Future Music|August 2020
CONTACT WHO: Source Distribution WEB: arturia.com KEY FEATURES Four-track controller/sequencer, with arp and drum sequencing modes. I/O: MIDI in, MIDI out x2, 8x drum gate outs, 4x CV voices w/ pitch, gate and mod/velocity outs, clock in/out/reset, USB, sustain in
Between their ‘Step’ and ‘Lab’ devices, Arturia have come to have a pretty broad range of controllers these days, ranging from the simple, budget-friendly MicroLab MIDI keyboard to the multi-format sequencing tools of the BeatStep Pro. Now the KeyStep Pro arrives to fill one of the few remaining gaps in that line-up; combining the cross-format analogue and digital sequencing of the BeatStep with a 37-note keyboard making it that bit better suited to melodic work.
As with the BeatStep Pro, the feature highlight here is the comprehensive range of ins-and-outs. On the MIDI front, the controller comes equipped with two outputs and one input, along with a USB port for two-way MIDI and DAW control. These are joined by a quartet of CV voices, each with pitch, gate and velocity/modulation outputs. On the analogue side, the KeyStep Pro also features eight drum trigger outputs, along with analogue clock in, out and reset out ports. The back panel connections are rounded out by a metronome output and a sustain pedal input.
It’s a pretty comprehensive range of control options, particularly given that the KeyStep Pro is relatively compact – with a length of just under 60cm and depth around 20cm, the controller is small enough to transport easily and doesn’t hog too much desk space. Of course, the flipside to that convenience is that there’s obviously not enough space to cram a full-sized 37-note keyboard in. While the KeyStep Pro’s mini keys feel nice enough in use, and are equipped with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity, they’re still likely to be too compact to please serious players.
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