BB Midi & HD500 Looper

My son is the guitar player - I bought him the BeatBuddy (awesome by the way!) and midi cable to connect to the midi on his HD500. We have read everything we can find on the HD500 and the BeatBuddy and can’t for the life of us figure out how to get the looper on the HD to synch with the BeatBuddy. Can someone out there either:
[]Verify that the HD500 looper DOESN"T WORK with the BeatBuddy
]Explain to us how to get them in synch using midi (or, any via any other means actually!)
If they don’t work together… any suggestions as to a low cost looper (he uses it for practicing, he’s not writing complex songs or heavy into the “looper scene”) that you know for sure synchs via midi with the BeatBuddy?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Hello, @Mark Ferry!

First of all, I have no idea what HD500 is, but… Just as usual - a quick google search (this never fails, actually!) came up with this page for me:
Re: POD HD500 Looper? How to?

If you search for the word “midi” on that page here is what can be found:

…and the response is:

TLDR: Apparently, HD500 is useless when it comes to MIDI Sync’ing. Be it BeatBuddy or anything else, you will not be able to MIDI Sync HD500 with any tempo keeping device.

Disclaimer: The post I’ve found is of more than 3 years ago (dated 2012-03-03), so things may have changed. I’d recommend contacting support for HD500 if there is a firmware update that allows it to synchronize tempo.

Your second part of the post was to provide

Well, you’ve just put together two almost distinct criteria here :slight_smile: Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter whether your son writes songs or not. The problem is that in order to keep tempo, the looper must implement at least basic MIDI protocol, and not a lot of manufacturers do this. As the result - the ones that do expect a much more solid amount of money for their product.

Probably the cheapest one (yet I wouldn’t recommend) is the Ditto Looper. It costs virtually nothing, but it will be no better than your HD500 - it is not MIDI capable at all. Boss RC-3 seconds that. No MIDI sync, not expensive and is overall an excellent toy. Comes packed with like nine drum patterns (none of which are even close to be at least a bit usable), can run (like half an hour) on batteries and can store the loops between sessions! These loopers are not compatible with the BeatBuddy, though.

The looper that I personally use is Boomerang III. Well, it… costs. On the other side it is the best looper out there to keep tight MIDI Sync. By far. You literally just plug the MIDI cable and it is so easy to record a loop that will literally go on and on for hours without ANY slightest drift! You should definitely check my video in the signature (despite it is of really bad quality) - it shows the amazing Rang III + BeatBuddy combo. Keep in mind the video (and the sound) was recorded in one go - no backing track, nothing stored on the looper prior to the start of the video (as Rang III cannot store the loops after powered off).

The third very popular option is Infinity Pigtronix. Not a budget option as well, yet is pretty good at keeping tempo. I’ve never owned one, but it provides a ton of options, so at times it can be even more “intelligent” than it should be. Can store the loops between sessions, so should be pretty nice to start with, and can be used for advanced purposes as well.

The list would be incomplete without mentioning Boss RC-300 looper. It is probably cheaper and it can be used with the BeatBuddy, but let me stop at just mentioning this looper. It works and it doesn’t work at the same time - is able to keep incoming tempo from the BeatBuddy but tends to drift - best option to make your son very angry and unhappy. It is a non trivial task to make it work properly. I value your time and money, @Mark Ferry, just skip this option entirely.

Wow! That is one AWESOMELY complete reply! Best I’ve ever received, posting anywhere! Thank you! You’ve provided everything I need.

Sorry if it appeared I was wasting your time by not googling. I actually did - but, I’m not up on his HD500 (it’s a huge effects rack by the way - Lincoln Brewster, etc use it live in concerts & recordings) and I know even less about Midi (nothing!). So… googling info was giving me lots of info… but I was having trouble making sense of what I was reading. You on the other hand clearly know what you are talking about on midi, loopers, and the BeatBuddy… so you were able to cut to the chase pretty quickly! THANK YOU! Super helpful!

Boomerang III does indeed seem to be the perfect solution for him. Is pricey though but, I agree with you on the value. Would rather have him save up a bit, split it with me or something so he values it… etc, - as I’d rather “go big” than buy junk he’ll never use because its a pain to use or worse, just doesn’t work! :frowning:

Anyways - thanks again for all of the help!

Saving up for the Boomerang III,
(My son doesn’t have any music up online but, here’s a video a group from our church did at a summer camp for mentally handicapped campers last summer… a “Happy” remix our team did - and he added / made up the electric guitar solo at the 1:45 mark. He’s gotten way better since then [works hard & has a great teacher!], and worked all last summer for the strat he now has too! …so sounding a lot better now days. Loving the BeatBuddy too! Anyways - here’s a video last summer of him on electric. Thanks for investing in him via your reply, I really appreciate it. [solo at 1:45mark]


Yeah, pretty good job! Now he only needs a thick distortion and a tube amp (if he doesn’t already) :slight_smile:

I feel I need to emphasize it once more - Boomerang III isn’t able to store loops when you power it off. This means your son will have to record all the backing tracks for himself every time he wants to play. At first I viewed this as a rather serious inconvenience, but after time I feel it helps me achieve better sounding when experimenting with different sound parameters (gain/reverb), playing techniques and so on. Plus constant playing of the backing part over time helps achieve perfect timing on it as well.