Arturia BeatStep MIDI Pad Controller
The Arturia Beatstep is a compact, general purpose USB MIDI controller that also functions as a standalone sequencer and percussion controller.
The assignable velocity sensitive pads are great for expressive performances while its encoder knobs allow real-time virtual instrument control by assignment.
16 customizable presets can be stored and recalled easily with the touch of the recall button.
- Pads: 16 Velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads
- Buttons: 2 x MIDI Transport Controls, 2 x Mode Buttons, 1 x Recall button, 1 x Store button, 1 x Shift button, 1 x Chan button
- Knobs: 1 x Data Knob, 16 x Assignable Encoder Knobs
- Standalone Mode: Yes
- Power: USB powered
- Connectivity: USB, 5-pin MIDI Out Adapter included, CV/Gate Out
- Compatibility: USB class-compliant
- Software Bundle: Midi Control Center (downloadable from Arturia's website)
- Dimensions: 15.75" x 7.1" x 2.44"
- Weight: 2.5 lbs
Despite it being value priced, the Beatstep is surprisingly feature rich and many reviewers are all praises for its versatility, build quality for the price and compatibility with their setups. It has gathered a lot of praise from virtual instrumentalists, digital synth performers and analog junkies as more than just a plaything. Many consider it to be a serious and almost indispensable addition to their rigs.
People in reviews note some issues with the turning range of the knobs indicating they aren't sensitive enough and need more turns than usual to reach their desired value. Being a minimalist device, others wished it had a screen to at least see numerical values or patterns.
Whether it's your first rodeo or you're a veteran in search of a portable controller that you could use with both old-school analog equipment, digital variants and virtual instruments, the Arturia Beatstep is a no-frills, easily accessible solution.
Although we previously featured the BeatStep on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best MIDI Pad Controllers.