In the spirit of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Arturia take their much-loved keyboard sequencer and gives it a shot in the arm with new firmware and new colour. Introducing Arturia’s KeyStep Pro Chroma.
The Arturia KeyStep Pro has been an incredible success for the company. Capitalising on the huge resurgence of modular in the form of Eurorack, the KeyStep Pro, and its derivatives, have somewhat cornered the market. Resplendent with numerous controls and connections, it is the centre of many musicians’ rigs.
KeyStep to Success
Building on the success of the BeatStep Pro, the KeyStep Pro gave us 4 tracks of polyphonic sequencing and a 16-part drum channel. All of this hooks up via either numerous CV or MIDI connections on the rear. On the surface, there are a good number of knobs, buttons and displays and a pretty decent mini 3-octave keyboard. It’s easy to see why the KeyStep Pro has been such a success and an almost omnipotent presence on the live modular scene.
Now we have KeyStep Pro Chroma. What does this new version bring to the table?
On The Surface
First up, there’s the new dark grey case. There’s already a black version of the KeyStep Pro but that doesn’t have the new bright blue LEDs. You might also notice the absence of those coloured areas around the four track control buttons. This is because the new firmware allows the user to customise their own track colours. This is done via the button’s LEDs. The knobs feature, in Arturia’s words, “a new, stylish design”.
Under The Hood
Inside, there are a few useful enhancements that go beyond mere cosmetics. Users can now send Program Changes per pattern and per MIDI track. The transpose function can now be latched. Pressing Shift and Track number now allows for quick, track-specific changes to settings. There’s also the ability to determine a fixed velocity for pressed keys and triggered notes.
The new firmware is pre-installed on the KeyStep Pro Chroma and is available for free to all existing KeyStep Pro owners. They can get this via Arturia’s MIDI Control Center.
Arturia’s KeyStep Pro Chroma is available from today in the U.S. and Asia and from mid-December in Europe. Price will be $457.00 USD / €499.00 EUR.
- Arturia KeyStep Pro Chroma: Arturia
- Arturia KeyStep Pro Chroma Rear: Arturia