Is Keystep the best?

I see a lot of Elektron demos of the Digitone being used with they Keystep, but there seems to be a million and one MIDI keyboard controllers out there. Is the consensus that the Keystep is the best all around combination of functionality and small footprint to use with the Digitone and Digitakt?

A lot of the keyboards with a similar footprint and price don’t have DIN MIDI. For me that was a must to have. Plus the built in seq, arp, and sync for POs/Volcas is pretty unique.


I was going to get a Keystep but I was put off by the fact that it’s only 32 keys. I ended up with a Reface DX. Midi ports on a breakout cable, 37 key, great action, and you get a nice synth as a bonus. The CS is pretty good too. More expensive than the keystep, but it’s an option to consider.


I have a keystep I’ll be willing to sell if anyone’s interested

I really like it that it does CV (v/oct, gate, but also modulation wheel) in the same time as MIDI.
I have been layering A4 and 0-Coast with this and got amazing sounds out of it :slight_smile:


It wins if CV is important, but my fingers could not agree with the design and spacing of its keyboard, and so I passed it on to a friend.

Instead I’m using a Korg Monologue, and for some reason its mini keyboard does not bother me. It doesn’t do CV, but it does MIDI well, and it’s a pretty decent tone generator and sequencer too. It’s small, cheap, and can run on batteries

I still have an Op-lab in the cupboard if I ever need to do MIDI-to-CV.


It was the cheapest keyboard I could find with actual 5pin DIN midi which is why I grabbed it. Kinda wish I had the Beatstep or Beat step pro for the DT instead as it seems more practical but I’m happy. It does what I need, no more, no less.

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It’s connectable to anything and the sequencer is awesome.
I’m not a fan of the keys. I often slide of the black keys with my fingers. They are quite small and the shape is a bit strange…

“is keystep the best ?” - certainly not !
it´s obvious that this one is not ment to “really” play keys.
the keys are there to put notes into the sequencer or use the arp.
what makes that little thing so attractive for so many people is the
combination of DIN MIDI, CV, and that nice little sequencer/arp.
such sequencers had been in some synths decades ago, but they are not that usual.
this, the size and the nice price made that thing so successful.
perfect for demoing synths and stuff - as you can see watching random namm 2018 videos, lol.
it´s very limited when it comes to control options and playability (octave range) but fun for sure.


Is it black?


Kinda weird that it starts on F… maybe it makes no difference in the approach / way of playing. I dig how the Monologue starts on E.

The best? Not for me. Bought it and returned it.

I went for Samson Graphite 49. Mainly because of midi control. One template has like 16 pots, 18 sliders, 16 buttons and 8 pads. Switching is fast, see everything on screen. Has both 5pin midi out and USB.
Very basic midi assignment, but does the job.
I don’t lug it around.

It depends…

The small footprint and all the functionality is great, but with my Digitone i actually prefer a larger Keyboard. But e.g. for my MS20M or Peak the Keystep is perfect.

I’m wondering if to purchase the Keystep to use with a Digitakt and a JP-08. I see it everywhere and seems to be really good… the only thing holding me back is a bad experience with previous Arturia products in the shape of the SparkLe, it was the most buggy piece of software I have ever encountered. Reviews for the Keystep are generally positive, but there is mention of odd behaviours and crashes… how stable is the firmware in your opinion? Is the sequencer and arpeggiator really worth it? Or should I just go for something like the Swissonic 49 on Thomman?

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Same. The keybed is super great, as I’ve mentioned before on this forum.

I tried the Keystep in store, and the keybed just seems cheap and spongy in comparison. Great features though. If I didn’t already have the KMI QuNexus for CV I’d probably have to get one.

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I love my Keystep for the smart sequenceringy thingy and connectivity. I also use it as a midi channel swapper - [shift+key] easy! Smart device.
Reface CP for playing I like better. But hardly use it for playing, our piano has a midi connection so … that’s the real not so portable deal.

I stopped taking gear with me on all vacations, less worries. I listen to silence instead and nature - receptive senses, etc.
Family happy, me happy.
Recharged for fresh soundwork or ready to finish things that are overdue.

Have a good trip!

PS: a small often local instrument I’ll buy on the spot or a few LP’s … it never really ends. :smiley:

PPS: Got mixed up with the VACATION post… good trips anyway :grin:

Most retailers are sold out of the Keystep. Surprised such a low price and useful product is so hard to get ahold of.

I would get a Keystep for the synths and a Beatstep for the drum sequencer features.