Impulse 49 from Novation is a USB-MIDI keyboard controller featuring 49 semi-weighted keys with assignable aftertouch. It was designed to feel like an instrument rather than a computer peripheral, and responds more accurately and in a "musical" manner when triggering a synthesizer or software instrument.
In addition to the keys the controller features eight rotary controls, nine faders and eight backlit drum pads, along with the obligatory pitch and modulation wheels. The controls allow for hands on manipulation of DAW functions, virtual instruments and plug-ins. The included Automap control software takes the hassle out of assigning the controllers with its instant mapping feature.
The Automap software edit page looks just like the Impulse control surface. This labels what each knob, fader, and button is controlling, and the window can be hidden once assignment is finished. Control is available over the mixer, transport, and plug-ins of all major DAWs, as well as plug-in instruments and effects that don't come with a DAW, like products from Native Instruments, Waves or FXpansion.
The 8 drum pads are velocity-sensitive and respond to aftertouch. They are also back-lit with 3-color LEDs to indicate the status of the associated clip. A built in arpeggiator takes advantage of the pads by enabling the performer to warp arpeggios. By switching the 8 pads in or out, the rhythm of the arpeggio can be changed in real-time. The shape, syncopation and gate time of the arpeggio can also be changed.
Expanded to a whopping 4GB, the Loopmasters sample library includes professional quality, royalty-free loops and one-shots, plus three fully multisampled Simpler-based instruments for Ableton Live 9: Piano, Rhodes, and Hammond Organ.
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