I have to give a shout out to Novation for creating such a comfortable and dynamic USB MIDI keyboard controller for the songwriter and/or producer in you. It is everything you need to either create in an in-home or state of the art recording studio or to use for live performances.
The 61 semi-weighted keys with after touch are ideal ultra responsive and allow you to totally play with ease. I feel so privileged to have gotten the opportunity to review this innovative keyboard controller at my fingertips. The Novation Impulse comes with Ableton Live Lite and is compatible with all DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) including ProTools, Logic Studio, Reason/Record, GarageBand, Sonar, Studio One, FL Studio and Cubase using either a Mac or PC. Also included is AutoMap 4 software that has powerful integration that allows you to have extensive plug-in and DAW control. The eight key back-lit drum pad enables you to warp arpeggios or roll beats. With the inclusion of Novation Bass Station Synth, Mike The Drummer and Loopmasters, it adds to another expansion of sound for production excellence.
This USB MIDI keyboard actually feels like a real instrument. Check out vid below for brief demo.
Along with dropping crazy beats with the multi-function back-lit drum pads in Live, you can control Clip Launch and Scene Launch to release your inner Timbaland. FXpansion, Wave and Native Instruments are third party effects and plug-in instruments that can also be utilized with the Impulse 61. Talk about musical expression, this MIDI controller could easily be called Expression 61 because of its endless possibilities of Neptune dopeness. If you’ve ever watched a live YouTube session with Ryan Leslie creating a song from the ground up, the Novation Impulse 61 with the on board mixer allowing you to have on screen control makes you feel like Next Seleciton is in the building as the producer, the arranger, the engineer, the songwriter and the artist. Listen, whether you’re an up and coming producer, songwriter or musician, already established or none of the above and just in the market for a USB MIDI Keyboard Controller you should not hesitate to cop this affordable gem at the affordable price of just $399. The Novation Impulse also is available in other models such as the Novation Impulse 25 key and 49 key at a lesser price. The Impulse 25 would be ideal for that backpack-mobilized travel if you need to create on the fly. If you need an Addiction (pun intended) like R. Les, the Novation Impulse 61 is the perfect high, so take flight.
Specs and Features:
Ships with Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station, Loopmasters sample library, and Mike The Drummer
61-key USB MIDI Controller with Semi-weighted Keys, 25 Knobs/Faders/Pads
Dedicated Transport Controls, and DAW/Instrument/Automap Software – Mac/PC
Automap 4 control software enables instant hands-on access to your DAW and plug-ins
Multi-function drum pads let you warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live
Ultra-responsive semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch
Comprehensive DAW/plug-in control surface
9 faders, 8 rotarys, 8 pads, transport controls, and an army of buttons
Novation gets it right again as the mild manner Novation MiniNova takes off its glasses, undoes its tie, rips opens its shirt and flexes its chest it becomes Super Nova. Not to be confused with its other relative; Ultranova. This is more than a synthesizer. It’s the breathalyzer for intoxicating sound; reading beautiful decibals of music. The 37-key synthesizer can be used for recording tracks in the studio or performing live. You can choose from an array of sounds; from House/Techno, D&B/Breaks, R&B/Hip Hop, Rock/Pop and Dubstep. The easy selection knobs also allow you to use the Vocoder/Vocaltune with different types of Keyboard/Lead, Bass, ARP/Movement, Pad Strings, and what would a Synth be without the Classic Synth. Also included is Xcite+ software bundle made up with Ableton Live, the Novation Bass Station Legendary Novation Soft synth and Loopmasters (Over 1 Gig of royalty free loops and samples).
•37 note keyboard with velocity
•16 character custom LCD
•Up to 18 note polyphony (dynamic voicing)
•LED lit Pitch and Modulation Wheels
•XLR dynamic mic input
•Store up to 384 Patches on hardware (ships with 256)
•12 band vocoder
•Realtime Arp rhythm editing function
•Kensington Lock port
•The sound generation from the powerful UltraNova
•Editing software and patch management software included
•Free sound packs available including bass synth sounds and vintage synthesizer
• and 15 filter types
* This is by no means the complete list*
Seeing is Believing
Words can’t fully describe how sweet this synth is so peep this:
After this video demonstration at least one of the words of reaction of your vocabulary has to be “Niiiiiiice.” You can do almost anything with the Mini Nova, nice and compact for travel and performing. Also, you can download additional Soundpacks for free from the likes of Chuckie, Fabian Lenssen, Silvio Ecomo, Dino Soldo and Daniel Fisher. If you’re not a fan of Novation, I don’t know what else they need to do to convince you because I’m still buzzin’ off the Novation Impulse which was reviewed on G Style previously. This is definitely worth the purchase; as a producer would instantly excel you from a MiniNova to a Bossanova in the music production game.
When I think of lightweight, portable and pleasantly surprising quality sound I gotta think of IK Multimedia’s iRig Keys. It’s a plug-and-play convenient 37-velocity-sensitive mini-Key MIDI Keyboard, with iOS dock connection compatible to the PC (Windows XP (SP3),Windows Vista (SP1), Windows 7 or later) / Mac (OS X 10.5 or later), iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. There’s nothing better than using a MIDI that feels comfortable so in a since it can also be called the iComfortable (Note to self: If IK Multimedia makes a device called iComfortable make sure you are a part of the developmental process). You can effortlessly scroll through presets, move up and down the octaves, and optional plug-in for a sustain pedal.
iRig is a beautiful addition to your recording session. It comes with two free apps from App Store; such as the iGrand Piano, and Sample Tank for iPhone or iPad and to not to make the PC/Mac user feel lonely the stand-alone and plug-in sample workstation with 2GB (but for $9.99 you can upgrade and will include 135 instruments whereas the free app has 20 instruments) of samples Sample Tank 2 L is easy to download from the IK User Area. Sample Tank works well with Abelton Live, Pro Tools, GarageBand, Cubase and Logic.
IK Multimedia’s reputation precedes itself throughout the industry and it doesn’t stop here with the iRigi keys that unlock the doors to that creativity of music that awakens the inner Dre Dre, Swizz Beatz or Kanye West within. This is a great way to start your production empire while using Apple and PC products so get iRigi wit it!
Novation is back at again with its latest addition the fam with the Novation Launchpad S including a few upgrades…(In 50 Cent’s voice) “I’ve been Patiently Waitin’ for a track to explode on!”
Novation Launchpad S
The no.1 Live controller: now brighter, faster and universal
Launchpad S is an update to the best-selling grid controller for Ableton Live: the Novation Launchpad. The 64 tri-colour pads can launch loops and clips, trigger drums and samples, and also control effects, volumes, mutes, solos and more. Launchpad S can do all this but has vastly brighter LEDs, a significantly faster refresh rate and is now plug and play with other software such as FL Studio. It also now works with iPad!
Launchpad S is an evolution of the ubiquitous Launchpad, the Ableton Live controller that re-defined the way we perform music with computers. A grid of 64 ‘launch’ pads allows hands-on control of music software such as Ableton Live and FL Studio. It is especially designed for launching loops/clips and triggering effects as well as getting full mixer control including volume, effects sends, pan, mute, solo and track arm. The grid can also trigger drums and one-shot samples. A second user mode allows users to freely assign pads to control other software parameters.
64-button music software controller Launch loops/clips, trigger drums and samples, and control effects and volumes.
Brighter, faster and works with more software Launchpad S is an update to the best selling original Launchpad.
Comes with Ableton Live Launchpad Edition Feature-packed version of Ableton Live lets you create music straight out of the box.
Plug and play with FL Studio and other software Now including custom software control overlays in the box.
Now supports iPad Launchpad S connects to iPad® with the Apple Camera Connection Kit — no drivers required!
New #1 iPad music app Trigger loops and remix on the fly with just a Launchpad S and your iPad
Create and perform anywhere Launchpad S is bus powered, even from an iPad, so you don’t need to connect it to mains power!
Launchpad S comes with the Launchpad Edition of Ableton Live, so you can start making music straight away. It also comes with custom overlays for using other grid-based music software such as FL Studio.
Novation has developed a Launchpad iPad app that enables loop triggering and effects from your iPad, independent of Ableton Live. Launchpad S can be connected to, and powered by, an iPad using a standard Camera Connection Kit. The app features a 1GB sample pack of brand new hand-picked loops curated by Loopmasters, ranging from drum samples to artist packs across a variety of modern genres.
Launchpad S Performance video:
Availability: worldwide in April 2013
Pricing information: At dealer in US dollars: $169.99 // MSRP: $219.99