Changing character of buttons on Novation Impulse

I know that " character" is not the right term, but…I’ve assigned buttons on my controller to activate specific song states. Currently, with button one (state one) activated (light on), I have to press this button to release it (light off) before pressing button two to activate state 2; the same but in reverse if I want to move from state 2 to state 1. Any idea what’s going on here and is there a way within Cantabile to delete the extra step (i.e., even with button one on, just pressing button two activates state 2)?

Hi Lee, the novation controller you are using will latch the switch no matter what Cantabile does. The best solution is the reconfiguration of the impulse keyboard control buttons you want to use to a single shot (momentary) behavior, I think that the abbreviation for novation’s controller setup is “sgl” instead of “Tgl”. These controls can be changed either with the Automap mapping software that came with the keyboard or manually. The problem is that C3 can see the edges of triggers from the keyboard but to see the same edge again you need to reset the toggle switch on the controller. The default condition of these switches is for channel mute (toggled switch) for the associated slider above it.

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Dave’s answer is better than what I would have written.

thanks, I’ve not bothered installing the Automap software. Haven’t really needed it. Another option would be to assign each state to a key on the controller, which is what I’ll probably do.

Hi Lee, No problem, I just wanted to add that Brad showed me how Cantabile can convert a momentary switch to a toggle but not the other way around. All the best with your setup.

Dave it sounds like you are familiar with the Novation Impulse board. Do you use one and if so would you recommend installing Automap?

Hi Lee,

No, i do not use one but I had to learn the manual some to help out a fellow who lives near last spring and have worked with the repair and programming of these type keyboards ( MIDI Controllers ) for some years. On the question of using the Automap software… It depends on how many things you can’t do now with the existing setup, if you just want to change a few button behaviors you can just do it using the keyboard interface and the manual. (general instructions on changing controllers P. 19 and specific to the buttons syntax on bottom p 39 and top p. 40). If you wish to create a special Cantabile layout you should use the software ( after the learning curve it will be faster to make lots of changes). If nothing else Automap allows you to back up any custom changes you make to a computer. And also another thing to explore would be trying out the available templates that came with the keyboard. This is explained on p.18 and the chart of templates available is on p.38 of the user manual. There may be a layout there that works for you. Sorry for rambling answer but it’s a tricky question.

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Dave, any advice? I have a note on the Impulse which has stopped working consistently. Often if I play the note singly, it does fine. At other times, it will sound, but if I continue to press the key, it stops. It’s most likely to happen when I press the key (the B above middle C) if it’s played as part of a chord. I’m wondering if this is something as simple as removing the cover and spraying some electronics cleaner on it. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

Hey Lee,

Repairing and cleaning the key contacts is no trivial task. The usual routine is

  • remove cover (different for every brand)
  • determine how to remove and clean the contact strips (rubber plastic strips), also varies from brand to brand)
  • some keyboard assemblies are accessible from the top so you must remove the key(s) to get at the strips
  • others are accessible from the bottom and you don’t have to remove the keys to get at the contact board but will have to remove the contact boards from the bottom before examining and cleaning them.
  • once you can access the strips then you should clean both the contacts on the strip and the contacts on the board with contact cleaner or denatured alcohol. (no oily cleaner stuff)
  • check to make sure no trash gets under strip when you reinstall.
  • reassemble keyboard.(depends on your keyboard)
  • reassemble unit

So… it’s not easy and i don’t think you should try it unless you have the fix-it bug and wish to learn how to fix your own stuff.


This sounds like a real PIA. But I hate the thought of taking it to a repair person (closest is about 2 hours away) and getting charged at least $150.

Is this a common problem with midi keyboards?

Good news…maybe…the keyboard is less than a year old so is still under warranty. Waiting on a return email from Tech support.

Yes, a pain… so i would recommend the warranty route for now, as to the question of is it common I have had it happen to every keyboard I’ve had after a few years of use (PC88,K2500,K2600,Maudio oxygen88 and axiom 61), how long varies but every one at some point needed attention. Best of luck with it Lee.