A Hit/Miss Controller With A Number Of Flaws
Novation has always been a quality brand, and I don't mean to say that this controller is awful because it isn't. The keys are well-made and solid, as are the pads, which are flashy and well-constructed. The positive notes, however, end there.
To begin with, the overall build quality is not nearly up to par for this price point. Of the $300-$500 61-key Controller range, this is by far the least solid piece of equipment, with a flimsy plastic body that shudders and creaks when you move it around. At this price range, a body that is at least partially metal is expected, and in this area Novation has not even succeeding in matching the quality of their Launchkey line. Elsewhere, the various DAW control elements are just as poorly constructed. The rubbery feel of the buttons comes across as cheap and unwieldy, and the faders are stiff and brittle. The rotary knobs are the worst offenders here, feeling especially toyish and delicate, and feeling as if they could break at any moment.
Overall, this isn't a BAD controller, I suppose, so much as woefully inadequate in the face of its competition. If you are looking for a more solid build quality, spring for the SL MKii (Novation's top of the line model), or the cheaper Launchkey, which is suprisingly a good deal more sturdy than the Impulse line.