My Arturia BeatStep Controller Review
Founded in Grenoble, France, in 1999, Arturia specialises in the development of music software and hardware for professional and amateur musicians.
They create original and different instruments, imagine new experiences and reinvent products.
My Initial Thoughts
If I had to think of one word to describe Arturia BeatStep, it would be: versatility.
It comes with many easy to use features that do not require you to reread the manual a dozen times.
This makes it a good buy for beginners. Still, its intuitive design and flexibility can provide great value to the veteran users as well.
In the review, we will first go through the basics you should know about the synth. After that, we will delve more into its defining traits.
In the end, I will summarize my personal verdict on the synth.
So, let's start with the basics first.
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Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
The BeatStep synth is made by Arturia.
They are an established music company famous for their reliable electronic music instruments. Specifically, they are known for building one of the best synths on the market.
Their synths follow a tradition of high-quality building standards. That also gives you an additional boost when choosing to buy their product.
The quality is immediately visible when examining the build of the BeatStep synthesizer. It is compact and portable, yet it still has that premium build feel to it.
Moreover, it comes with rubber buttons and responsive drum pads which are very enjoyable to use.
The pads react perfectly when pressed. In addition, they come with four adjustable velocity settings to best suit your sensitivity preference.
BeatStep synthesizer also has no trouble working with a variety of devices - tablets, PCs and MIDI hardware. It is powered by a USB cable which connects the synth to the device.
Advanced Features and Performance
First of all, this synth comes with a controller and a sequencer. By pushing the designated button, you can quickly switch between them. Different colors indicate different active modes.
This approach makes switching easy. Also, you can always see which one is the active one.
The synth also includes a shift key which is used to switch between the available functions on the device.
Some of them are the sequence, scale, direction, and speed.
Furthermore, MIDI adapter is also included to allow the connection with MIDI devices. Unfortunately, MIDI input is not available on the BeatStep.
Nevertheless, BeatStep does offer another fantastic feature for newbies.
It comes with preset controllers and note arrangements. That allows you to start composing right away.
This option can help you learn particular notes. Moreover, it provides you with a great starting point for your own creative work.
The sequencer included is a classic.
It uses blue pads as a step mute button and the encoders for pitch adjustment.
Finally, making your own patterns is easy and flexible.
By using the direction option, you can move the playback forward and backward.
In addition, you could even set any combination of those two options.
Pros & Cons of BeatStep
Compatible with various drum softwares
Instinctive controls which allow you to work comfortably
Premium build that is sturdy and durable
Comfortable rubber pads that react to your touch perfectly
Elementary Step Controls
Step pitch is hard to tune, beginners might have difficulty
Lacks MIDI input
It is not possible to adjust the velocity of the patterns
My Final Thoughts
If you consider everything, Arturia BeatStep offers excellent value for its price. It has a lot of features, and it is rather easy to use.
Furthermore, this synth also has many useful pre-made solutions. Also, it comes with a MIDI controller, a drum programmer, and a sequencer.
It is perfect for those who need an easy way to produce music.
Moreover, it is also able to perform essential functions that are up to professional standards.