What is BeatStep?

BeatStep was designed to give you the control you need, whether you’re working with your favorite DAW or loop triggering software, VST instrument or effect, drum software, DJ app, MIDI synth or even analog gear with CV/Gate inputs. The possibilities are nearly endless.

BeatStep fulfills multiple requirements for a wide variety of musicians. It’s truly a chameleon, ready and able to become many things to many people. No other compact pad controller on the market offers this level of control plus a step sequencer at such an amazing price.

What can you do with it?

Play with any drum software

BeatStep’s 16 pads are both pressure- and velocity-sensitive, which means they are able to capture the nuances of your performance. BeatStep is the perfect control surface for producers and percussionists using iPads® or software instruments such as BFD, Kontakt, Live’s Drum Rack, EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums, Geist or Reason’s Kong.

Sequence Analog and Software synthesizers

BeatStep goes way beyond the typical pad controller by doubling as a step sequencer. This opens up a new world for anyone who uses MIDI modules, CV/Gate synths like the MiniBrute or MicroBrute, or plug-ins on their computer via USB. While a sequence is playing you can switch to Controller mode and use the pads and knobs to enable and disable effects, tweak filters, alter attack and decay times on plug-ins, etc. BeatStep will bring your ideas to life and enhance your live performances in an unlimited number of ways.

Enhance your live performances and DJ sets

Whether you use Ableton Live, Traktor, Serato or any other DJ/clip playback software, the BeatStep pads are perfect for launching samples or enabling effects. The 16 encoders give you lots of mapping options for EQs, filters, delays and other performance effects. BeatStep makes a stylish and portable companion to your other DJ control surfaces.

Control your MIDI-compatible gear

BeatStep is the perfect solution for stage performers looking for a way to send MIDI messages and control changes to their hardware and workstations. Thanks to the included MIDI Control Center software, mapping BeatStep to your needs becomes a breeze.

MIDI Controller Mode

With 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, BeatStep is the perfect compact solution for playing percussion. The ultra-sensitive pads allow for great dynamic performances. The 16 encoders can be assigned to adjust parameters that allow further real-time control over your drum sounds.

The 16 pads can be configured individually for:

  • 1. note generation
  • 2. MIDI CC buttons
  • 3. Sending program change messages

And with 16 user presets you can have a controller setup for every occasion.

When used to send note data, these ultra-sensitive backlit pads can send velocity and pressure information in either Gate or Toggle mode. These options allow you to use the pads to play drum and percussion parts using a drum module (Gate), or you can use them to trigger notes and hold drone tones on a synthesizer (Toggle).

In MIDI CC mode the pads can be used as assignable switches for your favorite DAW functions, or used to trigger clips or effects in a looping DAW or DJ application.

In MIDI Program change mode you can send program change messages as well as bank change messages.

Step Sequencer Mode

SEQ mode turns BeatStep into a completely different product: a step sequencer. Originally popular in the 1960’s and 70’s, interest in step sequencers has surged along with the popularity of modular synthesizers. We’ve enhanced many of our analog synthesizer models with step sequencers, notably ARP 2600 V, modular V, and Jupiter-8V.

In SEQ mode the pads and encoders work together to enable steps in a sequence and set pitches for each step. By simply pressing a pad you can enable or disable the current step in a melodic pattern. A few presses and tweaks is all it takes to create and modify musical patterns in real-time.

BeatStep holds 16 sequences in memory and recalls them instantly. This makes creating your own songs spontaneous, easy and fun.

Selecting pitches on most step sequencers can be difficult. But BeatStep makes it easy to find the notes you want! Its Scale modes quantize the pitches of the encoders to a specific set of notes, which means that instead of having to move the encoders up and down chromatically like with most step sequencers, BeatStep can filter the notes so that you will only pick notes within the scale you have chosen. Look ma, no wrong notes!

Massive Connectivity in a little box

BeatStep blows away most other MIDI controllers because it connects to other gear in so many ways.

USB

BeatStep features USB class-compliant I/O for use with your laptop or iPad. So now you can have all the control you would expect from a pad controller: run the transport section of your favorite DAW, sequence your favorite plug-in, use the encoders to modulate filters, EQs or mixer channels; it’ll do that and more.

MIDI

BeatStep keeps going where the competition stops: it has a MIDI output as well. You can use the pads to control that old drum module or the drum sounds on your workstation. Use the step sequencer to bring new life to your MIDI keyboards. This controller will give you an unlimited number of ways to create and be great. But that’s not all! There's also…

CV/GATE

BeatStep has a standard 1 volt per octave CV output as well as a standard 1 volt per octave Gate output. This means it can directly interface with our famous MiniBrute or MicroBrute synthesizers. And combining BeatStep's sequencing capabilities with a modular synth allows for all kinds of hands-on control and pattern generation.

Two in one and both at once

We’ve made the point that BeatStep is both a pad/knob controller AND a step sequencer. But the best part is that you can run them both at the same time.

Yes, that’s right. You can have the step sequencer play your MiniBrute through the CV/Gate output, while you switch to CONTROL mode and trigger clips on Ableton Live and use the encoders to manipulate your VST version of SEM V. All at once.

MIDI Control Center

The MIDI Control Center software provides a quick and easy way to edit parameters.

Editing your MIDI setups and sequences is simple with this software.

Export your presets as a backup or create archives of your favorites to share with others.

Box contents

  • BeatStep Unit
  • Quick Start
  • USB cable
  • MIDI adaptor

Size & weight

  • Instrument size : 12.8 x 5 x 0.6 inches (324 x 127 x 16mm)
  • Instrument weight : 3 lbs. (0.9 Kg)

Main Features

  • 16 backlit pads
    • Red = Control mode
    • Blue = SEQ mode
    • Velocity- and pressure-sensitive
  • 16 assignable encoders with 2 modes
    • MIDI CC
    • NRPN/RPN
  • Transport controls
    • Send MIDI clock with Start/Stop (internal sync)
    • Send MMC Play and Stop messages
  • Data Encoder
    • Volume MIDI CC#7 – Control Mode
    • Rate – in Sequence mode
    • Sequence Transpose – SHIFT + Data Encoder
  • Kensington Lock port
  • 16 user presets
  • Multiple pad modes
    • Note data
    • MIDI CC data
    • Program Change with Bank Select <

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