The Novation Nocturn 49 Review

I started with music a little over a year ago. I have played classical piano as a child, but haven’t done anything the last 20 years. Especially I had no idea what gear or gadgets there is or how to find my way through all the stuff. So I will briefly showcase stuff that works for me and stuff that doesn’t. The first thing, is something that didn’t work out for me.

Since I have played the piano I thought a keyboard would be a good fit and bought a Novation Nocturn 49. But there are two problems with that: I never liked to play the piano and this keyboard isn’t the one for me.

I will post about problem 1, my problems with the piano another time, since it is a can of fairly ugly worms. Just let me say one thing, if you are a parent and you want your child to play an instrument, it is not important what instrument you would like to play, but what instrument the child would like to play. Recorder or guitar may not be as high-brow as piano or violin, but they are valid instruments for a child, who is no budding classical concert musician.

The Novation Nocturn 49

Company: Novation (Productpage)


  • Pure keyboard with 49 keys without synth

  • Additional knobs and buttons

  • Drum Pads

  • USB connection

  • Uses Automap software to map MIDI  to your music software


  • Lots of additional knobs and pads for varitety

  • Easy to set up, Ableton Live works out of the box

  • Decent sized for stationary use, not too big but normal sized keys


  • Keys feel hard and mushy, velocity curve is changeable, but there is no good description, what curve does what and the names are not really telling you anything, tried anything, still felt unresponsive

  • Because it is initially easy to set up, Novation did cheat out of a manual, neither the keyboard nor the Automap software have something you can call a manual (not printed, not as pdf, not as help file)

  • This thing is not really mobile, it needs its fixed place in a home studio (please keep in mind I am rather smallish build and not very strong, for somebody around 1,8 m this may look different)