The main additions are a polyrhythm mode, a roller/arpeggio function, the ability to save pattern chains, octave randomisation, pad-based step editing and the widely-demanded Korg Volca compatibility.
The new features will no doubt be useful for live performers, and can be activated quickly and easily. To further help you with the new functions Arturia has produced a hi-res PDF cheat sheet, which can be downloaded from the webpage.
The polyrhythm mode for the drum sequencer allows you to define different sequence lengths for each of its 16 tracks.
The Roller/Arpeggio feature uses the same touch strip as the Looper and can be switched over at the touch of a few keystrokes. Whether you’re on a drum track or one of the sequencer tracks, you will be able to create rolls and arpeggios with the touch strip and some pad combinations.
As for saving pattern chains, well get ready for a bit of brain hurt, as this could get mathematical. Each of the 16 projects onboard the Beatstep Pro can contain up to 16 scenes, with each scene allowing you to chain up to 16 patterns for each of the three sequencers. Following us so far? Doesn’t matter; basically there’s a lot of potential for some in-depth song structuring.
Next up is the Octave Randomization mode, which does exactly what you’d expect. With the Randomness feature on, the pitches of your active steps will only be shifted up or down one or several octaves, achieving that fine balance between a random and musical output.
Speeding up your workflow is key with this firmware update, and none more present is the newly added pad-based step editing function. Instead of editing the steps of your sequences one-by-one using the knobs, you can now hold a pad to define the pitch and push the step buttons to say when this note will be played.
By popular demand, Arturia has introduced better integration with the Korg Volcas. The update enables more robust synchronisation courtesy of a new and improved clock format between the BeatStep Pro and the Volcas’ own sequencers.
Making the most out of the Volca Sample, you will now be able to customise the MIDI channel for each track of the Drum sequencer independently from the others. This will also enable you to build complex setups in which the BeatStep Pro Drum sequencer will control several instruments at a time.
For more information on how to get the most out of the free update to your BeatStep Pro, head on over to the Arturia website.
Additional enhancements in version 2.0
- The velocity CV outputs can now be rescaled to comply more effectively with the greatest number of devices & modules
- When using the looper by holding the touchstrip, you can now move the starting point of the loop simply by pushing one of the step buttons
- Clear individual tracks of the Drum sequencer by holding [SHIFT] plus pushing the step button  and then pressing one of the pads
- Drum sequencer also allows you to tie steps which can be very effective when using some tracks to trigger sustained notes or samples
- Global Tempo Mode allows you to keep the same tempo when switching from a project to another
- Improved stability and accuracy of the sequencer, reducing the jitter to an imperceptible level