BeatStep Pro+Noise Engineering=Beat Engineering? Pro Noise?
Our favorite ways to use the BSP with our modules.
Let’s be real here: Pretty much everybody has a BeatStep Pro. We have a couple here at the office. They’re fun and easy to use! We wanted to share a few of our favorite ways of using them with our modules, from basic stuff like clocking and synchronization to more creative things. Read on to get the scoop!
Starting basic: Clocking
Obviously, when using something like the BSP, it’s handy to be able to synchronize other sequencers in your system to it. The BSP has a clock output which is all well and good, but did you know the clock out has a relatively unknown feature? If you patch a TRS to dual TS cable (like this one) to it, you’ll get clock on one channel and start/stop on the other, which you can use for reset signals. This means you can keep things like the Vox Digitalis or Numeric Repetitor, for instance, in perfect sync.
One thing you’ll need to configure
By default, the BSP’s minimum pitch CV is +2 volts. For some people (myself included), this is a bit confusing, because patching your sequencer to your oscillator transposes it up two octaves. However, there’s an easy fix: in the software configuration program, set the beatstep’s lowest pitch from C-2 to C0. That makes the lowest pitch output 0v and behave a bit more like most Eurorack sequencers.
On to the actual sequencing!
Sequencing pitched stuff
BSP has two channels of gate+pitch+CV sequencing. This is great, because it means we can create melodic sequences with on of our lovely NE voices, obviously. Something like the Manis Iteritas is a great choice because you can patch the pitch CV to Pitch, the Gate to Trig, and the Velocity to, well, anything. Remember, since this is modular, we have to manually patch the Velocity CV to something to make it do anything. My personal favorite place to patch it is Bash, because you can create these cool accents on top of your sequence by raising or lowering the velocity on each step. You could use something like Mimetic Sequent and its expander, Mimetic Multium, to record, modify, and randomize three copies of that modulation. You could also use the Velocity output to move a Mimetic Digitalis around like we talked about in our “MD for Presets” post, giving you even more flexibility and modulation options. Let’s try that out with a Loquelic Iteritas Percido here:
All those triggers
The BSP also has 8, count ‘em, eight trigger outputs. What’re we gonna do with all those triggers? Maybe you’re someone like head-NE-mad-scientist Stephen [ed. note from Kris, actual scientist: Wait. How does Stephen get that title and not me?....] that uses a whole ton of BIAs and you need 8 triggers to sequence them all. That’s cool, but we can get more creative… I almost always just use four percussion sounds in my patches. That leaves us with four triggers unused! What can we do with those?
Kris is a big fan of using gates as CVs. Sometimes I am, too, but I like to take it a little further and process the gates a bit. The easiest way is with something like Sinc Defero, which allows you to attenuate the gates down into something more precise. Patch that to something like Fold or Morph on a BIA and create an accent sequence on top of your rhythm and you’ll get something really cool! Can you tell I like accents? Don’t forget that if you hold down a step and press another while in the drum sequencer you can create a long gate, which opens up more modulation possibilities.
And, on top of all that, if you’re using 4 triggers, you can make them even more interesting by running them through Integra Funkitus! Let’s try that out. Here, I’m using one set of four triggers through an IF to sequence my voices, and the other four to create accent patterns triggering a PA on top of those. Whoa.
But wait, we can do something else with those triggers…
My favorite thing, like, ever: Confundo Funkitus
CF has 8 trigger inputs. The BSP has 8 trigger outputs. Coincidence?
Actually, yeah it is.
It’s a whole lot of fun to use them together, though! Create two different patterns on channels 1-4 and 5-8, run them through the CF, and you’ll have jams for days. And, on top of THAT, the BSP’s roller buttons make this an even more dynamic combo. Speaking of which…
Let’s try that out! Here, we’re using four voices for percussion, sequenced by the BSP drum sequencer through CF, and one melodic voice sequenced by the BSP’s first melodic sequencer. So. Much. Fun.