I posted a question yesterday about using the manager in Linux on a Windows compatibility layer but have decided not to attempt that. My reasoning is first that I’m 69 years old and don’t have any desire to sit for hours trying to make sense of software instructional videos trying to do this on my Linux system. I bought this pedal for the simplicity and although I knew they sell drum packages I never stopped to consider the prices or details because I thought the included beats would be enough. Now I have gotten to a point after using it for over a year where I’d like some more variety to select from.
I went to the pages for purchasing beats and correct me if I’m wrong but it appears that the only way I can purchases beats loaded on a memory card is to buy one of the packages starting at $209. One or two of the $20 beat bundles would be more than enough for me but it appears that they won’t load those on a memory card but will only do that for those large $200+ packages. This is where I am starting to regret having bought the beat buddy. I purchased it for the simplicity thinking I would not have to do any programming and thought when the time came if I wanted more of a selection I could simply purchase more beats pre-loaded on a memory card and assumed they would be at a reasonable price. So my question is am I understanding this right, that my only option if I can’t afford to purchase the package that costs more than 2/3 the price of a brand new Beatbuddy is to either learn the programming and risk doing it on a Linux computer hoping I don’t corrupt my files or pay for one of the premium packages when I’d probably only ever use a couple dozen of the two thousand or so beats?
I’m beginning to think that this was not the best drum machine for a senior citizen on a fixed income to purchase. If I knew that I was going to have to learn programming or pay a hefty price for additional beats I would have kept my old drum machine and put the time into learning to program that. I have been playing guitar and bass since the mid 60’s and record songs using a Tascam DP24SD and do the final tweaking in Audacity and post them to an online music page. I have a fairly good grasp of music theory but have been lazy about drumming which I only know by the seat of my pants hence my desire to have something simple to work with. In a band setting I’d be the guy who turned to the drummer and tapped out a sample of the beat I wanted on the amp without having to explain things like time signatures, bars and measures which are like Greek to me.
So am I understanding this right that I can’t have a beat package put on a memory card for less than a starting price of $209? If my understanding is correct I’m extremely disappointed in the Beatbuddy as I can’t afford another $209+ which doesn’t make any sense because as a hobbyist musician I’d never scratch the surface of that many songs but would gladly pay a fee for loading on a card plus shipping. Am I correct in my understanding that they do not make that option available? I didn’t see any option to do that for the lower priced packages but I didn’t go put anything in the cart if that option was in there as I won’t make any purchases unless there is some way to test a beat or two on a Linux system first. I was considering learning the software but after five minutes I decided that I don’t want to deal with that.
If I am correct in my assumption my next question is might there be some way to contact a local Beatbuddy user in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who I could pay to load a couple $20 packages onto an empty memory card? If none of these options will work then my favorite drum pedal has just become my least favorite paperweight.
Hey Stan, I am not 100% sure, but I don’t think what you would get on the $200 SD card would be directly usable in the BB pedal, but may be a convenient method which Singular can distribute the content other than a zipped download. The content on the $200 SD card would be used to build your own projects and SD cards for use in the BB pedal using the BB Manager software. The image below is the ‘Mellow Beats Songwriters Collection’ I downloaded and I think it may be the sort of format SS would ship on an SD card as a zip file. Within the zip file are folders containing MIDI files and two PBF files which are imported to BB Manager. The PBF files when imported include all the content and the BBM screenshot below shows the two PBF files as they are imported. Once imported these collection of songs/beats can be saved as a project and then exported to a formatted blank SD card.
Most importantly with BBM is allowing you to build projects by importing mixed content of songs and drums from different file sets to create custom sets and then exporting to an SD card. I’ve built a few custom SD cards which contain my most used beats in a folder order in the card which makes them easy to find and use in the BB.
The BB Manager is a bit of a learning curve, but I would suggest finding some user PBF files posted around this forum and try getting them loaded into BBM (I’m assuming BBM works OK in Linux(?)) and purchasing a few SD cards to practice exporting with. I’m using some 1GB SD cards I purchased cheap and they hold most projects I’ve put together. Get good quality SD cards from a reputable retailer.
Plenty of help on this board if you get stuck.
Age wise I’ve got 3 years on you at 72
Thanks for the information. I was under the impression that the memory cards that shipped with the large beat packages could be put in the Beatbuddy and I’d be good to go but from what you’re saying it sounds like the cards used in the BB require system files to function properly. This is more convoluted than I thought it would be. Running Linux isn’t for the faint of heart so I’ll defer to that in regard to my ability to learn new software. It really boils down to a time thing and seeing what I was in for if I elected to study the software. I was sold on the simplicity of the BB in the YouTube videos and probably would have hung onto my old drum machine and learned to program that if I had know all this. I was looking for a simple solution that didn’t require putting the time in learning to program yet another device.
I successfully loaded the BB Manager in my system on a compatibility layer and it appears to be working fine. It’s just that the operator doesn’t want to devote half of this week to learning a program but it appears now with this latest information that I will have to do that if I decide to keep the Beatbuddy and not opt for some other type of drum machine. The frustrating thing is that all I want to do is purchase a $20 drum package and use it but run into all of these complications. They should have made adding new beats a much easier process or sold them on ready to use cards for those of us who simply want to use the BB without all the programming. If I was to learn this program I would only be using it one time and would never touch it again, hardly worth putting in all the time when it’s going to be a one time thing. I will have to sleep on this and think about it as this adds another layer of complexity that I wasn’t planning on having to deal with. Translation, I’d rather do what I’m good at and write songs and play guitar than sit hunched over a computer learning a new application when I could be spending the time making music.
Is there a for sale section if I decide to sell my Beatbuddy in this forum?
I bought the full 2019 card last year and just popped that in my BeatBuddy, and it worked just fine. I live in the Mpls/St Paul area if you want to connect. I’ve used the BeatBuddy Manager to set up setlists and even to modify beats. I know nothing about Linux, but I LOVE my BeatBuddy!
I am in the northeast metro near running aces and I found you on social media. Maybe we could work something out where I could purchase the $20 rock package and have you compile a card and I would compensate you for your time. I’d rather do this so that I have two cards, the original and the one with the additional beats. I will be contacting you about it through social media. Thanks for the offer, it just doesn’t make any sense for me to spend the time to learn the program when I’m only wanting one card and won’t touch it again. BTW, I see that you play out so maybe you have heard of my son-in-law’s band VIA out of the Cities. They have done a lot with 93x and opened for some big acts like Buckcherry. They have played First Avenue and the Myth during the past five or six years as well. Everything is kind of at a standstill right now which I’m sure you are experiencing as well. They have done a few jobs over in Wisconsin.
Sorry, forgot to tag you in my reply, please see my last comment.
I hope you can connect with someone and get this worked out. I am also 69 so don’t blame it on age (please lol). Remember, we are the young generation. Don’t give up on the pedal and try to get through an install using the BBM. It really boils down to a 2 step process … import the PBF file (which is located in the download) and sync to your SD card. It really is that simple you just need to used the correct import function. I’m certainly not one of the exports that create there own beats, but I’ve been able to put together a couple hundred songs using the stock and purchased beats for a great 4 set night selection … working with this pedal is a lot less frustrating than working with many live drummers.
I worked something out with the tech guy Jay for my specific circumstances. My Linux system is all setup for graphics and photography so it would have required some work to format cards for the Beatbuddy. I don’t share storage media with Windows users so I never set it up for FAT32 files and ran into some snags while looking into that. I ended up paying extra for them to load a memory card for me so I wouldn’t have to deal with all that. I didn’t want to get into a situation where I had to do a bunch of research just to prepare my computer to run the Beatbuddy Manager only to find out at crunch time that it won’t work right on the compatibility layer. When I bought the Beatbuddy I did it for the simplicity thinking that if I were to purchase beats they would be pre-loaded on a memory card but that option starts at $209 and I don’t need thousands of beats. I never intended to manage beats and make playlists or learn any programming and didn’t realize that I’d face that alternative by purchasing a Beatbuddy. I guess I’m guilty of not reading the fine print and at my level doing this for fun it didn’t make sense to put all that time in just to load beats one time and never touch it again. I should add that their customer service and willingness to help is awesome and appreciate the offers of help here on the forum. Bottom line, problem solved and thank you to all who posted suggestions and offered help. They mentioned in our correspondence that a new Beatbuddy Manager is in the works that will work on all platforms so when that is released I plan on installing and trying it. At some point I should get a handle on how to use the software and how to do firmware updates but that is a future project.
Stan, does your computer setup have the means to make backups or copies of SD cards? You would certainly want to have backups of the original card that came with your BB plus any subsequent ones you may acquire. I believe most memory cards used in current digital cameras use a FAT32 file system or a derivation of it (exFAT), so I would suspect your system might have encountered it if you’ve transferred files on memory cards in for editing.
Once you get a workflow in place with BBM it’s not really any more difficult than some of the more complex image editing programs out there.
I used to do auto racing photography and would process hundreds of photos every weekend for uploading to an online gallery. After I hung up the camera I took up multi track recording on a 24 track console and ironically as I’m typing I am in the process of transferring a song folder to my computer for final editing. So I guess the answer is yes but in both cases the media cards are formatted in their respective devices but I’m sure they format them in such a way that they’re compatible with Windows systems so the short answer is yes. Actually I’m copying a folder that is on the same type of media card that Beatbuddy uses so yes, I am sure that I can make backup copies. I had never done that with the card that came with Beatbuddy but it’s on my list of things to do when the new card arrives. I will make copies of both and when they make the new version of their software available I am going to watch the tutorials and dig into this further. If the new version is compatible with Linux that will be safer than trying to work with it now on the Wine Windows compatibility layer. I’m a guitar player and a rather dumb one at that so you can’t expect too much from me…
Sounds like we have similar backgrounds. Once had being doing wedding and event photography (started with film in the 70’s and transitioned to digital) and much time editing and culling images. Now multitracking on a Tascam 2488NEO (24 tracks) and some in a DAW (Reaper). Play mostly acoustic guitar and a bit of keyboard. Haven’t tried Linux yet, but have an old machine I’m tempted to put it in. I find guitarists to be more technically oriented than drummers
Hope the new version of BBM works out for you, as it should really help to get the content on the cards more organized the way you want it and makes the BB more enjoyable.
maybe buy another computer or don’t use linux
I’m using thousands of dollars of free open source software and a free OS that is so secure that it doesn’t even require antivirus protection. What’s not to like about that? The value of my drum pedal is far exceeded by the value of the OS and software I’m using so I follow the bargain. Perhaps in my next life I won’t have to worry about expenses but it ain’t happening in this one.
I’m not against Linux as a concept it seems amazing
The most recent update. The pre-loaded card arrived and I have made copies of both the original card and the one I got in the mail. This leads me to another question, I didn’t want to deal with learning the software but when I copied the cards it was just a routine copy & paste into a folder I created in my studio projects files. If I purchase beats to load on a memory card why can’t I copy the folders for new songs and paste them into the proper folders? I see that there are also files that would go outside the folders and probably some kind of master file that lists content so I would want to take care to get that right as well. Why would I even need to use the BB Manager to simply add beat folders to a card if I’m not altering them or creating playlists? I see where the BB Manager would be necessary if I wanted to drill down into it and create playlists, etc, but is it necessary to use it to simply add new files to an existing card? I’m seeing where I got so hung up on the Beatbuddy Manager software thinking it was the only way to do this that I neglected the old fashioned easy way. Of course I would want to watch the tutorials before doing anything and make notes so that I get all the files in their proper place but I don’t see how that simple process wouldn’t work. After all, strip away the program and they’re just files and sub directories same as I have worked with since the 80’s only with different file types than I would normally work with.
I’m guessing that this might work so I am going to experiment with a spare memory card and see what happens. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn’t work hence the need to experiment with a spare card.
Since the files are proprietary, they depend on the BeatBuddy Manager (BBM) to integrate them within a project, which is the only way the pedal will recognize the beats you’ve acquired.
You can probably spend more time trying to figure out how to avoid using the BBM than it will actually take to learn how to use the software.
I don’t plan on creating set lists or projects and I’m good to go with everything already on memory card. I’m just thinking if I were to add beats to a formatted existing card that I may be able to accomplish that by drag & drop without the software. That would be the case unless there is some kind of master file that the Beatbuddy has to reference in order to see the additions. My gripe all along is that I just needed more rock and ballad beats for my home studio creations and am not a working musician where I’m dealing with set lists or customizing beats. Files being proprietory it shouldn’t matter, I drag and drop Photoshop PSD and other proprietory file types all the time and they still work just fine. The only things I can think of that would preclude doing that are some type of master file must be created in Manager and making sure that they can still find any dependent files that are in folders. Like I said, I have an old spare card that will work in Beatbuddy so I will use it to do some experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. If I do that and the Beatbuddy can’t read it I will get an error message and will know that I’m barking up the wrong tree. I will never use any of the custom functions in Beatbuddy Manager and the 100 or so new beats that I got may be all I’ll ever need in which case I may never look at these files on a computer again. On the other hand, maybe in six months I might want some more options, I won’t know until I get some idea what all I have here. It looks like 90 new rock beats total and something like 14 ballad beats. That will keep me busy for a while before I have time to think about it any deeper. I’m in the process of moving off a multi effects processor to individual pedals so there is a lot to evaluate with a dozen new pedals. Part of not wanting to learn the software are the gazillion other things I have going on. I’m just a guitar player who would rather write songs and make music than to spend my time learning specialty software.
It sounds like you’re finally beginning to catch on. The BeatBuddy Manager (BBM) creates and updates indexes for the songs, folders and drum sets within a project and that’s why the pedal expects these files to be indexed by the software. If you want to try to manage those indexes yourself, you’ll probably need the software do so, i.e., Excel or some other compatible spreadsheet.
You’ve spent more time posting to the forum explaining why you’re unwilling to use the software than it would have taken to actually learn how to use it.
You can probably arrange for Jay in Support to help you set up the BBM and use it. Contact him and he’ll walk you thru the process.
I think people are totally missing my point which is that I purchased what was billed as the simplest drum machine on the market. There should have been a footnote that added “unless you want to add more beats, then it gets complicated”. What attracted me to this pedal was that I could lay down the drum track for my songs and hit the footswitch where I wanted the fills without having to program anything. If I had wanted to spend days watching YouTube instructional videos I’d have kept my Boss drum machine and watched videos about how to program that. Not like learning a new piece of software was something I had never done (worked in accounting for a fortune 500 company so change was the only constant) but I didn’t want to spend my time learning a program and trying to make it work in Linux at this time and I got what I needed. This thing totally caught me off guard because I thought purchased beats would come on pre-loaded cards and that the software was only necessary for altering beats and compiling playlists. Come to find out when I started looking into it that it went much deeper than YouTube videos like the one entitled “Hate drum machines? - here is the answer” led me to believe. Add Linux to the equation and the fact that old retired guys don’t self learn from videos without some IT person walking around helping like they used to do at work and it was shaping up to be a blood bath for Jay if he had to field all the questions I was going to have. I think it worked out for the best, he won’t get 100 questions and I have what I need. Over 100 new beats where I can hit the footswitch for fills and edit the lead in out and either end by pressing the pedal twice or fade the song out in my software. I mean, that’s literally all I wanted was some more beats to choose from and now I have that.
I’m kind of surprised that I have taken flak for everything from not wanting to learn the software all the way up to ditching my OS. I mean, what the heck? I purchased a Beatbuddy and pedal and new beats, isn’t that the whole point for me to spend money and I did that.