Arturia BeatStep Now Available

arturia-beatstep

Arturia has announced that the Beatstep controller & step sequencer is now available.

BeatStep is capable of triggering clips in such applications as Ableton Live, and 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 connectivity options let you interface BeatStep with a computer or iPAD using USB, a drum module using MIDI or an analog synthesizer equipped with CV/GATE.

Features:

  • MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE
  • Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE
  • 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
  • 16 encoders
  • 16 MIDI Controller presets
  • 16 Sequence presets
  • Works with MIDI Control Center Editor
  • Internal and External clocking
  • CV outputs
  • USB I/O
  • MIDI output
  • iPAD compatibility (using camera connection kit)
  • Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC
  • Kensington Lock
  • Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adaptor
  • USB Class compliant (no drivers)

Here’s the official intro video:

Here’s a demo of using Beatstep via USB:

The next demo looks at using Beatstep as a CV/Gate controller:

The final video looks at using Beatstep as a MIDI controller:

The Arturia Beatstep is available now, with a street price of US $99.

If you’ve used the Beatstep, let us know what you think of it!

38 thoughts on “Arturia BeatStep Now Available

  1. Picked one up last week to use as a bassline sequencer. Does a good job, but I really wish there was a way to see the BPM instantly instead of guessing, or else have a MIDI in that’s not USB.

    1. MIDI IN is what’s holding me back and probably a lot of others that were looking for a simple way to plug our retro hardware gear into this great device. Eliminating any retro cards or adapter cables in the process. Maybe not a deal breaker but it would of polished this baby off nicely.

    1. I was in London from 11-14 april, I saw it in a shop next denmark street so…yes!!!
      I’ll probably get one myself, i’m sure even with the limitation i’ll find use for it.
      But I wonder how does it act as a master midi sync cuz no midi in!!!??!!

  2. I picked one up because I do not have any velocity sensitive pads…plus I use it to sequence my mono modular synth. Works pretty well…cant complain because of the price!

  3. For the price this is amazing. I have only played around with it a bit on the iPad and to my Microbrute.

    The portability is great, but I need to find a good case for it. I am afraid shoving it in my bag unprotected the knobs are going to take a hit.

      1. You’re talking about two devices which only offer midi in. The usb midi on the beat step will only work with a usb host device (PC or iPad etc)

        You could control the volcas by playing the beatstep in controller mode, but the notes are un intuitive in the 16 grid mode.

        If all you want is a keyboard to control the volcas, get the cheapest arturia keyboard with 5 pin midi din.
        Though I’d wait around to see if they come up with a controller keyboard in this same vein with the small sturdy form factor and the lovely MIdi out jack and adapter. THAT ID LIKE TO SEE! Not enough small cheap midi din keyboards.

        1. Thanks for the reply.
          What I’d really like is to by able to use my microbrute to play a monotribe via cv, and also a volca bass via midi. Do you think the volca might be able to receive midi via one of those cheap cables that I see on amazon? I guess I could just buy one but I’m too cheap. It would be pretty cool to control 5 oscillators via the microbrute, especially with the modulation / sequencing options on all of those devices.

    1. How well and easy does it work with the Microbrute? I was planning on combining the two myself. Have you been able to do anything fun or interesting with these two units working together?

      1. I haven’t spent enough time with it yet to say I’ve done anything really interesting with it yet. I connected to the micro brute via. MIDI which is a super simple setup. It worked 100% as expected. I can see it being fun and creative, I just need to spend time with it. I want to route this setup through my KP3 and see what kind of crazy I can get going with it.

  4. OFF-TOPIC: to the troll who is down-voting all comments- Gaze at your reflection in a mirror and high-five yourself. You are an amazingly powerful person who is a making real difference in the world! You LOVE synthesizers so much– I’m guessing.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.
      Can’t let it get to you. This is probably their only outlet for issues based on some sort of shortcoming….

  5. It is very cool, but the knobs are virtually useless as it stands, since it takes literally 5 or 6 rotations to go from 0-127. Fine for pitch controls, useless for filters. And knowing Arturia, the firmware update will take about 12 months to come out. Shame – could be brilliant.

    1. The manual says there is a setting to change the response of the knobs so that fast rotations will skip more values. Both a medium and fast setting are available in addition to the linear one.

      1. Yes, the manual does *say* that. Unfortunately it wasn’t actually implemented. They said it will be in the first update, but Arturia like to take their time with things…

          1. I picked one up Wednesday. Arturia has already released a firmware update, and I believe it addresses this issue. I’ll double check tonight & report back if I’m mistaken.

  6. Seems like Guitar Center is the only retailer here in the US that has them…all the other online shops still have them for pre-order with delivery dates into mid-may… Still waiting for mine.

  7. I wonder if there’s a way to do glide with the Beatstep?

    For example: Your good old Bass Station 2 has a traditional legato mode where overlapping notes of different pitches will glide (or slide, or slew, or portmanteau, or whatever you call it), with a last-note priority when played manually. For the internal sequencer, tied notes will glide by however much you have the glide time set, with non-tied notes playing normally. Nice and 303-ish. (though no accent.)

    But if the Beatstep’s seq is totally mono, then it can’t overlap notes and trigger a glide on certain steps only. And if the sequencer is is mono, then it can’t do more than 1 drum sound per step – a pattern as simple as a bass drum with a clap on top every other beat will be out of range.

    I accept all the little quirks, like power over USB and the long knob-travel range. But totally mono step sequencing cuts out a lot of options. It’s almost like the Beatstep needs another mode – poly step.

  8. Just picked one up the other day at guitar center. It’s really nicely made, and fun to use. There are some kinks to be ironed out, though. For instance, when I hookup the pitch CV out to my Moog, it automatically sends a signal (even when not playing) that bumps the pitch up by 3 octaves. Others have reported the same. Connected via midi this is not an issue.

    Also, it would be nice if there was a hardware control (button combination) for changing sequence swing and gate length. Currently these are only accessible via the software panel. Hopefully they will address these things in a firmware update. The software is fairly robust though. There’s a lot to this thing.

    1. Yeah, got mine a week ago, and had the same problems by using it with my minibrute.
      Beatstep has a constant voltage on the pitch CV, so some synths will have the problem with a higher pitch (3 octaves). Hope, this will be fixed by a firmware update.
      Got confused, that even synths from the same company will show this issue.
      And please be aware, that changing the MIDI-Channel on the hardware may not lead to the expecting results. MIDI-channel has to be changed in the software too for every pad of the beatstep.
      But for that price it’s still a no-brainer to buy.

    1. no. just 16 steps. i got it because i wanted a step-sequencer outside the ipad.
      the little midi machine is more powerful than the beatstep because the little midi lets you control velocity and note length per step.
      if a synth on the ipad doesn’t support learning midi-CCs Like i-Polysix, you can change the knobs with a configuration program which needs at least OS 10.7.
      as a step sequencer it is very limited.

    1. a flat usb to mini usb cable.
      a 5 din midi cable to 3.5 jack
      an A4 Sheet of paper with descriptions.
      the beatstep itself, which is rather sturdy IMHO.
      software & manuals are on the website.

  9. Cant wait to use this with all my IOS synths and Will pay big money for presets. Hard to turn the knobs with my stylus on my small iphone screen.

  10. A couple days before I became aware of the BeatStep, I had ordered Highly Liquid’s MIDI CPU which is a customizable little circuit that lets you connect 14 pots & a bunch of switches. Though I am tempted by the BeatStep (mostly because of being able to store presets)– I’ve decided to continue with my semi-DIY control rig. Ultimately, it’ll be cheaper, and more flexible in some ways, less flexible in other ways. But yea, it’ll take some time and some head-scratching. Maybe I’ll add a glove and some control pants into the plans.

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