Arturia KeyStep 37 Hands-On Demo

In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the new Arturia KeyStep 37 controller.

The KeyStep 37 fits in between the original KeyStep and the KeyStep Pro, offering a step up in features from the original KeyStep, for about a $70 difference in price.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro

1:00 Overview

3:00 Scales

4:10 MCC

4:20 Connectivity

5:10 CV setup

6:10 Arpeggiator

7:45 Pattern arp

8:55 Arp octaves

9:40 Sequencer

10:30 Overdub

11:00 Pattern length

11:50 Ext metronome

13:05 KBD Play

14:25 Chords

16:35 Strum

18:15 IDEAS & TIPS

18:25 Drum sequencing

20:35 Generative ideas

22:10 Gate & strum

23:45 Audition melodies

24:25 Rhythmic sync

25:50 Pattern len fills

26:15 Pros & cons

28:50 Outro jam

7 thoughts on “Arturia KeyStep 37 Hands-On Demo

  1. This feels like the KeyStep update most people wanted (based on unscientific comment recollections).

    The 3 character display seems really helpful, minimal as it is. Just showing the tempo and current step while recording alone feels like a major UX upgrade.

    Great to see the apreggiator updates from the MicroFreak included here. Bit of a bummer that you can’t capture the “pattern” variations. Maybe via an update you could hold SHIFT and hit keys 1-8 to save it to a sequence slot? Or better, the “Pattern” arp could hold 16 separate mono patterns. /Greedy

  2. it’s a “meh” from me.

    visually: it looks ugly, cluttered, the black region clashes with the white aesthetic.
    functionally: too many button combination to utilize it fully.

    missed opportunity:

    adding an elegant OLED as an alternative to button combinations
    adding a Joystick with CV recorder

  3. This looks like a solid update to an already great device… but wow… scale mode on a keyboard seems…. ugg. Just give half a damn about your personal skill development and learn a scale! It’s really easy. You don’t even need to read sheet music anymore. Just download a jpg from the web with the keys in the scale shown in the pic and only press those! Quantizing to scale makes perfect sense on pad based controllers, but I would think quantizing keys to different scales would actually confuse a user and make it nearly impossible for them to pick up usable music theory and performance knowledge through use over time.

    But I guess if the user never had any intention of learning anyway…

    1. But I don’t give even half a damn about my personal skill development. That’s not why I do this. I hope that’s ok.
      I see your point tho, I don’t personally use scale mode on the one keyboard instrument I have that offers it. I do use it on my Circuit and on iOS apps. But I imagine there are some people with highly developed skills who might find use for scale mode.
      And there might be people drawn into making music by using scale modes who later go on to learn scales.
      The lazy hobbyist is a part of the market for these toys/tools. We help maintain the variety and the inexpensiveness of these toys. Try not to get too frustrated with us.
      It really hertz.

    2. It’s a bit like saying “Don’t buy software, learn a programming language and write your own!”. Time is limited and everyone has different priorities. If your focus is on making techno, you will probably be better off starting right away and using available tools like this for the 2.5 chords you need in a month instead of spending your time learning some music theory first. In my book everything that helps people enjoy the experience of making music is a good thing.

    3. This is a sequencer and sequencing with a keyboard interface is the entire appeal of this product; having scale quantization is par for the course as feature of sequencers and is no different than using a quantizer to lock CV to a range of notes.

    4. I had the same first impression. It looks like this is one of the main new features, and it made me think this is a toy or a learning device, not a pro tool.

      That said, maybe it’s handy if you’re using it as a compositional device to get a new semi-random sequence by wacking some keys without thinking, rather than intentionally programming a specific sequence. I think some people do this, you might get new inspiration from the result.

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