A Modest Proposal, and Request for Discussion about BB Full Songs

With the removal of the 500 note limit, there are now a number of ways we can create new full midi beatbuddy songs, including “with bass” ones.

First some definitions:
Intro, which plays into the first main loop.
Main loop, which will repeat over and over, unless you 1) hit a Fill, or 2) Transition to another Main loop, or 3) trigger an Outro, which will play a bit, then end.

In the “old” (current) days, you had to examine the midi song, and hope that it could be broken down into 500 note or less sections. The “ideal” song would be:
Looping Verse/Chorus
Hit end to play an Outro.


Sometimes I label the VC as L (for Loop). The advantage of this is you hit start, and hit when you want the outro. One interaction while the song is live.

Often, however, a song will follow this, but have one extra section, like a bridge, or a solo, so you get:

L | F

Here, you have at least two interactions, live, during the song. One to trigger to Fill/Bridge/Other part, and one to trigger the end.

If you can’t get a verse/chorus loop in less than 500 notes, you have to trigger them manually. This is where it gets tricky because the beatbuddy likes to trick you and play “fills” either within the current measure, or after the current measure. When you are playing a song, this might mean that it will SKIP the first line of the chorus you are trying to trigger! A song like this looks like:

V | C

Here you loop the verse, and trigger the chorus. Many songs have two verses before a chorus, and the 3rd chorus is only one time before the next chorus.

Ok, so here’s where it gets good. WIthout the 500 note limit, the easiest way to make a song is:

(no intro)
L (Loop is just a foothat, keeping the beat, tsh tsh tsh tsh, you hit song end to play the song)
O (Outro is the whole song, and ends.)

Alternately, I propose another structure:

Where “I” is the song up to the point of a solo, and L is, say 4 measures of a solo that you can repeat at will, then trigger the O which will play the rest of the song. Super easy to create, but you still get the creativity to solo at will.

I have created a java program which seeks to find a track labelled “bass”, and from there, we also know the drum track (because it’s ch 10). I might be able to create a filter that can create a fully finished “with bass” midi track from most any midi songs that you drop into it, into a Version 1 song file, and BAM, a new beatbuddy with bass song. I can even move the common issues like 35 kick to 36 kick, 40 snare to 38 snare, etc, and transpose the bass notes appropriately.

Main limitations? BeatBuddy can’t change tempos via midi on the fly, so any song has to have the same tempo all the way through. Sad for us Rush fans! :slight_smile: I’m sure a future version can do this.

@Phil[/USER] , [USER=500]@Guitar Stu[/USER] , [USER=389]@CharlesSpencer[/USER] , [USER=4738]@Brian O’Meara[/USER] , [USER=56]@BeatBuddy Support ,
discuss? Include any other “with bass” guys!

Cant wait to try the bass songs out- Is the Beta stable? Does the Beta firmware for the device also include a new MBBManager or does the regular version of MBBmanager still work? Last question- is there a limit on number of songs that can be stored on the SD card (Mine appears to be maxed) or is it dependent on how large my SD card it? Thanks for you work here on this.

I’m looking for something much simpler. I want to download a pay-for midi version of worship songs, strip off everything but the drum track, and put it on the BB.

Yes I am itching for the next version of manager to arrive with the 500 note limit gone. It will allow me to go back through the songs I have made and simplify some of them.

Once the 500 note limit is gone I suggest not just converting every song to a full midi of that song though. I think alot of songs work better as loops and are more fun to play when you have control over them. I think I will have a mix of full songs, songs as they are now and songs with loops but have longer parts I can trigger for large chunks of songs that are over the 500 note limit.

As example when I play All Along the Watchtower I would have a full midi play till the end of the singing then have loops for loud and soft parts to jam out to until I want to end.
Also on some songs I like the start to loop and play and then I would trigger a fill when I want to start the structured part of the song which in some cases might be the whole song. Eg Billie Jean I like to let the beat play for a while before I start singing but once started I play it the same every time.
Some songs are perfect how they are now. On Seven Nation Army you can play around a bit during the song and you just have 3 fills to trigger when you reach the end of each verse.

Please get this new release out sooner rather than later. I think it will make a big difference for a lot of people.

The more I’ve thought about this, the more I like to keep some structure that musicians would recognize. While its nice to have a fancy karaoke machine, I’m not really sure it matches what’s in most players heads. Also, doing the song in one large piece also means that debugging or modifying a tune necessitates looking at the entirety, rather than the offending section.

Looking back at my tunes, the ones that tend to be most troublesome are those that have a chorus AND a bridge section. So, here goes…

  1. Always have an INTRO section. Always have an OUTRO.
  2. if a tune is simply (VERSE/CHORUS)REPEAT, then bundle them together as one section and allow the pedal to repeat as often as needed.
  3. IF there is a Verse/chorus, Verse/Bridge… Then bundle each together, and TRANSITION between them.,

Other more complex tunes will require more complex thought, perhaps resulting a WTF moment, resulting in doing the entire tune as one piece. I already have acres in mind.

Additionally, there are many tunes that have minor differences between verses and choruses. I just posted AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long. Two different chorus structures,two different verse structures. That might lend itself to the “one piece” approach.

I’ll be looking over all of my tunes to see which,mid any, I’ll change… But, if it works…well, you know.

All in all, I just think we’ll have to try a few things to see what we like. I’m sure after a few weeks/months, we’ll settle into a pattern.

You guys are probably right - I’d be better off using the pedal as is, with the various loop parts, rather than trying to use a completely canned version of a song. We’re constantly tweaking the songs we play - skipping or adding measures, repeating sections or deleting sections. I’m sure there will be some songs that we’ll play consistent with the originals but not as many as I think. I was a bit daunted by what I perceived to be a very complex device and was hoping for an easy answer. Like most things in the real world, reality turned out to be more complicated yet not unassailable.

My conclusions at this point are that the pedal provides plenty of opportunity to provide a very reasonable drum accompaniment for songs. I don’t need complex repetition of loops assigned to different verses or chorus. Most of the subtlety of that would be lost in a live setting IMO. I’m sure I will find plenty of occasion to use a 100% canned song but the BB is very well designed as-is.

My original idea was to configure each main loop to loop for a number of times that you specify.

Often the hardest part about a I-L-O song is when the O just repeats the last line one or more times. Trying to trigger any change in the middle of singing is very problematic. That’s also the problem with I - V/C - O songs, where you trigger the chorus from the verse.

I suppose it’s possible to make a song option that doesn’t have the “smarts” on how to insert a fill into the current measure, etc. That would help with the manual triggering. But that’s why i prefer transitions to be automatic.

I agree that the interactive features of the Beat Buddy is what sets it apart from a backing track and allows some artistic flexibility. Good work and thanks to all the developers.

I just got an email about new songs packages they are selling “Greatest Songs of all time”, (or something like that). Now, isn’t this function still in beta?

I’m a bit confused as to what is going on.

That email is a notification of the new content we just released in our library. :slight_smile:

Oh thanks for the reply!

However, that didn’t answer anything. Obviously I can read, and it’s great it’s new content. Please somebody actually read my post :smiley:

thanks (no offense).

They will most likely be songs made up of intro’s, loops, fills, transitions and outro’s just as any of the user content is now. I imagine they will be to a high quality but you will have to work out how the order to be played in. In saying that I have seen content from a pay source that required like nine transitions to get through the song whereas I had it down to like 3 fills so there can be alot of variation.

With the use of a midi editor once the next update is released these song parts as they are now can be used to create a full song file but that will be depended on your midi editing skills.
My advise is if you don’t have any midi editing skills don’t be scared to jump in and have a go at it. It will allow you to change things around to suit your own taste. My thread here would be a good place to start.

I would like to add that I think $5 is very reasonable for these packs as from experience to get beats to a high level can require quite a bit of time.

Thanks Guitar Stu

You say that midi editing skill will be required after the update. Do you think it would be possible to make this easy as in ‘plug n play’, rather than require skill? I looked at your very detailed ‘for dummies’ thread, which was great, but has a learning curve, etc. It would be nice to just load up songs with SD and refer to an accompanied (pdf) chart

That would be up to the seller or creator of the songs to re-release the material in a full song format. If they don’t and you want the song that way that’s when you would have to do it yourself.
I think with the beatbuddy having so many ways to format a song you are stuck with someone else’s idea of how to play the song with out any midi editing and I totally get how hard it is for people to get into midi editing especially if you want to just plug and play. I see every week how much trouble new users have with using the beatbuddy manager.

will BB change how the bass is processed/positioned once the 500 note limit is incorporated ?
why will we need to have that ‘learning curve’ again after the limitations are removed ?

Hi…can u create a bass drum with crash cymbals wave format together just one hit in my footswitch.? Thank you…