Implied by name, the KeyStep Controller & Sequencer sports a newly-designed polyphonic step sequencer with eight programmable memories, recallable at the touch of a knob. Cleverly choose Gate times (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90%) and Swing settings (Off, 53%, 55%, 57%, 59%, 61%, 64%, 67%, 73%, and 75%) instantly to change the feel of the sequenced performance on the fly. Furthermore, Arturia also added an ability to record, overdub, and transpose sequences in realtime while still playing the keyboard live. Last, but not least, adding an Arp Mode (with eight arpeggiator pattern styles — 1 / Up, 2 / Dwn, 3 / Inc, 4 / Exc , 5 / Rand, 6 / Order, 7 / Up x2, and 8 / Dwn x2) and Chord play mode (for setting chords and playing them back with a single note or via the Arp Mode making chord-based arpeggiations a breeze) means many hours of musical adventures always lie ahead for any user of any ability, putting them ahead of the game. A dream come true!
These features alone should surely make the KeyStep Controller & Sequencer the best portable keyboard controller currently on the market. But Arturia has seen fit to take things several steps further forward with a wealth of connectivity options for communicating with the outside world. Whatever electronic instruments you may own, the KeyStep Controller & Sequencer has got you covered (and connected). USB MIDI (to connect to computers and Arturia’s MCC editor)? Of course! Standard MIDI IN and OUT? Check! SYNC IN and OUT (supporting 1 pulse per step, 2 PPQ, 24 PPQ DIN Sync, and 48 PPQ DIN Sync)? Yes! Yet there’s still room on that slender rear panel to comfortably accommodate GATE and PITCH CV OUTPUTS (supporting 5V or 12V and 1V/oct or Hz/V, respectively) alongside a separate, assignable MOD (modulation) output that can be used with the Mod (modulation) capacitive-touch strip, velocity, or aftertouch. And there’s still space for a SUSTAIN pedal input connector (for adding a sustain pedal)! Simply said, the KeyStep Controller & Sequencer is an amazing little controller. Then again, saying that is not saying enough!
Enough is never enough, in fact, for KeyStep’s deceptively sparse front panel packs in many more productive performance controls, including a Hold button (allowing for sustain pedal operation); Shift button (for setting Keyboard MIDI CH and the Gate and Swing times of the sequencer and arpeggiator); Oct- and Oct+ Transpose buttons; capacitive-touch Mod (modulation) strip; Rate knob and Tap button (to tap the tempo or enter rests and note ties in Seq Mode); record, play, and stop transport buttons (for enabling and disabling the sequencer or arpeggiator, using the record button to record step-time sequences or realtime overdubs)… suffice to say, KeyStep is the perfect performance controller in a compact package. Pack one to go and let it take you wherever your music needs to go!