Using Arturia's BeatStep Pro with VCV Rack


(Omri Cohen) #1

A couple of weeks ago, I bought the BeatStep Pro from Arturia, as a companion for the Neutron I got. Little did I know how powerful the BeatStep Pro is, and how versatile it is, especially when combined also with VCV Rack. The BeatStep Pro can send MIDI-CC to VCV Rack, controlling all sorts of parameters within VCV Rack, It has 2 melodic sequencers with very nice features like velocity and randomness, and they can be assigned and control multiple voices in VCV Rack, and it also has a very powerful drum sequencer, that has the ability to have different sequence length for the different voices, adding polyrhythmic aspects to a patch, and the drum sequencer can also drive other sequencers, inside VCV Rack.
In this video, I start by showing how to sync the BeatStep Pro with VCV Rack, and then I go section by section and utilize the different features of the BeatStep Pro in VCV Rack.


(Lars Bjerregaard) #2

Excellent tutorial Omri, thanks a bunch! I have gearlust now :sweat: One question: Does the clocksync method via audio interface, which you used in the demo, not require a DC-coupled audio interface?


(Omri Cohen) #3

Thanks, Lars! I also commented on YouTube, but I will comment again here :slight_smile: One does not need a DC Coupled interface for this method. You just send an audio signal to vcv, that’s it, this is a “normal” pulse wave. And yes, The BeatStep Pro is really fun and intuitive, so if you’re looking for something to enhance your tactile experience with rack, this is a good, and not expansive, option. And don’t forget that the BeatStep Pro is a hardware sequencer, so it works also really well with other hardware… And no, I’m not working with Arturia, I didn’t get it from them for free or making payed advertisement, this is my honest opinion :slight_smile:


(Lars Bjerregaard) #4

Thanks for replying Omri. I guess that means the clock square wave sent from the BSP is a bipolar signal then. It’s obviously a very low frequency signal and I guess I’m just slightly surprised that a normal audio interface will let such a signal in. Would have thought there’s some kind of filter in the inputs of these things but I guess not. Is this a “named/official standard” in the hardware world or just something that happens to work, do you know? Thanks!


(Omri Cohen) #5

That’s a really good point. The lowest BPM available is 30BPM, which means 0.5Hz. I guess that there is a high pass filter on the audio interface that filters everything below 20Hz, so it is quite peculiar that a frequency this low can go through without any problem. you can see also the waveform on the scope. This is coming directly from my interface, which is a very simple one, nothing fancy. The signal is quite weak, but it’s enough for Clocked. By the way, I can also send an LFO from the Neutron to VCV… I guess that this stuff works because they’re alternating and not direct (pitch information and such), but going past the filter is a different story…