 8 MPC pads ( MIDI Production Center ), 8 assignable knobs, 4 keys, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.

In advantages, the first one offers a 55mm fader, very useful for mixing, and as an advantage of the second one, we can comment 4 keys and some functions that are found as keys too, such as Loop, Note Repeat, Tap tempo, and others. For price reasons, I would go for the Novation Impulse 25 as it has almost the same functions and features, and is more economical.

And here’s a video of the Akai MPK 225 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Akai MPK 225 review.

Novation Impulse 25 vs Novation 49SL MKIII

The Novation Impulse 25 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €165/£149/$168 when the Novation 49SL MKIII is priced at €555/£515/$567. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • When the Novation Impulse 25 offers 25 full-size semi-weighted keys with aftertouch function, the Novation 49SL MKIII offers 49 semi-weighted, sensitive keys with aftertouch function.
  • In controls, the Novation Impulse 25 offers 8 backlit drum pads, 1 55mm fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels, and up/down octave keys. When the Novation 49SL MKIII offers 16 pads, 8 assignable knobs, 8 faders, 16 buttons, 6 transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.
  • In connections, the Novation Impulse 25 features an integrated USB connection (where they are also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression pedal inputs. And the Novation 49SL MKIII integrates a USB connection, 3.5mm clock outputs, 2 CV outputs, Gate and Modulation, inputs for sustain, expression and footswitch pedals, MIDI Out2/Thru, MIDI Out and In, and an external power supply input.
  • The Novation Impulse 25 includes licenses for Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite. While the Novation 49SL MKIII includes Ableton Live Lite licenses, 4GB of Loopmasters sounds, XLN Audio Addictive Keys.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Impulse 25

Novation 49SL MKIII

  • 25 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • 49 semi-weighted, speed-sensitive keys with aftertouch
  • Tone and modulation wheels
  • 16 percussion pads with RGB illumination and speed sensitivity
  • 8 continuous rotary knobs
  • 8 faders
  • 6 transport control buttons
  • 16 assignable buttons (x2 banks)
  • 5 TFT LCD RGB screens
  • Seamless Integration into Ableton Live
  • Compatible with any DAW through Mackie HUI and InControl protocol
  • 22 keyboard scales
  • Integrated 8-track pattern sequencer
  • Real-time and step-by-step recording
  • 8 patterns per track
  • 64 session memory locations
  • Pattern chain function
  • Note quantization
  • Automation for up to 8 recordable parameters
  • Swing (20 — 80%)
  • Arpeggiator
  • Customizable templates for hardware and software
  • Selectable speed curves
  • Native USB support — no drivers required
  • 2 outputs for CV (tone), door and modulation (3.5 mm jack)
  • Clock output (3.5 mm jack)
  • Pedal inputs for sustain, expression and footswitch (6.3 mm jack)
  • MIDI In, Out, Out2 / Thru
  • USB port
  • Dimensions: 816.6 x 299.6 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5.36 kg
  • Includes power supply (12V DC), USB cable, Ableton Live Lite, 4GB of Loopmasters sounds, XLN Audio Addictive Keys

We have a somewhat unfair comparison, on the one hand, our Novation Impulse 25 already analyzed before, and on the other hand the Novation 49 SL MKIII with triple the price and many more functions and features than the first one. The Novation 49 SL MKIII offers 49 semi-weighted keys, with sensitivity and aftertouch, plus 16 pads, 8 assignable knobs, 8 faders, 16 buttons, 6 transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc.) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.

In all functions and features, the Novation 49SL MKIII outperforms the Novation Impulse 25, and that is also reflected in its price. While the former is undoubtedly the best option, the Novation Impulse 25 is not a bad choice for a lower budget.

And here’s a video of the Novation 49SL MKIII keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation 49SL MKIII review.

Novation Impulse 25 vs M-Audio Code 25 black

The Novation Impulse 25 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €165/£149/$168 and the M-Audio Code 25 black is priced at €160, but the difference is so small that this may vary depending on which shop we ask. Let’s go head to head:

  • Both have 25 full-size semi-weighted keys, the keys on the Novation Impulse 25 have the Aftertouch function, which is an advantage over the first one.
  • In controls, the Novation Impulse 25 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. When the M-Audio Code 25 offers 1 XY control pad, 16 pads, 4 assignable knobs, 5 assignable faders, 5 assignable buttons, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc.) and modulation and pitch bend wheels
  • In connections, both integrate a USB connection (where they are also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression/volume pedal inputs. The M-Audio has an input for an external power supply, which is not included.
  • The Novation Impulse 25 includes licenses for the Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite. The M-Audio Code 25 includes Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Impulse 25

M-Audio Code 25 black

  • 25 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • 25 full-size keys
  • Speed sensitive with aftertouch
  • 4 assignable zones for divisions and layers
  • Assignable XY control pad for HID control
  • 16 fully assignable speed-sensitive trigger pads
  • 4 encoders 360 assignable
  • 5 assignable faders
  • 5 assignable buttons
  • Transport control via Mackie/HUI protocol
  • LED providing an instant display of each parameter
  • Input for volume and sustain pedal
  • Operates via USB power with 5-pin MIDI input and output
  • Software included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology
  • Power supply not included optionally available
  • Minimum requirements: Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.7.5
  • Dimensions: 528 x 257 x 73mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 2,6Kg
  • Color: Black

In this comparison, we again find two similar MIDI controllers, on the one hand, the already mentioned Novation Impulse 25 with its functions and features already analyzed above. On the other hand, the M-Audio Code 25 offers 25 sensitive keys, 1 XY control pad, 16 pads, 4 assignable knobs, 5 assignable faders, 5 assignable buttons, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc.) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.

The advantages of the Novation Impulse 25 are its semi-weighted keys and its aftertouch function, as well as buttons with brand-specific functions. The M-Audio Code 25 also features an XY pad control, which allows you to control a parameter or function in two dimensions (useful for experimentation), as well as more functions, such as pads, faders and assignable buttons. Everyone has their own, but if you’re interested in the XY pad control, you’ll want to check out the M-Audio Code 25.

Here’s a video of the M-Audio Code 25 black keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Code 25 black review.

Novation Impulse 25 vs Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII

The MIDI Novation Impulse 25 Keyboard is priced at €165/£149/$168 when the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII is priced at €875/£789/$866. Let’s go to the face to face:

  • When the Novation Impulse 25 offers 25 full-size semi-weighted keys with aftertouch function, the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII offers an 88-key hammer-action counterbalanced keyboard, having a great quality against the competition.
  • In controls, the Novation Impulse 25 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 1 55mm Fader, 8 assignable knobs, transport buttons, modulation and pitch bend wheels and up/down octave keys. When the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkIII offers 16 pads, 9 assignable knobs, 9 faders, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc.) and modulation and pitch bend wheels
  • In connections, the Novation Impulse 25 features an integrated USB connection (where they are also powered), as well as MIDI input and output, and sustain and expression pedal inputs. And the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII features a USB connection, pitch outputs, Gate output, Mod 1 and Mod 2, inputs for sustain, expression and three auxiliary pedals, CV in, MIDI output and input, and an external power supply input.
  • The Novation Impulse 25 includes licenses for Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite. While the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII includes Analog Lab 4 with 6000 synthesizer sounds, Ableton Live Lite, Arturia Wurli V, Arturia VOX Continental V and Arturia Piano V.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Impulse 25

Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII

  • 25 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 1 Fader of 55mm
  • 8 assignable controllers
  • Modulation-pitch wheel
  • 2-octave keys
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB socket
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 525 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • With 88 keys and CV connections
  • Fatar plywood keyboard, with hammer action (Fatar — TP100LR)
  • Speed sensitive and Aftertouch
  • 16 illuminated pads with chord memory function
  • 9 faders
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • LCD screen
  • Transport section
  • Tone and modulation wheels
  • MIDI Input/Output
  • Input for a sustain pedal and 6.3 mm jack expression
  • 3 assignable pedal inputs 6.3 mm jack
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack CV input
  • Tone and door output 3.5 mm mini-jack
  • Output Mod 1 and Mod 2 3.5 mm mini-jack
  • USB connection
  • Input for 9 — 12 V DC power supply 1.0 A
  • Aluminum housing with wooden side panels
  • Includes magnetic templates for Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Cubase, Studio One, Reaper and Mackie/HUI configurations
  • Score/iPad support
  • Removable laptop shelf
  • The software package contains: Analog Lab 4 with 6000 synthesizer sounds, Ableton Live Lite, Arturia Wurli V, Arturia VOX Continental V and Arturia Piano V
  • Dimensions: 1293 x 322 x 112 mm
  • Weight: 15 kg

In our last comparison we have a somewhat unfair one where we put face to face the already analyzed Novation Impulse 25 and the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII that offers a weighted keyboard with 88-key hammer action, offers 16 pads, 9 assignable knobs, 9 faders, transport buttons (rec, play, pause, etc) and modulation and pitch bend wheels.

The winner without a doubt is the complete Arturia KeyLab 88 MKII, it has many quality features and functions and also connections that we only see in high-end MIDI controllers. It should be noted that it is large and needs a lot of space to be used, and includes a removable laptop rack. A very interesting option for a high-end controller.

Here is a video of the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII review.

Which is the best of these MIDI keyboards if I am a beginner on a low budget?

While the answer to this question lies mostly in what specific need you have, for example, if you want to have a keyboard with the widest possible note range, or if you want to have as many control functions as possible, or perhaps a mix between the two, that is without leaving behind the different connections and software licenses that most MIDI controllers offer, we will give an objective opinion according to our experience in music production and thus also with the price that the controllers demand, a kind of value for money.

In this post, we have MIDI controllers with different functions and thus also a very wide range of prices, however, a great balance of everything is found in the Novation Impulse 25, with its semi-balanced keyboard in addition to its great set of control functions, which among others we can mention: pads, knobs and a fader, all assignable. Also its sustain and expression pedal connections, in addition to its licenses, make this a great MIDI controller option.

Where to buy the Novation Impulse 25 keyboard

Thomann

  • Free Shipping.
  • Full warranty. If you have any problems, they take care of everything.
  • 100% reliable payment.
  • A leader in trouble-free shipping.
  • Usually the Best price.
  • Best Reputation: They are the leading online store in Europe and have the best catalog and information.

Amazon

  • Free Shipping and the possibility of shipping in one day with Amazon Premium.
  • Full Guarantee but they are no experts in music equipment.
  • Sometimes a better price.
  • He’s got worse stock than Thomann.

Also, look at these models with a similar price and features:

Jaime Echagüe

Hi! I'm Jaime Echagüe, a musician and an authentic fan of musical instruments. With this blog I want to give general information about musical instruments in an easy, direct and honest way. I hope you enjoy my website and that you find it very useful.

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