Arturia BeatStep

USB/MIDI/CV Controller and 16-step Sequencer, with 16 Velocity/Pressure Sensitive Pads, 16 Encoders, and 16 User Presets
Arturia BeatStep image 1
Arturia BeatStep image 1
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Arturia BeatStep
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A Controller and Sequencer Combined

Much more than just a USB pad controller, the BeatStep is ready to serve as a master sequencer for your MIDI or CV-equipped hardware! You've got 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads, perfect for both finger drumming and expressive playing. Assign the 16 encoders to whatever parameters you like, and save up to 16 of your custom setups. Best of all, a built-in step sequencer lets you program 16 different sequences with 16 steps each, ready to control your MIDI or CV gear all by itself!

Arturia BeatStep USB/MIDI/CV Controller and Sequencer Features:
  • Powerful control surface with built-in 16-step sequencer
  • Control and sequence software via USB, or hardware via MIDI or CV
  • Velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads for expressive performances
  • 16 assignable encoders for real time control of virtual instrument parameters
  • Save and recall up to 16 customized control layouts

Additional Media

BeatStep User Manual
Arturia BeatStep Pad Controller/Sequencer Demo - Sweetwater's iOS Update, Vol. 73

Tech Specs

Sequencer 16 sequences, 16 steps each
Pads 16 x velocity/pressure-sensitive backlit pads
Encoders/Pots 16 assignable
MIDI I/O Out (1/8" to 5-pin DIN Adapter Included)
USB 1 x Mini-B
Other I/O CV out, Gate out
Compatibility VST, RTAS, AU, AAX (Pro Tools 11)
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.7 or later
OS Requirements - PC Windows 7 or later
Power Supply Bus powered
Manufacturer Part Number 430101

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Write your review

Arturia BeatStep

Great controller all around ... A great creative start for musical ideas
Music background: Hobbyist

Great Controller, Mixed Step Sequencer

I have grown to rely on this unit for many elements in my live show. The pads feel great and issues polyphonic aftertouch, which is a feature that makes the unit worth the price alone. Editing the assignment is straightforward with the software. The knobs feel good, certainly for a $99 device but I'm not hugely fond of endless encoders, especially when the device itself cannot handle values above 127. This is one of my biggest gripes, NRPNs above 127 can't be used, so there goes my hope of programming my Mopho's Step Sequencer. I also would like it if the unit could program SYSEX, but alas it cannot. I thought I was going to use this for it's Step Sequencer functionality but so far have yet to be wowed by it. It doesn't sync to Logic properly, restarting where you stopped rather than from the first step. It can't be transposed from a keyboard and there is no way to set a tempo in to the sequence. With no display that makes it not terribly useful unless this is the master clock. It also would be nice to be able to import MIDI sequences to it. The lack of MIDI in doesn't bother me as much as some users, USB is fine. Most of these issues can be address with future firmware upgrades, and I hope they are. Arturia doesn't have the best record of continuing to work on released products. I know that I'm pointing out the flaws, but I have to reiterate, I like this product a lot. The construction feels very solid and hopefully will last.
Music background: performer, composer, synth head.

I really wanted to like this controller

As stated, I really wanted to like this controller and was very disappointed in having to exchange this for something else. I was mainly looking at the BeatStep to add more rotary encoders to my setup. I saw this had 16 rotary knobs plus 16 pads and thought this was great! The construction is solid, the pads are decent and it had a sequencer, what a bargain. Unfortunately, the "endless" rotary encoders are pointless and have terrible performance for controlling anything. There is so much resolution to the encoders that in order to go smoothly from 0 to 127 on a VI parameter, you have to turn the encoder 5-8 times. Arturia also added a feature caller "Acceleration" which if you turn the encoder very fast, it accelerates quickly in that direction, but it is too quick. So you either get extremely fast and extremely slow with no in-between smoothness. This is probably an easy fix with a simple firmware update but as Arturia is notorious for their lack of support, there has not been a firmware update that fixes the encoders after years of users asking for one. Just disappointing and leaves you to question, "Why would you make something this cool, suck so bad???" Makes no sense. If you don't care about the rotary encoders and are looking for decent pads, this is a great option for the price. But if rotary encoders are an important part of your workflow, look somewhere else. And if you do not take my word for it, go to the Arturia user forum and look at the non-responsiveness from Arturia support and read the user-complaints.
Music background: Professional Audio Engineer
See also: Electronic Percussion, Arturia, Arturia Sequencers, Arturia Electronic Drum Controllers & Multipads, Arturia MIDI Controllers