Beatstep USB Drum Pad by Arturia
Arturia Beatstep - The chameleon controller and sequencer that provides nearly endless possibilities
By DPD On 30th May 2018
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Protect against installation damage for 28 days.
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ARTURIA BEATSTEP DRUM CONTROLLER
The BeatStep is more than just another simple USB controller, and also functions as a standalone real-time analogue style step sequencer, with the capability to control analogue CV synths, external MIDI synths, iPads (via a Camera Connection kit) and PC/Mac software and virtual instruments via USB when plugged into your computer system.
This means that the BeatStep controller has a huge array of uses outside of simply connecting it up to a PC, also allowing you to control your favourite DAW or sample playback software, DJ software, MIDI synth, drum kit brain or even older CV/GATE equipped analogue gear making it an amazingly feature filled at this price. In fact all this makes it a true chameleon in that it can become many things to many people. No other compact pad controller on the market offers this level of control along with a step sequencer at such an amazing price fulfilling multiple requirements for a wide variety of musicians.
At its most basic it is a straight forward midi controller for computer and can be used to trigger clips in all regular DAW packages such as Ableton Live, Bitwig, Cubase or indeed any other sequencer, where it will allows you to play drums in conjunction with other such applications as BFD or EZDrummer or simply trigger sample banks via I software plugin like Kontakt.
The BeatStep is also a standalone 16-step analogue sequencer that can be used for creating anything from rhythmic drum patterns to complete musical phrases to be sent to analogue synthesizers for full on real-time performance.
Whilst working in the sequencing mode, the pads and encoders will work together to set and trigger steps in a sequence and set pitches for each step. Then intuitively by simply pressing a pad, it will enable or disable the current step in a melodic pattern. Within a few presses you should find yourself creating and changing up musical patterns in real-time, speeding up your workflow and boosting your creativity.
The BeatStep allows for a total of 16 sequences to be stored in memory and recalled instantly, which will allow you to play multiple patterns which can then be combined into complete songs and jammed with in real time.
Setting pitches on a compact step sequencer can sometimes be difficult, so to allow you to find the notes you want quickly, Arturia has added a scale modes that will 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.
Huge Connectivity In A Little Box
Whilst most standard controllers are simply happy to connect to your computer, the Arturia Beatstep offers far many more options.
The Beatstep of course offers up USB connectivity which is bus powered and features a USB class compliant I/O design, that makes it just as happy to hook up to you PC as our MAC or iPAD. This gives you the control options that you would expect to have from a regular pad controller, allowing you to control the transports on your favourite DAW, sequence your favourite plug-in, set up the encoders to modulate filters and eq’s or mixer channels.
The BeatStep also has additional MIDI out as well, so you can use the pads to control an old drum module or the drum sounds on your workstation keyboard. You can also use the Step Sequencer mode to bring new life to your MIDI equipped synthesizers.
CV / GATE
Lastly the BeatStep has a standard 1 volt per octave CV output as well as a standard 1 volt per octave GATE output. This means you can directly interface them with older none MIDI capable kit or even the newer MiniBrute or MicroBrute synthesizers also from Arturia. By combining BeatSteps step sequencing capabilities with a modular synth, it allows for all manner of hands on control and pattern generation.
The Arturia MIDI Control Centre
The MIDI Control Centre software provides you with a fast and easy way to edit parameters and then export your presents to back them up or create archives of your favourite presents to share with others.
MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE
Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE
16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
16 MIDI Controller pre-sets
16 Sequence pre-sets
Works with MIDI Control Center Editor
Internal and External clocking
iPad compatibility (using camera connection kit)
Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC
Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adaptor
USB Class compliant (no drivers required)
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- 12 months
- Return to base
- DOA Period:
- 28 days
- RTB Period:
- 12 months