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Any experience with BeatBuddy?


cphollis

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Saw this, was intrigued.

 

For a lot of the stuff I have to practice, it really helps to have a driving beat backing. I've always had poor luck with drum machines -- time consuming to program, requires me to take my hands off the keyboards to control them, etc.

 

This looks like a better mousetrap to me. BeatBuddy

 

Checking out their forum, looks like still a few rough edges on the Mac version of their software manager, but other than that -- ???

 

Anyone have any experience with this unit? Is it ready for prime time?

 

Thanks

 

-- Chuck

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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I have just ordered one of these, it should be with me on Thursday. Unfortunately, I have since seen a video that hints that you need the midi lead to use it with keys, and I didn't order one, so it will be with guitar only in the meantime. I will post my impressions once I have had a chance to play around with it.

 

Chuck, something else that you may like to check out is the Digitech Trio, available late May. It gives you a bass and drums, but seems less 'immediate' than the BeatBuddy. £100/$120 cheaper though!

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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SSM -- interesting device! But it's different than a bunch of drum presets sitting in a smart pedal -- seems like you have to train it?

 

Although as Sven points out, there are buckets of ways to do this with a computer, I want something that's small, cute, pedal-driven and doesn't require a lot of extra gear. The BeatBuddy seems just smart enough without trying to be too smart.

 

I think the deal with midi is to have it either drive tempo or accept tempo from your board if you're doing arpeggiation or similar. Not what I'd use it for.

 

Even though this discussion has been banished to the guitar forum, I'd be interested in what you think of it.

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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interesting device! But it's different than a bunch of drum presets sitting in a smart pedal -- seems like you have to train it?

 

kinda like Band In A Box, maybe, without the computer? just might be cool. we'll see

:nopity:
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kinda like Band In A Box, maybe, without the computer? just might be cool. we'll see

 

 

Dave, I have seen pics of some BeatBuddies with a BIAB logo on them, but others don't have it, so whether or not they had some input, I'm not sure.

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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Well, my BeatBuddy arrived yesterday, at about the same time as the washing machine died, so I was unable to play with it until today.

 

I connected it up to my P/A, via an 8 channel mixer, after updating the software through my computer. The update process is fairly clear, and I had no problems. The BB comes with a dedicated power lead. You need a TS lead from the BB to the mixer for mono, and obviously a pair for stereo.

 

I ordered the optional switch to go with it, for an extra £21. This requires a TRS lead to operate, but it is provided, and is about a foot long. The 2 button switch allows you to pause the sound, and restart with one button, and advance to the next song whilst in "stop" mode, while the other lets you insert an "accent hit". Basically, I can step on the button to get a crash cymbal anytime I feel the need. The BB will also work with third party switches, eg Digitech FS 3X and Boss FS5.

 

The BB seems very solid, the switches are of reasonably high quality, and I feel that it will last the course. When you hit a fill, there are three different ones that play in order before returning to the first one, so you don't get too much repetition. You can also press and hold for a transition for as long as you want, and play continues when you release. It also has intros and outros, and you can have more than one part to a song, eg verse, chorus, bridge. It all sounds good through my P/A, not as good as a real drummer, but it is available 24/7, and doesn't drink all your beer and piss your wife off.

 

All in all, I am quite impressed, and will be holding on to it. There is a midi lead available, but I didn't realise that until after I placed my order, so can't comment on it

 

The BB forum seems to have a few posts with people complaining of the headphone volume switch falling apart, and the buttons on the optional switch being too loud, but everything seems great with mine as far as I can tell.

 

There is a site where you can delve into the finer workings of the programming, and add your own wav files, but I am fairly stupid when it comes to that sort of thing, so I haven't dabbled. The only thing I will say, is that the workings of the site seems to be fairly antiquated, for instance, there is no drag-and-drop, you have to export things to another location, and then import them to where you want them. There are songlists on the site, one for songs that various drumkits will cover, and one where people far cleverer than me have arranged extra drumkits that you can download to cover some songs.

 

Hope this helps anyone thinking of shelling out their hard earned.

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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  • 3 months later...

I own one of these and thoroughly enjoy it! It's quite handy when I want to dial up a beat to practice with, but I don't have a lot of time to program a drum machine. I've probably only spent a couple hours on mine, but still feel like I have much more exploring to do with it. There's a super wide variety of beats and kits that come with it.

 

I don't readily have a music PC set up nor do my keyboards have drum rhythms that wouldn't take a decent amount of time to program.

 

I just recently got an email for an additional beat package to download/install for free as they just released a number of kits/beats on their website, along with a firmware update.

MainStage; Hammond SK1-73; Roland XP-80, JV-90, JV-1080, JV-1010, AX-1; Korg microSAMPLER;

Boss DR-880; Beat Buddy; Neo Instruments Ventilator; TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay

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Has anyone tried Trio with keys... will that work?

 

Update!

Just back from GC on lunch and, yes it does work with keys and fairly well ... I was curious, it was time for my monthly walk through of the store anyway... it's very close to where I work!

 

Gives me a break during my work day and I get to play on lunch, so! :keys:

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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