Redefining the Portable Keyboard Experience
KeyStep is a new breed of portable musical tool combining the functionalities of a keyboard controller with a polyphonic step sequencer to control both analog and digital devices.
You need a portable USB MIDI controller but also want a keyboard that provides a musical playing experience? You have some MIDI modules you want to connect as well but don’t want the footprint of a large keyboard? You have modular and analog gear you want to control via CV/GATEs? You want a step sequencer with polyphonic capability that can sync to your favorite modern and vintage gear? If only a single piece of gear could do all of this…
It’s the touch...
The KeyStep controller does all this and more.
We started by designing our own “slim key” keyboard action, balancing the best features of compact mini-keys with the musicality of full-sized keys into this new keybed. The size, velocity and aftertouch of this new design provide the freedom of portability without sacrificing playability.
We also designed a new polyphonic step-sequencer with 8 programmable memories that you can recall at the turn of knob. You can choose gate times and swing settings instantly to change the feel of your sequenced performance on the fly. We also included the ability to record, overdub, and transpose your sequences in real time and still play the keyboard live.
Add a flexible and fun arpeggiator mode and chord play mode and you are set for hours of musical adventures.
...and the possibilities
These features alone would make KeyStep the best portable keyboard controller on the market. But we take it further by giving you a wealth of connectivity options: USB MIDI (of course), standard MIDI in and out (check), clock sync and DIN sync jacks (yes!), and CV/GATE outputs, plus a separate, assignable modulation CV output that can be used with the mod wheel, velocity or aftertouch. To say KeyStep is an amazing little controller does not say enough.
Keystep is the perfect performance controller in a compact package.
Adapts to your setup!
KeyStep was imagined and designed to become the modern musician’s trump-card.
Whatever your setup, KeyStep will merge into it to overdrive your workflow and effectiveness. With KeyStep and its range of connections you can control any digital or analog synthesizer from the past, today and even tomorrow. Sequence them all!
KeyStep: One objective meeting yours
Sometimes, simplicity is the key to efficiency and the best way to materialize an idea into a sonic result. The design of the KeyStep is based entirely on this vision. Going straight to the point, skating over the constraints and letting musicians focus on their art are KeyStep’s ambitions. Whether your setup is analog or digital, KeyStep will allow you to reach a whole new level of control and creativity.
Versatility is key
KeyStep is made to widen the potential of your setup, regardless of what instruments compose it. It is compatible with practically all existing synthesizers, either analog or digital, hardware or software.
CV for enthousiasts
The three CV outputs send pitch and gate signals along with velocity, aftertouch or mod. ribbon signal to control an analog instrument or module.
Digital & Analog
The MIDI DIN output can be used to control any MIDI hardware instrument while the USB connection allows you to control your plugins and virtual instruments.
Sustain or not sustain...
KeyStep also integrates a socket for a sustain pedal, sync input and output to follow or send a clock signal, and MIDI input to use an external keyboard or use KeyStep as a MIDI to CV converter.
Never before has a portable keyboard controller incorporated this quantity of features.
Having many devices, many plugins and many modules is a pleasure. Nobody makes secret of it. However, few things are more frustrating than accumulating instruments without being fully able to use them. KeyStep allows you to regain control over your instruments.
KeyStep is loaded with features aimed at boosting your creative freedom. A 32-slimkey keybed with velocity and aftertouch, an 8-mode arpeggiator, a polyphonic sequencer with up to 64 steps and 8 simultaneous notes per step.
Like its brothers BeatStep and BeatStep Pro, KeyStep is representative of a new breed of portable controller allowing musicians to free themselves from their computer, in particular in live conditions.
KeyStep is all about spontaneity and immediacy, strengthening the link that musicians can experience with their performance and their public. Each feature has been thought out to match live artists hopes and needs including real-time sequence rewriting, smart sequence-swapping function and simultaneous playing/sequencing.
KeyStep will give an unprecedented magnitude to your live sessions.
Three modes of operation
In Sequencer mode you can record, play and transpose a polyphonic sequence with up to 64 steps and 8 simultaneous notes per step. Sequencer mode also allows you to rewrite in real-time your sequence and even to play and sequence simultaneously on two different MIDI channels.
The arpegiattor allows you to play each note of a chord consecutively instead of simultaneously. The eight possible playing directions and the Time Division knob will enable the creation of complex and mazy melodies.
KeyStep stands up to most of the bigger keyboard controllers thanks to its prolific array of features including a custom 32-slim-key keybed with velocity and aftertouch, highly reactive pitch and modulation capacitive ribbons and above all the possibility of controlling almost every type of synthesizer by MIDI and CV.
All the controls you need
Careful thought went into the layout of the front panel and the selection of the rear panel connections. Here’s a brief description of each section:
|1. Slimkey Keybed||32-note keyboard, designed by Arturia with velocity and aftertouch|
|2. Sequencer/Arpeggiator||Polyphonic step-sequencer with 8 memories or Arpeggiator mode with 8 pattern styles|
|3. HOLD button||Top panel HOLD button allows for sustain pedal operation|
|4. Chord Play mode||Set chords and then play them back with a single note. Can also be used in Arpeggiator mode for chord arpeggiations|
|5. Performance controls||Capacitive-touch pitch bend and modulation strips|
|6. Octave shift buttons||Transposes the keyboard up or down multiple octaves|
|7. SHIFT button||Allows for setting MIDI channel and the Gate and Swing times of the arpeggiator and sequencer|
|8. Transport buttons||Enable and disable the arpeggiator or sequencer. Use the REC button to record sequences in step-time or do real-time overdubs|
|9. Tap button||Tap the tempo or use it to enter rests and note ties in sequencer mode|
|10. USB||The USB port allows for standard class-compliant bus-powered operation. Connect an optional USB power adaptor to use KeyStep in a standalone situation|
|11. CV/GATEs||1 volt per octave CV/GATE outputs. A separate MOD output allows you even more possibilities|
|12. Sustain pedal input||Input connector for adding a sustain pedal|
|13. Sync||Clock input and output can work with standard square wave clocks. Using our DIN adaptor cable, you can set the KeyStep to send or receive DIN sync with stop/start messages|
|14. MIDI in/out||Connect and sync KeyStep to any DAW or hardware MIDI equipment|
|15. Sync mode selectors||Allow you to select the clock source: Internal, USB, MIDI or Sync input|
- Arturia’s own Slimkey keybed with velocity and aftertouch
- Arpeggiator mode: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)
- KeyStep Black: comes with 3 x CV cables