Review: Arturia BeatStep Pro Hardware Sequencer

Arturia BeatStep Pro Review

Arturia BeatStep Pro Review

In the last few days, we have had the pleasure to test and review the new Arturia BeatStep Pro. The new BeatStep Pro is a big step forward from the original BeatStep, bringing many new features, functions, and visual improvements.

BeatStep Pro was released this summer (2015) and has quickly gained respect among music producers worldwide. But what exactly is this BeatStep Pro? Well, this is a hardware standalone sequencer, able to connect all your hardware synthesizers and control them from one place.

First impression

BeatStep Pro manages to make a good impression from the beginning, and I mean even how comes packed in a robust box, well padded to offer extra protection and a side cover that closes with a magnet. In the box are all the necessary connection cables (including 2×5-DIN MIDI cable and an Anti-Ground Loop cable), a “Quick Start” user guide and the registration serial that is printed on a plastic card, very similar to bank cards…quite interesting!

The body case is very solid and ergonomic, being made entirely of aluminum. Yet it is quite light, easily to handle and to transport, it will fit in a normal backpack without much hassle (Height 1.5″, Width 17″, Depth 6.5″, Weight 3.1 lbs.).

Installation is very easy! If you want to connect BeatStep Pro to your computer or laptop you have to use only the USB cable included in the box and then switch the back ON/OFF switcher.

Overview

Arturia BeatStep Pro

On the main front panel, BeatStep Pro features two independent monophonic/melodic step sequencers, each with dedicated displays where you can see the current playback position and bank length. Under the two melodic sequencers we have a Drum Sequencer with which offers the possibility to can create up to 16 distinct drum channels.

BeatStep Pro can be used either as a step sequencer, drum sequencer as well as a MIDI controller, featuring a wide range of CV in and outs to control your favorite synthesizer, new and even older hardware synths.

beatstep pro connectivity

Also, BeatStep Pro connects your synths and drum machines, and have each sequence play at the same time. You can tweak any control and save your configuration on the BeatStep Pro using Arturia’s MIDI Control Center software, great for those who use more than one external instruments.

If you want to use BeatStep Pro with your favorite DAW, just switch to “Control Mode” and you’ll be able to trigger clips, play sounds from an external instrument like Arturia’s MiniBrute synth or an audio plug-in of choice (we tested the BeatStep Pro using the Arturia’s V Collection 4 synths). Beatstep Pro is kike a control center to use analog or digital equipment, separately or simultaneously.

BeatStep Pro can be used in many ways with many types of gear. Below are some examples of setups, from a simple connectivity with your computer to more complex setups:

Arturia BeatStep Pro Setups

Let’s recap the most important features:

  • 2 monophonic step sequencers with up to 64 steps per sequence
  • One Drum Sequencer with up to 16 drum tracks
  • Sixteen velocity and pressure-sensitive pads
  • Real-time looper/roller touch strip
  • Performance controls

Conclusion

Arturia has once again managed to impress us with this new awesome controller and sequencer device, easy and very fun to use with excellent connectivity for external hardware gear but it also can be used in any DAW to control your favorite VST/AU audio plugin. BeatStep Pro can be very helpuf for any studio producer as it is for any live performer. The price is quite affordable, BeatStep Pro is available for 249,00 € at Arturia website.

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