The developers at Arturia just released a massive firmware update for the Beatstep Pro, which makes it one of the most powerful hardware sequencers available. As well as expected improvements and fixes, Arturia have added powerful new features in this free 2.0 update.
Let's start by looking at the big one: polyrhythm mode. This mode lets you define different sequence lengths for each of the 16 tracks. Here it is in action:
Next up is the new Roller/Arpeggio feature. If you're familiar with the touch strip on the DrumBrute you already know how cool this is. Basically, you can use the Beatstep Pro's touch strip to repeat the selected sound at different resolutions depending on where your finger is placed. If youb hold multiple pads then you'll get an arpeggio!
Here is the roller/arpeggio in action:
Next up is pattern chaining and saving chains. As Arturia explain, "each of your 16 projects can contains up to 16 scenes each allowing to chain up to 16 patterns for each of the 3 sequencers. Now if you are more into music than mathematics, this can be summed up as tremendous advantages for live performances." See this in action:
There's loads more the new Beatstep Pro 2.0 update can do. Octave randomization is designed to add some unpredictablility to your music while still letting you maintain control of the rhythmic or melodic direction. Basically this mode shifts the pitches of your active steps up or down one or several octaves.
Pad-based Step Edition makes it faster than ever to edit the pitch of steps. Check this and Octave Randomization out in the video below:
Feeling breathless yet? Well, there's still one more big feature left to explore with the Beatstep Pro 2.0 update... and this one will please a lot of people out there: Korg volca compatability. There is "a new clock format to ensure a perfect synchronization of the BeatStep Pro with the Volca built in sequencers. From now on, you will also be able to customize the MIDI channel for each track of the Drum sequencer independently from the others. This will allow you to make the most of the Volca Sample but also to build complex setups where the BeatStep Pro Drum sequencer will control several instruments at a time."
OK. There are more enhancements with Beatstep Pro 2.0! Here's a short list of them:
- 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.
- You can now clear individually the tracks of the Drum sequencer by holding [SHIFT] plus pushing the step button  and then pressing one of the pads.
- From now on, the Drum sequencer also allows you to tie steps which can be very effective when using some tracks to trigger sustained notes or samples.
- The Global Tempo Mode is another interesting feature from a performance perspective that allows you to keep the same tempo when switching from a project to another.
- Last but not least, we improved even more the stability and accurateness of the sequencer reducing the jitter to an imperceptible level.