Hey what’s good fam!
Finally taking some time to review a product that I’ve been using for a while
The BeatStep from Arturia
Let’s jump into it!
So what is the BeatStep?
The idea behind it is to be a general MIDI controller with 16 pads and 16 knobs, as well as transport and a master data knob.
But in addition to that, it’s also a hardware step sequencer that can work via MIDI, USB, or even CV output.
This makes it a very flexible tool even if you already have other pad controllers as that’s not the only thing it’s good for.
Having hands one control of your step sequences through knobs and pads really is a creative way of working and not to mention plenty of fun.
I’m not even sure what category you’d put this in, I guess the controller category, but…it’s also a sequencer so…we’ll just put it in the “pretty cool stuff” category.
- main feature: 16 step analog sequencer, 16 velocity-sensitive backlit pads, 16 rotary encoders, transport buttons, data knob
- connectivity: USB, MIDI out, CV/Gate out
- price: $129
- product page: http://arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/beatstep/overview
So what’s the bottom line?
This is a very dope controller, it’s sleek yet sturdy, and packed with features.
I love the build quality, and just the overall look of it, but even moreso, it’s super flexible.
You can configure it to do so many things, from basic pad/percussion control, to sending program changes, or even have the pads be toggle switches.
The MIDI Control Center software lets you dig in and really customize it’s operation, plus you can store and recall presets quickly.
I also love the fact that you can use both modes at the same time, meaning I can have it sending CV out from the sequencer while it’s doing something else from the pads, be it sending program changes or acting as a toggle switch.
It’s also very easy to navigate and change settings directly from the controller.
I give the BeatStep 4.5 out of 5 subs, it’s really a powerful controller and step sequencer in a sexy package that fits just as well in the studio as it does in a mobile setup.
As a pad controller I find the pad sensitivity to be good, they are definitely responsive, but for my taste I wish it could be adjusted just a bit more as I love to response from pads even on the lightest of touches. Even still, I find the pads are definitely useful for me when putting in drum parts so the response is definitely up to the task.
I also wish there was a set of transpose buttons on here, or at least a quick button combination to transpose the pads quickly. Changing note by note is really tedious, but the fact that you have 16 pads all right there means I don’t have to change as often in most cases once I have it set where I want…still, it would be great to have.
I can’t say enough about the build quality, it really feels sturdy and just plain looks good!
Go on over and check it out or learn more about it: http://arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/beatstep/overview
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think