Arturia Keystep Keyboard

Unlike digital pianos or keyboards, MIDI keyboards are not made to function as an acoustic piano. Instead, they are for the more musically creative individual that wishes to twist and pull their sounds into new, unique experiences by using the keyboards array of controllers and features. An MIDI keyboard allows you to edit your performance in real-time without touching the original sound you recorder, which means that every time you want to edit your performance you won’t have to record the sound again.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer

What Does A MIDI Keyboard Feature?

Bearing in mind that a MIDI keyboard is such a unique tool, you will want one that suits your needs. Some are covered in various different controllers that while may look impressive, actually serve very little purpose. The hunt for the right keyboard for you can be very overwhelming, especially due to their increase in popularity, but there are a few simple functions that your MIDI keyboard has to have.

  • Controllers – As well as the piano-style keys, a MIDI keyboard also features an array of buttons, faders, knobs and sliders that are capable of transferring MIDI data to your software of choice. These controllers give you a more hands-on experience and let you have full control over the music and sounds you are creating. Take a look and make sure that these controllers are reassignable in order to suit your needs and preferences as a musician
  • Number of keys – This is entirely personal preference but keep in mind that the more keys your keyboard has the more space they will take up and the more expensive they will be. You also need to consider how important portability is to you. If it is very important then you may want to opt for a smaller keyboard.
  • Aftertouch – This is where the MIDI device picks up on data even after you have released the key due to pressure sensors. This can be a powerful control source and can develop a creative outcome if used correctly.
  • Sensor type – Most keyboards determine the sustain, release of a note based on two sensors in each key. However, some more expensive keyboards have triple sensors which typically improve tracking accuracy which result in a more expressive and accurate performance.
  • Pitch bend – This is a function that is provided on your keyboard that gives you the ability to bend the pitch of a note as you are playing it.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer

Is The KeyStep Worth My Money?

While Arturia’s KeyStep keyboard maybe be small, it is a very powerful instrument. Although this keyboard is small, it does feature 32 slim keys which offer you more range and other MIDI keyboards this size. With powerful aftertouch features, you are given more data to edit as you wish.

Not only does this keyboard let you express your creativity, but it also supports it through the use of MIDI and CV. Its multiple outputs allow you to connect all of your audio equipment such as virtual instruments or modular synth set up, meaning you can create new and unique sounds tailored to your taste.

This keyboard features two switchable modes:

  • An arpeggiator that allows you to play arpeggios in various modes and time divisions. This works in sync with your DAW and other gear.
  • A sequencer allows you to create and edit big patterns of up to 64 steps and up to 8 polyphony notes while keeping the controls of the arpeggiator.

An interactive polyphonic sequencer allows you to enter or erase notes in real-time, giving you to build up complex melodies on the spot without having to edit in a sound studio.

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Arturia recognises the importance of interconnectivity with your audio equipment so that you can syn any music you wish as to have everything performing perfectly together. That is why they give you multiple outputs including:

  • 3 CV outputs
  • Sync in and out
  • MIDI in and out
  • MIDI via USB

Due to is multiple, reliable functions, this is a piece of kit that sees itself in every major recording studio. A sleek, contemporary design gives the keyboard a luxurious feel while being very affordable.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer

Is Arturia Reliable?

Arturia is a community compromised or dedicated musicians and manufacturers. Seeing as they do not have an established name like Yamaha, they are able to explore and create new experiences, while being unafraid to reinvent their own products.

They combine computer software with traditional music technology to give each instrument a stable yet new feel. They understand that music is a creative industry which is why they have been so successful in their products, so successful in fact that you will see their products in high-end studios being used by major pop-stars.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer

Any Common Issues?

One issue that users found was that the small amount of knobs that were included on the keyboard are not reassignable. This would be fine if the number of controls wasn’t so limited. If you do not use the functions that are provided then there are very few other options. Whereas other slightly more expensive products have an array or reassignable controls.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer

Should I Buy This MIDI Keyboard?

This MIDI keyboard really does speak for itself. Its array of uses and ability to hook up to any other device that you own makes it a game-changer for any musician. It’s easy to set up which means that anyone can use it and can be creating music in no time. It’s portable and easy to carry size makes it ideal for making music on the go and can act as the perfect MIDI keyboard in any studio.

Keystep - Polyphonic Step Sequencing Keyboard Controller - Arturia | 32 Slim Keys, USB, MIDI, CV/GATE INPUT, Arpeggiator and Polyphonic Sequencer
  • 32 Slim-Key keyboard with velocity sensitivity
  • Powerful 64-step polyphonic (up to 8 notes per step) interactive sequencer
  • Also features in-built arpeggiator
  • Control MIDI, USB and CV and Gate-enabled equipment
  • Inspiring classic chord mode included