Arturia BeatStep Controller and Sequencer

Arturia announces the availability of the new Beatstep, a space-saving portable controller and step sequencer.

Arturia BeatStep Controller

Described as Chameleon-like, this control is designed to take on a variety of duties. You can pair it with your favorite DAWs, VST instruments and effects, loop triggering software, and it also works with MIDI hardware including CV/Gate-equipped analogue instruments like Arturia’s own MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer.

In CONTRL (MIDI controller mode) BeatStep can turn popular music production software such as Ableton Live into virtual instruments, you can also use it to control virtual instruments like Toontrack EZdrummer. Your fingers will trigger the appropriate audio samples in real-time depending on how you set up the controller. In this mode, the pads all have red backlights.

For something compact, BeatStep has 16 well-spaced pads that feature velocity and pressure sensitivity. They are ideal for creating dynamic percussion performances. The controller also follows Arturia's distinct styling, including the use of bright backlit LEDs to light up the pads for use on stages with less than ideal lighting. These LEDs also provide good visual monitoring in beat matching and recording scenarios.

In SEQ (step sequencer mode), the LEDs also light up but the backlights change to blue to let you know that you are in Step Sequencer mode. In this mode, each pad represents a single step in a 16-step sequence. Pressing the pads enable or disable the current sequence step, while adjusting the encoders adjusts the pitch. Creating and changing patterns on the fly is made easy, you can repeatedly press the pads and turn the encoders as you prefer. BeatStep can save up to 16 sequence patterns for instant recall, a nifty added feature that will be useful to both performance and recording.

Interestingly, Arturia designed BeatStep to let you utilize both modes simultaneously. According to the official press release "it’s perfectly feasible, for instance, to step sequence a MiniBrute (courtesy of BeatStep’s built-in Gate Out and CV Out connections), keep that sequence running, then switch to CONTRL mode and use the pads to launch clips in Ableton Live while using the encoders to manipulate Arturia’s latest SEM V soft synth (running on a computer connected via USB). All in sync. All at the same time. Or any combination of devices that well-connected BeatStep users can come up with when making the most of its Gate Out, CV Out, MIDI, and USB connectivity."

This compact controller also lets you control the MMC transports in Apple Logic by using its transport buttons. iOS control is also possible via a Camera connection Kit, just plug it into your iPhone or iPad and control the latest music making apps, including Arturia’s own iMini and iSEM.

Electronic music producer and DJ Oliver Huntemann testifies, “I’ve fallen in love with a new little toy — the BeatStep. So simple and yet so effective. I hate complicated technology and the BeatStep is as simple as one could wish for. Plus it has the benefit of great sequencing and control possibilities, including CV/Gate connectivity, so I can get my old synths down from the attic and back into the studio!”

For added security, Arturia equipped each BeatStep with a Kensington Lock. It is currently retailing for only $99. Head over to Arturia for more information.

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