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Review MIDI keyboard Novation Impulse 61. 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 61 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.

  • 61 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotation regulators
  • 6 Transport keys
  • Modulation-pitch wheels
  • 2-octave buttons
  • 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, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 1022 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 6.5 kg

review novation-impulse-61
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €321/£295/$325 and offers 61 semi-balanced and Aftertouch function, which will allow us, in its 5-octave range, to play melodies, chords, rhythms, and different compositions by making use of the sample libraries we have in our audio software.

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 61 keyboard watch these related videos to learn more.

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Novation Impulse 61 vs M-Audio Code 61 Black

The Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €321/£295/$325 while the M-Audio Code 61 Black is priced at €240. Let’s see the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 61 speed-sensitive keys with aftertouch, which in the Novation Impulse 61 are semi-weighted.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 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 61 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 61 has a USB connection and inputs for expression and sustain pedals. And the M-Audio Code 61 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 61 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack with Ableton and the M-Audio Code 61 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 61

M-Audio Code 61 Black

  • 61 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotation regulators
  • 6 Transport keys
  • Modulation-pitch wheels
  • 2-octave buttons
  • 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, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 1022 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 6.5 kg
  • 61 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 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: 1024 x 257 x 73mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 4,95Kg
  • Color: Black

Again, there is a pair of MIDI controllers that have very similar features and functions. On the one hand, the Novation Impulse 61, which offers pads, faders, buttons, knobs, transport keys (play, rec, pause, stop, etc), octave buttons and pitch bend and modulation wheels. And then there’s the M-Audio Code 61 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 61 Black keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Code 61 Black review.

Novation Impulse 61 vs Alesis VI61

The Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €321/£295/$325 when the Alesis VI61 is priced at €249. Having a difference between them of 72 euro. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 61 keys with sensitivity and aftertouch, only the Alesis V61 has square fronts.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 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 Alesis V61 offers 8 sensitive backlit pads, 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons, octave up and down buttons and pitch and modulation wheels.
  • Both can be powered via USB and the Novation Impulse 61 has a sustain and expression pedal input.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack licenses, with Ableton while the Alesis VL61 includes the Ableton Live Lite (download) software licenses, Xpand! 2 software (download).

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

Novation Impulse 61

Alesis VI61

  • 61 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotation regulators
  • 6 Transport keys
  • Modulation-pitch wheels
  • 2-octave buttons
  • 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, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 1022 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 6.5 kg
  • 61 semi-balanced keys with full-size aftertouch with square front
  • 16 speed-sensitive trigger pads with RGB backlighting for rhythm production and a clip release
  • Interface with 48 buttons and 16 assignable knobs with your music software
  • Pitch and modulation wheels provide precise and creative control
  • Seamless visual information via LED display and illuminated buttons + knobs
  • USB MIDI port and 5-pin MIDI output offer flexible MIDI connectivity
  • USB powered
  • Plug-and-Play support for Mac and PC
  • Includes USB cable, Ableton Live Lite software (download), Xpand! 2 software (download)

We are faced with a somewhat close encounter, both devices offer control functions relative to their competition, on the one hand, the Novation Impulse 61 offers faders and transport keys, and functions such as Beat Roll and Clip Launch, on the other hand, the Alesis VI61 offers an interface of 48 buttons and illuminated buttons and knobs. In my opinion, the faders are an excellent control function for tracks such as mixes, so I would go for the Novation. However, you’ll make the best decision according to which one meets your needs.

And here’s a video of the Alesis VI61 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Alesis VI61 review.

Novation Impulse 61 vs Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

The Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €321/£295/$325 and the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 is priced at €275/£249/$277. And now for the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 61 keys with sensitivity, the Novation Impulse has the Aftertouch function.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 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 61 MK2 offers 16 backlit RGB and sensitive pads, 2 Launchpad control buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 9 faders, transport control (play, rec, stop, pause, etc), transposition buttons, pitch and modulation wheels, mode buttons and 8 Mute/Solo buttons.
  • Both can be powered via USB (USB port), the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 has a sustain pedal input. And the Novation Impulse 61 has an expression and sustain pedal input.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack, Ableton Live Lite and the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 includes the Novation V-Station, Bass Station, Loopmasters Sample Pack and Ableton Live Lite software.

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

Novation Impulse 61

Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

  • 61 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotation regulators
  • 6 Transport keys
  • Modulation-pitch wheels
  • 2-octave buttons
  • 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, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 1022 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 6.5 kg
  • 61 keys
  • 16 multicolor touch-sensitive launch pads with RGB LEDs
  • 2 Launchpad control buttons
  • 8 control potentiometers
  • 9 faders
  • LED display
  • Transport control
  • Transposition buttons
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • Mode buttons
  • 8 Mute/Solo buttons
  • Connections: USB and sustain pedal
  • Includes Novation V-Station software, Bass Station, Loopmasters sample pack and Ableton Live Lite
  • Dimensions: 940 x 90 x 270mm
  • Weight: 3.5kg

In this comparison we find two models of the Novation brand, the Impulse 61 that we have already analyzed before, and the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 that has moderate MIDI controller functions like pads, control buttons, knobs, faders, transport keys and pitch bend and modulation wheels. In essence, they are very similar, however, on its keyboard, the Novation Impulse 61 is semi-balanced which allows it to have superior quality and therefore is the best choice.

And here is a video of the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 review.

Novation Impulse 61 vs Novation 49SL MKIII

The Novation Impulse 61 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €321/£295/$325 when the Novation 49SL MKIII is priced at €555/£515/$567. With a relevant difference of 234 Euro between them. And the face-to-face:

  • Both offer semi-weighted keys with speed sensitivity and aftertouch. The Novation Impulse 61 offers 61 keys and the Novation 49 SL MKIII offers 49 keys.
  • The Novation Impulse 61 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 61 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 61 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 61

Novation 49SL MKIII

  • 61 semi-heavy keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW and Plug-in control
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotation regulators
  • 6 Transport keys
  • Modulation-pitch wheels
  • 2-octave buttons
  • 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, Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 1022 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 6.5 kg
  • 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 find two Novation brand controllers, the already analyzed Novation Impulse 61, 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. The Novation Impulse 61 has an advantage with an extra octave in the range it offers, while in the other features the Novation 49 SL MKIII surpasses it. The one that meets your needs will also be your best choice.

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

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

Where to buy the Novation Impulse 61 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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