BB is probably a good tool but…
User or Midi manuals are clear like a rat piss, as manuals usually are, but it is never clear on how you can do a one-press song. Never. At the end of the story, after hours & hours spent for nothing on forums, you last to keep tap dancing on stage. When I was playing with a real drummer behind me, I didn’t need to kick him to go next part. Is BB really so worthy ?
So, here is a last chance question before I put mine into the dustbin for ever, is it possible the BB sends a part change to itself without any tap, a way I could stop tap-dancing while singing for people downstage ?
BB is probably a good tool but…
Sorry you’re having problems Gratatouille. I don’t think the creators of the BeatBuddy ever thought that their pedal would be used to play one-press bass (OPB) songs and so the user manual and MIDI guide have never been adapted to reflect how to create, edit and use OPB songs. The forum users are the ones that came up with the OPB concept and they’ve tried to share that knowledge and experience here on the forum.
The short answer to your question is “yes,” it’s possible with autopilot however, that capability still isn’t available on the BeatBuddy although users have repeatedly asked for it. I have no idea of when, if ever, the developers will provide autopilot.
I understand you are frustrated. Is there anything I can do or explain on how to use OPB songs?
For sure you can help me, thanks to you, it would be a great help for me.
Another thing getting on my nerves is that strange habit of providing features never working for real.
Want a sample ? try Export MIDI file… right-clicking your mouse on any part rectangle. Here’s what I name the ghost feature, everyone have heard about but never succeed to catch it on.
The beauty of that feature, you can edit any beat with a full colorized editor. But can’t store it out of BBManager. It turned me crazy before I understood it’s deeply bugged. Do programers know how to store a simple midi file ? For the moment, I have understood I must have something else than a BeatBuddy bunch to make it working fine.
Another funny tip : buy a song collection on the BBuddy store.
It’s usually designed to save time. You give 'em the money, they give you an honest work and then you cut your “time-to-stage” delay. But they never wrote you need a good tap-dance professor. In the BeatBuddy world, every song of a collection is actually a long suite of small cluster patterns you must chain to each-other foot-tapping. This on stage. Here is the place for your professor : he’ll teach you how to memorize a complex sequence of tap-dance songs. Notice a tap-dance never have to play piano or guitar singing. Never. Even the great grand Sammy Davies Junior never tried to risk him on it.
So,when it goes to avoid tap-dancing and focus on music, it’s time for OP songs. Or forget the BeatBuddy of these days.
My understanding of the BBuddy offer makes me saying the general view have not been taken from the right side.
The problem is not the BeatBuddy hardware itself, probably one of the best, the problem is the whatisit to inject into the memory and how to make it cleverly.
The way to do an OPB song goes to the opposite of saving memory, which means LESS SONGS for every artist.
Because into an OPB song, same verse or chorus parts have to be stored several times in memory despite the BB’s ability to switch from part to part.
It would be so easy to add every song a kind of optional track list describing the parts path to follow from the first part to last one of the song.
Now, thanks to you, I can name that dream an “AutoPilot”.
Autopilot in test versions proved to be a very handy feature that probably would have made OPB songs obsolete too bad they have not been able to get it working properly.
Although I like the flexibility of the multi-section songs, you really have to be nimble-footed. Diego (as I’m sure others have as well) seems to have mastered the tap dance routine for his gigs. I’m sure he puts some effort into preparing for and rehearsing his set lists. Me? I’m lazy too.
I will open a conversation with you tomorrow to see how I can help you better use the OPB songs.
BeatBuddy is NOT a MIDI player, or Karaoke player. There are MANY of those available for your smartphone or tablet. BeatBuddy is an INTERACTIVE drum machine that allows you to CONTROL when and how to transition between song parts, when to pause and come back in right on the beat, how many times to play a chorus, and how you want to exit a song. AND, it can be different every night depending on the audience, or how you feel.
If you want a robot that will start playing when you say “Go,” and keep playing non-stop until the end of the song, BeatBuddy MIGHT not be for you. There IS a way to make it work that way, and I’ll get to that later, but that’s not what it is CURRENTLY designed to do.
Export MIDI file…
right-clicking your mouse on any part rectangle. Here’s what I name the ghost feature, everyone have heard about but never succeed to catch it on. The beauty of that feature, you can edit any beat with a full colorized editor. But can’t store it out of BBManager.
You absolutely CAN store it out of BBManager, but you have to be careful. First, you want to make sure you’re not saving over an existing pattern, the one that you opened to edit. It’s best to export the pattern first, then import it into a NEW song, then make your changes and save them. If you want to save any part of the song as MIDI, then you can do what you tried, but it will only save that one part.
All of these parts are separate MIDI patterns:
When you right-click on one of those patterns and select “Export to MIDI” you will get the following dialogue that allows you to save a MIDI file:
Do programers know how to store a simple midi file ?
Yes. That is a standard MIDI file, but you must consider several things.
You must FIRST edit the pattern you want to modify, THEN export it to MIDI. If you don’t want to change the original pattern, Export Original -> Import New -> Edit New -> Save New -> Export New.
You will only be able to export ONE PATTERN at a time to a MIDI file. If you export a complete song, it will be in the proprietary .sng format which is a wrapper around the song’s metadata, the MIDI files for all of the parts, and the .wav files for the accents.
[*]BeatBuddy does not by default use the standard MIDI mapping, and for very good reason. BeatBuddy stores each instrument as multiple samples of the instruments actually played at different volumes to provide a more realistic sound. That takes up a lot more memory per drumset. So, there is a very good chance, unless you start with the General MIDI drumset, that you will have to move some of the instruments in the MIDI file produced by BB if you play it in another MIDI player. This is not a mistake on the part of the developers. It’s intentional, and for very good reasons.
For the moment, I have understood I must have something else than a BeatBuddy bunch to make it working fine.
You only need something other than BeatBuddy if you want to make it work in a way in which it was not intended to work. The BB MIDI editor was not intended to be a stand-alone complete MIDI editor. It is intended to be an EMBEDDED BeatBuddy “aware” MIDI editor for editing song parts IN PLACE without having to use an external editor. For doing that, it works very well.
Another funny tip : buy a song collection on the BBuddy store.It’s usually designed to save time. You give 'em the money, they give you an honest work and then you cut your “time-to-stage” delay. But they never wrote you need a good tap-dance professor.
Actually many of the beat packages have notes like this:
And, the BB Manual and tutorials are very clear about what you need to do to control the BeatBuddy.
In the BeatBuddy world, every song of a collection is actually a long suite of small cluster patterns you must chain to each-other foot-tapping. This on stage. Here is the place for your professor : he’ll teach you how to memorize a complex sequence of tap-dance songs.
That is correct. It actually take some practice to use the BB correctly, but the patterns are not that complex. Tap to start. One tap to play a fill. One long tap to transition to next part. Two taps to end. That will get you through most of the songs. For those that have lots of parts so that they will sound like the recording, you should practice with them to familiarize yourself with them.
…[An] OPB song, same verse or chorus parts have to be stored several times in memory despite the BB’s ability to switch from part to part. It would be so easy to add every song a kind of optional track list describing the parts path to follow from the first part to last one of the song.
Singular Sound is working on the autopilot feature, but even that will not produce a standard MIDI file. A standard MIDI file stores the same verse/chorus part multiple times because standard MIDI does not support things like repeats, D.C, D.S, multiple endings, and codas. The song structure for an autopilot song will have to be added to the .sng format and exposed in the BB manager. And you will still have to deal with things like the difference between a D.C. and a D.S, and differences between first, second, and third, etc, endings.
And after all that, you will lose the ability to “play to the audience” or “play as the spirit leads you.” This last feature is one of the many things that makes the BeatBuddy so popular with church worship leaders.
I started a conversation with you.
Very interesting answers. Let’s go further.
I won’t discuss on what is or isn’t the BB philosophy or what it should or shouldn’t be, just on what I need.
For sure, having a never late drummer is something reserved to heaven, but having one you’re obliged to kick all the time may look like hell.
What I need is just in beetween. I do not need to waste even a second with the drummer when on stage but if I need to instantly react depending on the public tonight, well, let’s say a simple kickdown would be the perfect command.
With the BeatBuddy, we are so close to this that we keep frustrated not to reach the holly GRAAL.
- the pre-pattern named AutoPilot Start,
- the post-pattern named AutoPilot End
How does it work (in my brain) ?
The Start will be executed right from the start of the pattern and most of the time is only a shot on a Start-accent cymbal, kind of signal for the singer. When activated this will make a cymbal ringing at each start of the pattern, looping or not.
Let’s see what could happen at the end of the AutoPilot :
If the End-Accent is checked, a cymbal sound will be heard at the start of the next pattern but not when the next pattern will be looping again ! Here, we are just talking about the first pattern behavior not the others. But this is how musicians practice their signs on stage : big crash or fill-out or …nose-up.
Now, what if last-Fill just below is checked ?
Another signal for the poor lone singer facing the crowd : it’s time to sing next verse (or chorus).
Usually, the BB player have to tap down before having his next part heard through the fill-out. Not with such a checked box, all he have to do is recognize the signal saying " it’s time to sing the rest". In reality, that’s the way musicians proceed to synchronize themselves on song parts.
And the last - the best ? - option box is the famous Goto-Next we all expect to.
When checked, the BB will go to the next part AFTER having executed all previous option boxes checked, this still without any tap down. Coooooool !
When first out on the market, I was sincerely convinced the BB was THE must-to-have to gig anywhere with a compact band (which is the biggest demand from bars & restaurants owners, everywhere).
Curiously, I observed the beast was not so popular I predicted with musicians, now I know why : that machine is not convenient when it’s time to focus on singing. Believe me or not, I live south France, which is a highly touristic area, and I have seen none of artists I would have bet on with a BB. Most of rare ones having brought the BB pedal they all finished to resell it in dispear.
I really-really believe features above are mandatory to keep BBuddy in the music business.
One last demonstration ?
Yesterday, I just brought the COLDPLAY hits collection at the BeatBuddy online store.
See below the structure of what they prepared for us. I have to confess the work is serious.
But if you can explain me how to save tap dance using such a strucure, for sure you’re a champion !
Do I have to tell the name of that song : The Hardest Part…
And all the collection looks the same.
Thanks buddies. Do you sell (left) shoes bundled with your pedal ?
I observed that function is deeply bugged because when exporting the pattern into the same folder as the project (the default folder), no file is created for real, even changing the name or confirming you need to overwrite the file.
BUT, if you browse to another destination folder before saving, wooaoow, it’s working fine under the previous condition you first re-edit the pattern using the onboard midi editor. Strange behavior. If does’nt respect the way the operating system works.
I also observed some patterns are perfectly shaped when exported as MiDi file while others aren’t.
When exported as a MiDi file, most of SingularSound patterns are fed with … nothing !
If it is a copyright matter, well, it would be a nice attention the BBmanager software tell us, wouldn’t it be ?
As an ancient programer, I’m convinced this software is deeply bugged when on Midi export.
Anyway, I need all the features above to use the BeatBuddy on stage and escape from frustration.
I have had the Beatbuddy since it first came out like three years ago. BTW thanks for the feedback on my songs in resources.
I started out with the multiple button pressing to go through songs and some of the original songs I made might still be like that, but trying to sing, play guitar, work guitar pedals and beatbuddy was a nightmare. I became proficient at creating my own songs in a midi editor and now have all my songs programmed exactly how I want them with a minimum of button presses but control if I still want it. I have it down to a fine art and it is a joy to use.
I think this is the key to the beatbuddy is being able to create or modify the midi files to your own taste. I haven’t bought any songs from beatbuddy shop but that screenshot of “The Hardest Part”, what a nightmare. Useless unless you can export the midi files and edit them all together.
You asked about changing some of the bass lines or midi’s. I will put them all on dropbox overnight and give you a link and you can modify them to your liking.
Thanks for comments, I was quite sure not to be the only one feeling so.
I can’t wait to get your stuff.
For sure, we can spend hours and hours copy/pasting with a midi editor but this looks pure non-sens if you previously have used these japanese drum-machine editors from the 80’s.
Are guys at singular sound so newbees not to know good features to keep ?
This is the link to the forum where you can request new features. It’s monitored pretty well, and they will often respond with the status of new requests in future versions.
Or, you can click the Smiley Face on the left of the screen.
I know. It sucks that you can’t just kick your human drummer and make him do what you want, isn’t it?
I could if he’d be right on time…
But BBuddy is for training, drummer for drinking.