Arturia Beatstep Sequencer

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    • #140228
      BarneyBrown
      Participant

      I’ve done a bit more research on this and it seems the Beatstep CV is in-fact sending out a range of 2v to 7v, not the 0V to 7v as stated in the manual!

      I think this explains why I can’t reach the lower end of the range set on the hotknob.

      If that’s the case, I think the only fix is to somehow attenuate the CV signal by 2v before it reaches the H9’s expession jack. I have no idea how to do that though. Is a cheap fix possible?

      I have no idea if Arturia intend to fix this issue. They really should, or at least alter their written documentation accordinly.

      An alternative fix would be for Eventide pedals to receive MIDI NOTE messages. Again, not sure how feasible this would be/plus how useful it would be for pedal users.

    • #112785
      BarneyBrown
      Participant

      Hey guys,

      I just bought a second-hand Arturia BeatStep Sequencer.

      It works really well as a controller for my H9, by assigning midi CC messages to the knobs.

      BUT, I’m having issues using the SEQUENCER function to control my H9. Some assistance on this would be much appreciated.

      First, I tried MIDI out; I was hoping the sequencer would be sending out midi CC data but instead I think it’s using midi NOTE data so I’ve ruled out using midi for now.

      Instead, I’m focusing on how I can use the Beatstep’s CV output, by linking the CV output to the H9’s expression jack.

      The h9 is successfully receiving the Beatstep’s CV data but I’m having some issues. I’ll explain using an example, say I’m using the Hamodulator algorithm. I’ve assigned Pitch-A to the Hotknob, with a Min-value of -2oct and a Max-value of +2oct. When I turn the knob on the beatstep that controls a single step of the sequencer I can’t access this full range, instead I can only access -M14 to +2oct. I also can’t access all of the values between that range.

      Does anyone understand why this might be? Is there a potential work-around?

      I understand the H9 expression jack works as it received between 0-3V.

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      The electrical signal sent by the Beatstep is: (Control Voltage: 1 Volt/octave, from 0V to 7V).

      Is this discrepancy the cause of my issues?

      There’s also a gate output of 8v on the Beatstep but I’ve not experimented with that.

      Eagerly awaiting your replies.

       

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    • #140230
      DGillespie
      Moderator
      Eventide Staff

      Hi Barney,

       

      Try calibrating your expression pedal (instructions in the manual) using the beatstep, then try it.  This might fix the minium 2V issue.

      Dan

       

    • #140232
      BarneyBrown
      Participant

      Excellent. It looks like the calibration procedure has cured the 2v issue – as I now have access to the full range allocated to the Hot Switch. Thanks a lot Dan – that’s brilliant!

      So after calibrating, it looks like the BeatStep divides/maps this range into 16 steps or so. If I use the sequencer to control MIX for example (with a range from 0 to 100) I can access multiples of 6 or 7. Alternatively, if I use a Pitch parameter I can access two whole diatonic octaves or 1.5 chromatic octaves. This is fine for most applications I planned to use it for.

      Not sure how this sort of resolution compares to the Electro-Harmonix 8 Step. Brock, any ideas?

       

      • #140239
        brock
        Participant
        BarneyBrown wrote:
        Excellent. It looks like the calibration procedure has cured the 2v issue – as I now have access to the full range allocated to the Hot Switch. Thanks a lot Dan – that’s brilliant!



        You got that right.  So simple, but a brilliant application.  My Thinking-Outside-The-Box nominee for 2015.

        BarneyBrown wrote:
        So after calibrating, it looks like the BeatStep divides/maps this range into 16 steps or so. If I use the sequencer to control MIX for example (with a range from 0 to 100) I can access multiples of 6 or 7. Alternatively, if I use a Pitch parameter I can access two whole diatonic octaves or 1.5 chromatic octaves. This is fine for most applications I planned to use it for.

        Not sure how this sort of resolution compares to the Electro-Harmonix 8 Step. Brock, any ideas?

        Probably more than you ever want to know, BarneyBrown.  wink

        In the EHX, there is a limitation on how exacting you can be with the physical faders.  In practice, it’s not that noticeable, unless I’m getting all OCD over precise numbers.  There’s also a Glide adjustment between Steps to smooth out those in-between values.  You can easily overcome all of that by ‘programming’ each slider over MIDI, at a resolution of 128 values (sent).  Do it once, save as one of a hundred presets, and that’s that.

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        But resolution is a double-edged sword.  Since it’s driving the expression input, you’re distributing those 128 values over a 0-100 curve for the expression range.  If I want a 1:1 relationship between transmitter & receiver, I go direct with MIDI CC to a specific parameter (or set of parameters).  If I need even finer resolution than that, I translate the message to Pitch Bend (MSB/LSB).  That works very well with incrementing pitch parameters within a few cents or so (but it does have ‘return to center’ issues).

        I should try out some CV experiments here, but it’ll still boil down to how finely the source device breaks down the 5 volt (or whatever) range.  You’re getting 7-step increments, so that’s a little coarse.  As you said, in most cases, that won’t hamper you too badly.  Hey, you’re sequencing any (or multiple) parameter, and that becomes an a whole new instrument in itself.  Work within the limits of the source device.

        My workflow is usually like this:

        • Set the minimum and maximum range for selected parameters in H9 Control.
        • Fine-tune exact target values in H9 Control with CTRL + mouse wheel (Windows).
        • Program in a pattern  – or sequence of pattern presets  – in the 8 Step Program to match.
        • Save to a common Program Change in both devices.
        • Min & Max values in one device are always going to correspond to Min & Max values in the other device.
        • I can’t change the ‘curve’ of values in the H9/Pitchfactor, so I make some EHX Glide adjustments (not a perfect solution).

        Before the 8 Step Program, I used to do all of this with MIDI.  Now, it’s about half & half.  MIDI or expression pedal  –  each method has its own advantages & disadvantages.  So I use whatever works best for the situation.  I run an expression pedal though the EHX – usually set to Depth – so a foot override is always available.  I’m thinking of replacing the Roland EV-5 there with a Source Audio Reflex.  Awesome expression pedal implementation.  But I’m really not that certain it’s going to bring very much to the table that I can’t do already with the 8 Step Program + MIDI.

        If you’re working a parameter that has – say, 16, or 29 possible values – resolution on either end usually isn’t an issue.  But when you start talking Pitch in cents, or Delay in millseconds, there can be hundreds or thousands of possible values.  Some of those values … you’re never going to hit them; no matter what you use as a source.  Eventide maps these values over a formula ‘curve’.  I’ve charted MIDI value-by-value through most of of the PitchFactor algorithms and parameters.  It’s a different distribution for every (not duplicated) parameter, depending on the number of possible parameter positions.

        As you can tell, I put an inordinate amount of thought into the resolution of my system components.

        Well, you did ask if I had any ideas on the subject …

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    • #140242
      st.bede
      Member

      Brock, thank you very much. I have decided to purchase an 8 step and a ES-8 to set up a totally self indulgent pedalboard.

      • #140249
        brock
        Participant
        st.bede wrote:
        Brock, thank you very much. I have decided to purchase an 8 step and a ES-8 to set up a totally self indulgent pedalboard.

        Uh, oh.  Now I’m spreading around my own G.A.S. addiction.  I don’t think you’ll regret it, st. bede.  I consider the 8 Step Program to be one of my most versatile purchases.  And it often gets paired with my most versatile purchase [H9].

        I like gear that’ll grow with your understanding of it.  The 8 Step is a problem-solver.  It adds features that you’d like to have in your other pedals.  Just lately, I’ve been programming a number of ‘Time Modulation’ presets for the H9.  They will work with a common expression pedal, but they really come to life with expression pedal ‘LFOs’ (like the Source Audio Reflex, or 8 Step).

        There’s a bit of a typo above that I can’t edit.  It should read “CTRL + mouse movement” for fine-tuning in Windows H9 Control.

        BarneyBrown, I’ve since thought of a possibility for the Beatstep.  If it is capable of sending all 128 MIDI Notes (and I don’t know either way), you could translate those to a MIDI CC value range of 0-127.  It’d require something like MIDI Solutions’ Event Processor.  I have one mounted out of the way under my pedalboard.

        In one scenario, I use it to ‘program’ harmonies from a small, 25-key MIDI controller, or stream harmony changes from a hardware MIDI sequencer.  It’s not much more cost-effective than the 8 Step Program, though.  Both devices have extremely deep capabilities, but in two completely different areas of expertise.

         

         

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    • #140259
      st.bede
      Member

      OMG… I am floored… source audio reflex… I will be selling my Mission Control exp pedal now.

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