While this year's NAMM has shown off many drool-worthy "want to have" items, Arturia is the first to show off a "holy shit must have" in the new BeatStep. For $100 (street) this little controller looks like a simple MIDI instrument, but in addition to providing 16-pads and 16-knobs this device can also operate as a stand-alone sequencer! Arturia expects to ship these in March.
BeatStep is highly versatile, capable of triggering clips in such applications as Ableton Live, it also allows you to play drums in conjunction with such applications as BFD or EZDrummer.
BeatStep is also a 16-step analog sequencer for creating all kinds of musical phrases to be sent to analog synthesizers, MIDI drum machines, MIDI keyboard devices, or computer programs. Its vast connectivity allows you to interface BeatStep with a computer or iPAD using USB, a drum module using MIDI or an analog synthesizer equipped with CV/GATE.
- MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE
- Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE
- 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
- 16 encoders
- 16 MIDI Controller presets
- 16 Sequence presets
- Works with MIDI Control Center Editor
- Internal and External clocking
- CV outputs
- USB I/O
- MIDI output
- 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)
There are a lot of videos available for this one! Several on Arturia's YouTube channel are worth checking out, including this demo of the step-sequencer CV/Gate controlling a Pittsburg Modular synth. Sonic State got a preview of it on the NAMM show floor as well.