Arturia Beatstep Pro Hands-On Demo


At the 2015 NAMM Show, Arturia introduced the BeatStep Pro — a flagship MIDI controller and step sequencer that they call ‘a sequencing powerhouse’.

The BeatStep Pro has been designed to let you work with MIDI, USB, CV/Gate, or DIN Sync-equipped gear.

Here’s a hand-on overview of the new Beatstep Pro:

In the video, via sonicstate, Alex Theakston from Source Distribution talks with host Nick Batt about the new Beatstep Pro controller & sequencer.


  • 2 monophonic step sequencers
    • Up to 64 steps per sequence
    • Note, velocity and gate time settings per step
    • Note tie
  • 16-track drum sequencer (one track per pad)
    • MIDI controller mode
    • Fully customizable for knobs, step buttons and velocity and pressure sensitive pads
    • Send MIDI CC, note data, program changes
  • 16 Projects, each with 16×2 sequences, 16 drum sequences and a controller map.
  • Performance controls
  • Randomizer with Amount and Probability settings
  • Real-time looper/roller touch strip
  • Independent swing amount per sequence
  • Touch sensitive knobs
  • Tap Tempo
  • Connectivity
    • CV/GATE outputs (1 volt per octave CV, 10 volt gates)
    • 8 drum gate outputs
    • Clock sync with multiple standards
    • MIDI In/Out with supplied MIDI adaptors
    • USB class compliant
  • Kensington lock

BeatStep Pro is expected to be shipping by mid-July, 2015 and has a street price of about US $250. See the Arturia site for details.

50 thoughts on “Arturia Beatstep Pro Hands-On Demo

  1. 2015 is definitely the Year of the Step Sequencer. I am sure the number of hardware step sequencers is a historical record.

    (Though I don’t really feel like counting them or documenting this claim… it’s obvious though, right.)

    $250 for the shown one seems a good good price for so much interface. Pity though about the lack of support for MIDI Tuning Standard messages thereby enabling microtonal step sequencing. Clearly this is designed to only be used for fat and complacent western imperialists who either despise or are ignorant of the music of the 80% or so of world which is not controlled by white supremacists with no knowledge of other cultures.

    1. Oh brother, not that load of crap again.
      The MAN is keeping you down by his system of tuning musical instruments!!!!

      1. The MIDI Tuning Standard was designed by Robert Rich and Carter Scholz, and officially adopted by the MIDI Manufacturers Association more than 25 years ago as the official MIDI Tuning implementation.

        It allows for up to 16384 full keyboard arbitrary tunings with .0061 resolution to be stored in each instrument, and to be switched dynamically. It also allows for a real time retuning mode whereby every individual note played can be individually retuned continuously and in real time to any frequency within the limits of human hearing.

        It is a very well designed standard. It is part of the official MIDI protocol. It allows the rest of the world outside the limited, backwards, incoherent, and dissonant western tuning of 12 tone equal temperament to flourish. To be fully MIDI compliant instruments must support it.

        The only reason to not support it post-1995 is because of entrenched racist attitudes. From a business perspective it is an obvious feature as it enables the vast majority of the planet to work on their music according to their own interests and culture. It takes an extremist act of racism and/or ignorance not to see the benefits of adopting some approach other than 12 equal, particularly given there is an industry standard tuning implementation that is completely free, open and simple to use.

        Given that it is absolutely trivial to implement and expands the user base to the vast majority of the world that doesn’t use 12 equal, it’s dead simple to understand that it’s a fundamental and basic technology that common sense dictates must be included in all designs.

        However, we see that most companies from hard core extremest racist, colonialist and imperialist cultures such as France (Arturia), Germany (Steinberg, Ableton) and the US (DSI, Moog) are radically opposed to providing such support for the music of people who are not white because of their entrenched extremist racism.

        1. Not sure if this is an exceptionally sophisticated parody of an anti-western crusader, or if it’s genuine seriousness that just happens to read exactly like troll bait.

          Just in case this is real: If I fail to personally care about obscure tuning systems or prefer standard tuning, it’s an “extreme act of racism?”

          If that’s true, then what was South African Apartheid and US segregation? What is the occupation of Palestine? If MIDI obscurities are the baseline for “extreme racism,” there’s no adjectives left for actual state violence.

          1. there is lots of microtonal, and atonal, music from the mentioned countries, and it is some of the most interesting. however you see this explanation, the author is an idiot.

          2. The real bottom line is simply that most alternate tunings come across like a choir of yowling cats. I found Carlos Alpha amusing, I love the natural brass overtone series and I like the gamelan series, but our most favored tuning system is what it is. I’m enough of a harmonic conservative that I don’t need to visit those neighborhoods as anything but occasional seasoning. The means to microtune are there, but the results mostly hover in a small cloud over academia. Taylor Swift will not be doing a 12-tone ballad. Its a black mark on Music that Wendy Carlos’s catalog is in limbo, but if you ever get a chance to hear her “Beauty In The Beast,” you’ll understand where alternate tunings work and what make them useful. Best primer ever.

            1. Because what Taylor Swift does is how we decide what is musically valid.

              But cheers for bringing it in using less than a thousand words!!

        2. MiDI microtuning is done on the instrument and not on the sequencer.

          Also, the clickbait racist remarks demean you, you can do better.

        3. It’s worth waiting to see the software before judging as there’s a lot of features you can tweak under the hood. Also try telling your feedback to Arturia, they may develop firmware that is Region specific.

        4. Go drop the extreme racism bit down on the MPC community and they all (race, creed, religion) will look at you funny in a united way. Homogenization is for milk.

        5. Moog supports micro-tuning. (Little Phatty, for sure) It’s also part of the GM and XG standards, which means it’s in quite a few synths. (All Roland and Yamaha for example) DSI appears to be the exception, and Dave is reportedly considering adding that feature.

        6. i just wantedt come here and find out if you can sequence the korg minilogue with the bsp. I can’t seem to see cv / gate input on korg ml.? It only has 16 step sequencer. The korg I mean.

    2. Ask for a firmware upgrade and they might include this feature ?
      I don’t, actually use that feature, but would love to discover it in a good sound, if you have any links to illustrate your proposal ?…

      An ignorant who still have an open mind.. 🙂

    3. Only 000,1% of the 80% you are talking about will be able to afford this or have power to run it.
      But hey, bring on some arabic Acid and we will see 🙂

      1. Wow, all non western people are poor? Man… That’s a pretty simplistic view of the world, traditional music all over the world works in different keys, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and other South East Asian music, Eastern European and Middle Eastern. I don’t know about African or South American but I’m sure it runs in completely different scales.

        Yes, wanting a step sequencer is a first world problem, duh. But there’s a hell of a lot of people in the markets I mentioned who would like this comparatively inexpensive solution, and might be more willing to experiment with traditional music if it were easy to do with the electronic hardware at hand.

    4. Well, here’s an idea: Use the Beatstep to form your “groove” or rhythmic template, then play a Santur (turkish hammer dulcimer) or sitar over the top. Oh, wait. That would involve having to get off your a** and learn an instrument instead of droning (no pun intended) on about “Western Imperialists”.

    5. every fucking keyboard i know has at least 1 or 2 pitch wheels and im sure most of them also have a connection for a foot pedal.. there you do your finetuning

  2. It doesn’t have more that 1 MIDI track, right? Theoretically, this should be able to support 16 channels/sequences. CV aside, Zaquencer crushes, even has chords.

    1. Read the specs. There are two tracks and a 16 part drum track, all 3 on different channels. I have a Zaquencer, this thing stomps all over it IMO, and is only a few bucks more than a BCR2000 plus the zaq firmware.

  3. This looks interesting. The other side is, i have allready two sequencer or seq-like tools: Orbitals from Hexinverter and the turring-machine. They will be useless and also the quantizer, or i use a new case:)

      1. You are right.

        I never bought gear from Arturia. Maybe this on will be the first, but when i read all the negative posts, it makes me feel uneasy.

        Is that company really so bad?

  4. Sorry Arturia, you won’t have any more money from me till you show you’re commited to fix what you left broken elsewhere.

    1. this. I’m having a hard time not whipping out the credit card for those features but their reputation for releasing partially finished, half baked hardware with manufacturing issues is pretty solid.

      the brutes are cool even with their flaws though, and at this price point….

      1. What are the brute flaws? I think they’re pretty amazing for what they are and recently discovered the software that lets you change stuff like turning on latch. I can’t really fault them

        Also it’s clear this is their fix for the original beat step, and they have delayed the product until they got it right adding more features than most of us ever expected.

        I sold my old beat steps second hand and got a fair whack of my money back on them, not the first time I’ve bought a dud. But yeah I was pissed (I had bought two of them with high hopes)

  5. This with two affordable monos (see MeeBlip post), a volca sample or iOS device for drums and your favorite poly for real time playing and my god, 2015 is amazing. Amazing I tell you.

    1. Yeah just adding the ability to to songs and save so many patterns for the three volcas is fantastic, thank god they have midi in!

    1. It’s actually a fair point, constantly focussing on western style music in a global market, they want the sales they should consider expanding their firmware.

  6. Been a long bloody wait but I think this’ll be really useful.
    Pity about port mento and mono not poly, but I can see room in the market for the next step up again, I do think Arturia have got the right formula, connectivity, portability, good layout, multiple ways to input including live record and TR-style step sequencing.

  7. Beatstep Pro looks amazing.

    But the music the guy makes with it? Utter muck. Seems to be a feature of product demos that the guys doing them cant knock out a tune. Other than Nick, who’s demos are always really musical.

  8. Now if only there was a proper demo for drum part sequencer. If it works as I hope it will, then it’s a must have for my setup.

  9. This + Reason rack = bliss

    Two combi synths + either a redrum or droctorex for drums !

    Plus you can use balmsoft distributer RE to generate chords from the mono seq lines…

    Can’t wait, if it goes well I will no doubt end up with 2 of these.

    Plus you can send midi clock to reason so fx like delay are synced to the master clock 😀

    Goodbye electribe and mpc, this will bring the live jamming with the ease of REX files and computer file management 🙂

  10. Such a hot debate of tuning, nice and all but the other 99.99 percent of users will not notice it. I think more important would be poly sequencing, look at elka synthex for inspiration in that regard. They can really corner the market with that function, the only other device that could do that that is currently available is a midibox.hell might even buy 2 already being a big Arturia supporter. Do they have device chaining? 2 poly, 2 mono and 2 drums, perfect.

  11. Wow. I hadn’t heard anything about it and it’s not in the feature list above (or on their site) but there’s a button on the top that appears to put it into HUI mode. Damn.

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