Arturia really hit the ground running this year at NAMM!
Their new combined MIDI controller and Step Sequencer, BeatStep Pro, is an interesting improvement on the popular BeatStep which they launched at last year's NAMM.
This year they're showing off the upgraded version which was based upon user feedback.
As people have observed at NAMM this year, with the two main sequencers and the separate drum sequencer it's almost like having three sequencers in one.
Here's the official announcement from Arturia...
Having wowed crowds at last year’s Winter NAMM show with the introduction of its breakthrough BeatStep, a compact chameleon controller and step sequencer that’s as powerful as it is portable, this time Arturia is taking things several steps further forward by introducing its bigger brother, BeatStep Pro. As an all-new world-class controller and dynamic performance step sequencer that is unmatched in power and connectivity, BeatStep Pro has been designed to professionally perform — onstage or in the studio. Whether you’re working with MIDI-, USB-, CV/Gate-, or DIN Sync-equipped gear, BeatStep Pro helpfully has your back by covering all bases and more besides. Indeed, its CLOCK connections can work as a 1:1 clock with an external clock generator or DIN Sync, so you can be sure that anything and everything you’ve got connected will play happily in time together leaving you to focus your energies on creative performance.
Put simply, BeatStep Pro has been designed from the ground up to provide an amazing hands-on hardware sequencing experience with 16 touch-sensitive knobs for entering of pitch, gate, velocity amounts, and timing shifts per step. It includes two independent (colour-coded) monophonic step sequencers, each with dedicated displays to show the current playback position and bank length of the currently selected sequence. SEQUENCER 1 and SEQUENCER 2 have been greatly expanded with up to 64 steps per sequence, 16 sequences per project, and 16 projects, making BeatStep Pro one of the most impressive step sequencers ever made. Moreover, each sequencer has its own 1V/Oct CV (Control Voltage) and (10V) GATE outputs to connect to suitably-equipped analogue monosynths, such as Arturia’s award-winning MiniBrute or MicroBrute, together with a separate VELO (Velocity) output to allow for even more possibilities when working with a modular synth system setup.
An additional DRUM sequencer allows for 16 separate tracks of sequencing. Record in quantised realtime via the 16 pressure sensitive pads or use the 16 step buttons for a classic drum machine workflow. Speaking of which, when working in SEQ1 and SEQ2 mode those pads can control pitch transposition as well as accessing various musical scales — such as Chromatic, Major, Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, Harm Minor, Blues, and also a User setting — while the DRUM sequencer itself also has eight DRUM GATES at its disposal (to send gate outputs from the corresponding pads for triggering external devices). Drums and sequences living in perfect harmony, see? Believe us, seeing is believing!
BeatStep Pro is also a controller, of course. Switching from PROJECT to CONTROL MODE means users can trigger clips in their favourite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), play drum sounds from an external module, or adjust parameters in their favourite plug-in. Possibilities are (almost) endless, limited only by (lack of) imagination.
Indeed, the well-specified, super-slender BeatStep Pro is a highly-desirable design. One which goes well beyond any other step sequencer currently on the market, thanks to an added arsenal of performance effects such as a realtime ROLLER/LOOPER touch strip; PROBABILITY, RANDOMNESS, and SWING settings; plus other hands-on controls that are sure to make it a modern-day classic for tomorrow. To see one is to surely want one. Just as well, then, that it comes complete with a Kensington lock to ensure that it stays with its rightful owner!
The MAP price is $299, it's expected to be in stores in April, and you can get the full specifications at www.arturia.com/beatstep-pro/details.