Arturia BeatStep Pro MIDI Pad Controller & Sequencer
The BeatStep Pro showcases 16 drum sequencer pads and two other independent sequencers, with 64 steps per sequence.
It's both a sequencer and controller that syncs with any computer via USB.
Other connections include MIDI In/Out CV/GATE, drum gate, and clock sync connectivity - great for those who prefer working with external hardware, such as analog synthesizers.
- Pads: 16 Pressure sensitive pads
- Buttons 3 x Transport buttons, 1 x Shift button, 6 x Preset/project utility buttons, 4 x Roller/looper buttons, 16 x Step buttons, 16 x Sequence Control buttons, 4 x Project/Control modes, 1 x Tap/Metronome button, 1 x Sync button
- Knobs: 3 x Swing/Randomness/Probability knobs, 16 x Encoder knobs, 1 x Rate/Fine knob
- Standalone Mode: Yes
- Power: USB, USB power adaptor for standalone situations
- Connectivity: USB, MIDI In/Out, Clock sync with multiple standards, CV/GATE outputs, 8 x drum gate outputs
- Compatibility: USB Class Compliant
- Software Bundle: None
- Dimensions: 16.3" x 6.4" x 1.4"
- Weight: 3.20 lbs
The build quality and design of this controller exceeded a lot of reviewers' expectations for its price. The knobs and buttons overall provide a solid feel and are ergonomically laid out. Many users were impressed with the Beatstep Pro’s connectivity and sequencing capabilities, which allowed them to use it to trigger drum machines, play synths with both vintage CV and new MIDI gear. Experts found its "Randomness" and "Probability" feature a great addition to change and determine random note patterns. They suggested that many live performers may find it useful for improvisation purposes. In Paul Nagle's Sound on Sound review, he mentioned it "provides most of what a random direction would, with the added bonus that it won’t mess up synchronization".
Although there were some reported issues regarding its firmware, Arturia has released an updated firmware on their website for bug fixes.
This is a good controller for live performers and those who work in studios, especially for those who want a versatile controller that works both with computers and other external hardware. We were recommending the BeatStep Pro until we performed a major review of the category in April 2019 when we discovered there were more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best MIDI Pad Controllers.