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Review MIDI keyboard Novation Impulse 49. 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 49 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.

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg

review novation-impulse-49
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €223/£205/$227 and offers 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch, which in its 4-octave range will enable you to tune and compose a large number of musical themes.

This equipment also offers 8 backlit Drum-Pads, 9 assignable 55mm faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, stop, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels, all of these control functions so that we have more than moderate control over the performance of the audio software we are using.

There are also buttons for specific functions such as the Beat-Roll Buttons (which allow us to roll a sample we are playing) and Clip-Launch (which, as its name suggests, is for playing a previously selected audio clip), and there is also an arpeggiator function.

The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection, which means that it is also powered, so no other power supply is needed. It also has inputs for expression and sustains pedals.

Finally, the device includes the Xcite+ Software Pack licenses with Ableton Live Lite.

Now that we have seen the features of this Novation Impulse 49 keyboard watch these related videos to learn more.

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Novation Impulse 49 vs Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

The Novation Impulse 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €223/£205/$227 while the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 is priced at €222/£205/$224, but the difference is so small that this may vary depending on the store where we ask. Let’s go to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, which in the Novation Impulse 49 are semi-weighted and aftertouch.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, rec, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 offers 16 sensitive RGB illuminated Pads, Pitch and Modulation Wheels, 8 assignable knobs and buttons for octave up / down, arp / scale / fixed chord, play / stop / record / loop, track navigation, stop / solo / mute, MIDI capture / quantization / click / undo, scene start, Device selection and Device lock functions.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 has a USB connection and input for a sustain pedal and MIDI output. Both are USB powered, no external source is required.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton, and the Novation Launchkey 49 MK 3 includes the Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 virtual keyboards selectable), Klevgrand R0Verb and DAW Cassette, Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings.

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

Novation Impulse 49

Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 Sensitive Pads with RGB illumination
  • Scale and Chord Modes
  • Arpeggiator
  • Capture MIDI function
  • MIDI Mappings
  • Device Lock function
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2x 16-digit displays
  • 8 regulators
  • Buttons for octave up / down, arp / scale / fixed chord, play / stop / record / loop, track navigation, stop / solo / mute, MIDI capture / quantization / click / undo, scene start, Device selection and Device lock functions
  • Input for 6.3 mm Sustain Jack pedal
  • USB-B connection
  • MIDI output
  • Powered by USB
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 789 x 77 x 258 mm
  • Weight: 3.03 kg
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 virtual keyboards selectable), Klevgrand R0Verb and DAW Cassette, Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings

In our first comparison, we have two Novation brand MIDI controllers, the Impulse 49 and the Launchkey MK 3 with similar functions but with noticeable differences between them, while the Impulse 49 excels in semi-weighted and aftertouch, the Launchkey 49 MK3 excels in a greater number of pads and its MIDI output. The other functions are very similar. For a few more euros, the Impulse 49 option looks more attractive, unless you need the MIDI Output.

Here is a video of the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 review.

Novation Impulse 49 vs M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4

The Novation Impulse 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €223/£205/$227 and the M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 is priced at €125. This is a difference of 118 euros. Let’s go head to head:

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, which in the Novation Impulse 49 are semi-weighted and aftertouch.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, rec, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 features 8 assignable Sensitive Pads, 8 assignable Faders, 9 assignable Faders and a Transport Button. In addition to pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 has a USB connection and input for the sustain pedal. Both are USB powered, requiring no external source.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack with Ableton, and the M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 includes the Quickstart Guide, Ableton Live Lite (Software) and Sonivox Twist (Software) licenses.

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

Novation Impulse 49

M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • 49 sensitive keys
  • 8 Sensitive Pads
  • 8 freely assignable rotary knobs
  • 9 freely assignable sliders
  • Transport button e.g. for DAW control
  • LCD screen
  • Powered by USB port
  • USB Midi
  • Sustain pedal connection
  • Includes USB cable, Quickstart Guide, Ableton Live Lite (Software) and Sonivox Twist (Software)
  • Dimensions: WxDxH 814 x 243 x 94 mm
  • Weight: 2.9 kg

Here, a face-to-face encounter between two Novation brand MIDI keyboards, the Impulse 49, which we have already discussed, and the M-Audio Oxygen 49, which offers a number of moderate control functions, with pads, knobs, and faders (which are very useful for mixing purposes) and a transport button. With a big difference in price, the M-Audio is a good choice for a budget, but thanks to its semi-weighted keyboard and aftertouch, the Novation Impulse 49 is the best choice, although you’ll have to raise your budget.

Here is a video of the M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Oxygen 49 Mk4 review.

Novation Impulse 49 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

The MIDI Novation Impulse 49 Keyboard is priced at €223/£205/$227, the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 is priced at €199/£177/$198, with a difference of €44. Let’s look at the face to face.

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, which in the Novation Impulse 49 are semi-weighted and with aftertouch.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, rec, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 offers 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 assignable encoder, 9 assignable knobs, 13 assignable buttons and a transport section with 4 function switches (rec, play, etc).
  • The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 has a USB connection and input for a sustain pedal and MIDI output. Both are USB powered, no external source is needed.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton, and the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 includes the Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano licenses.

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

Novation Impulse 49

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg

In this close comparison we find two almost identical MIDI controllers in function, on the one hand, the already analyzed Novation Impulse 49, and on the other the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 that has features like pads, push-on encoder, knobs, buttons, and a transport section, if it had faders it would be highly valued as well. Even so, the Novation Impulse 49 is still a better piece of equipment thanks to its semi-weighted keyboard and aftertouch on its keys, as well as its faders.

And here’s a video of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 review.

Novation Impulse 49 vs M-Audio Code 49 Black

The Novation Impulse 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €223/£205/$227 and the M-Audio Code 49 Black is priced at €199/£177/$199, with the difference being $44.

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys with aftertouch, which in the Novation Impulse 49 are semi-weighted.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, rec, etc.) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The M-Audio Code 49 Black features an assignable XY pad control, 16 assignable sensitive trigger pads, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the M-Audio Code 49 Black has a USB connection and input for sustain and volume pedals, as well as MIDI output. Both are USB powered, although the M-Audio Code 49 has a power supply input that is not included.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack with Ableton and the M-Audio Code 49 Black 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 49

M-Audio Code 49 Black

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2 octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • 49 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
  • 8 encoders 360 assignable
  • 9 assignable faders
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • Transport control via Mackie/HUI protocol
  • LED providing 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: 858 x 257 x 73mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 4,2Kg

Again, there is a pair of MIDI controllers that have very similar features and functions. On the one hand, the Novation Impulse 49, which we have already analyzed. On the other hand, we have the M-Audio Code 49 Black which offers: 1 xy control pad (which few controllers offer), pads, knobs, faders and buttons, which compete very well with the Novation Impulse 49. A very difficult choice, which according to your needs you will choose the best one.

Here’s a video of the M-Audio Code 49 Black keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Code 49 Black review.

Novation Impulse 49 vs Novation 49SL MKIII

The Novation Impulse 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €223/£205/$227 when the Novation 49SL MKIII is priced at €555/£515/$567. With a relevant difference of €312. Let’s go face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 semi-weighted keys with speed sensitivity with aftertouch.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, pause, rec, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation 49SL MKIII offers 16 RGB illuminated and sensitive percussion pads, 8 assignable knobs, 8 assignable faders, 6 transport control buttons (rec, play, stop, pause, etc.), 16 assignable buttons on 2 banks and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the Novation 49SL MKIII offers 2 CV (tone), gate and modulation outputs, clock output (3.5 mm jack), inputs for sustain, expression and footswitch pedals (6.3 mm jack), MIDI In, Out, Out2 / Thru and USB port. Both are USB powered, although the Novation 49SL MKIII has a power supply input that is not included.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack licenses, with Ableton and the Novation 49SL MKIII includes the Ableton Live Lite licenses, 4 GB of Loopmasters sounds, XLN Audio .

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

Novation Impulse 49

Novation 49SL MKIII

  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 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, 4 GB of Loopmasters sounds, XLN Audio Addictive Key

We find two Novation brand controllers, the already analyzed Novation Impulse 49, while the Novation 49SL MKII that has a higher number in certain functions, besides certain more features, such as 8 patterns per track, 64 memory locations for sessions, pattern chain and note quantization function, among others. Also, the price is almost double that of the first one, so the Novation Impulse 49 is an excellent choice for its price range, however, the Novation 49SL MKIII is better.

And here is 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.

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 range of notes possible, 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.

Here we have the most controllers at an average of 250 euros, and the M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK4 is our star MIDI controller in this post, due to its great set of control functions that we find in other controllers with double its price, and among them, we have XY control pad, sensitive trigger pads, encoders, faders, and buttons all assignable. The only disadvantage it has is the absence of semi-balanced in its keyboard, which if it exists in other controllers, is at least 100 euros in its value. For this and more, M-Audio Oxygen 49 is a great choice for beginners.

Where to buy the Novation Impulse 49 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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