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M-Audio Axiom Air 61 Vs Novation Impulse 61

I am in the market for a good quality 61 key Midi controller with multi functionaltiy and have just recently come across the new axiom air 61.. I have been looking at the Novation Impulse for a while now but this new M-Audio model has re-opened my search as I was pretty well settled on the Novation before seeing this..
What I would like to know is how this keyboard compares to the Impulse 61 please (an honest reply would be appreciated here).. Am I able to use the Drum pads as an apreggiator like the Impulse can? Can I use the Drum Pads to launch clips etc in Ableton like the Impulse can? How well does the Axiom Air integrate with Ableton Live 8 & 9? I ask this because I know that the Novation Keyboards are built with Ableton in mind and map directly to Ableton, Is the M-Audio as good as controlling Ableton Live? I am a fan of M-Audio Keyboards but if this does not match up to the Novatin Impulse as far as controlling Ableton does then I may have to sacrifice 4 extra drum pads for more versatile control and go for the Novation.. I have looked all over the net for a comparison between the two and even a decent full review on the Axiom Airs functionality but cannot find anything that satisfies my questions.. Can anyone give me a good comparison between these two keyboards? I also know that the Impulse is getting old and will most probably be getting an upgrade soon so I need to know if I would be shooting myself in the foot buying the M-Audio....???
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  • Was just at my local music store trying out all the keyboard controllers. I went in kinda' decided on the Novation Impulse but after trying them, I'm no longer sure.

    I tried the Axiom Air, Novation Impulse, and Akai MPK (plus a few others). The Axiom Air was my favorite as far as keyboard feel. Very balanced feeling. The Akai was quite stiff, but not in a bad way; I kinda' liked it, though it was a little much. The Impulse was loose feeling; too much so. I didn't expect this. All the reviews had me thinking the impulse would be my favorite.

    As far as knobs and faders are concerned, the MPK is easily at the top. Very solid and smooth feeling. The Axiom Air comes in a close second (didn't like the faders as much). The Impulse was disappointing. The knobs and faders weren't terrible, but fell short of all the others.

    I didn't get to try the drumpads, so I can't comment on sensitivity, but the Axiom Air and Impulse seemed to be of similar quality and style. The MPK pads don't have LED's and are quite hard. I've read that people replace the pads with aftermarkets.

    Unfortunately, I can't answer your main question about the drum pad arpeggiator, and Ableton Live integration. That's actually exactly what I'm looking to find out myself. This is the only thread I could find on the subject.

    If the Axiom Air can do all the stuff the Impulse can, I'm sold. If not, I think I'll be getting an Impulse despite it's hardware inferiority.

    Anyone else have any experience with the Axiom Air vs the Impulse?
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