NAMM 2016 VIDEO: Arturia's KeyStep is both a MIDI keyboard and step sequencer

NAMM 2016: Arturia has both the BeatStep step sequencers and several MIDI keyboards in its range, so it was probably inevitable that a 'keyboard step sequencer' would emerge at some point. That point, it turns out, is now, for we now know that the KeyStep is on the way.

This, in a nutshell, is a 32-note USB keyboard with a polyphonic step sequencer, CV and MIDI connectivity, an arpeggiator and a chord mode. The velocity-sensitive keys are of the 'slim' type and respond to aftertouch, while the step sequencer has eight programmable memories. You can adjust gate times and swing settings on the fly, and record, overdub and transpose sequences in real time.

Features are below and you can learn more on the Arturia website. The KeyStep will be available in the Spring priced at €119/$149.

Arturia KeyStep features

  • 32-key keyboard allowing to control software instruments via USB, hardware expanders via USB and MIDI, analogue gear via CV
  • Slimkey keybed with velocity and aftertouch
  • Arpeggiator types: Up, down, inclusive, exclusive, random, note order, double up, double down modes
  • Sequencer mode: 8 polyphonic step-sequences with Rest, Tie, and Legato note entry
  • Rate control and tap tempo: REC, PLAY, and STOP buttons for performance control over the sequencer and arpeggiator
  • Sustain HOLD button
  • Sustain pedal jack
  • Chord play mode
  • SHIFT button selection: MIDI channel selection, GATE time, SWING values
  • DC jack for standalone operation
  • USB MIDI connects to computers and our MCC editor
  • MIDI in/out ports
  • Sync i/o ports: Supports 1 pulse per step, 2 PPQ (Korg Volca), 24 PPQ DIN sync, 48 PPQ DIN sync
  • Sync select switches: Internal, USB, MIDI, Clock
  • CV/GATE outputs: CV supports 1Volt per octave, Volt>Hz modes, Gate output 5V or 12V for
  • modern or vintage gear support. CV Velo/Aftertouch/Modwheel output
  • Capacitive-touch pitch bend and mod wheels
  • Each sequence can have 64 steps, each step can have up to 8 notes
  • Low power; can be powered by Apple iPad® (camera connection kit required)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.