Arturia released a firmware update for their new BeatStep hardware last Friday.
The iOS-compatible device has been welcomed with both praise and frustration for its design. I got mine last week. I can appreciate the criticism of the knobs feeling too slow (fine resolution), but over all I'm pretty blown away. For $100 and the features here I was expecting some cheap piece of plastic like the Korg NanoKontrol, but this is a serious bit of gear. The metal chassis feels like it could stop a small caliber bullet!
I've been having a lot of fun with it. It's a great way to sequence apps, especially those that don't have an internal sequencer or an awkward on-screen keyboard. In fact it was while I was doing my SunVox video, which has a terrible keyboard, that I realized I should make the investment in one. The device is a little bit bigger than I was expecting, but it is still very usable as a mobile addition to the iPad. Honestly if you're thinking about grabbing this, and you have $100 to spend, it is a useful addition for anyone making music on iPads. These have been selling out all over but I know Sweetwater just got a new batch in, because that's where I got mine!
For people who were annoyed by the knob behavior, the updated released on Friday should address that! This update also includes some other nice new features like the ability to set legato and gate time!
What's new in BeatStep Firmware v22.214.171.124:
- Provide additional settings locally. There is now a way to set up some parameters directly on the unit while in SEQ mode. Shift + Knob 1: set gate time (50%..99%) Shift + Knob 2: set swing (50%..75%) Shift + Knob 3: set legato mode (off/on/on reset)
- Transpose pads with Controller in CNTRL mode It's now possible to transpose pads in CNTRL mode, using Shift + big knob, on a +/-24 half steps range.
- Extend sequencer big knob transposition range Transposition range (big knob) has been extended from +/-12 to +/-24 half steps
- Knob acceleration too slow Knobs are now accelerated properly when turned fast
- Default start up memory should be 1 At power up, sequence from memory #1 is recalled (previously, a default sequence was loaded)
- MIDI channel pad highlight in Controller mode. Pad back-lighting is now restored after channel setting and similar operations
- Stuck note in CV while switching CV channel while playing Changing CV channel while playing a sequence no longer produces stuck CV note
- RPN/NRPN fine mode not working RPN/NRPN fine mode now works as expected when activated with MIDI Control CenterBig knob value update between CNTRL mode and SEQ mode Setting rate/transpose in SEQ mode no longer affects the volume setting internal position in CNTRL mode
- Bad handling of SPP (Song Position Pointer) message Fixed Song Position Pointer message handling (when EXT SYNC is active), leading to better compatibility with Maschine®
- Inverted MIDI Values for pads/encoders It's now possible to program a pad or knob with min value > max value (useful for pads in switched control mode)
TelevatorMuzak posted a cover for Orbital's song Never, using a variety of Korg Electribes and iOS apps!
Update: Switched the embed over to Vimeo, because YouTube's copy of this video wasn't playing on iPads. Weird...
Here's my "live" cover of an Orbital song using a family of Korg Electribes (EA-1, EM-1 and ES-1), iPad SampleWiz (sampled my own voice), iPhone Sampletank (strings), and iPhone Sunrizer XS synth, all controlled real-time by the awesome iPad Genome Midi Sequencer. Sick stuff!