THE PRESS IS ALREADY
MAD ABOUT BEATSTEP PRO!
"With the affordable and innovative Beatstep Pro,
Arturia may have created a sequencer for the masses."
October 2015 Review
Arturia’s original Beatstep offered a simplified introduction to the looping, hands–on world of the step sequencer. Its price ensured complaints were kept to a low murmur, but there were some crucial limitations, not least that it consisted of a single monophonic sequence line and only synchronised to the outside world via USB. Earning its ‘Pro’ title, the new Beatstep will happily sync to just about anything, plus it serves up twice the number of simultaneous sequences and throws in a drum track for good measure.
Whatever mix of gear you’ve acquired over the years, the Beatstep Pro is in a position to bid for two jobs — sequencer and MIDI controller — thanks to connectivity you can file under ‘comprehensive’. This amounts to a set of eight analogue trigger outputs, MIDI, DIN Sync, CV and Gate, plus USB–sourced MIDI, yet you can still expect change from £200. It sounds almost too good to be true.
Superficially resembling a typical drum pad–based controller for software synths and DAWs, the BSP is a slimline tablet of metal and off–white plastic. It’s a solid and portable package of 415 x 163 x 36 mm and weighs a comfortable 1.45kg. I mentioned just now that it can perform two jobs, but if there’s a darkened studio corner in need of bright coloured lights, make that three!
While the Beatstep Pro can rightfully claim to be a MIDI controller and step sequencer, the emphasis is firmly on the latter. There are three tracks, consisting of two ‘melodic’ parts and a drum sequencer. Arturia had the inspired idea to colour–code each, picking green and yellow (the manual claims orange) for the two regular sequence tracks and purple for drums. Whichever track you select, its colours are replicated on the active step keys, even if the drum part’s posh purple is portrayed as a rather watery pink. The colouring ethos extends to the lettering of the rear panel. Admittedly it’s not quite so striking there, particularly the yellow text which is fairly indistinct against the panel’s creamy background..."
"It's been a tantalising wait since we first saw it at the shows earlier this year. With three Sequencers - two Gate CV and one with 8 analog triggers, it's the modular/analogue jammers dream - at least that what it seems..."Read more...
"There's so much to the BeatStep Pro that it can be overwhelming if you insist on learning every feature. I suspect users will pick and choose what they use depending on their individual requirements. For the money litle else comes close - I will be buying one."Read more...
"If someone had told me three years ago that hardware step sequencers were about to become one of the hottest gear trends, I probably would have recommended a good therapist or at least asked what they were drinking. Granted, my crystal ball generally works well when it comes to technology, but the explosion of modern modular rigs is unprecedented by any standard.
Arturia has been ahead of this curve for a while now, and the success of last year’s original BeatStep (reviewed July ’14) has given them some serious insight into what keyboardists and synthesists really want in a performance sequencer. I use the word “performance” for a specific reason here, because the step sequencer trend doesn’t target composers and producers per se. Instead, it’s targeted at the growing ranks of gigging electronic artists who want to interact with their sequencing tools in real time as they perform or compose. So Arturia has taken their original concept, listened to their users, innovated wildly, and created a live sequencing product that integrates beautifully with almost any rig..."