The Arturia KeyStep is a popular controller keyboard with the analogue and modular synth crowd thanks to its CV outputs — that crowd is currently salivating over the new KeyStep Pro that’s just been released (more on that to come). But even though it’s a few years old now, the original Arturia KeyStep absolutely still holds up as a fantastic USB class compliant MIDI controller option, ideal for use with mobile iOS and Android devices. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s still one of the best wired controllers on the market for a few reasons:
- USB class compliant means it’s super simple to setup
- The on-board sequencer is endlessly fun and great for jamming out new ideas
- the 32-keys are velocity and aftertouch sensitive, a rarity in this price bracket and fantastic for use with iOS synthesisers
- it’s very affordable
- while compact and light, it still feels like a sturdy piece of equipment
You might think it’s a funny time to be looking at devices for mobile use (if you’re reading this from the future, we’re currently in Stage 3 Corona virus lockdown, so myself and the Noisegate team are working from our homes), but it’s been incredibly valuable for me mentally to be able to move my music-making around the house. I’m currently working from my home studio which is both a blessing and a curse — it’s a whole lot of time spent sitting in a single room — the cabin fever is real!
Here’s a little video demo of how I use the KeyStep with my iPad.