Gearank – Music Gear Information for Live Performance or Studio

Novation Impulse 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboard

85 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank Recommendation

The Impulse 49 appeared on our recommended list for 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards when we published the first edition back in February 2016 and it remained there until April 2020 when it was removed due to being out-ranked by other keyboards.


This is another controller which we first recommended in February 2016 and which has increased its Gearank score since then and retained its place as one of the highest rated options currently available.

One aspect I quite like about the Novation Impulse are the transport controls – it has dedicated buttons for play, stop, record, rewind, fast forward and a loop toggle switch.

Another nice feature is that when you put it into arpeggio mode, you use the keyboard as usual but you can also use the pads to turn notes off and on and change the rhythm of the arpeggio.

Its Automap software makes it easy to set up with Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Sonar, Reason, Pro Tools and a range of other major music applications.


  • Keys: 49 full size, square front, semi-weighted with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 16 velocity sensitive with RGB illumination.
  • Arpeggiator: No.
  • Motorized Controls: No.
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech.
  • Power: USB or optional separate power supply.
  • Connectivity: USB, 5-pin MIDI out, 1 x TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes.
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.8 or later + Windows 10, 8, and 7.
  • Dimensions: 28.3″ x 15.1″ x 6.29″
  • Weight 11.02 lbs
Since we originally recommended the Novation Impulse 49, more highly rated options have become available, which you’ll find in our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

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