Arturia's BeatStep offers a higher degree of functionality and performance for a portable pad controller. BeatStep is highly versatile, capable of triggering clips in such applications as Ableton Live, it also allows you to play drums in conjunction with such applications as BFD or EZDrummer.
BeatStep is also a 16-step analog sequencer for creating all kinds of musical phrases to be sent to analog synthesizers, MIDI drum machines, MIDI keyboard devices, or computer programs. Its vast connectivity allows you to interface BeatStep with a computer or iPAD using USB, a drum module using MIDI or an analog synthesizer equipped with CV/GATE.
What Can You Do with It?
Play with any drum software
Beatstep's 16 pads are both pressure and velocity sensitive which means that they allow you to capture the nuances of your performance. Beastep is the perfect control surface for producers and percussionists using iPads or software instruments such as BFD, Kontakt, Live's Drum Rack, EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums, Geist or Reason Kong.
Sequence Analog and Software Synthesizers
BeatStep goes beyond the typical pad controller functions by adding a step sequencer. This opens it up for people who are using either MIDI modules, CV/GATE synths like the MiniBrute or MicroBrute and also to people using plug-ins on their computer via USB. While your sequence is playing switch to Controller mode and use the pads and knobs to enable and disable effects or tweek filters, attack and decay times on plug-ins, etc. BeatStep will allow you to create ideas and add to your live performances in unlimited ways.
Enhance Your Live Performances And DJ Sets
Wether you use Ableton Live, Traktor, Serato or any other DJ/clip playback software, the Beatstep pads are perfect for launching samples or enabling effects. The 16 encoders give you lots of possibilities of mapping them to eq's, filters, delays and other performance effects. BeatStep makes a stylish and portable companion to your other DJ control surfaces.
Control Your MIDI Compatible Gears
Beatstep is the perfect solution for stage performers looking for a solution to send Midi messages and control changes to their hardware gear and workstations. Thanks to the included Midi Control Center, mapping Beatstep to your needs becomes a breeze.
MIDI Controller Mode
With 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads, BeatStep is the perfect compact solution for playing percussion. The ultra sensitive pads allow for great dynamic performances. The 16 encoders can be assigned to adjust parameters that allow further real-time control over your drum sounds.
Add to this the 16 user presets and you can have controller setups for all occasions.
The 16 pads can be individually set to be used for:
1. Note generation
2. MIDI CC buttons
3. Sending program change messages
When used as note sending pads, these ultra sensitive backlit pads can send velocity and pressure information and support both Gate and Toggle modes of operation. This allows you to use them to play drum and percussion parts using a drum module, or you can use them to trigger notes and hold drone notes in Toggle mode on a synthesizer.
In MIDI CC mode the pads could be used as assignable switches for your favorite DAW functions or used to trigger clips or effects in a Looping DAW or DJ application.
In MIDI Program change mode you can send program change messages as well as bank change messages.
Step Sequence Mode
The Step sequence mode turns BeatStep into a completely different product. A step sequencer is the most basic type of music sequencer. They were popular in the 1960's and 70's. They have come back into fashion with the popularity of modular synthesizers. There are examples of step sequencers in Arturia's Arp2600 V, Modular V, and Jupiter 8 V software.
In SEQ mode, the pads and encoders work together to set and enable steps in a sequence and set pitches for each step. By simply pressing a pad, it will enable or disable the current step in a melodic pattern. With a few presses, you are creating and changing up musical patterns in real-time.
BeatStep allows for 16 sequences to be stored in memory and recalled instantly. This allows you to play multiple patterns and create your own songs.
Setting pitches on a step sequencer can be difficult, to allow you to find the notes you want Arturia has added scale modes that quantize the pitches of the encoders to a specific set of notes. This means that instead of having the encoders move up and down chromatically like most step sequencers, you can set BeatStep so that you will only be allowed to pick notes that belong to the scale you want to work in. Look ma, no wrong notes!
Massive Connectivity in a Little Box
BeatStep goes beyond most other MIDI controllers by having many ways to connect to your other gear.
It features USB Class compliant I/O for using it with your laptop or iPAD. This gives you the control you would expect to have from a pad controller. Control the transports on your favorite DAW, sequence your favorite plug-in, set up the encoders to modulate filters and eq's or mixer channels. All this and more.
BeatStep does not stop where the competition stops however, we added MIDI out as well. You can use the pads to control that old drum module or the drum sounds on your workstation. Use the Step Sequencer mode to bring life to your MIDI equipped synthesizers. This controller will give you limitless ways to create and be great with no wait, but that's not all, there is also...
BeatStep has a standard 1 volt per octave CV output as well as a standard 1 volt per octave GATE output. You can directly interface them with Arturia's famous MiniBrute or MicroBrute synthesizers. Combining Beatstep's step sequencing capabilities with a modular synth allows for all kinds of hands on control and pattern generation.
Two-in-One and Both at Once
Now it is clear that this is both a pad/knob controller AND a step sequencer but it might not be clear that you can run them both at the same time.
Yes, that is right. You could be using the CV/gate output from the step sequencer playing your MiniBrute and then switch to CONTROL mode and have it controlling clips on Ableton Live and using the encoders to manipulate your VST version of SEM V. Maybe playing the drum sounds on a vintage Roland drum module via the MIDI output and sequencing a SH-101 using the CV/GATE in SEQ mode is more your style.
What if you want to step sequence Jupiter 8V on MIDI ch 1 while controlling the MMC transports in Logic and playing the drum sounds from BFD on MIDI ch 10 both via USB? You can do that as well. The combinations are truly limitless.
MIDI Control Center
The MIDI Control Center software provides you with a fast and easy way to edit parameters. Editing your MIDI setups and sequences is a cinch with this software. Export your presets to back them up or create archives of your favorite presets to share with others.
- 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
- 16 endless rotary encoders
- Pads backlight colors: blue, red and purple
- 16 MIDI Controller presets
- 16 Sequence, up to 16 steps each
- Works with MIDI Control Center Editor (edit presets and export sequences)
- Internal and External clocking
- CV/Gate outputs
- USB I/O
- MIDI output
- Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC
- Kensington Lock
- USB Class compliant (no drivers)
- iPad compatibility (using camera connection kit)
- Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adapter