BeatBuddy and Voicelive 3 - Going from FREE to QUANTIZE or SMART Sync Requires VL3 Power Reset

Help; this is a show-killer! I bought a BeatBuddy, and all is well as far as I can tell, between and among the VL3, BB and my iPad which is loaded with Set List Maker… except for this one, very annoying and, so far, unworkable sync situation.

If I do VL3 loops without any BB-generated MIDI drums (about 15 or so of my songs), in FREE Sync mode, and then try to return to QUANTIZE or SMART Sync (the necessary Sync mode(s) for using the BB as my drum machine), the VL3 will not sync on them, unless I power reset it. Bear in mind that I have the Setup/MIDI tab set as follows: Source MIDI PORTS, MIDI Tempo ON, no filters. And under Setup/System, I have tried this with Global Tempo OFF and ON, with same results for each. Under the Looper settings, I have Auto Met ON, Auto Met Mute ON, and Met Follows Playback ON.

Then I tried starting out with MET OFF, and using that mode for my “naked” loops, and then switching to MET ON to pair with the BB. VL3 will still not sync up or recognize the tempo unless I power reset it.

Then I tried starting out as MET ON, and after power resetting the VL3, everything syncs up, but again, if I go to MET OFF, and then back to MET ON, once again I am out of luck unless I power reset the VL3.

Last thing to note is that, in my setup, the plan was to sort of “hybridize” my existing gear, so that in the end, I would be going into and out of four basic performance modes:

Mode 1: Just me, an acoustic guitar, and a microphone.

Mode 2: Minimal loopage; what I earlier referred to as “naked” loops. Me, an acoustic guitar, a microphone, and the VL3’s looper, set for FREE Sync. No backing tracks, no drum machine.

Mode 3: Playing/singing, while sometimes looping my guitar via the VL3, in SMART (or possibly QUANTIZE) Sync with the aid of the BeatBuddy, for timing, as well as for the awesome sound it outputs, which gives me a bigger sound footprint.

Mode 4: No loops. Instead, the use of backing tracks via my iPad, plus me, a guitar, and a mic.

Obviously, not being able to switch at will between FREE and QUANTIZE or SMART sync is a nuisance in a home environment, but entirely unusable in a live setting. Any ideas?

Well, after extensive headbanging, I think I have stumbled into the answer, though I’m not exactly sure why. It looks like I had inadvertently copied/pasted a stored loop from a different Loop Slot to Loop Slot 1 (my default for general, temporary loopage). The mystery is why i never saw or heard the invisible/inaudible loop itself. It was totally unseen, unheard, yet “erasing” did the trick… I think. I think, actually, the problem is me; a case of “knobology”, I am pretty sure.
Probably not the first or the last time I make that sort of mistake, though again, I’m still not sure what the heck I did/undid…

In any case, now that I have erased the stowaway loop, I verified that the loops from Loop Slot 3 (the one I had invadvertantly cloned to Loop Slot 1) are still there, and now it’s time to see if I can truly go back and forth between FREE and Quantize/Smart without having to do a POR. Update to follow.

OK, I have learned a lot about all of this over the last several days, and a lot of it was my own doing.

In the end, I now have everything working, and pretty much automated. I’m no longer ever using FREE Sync mode; just SMART Sync, and either MET On (when using the BeatBuddy as Sync Source,and of course, as drum machine backing me up) or SMART Sync with MET Off (when not using BeatBuddy; just me, a guitar, and my voice).

I have set up my VL3 so that different Presets have different Loop Slots associated with them. Loop Slot 1 is set for SMART, MET Off, and Loop Slot 2 is set for SMART, MET On. I also have three Presets that I’m linking to imported loops, so I assigned them Loops Slots 11, 12, and 13, which is where these saved loops reside. Those Loop Slots are also set up for SMART, MET Off.

No more need for power resets, no timing hiccups, everything is now on a level playing field, and best of all, I am a whole lot smarter now about MIDI Sync, my VL3, and afew other things too.

BTW, in case somebody out there ever wants to set up their VL3/BeatBuddy/iPad Mini/Set List Maker gear (I’m just talking, at the moment, about getting the basic MIDI connections and timing up and running; not talking about more advanced stuff like Loop Slots, etc), you can use these parameters (I’ve listed them in cascading menu/submenu order) to get a running start, though in the end, you may want to tweak your setup to what you need in the end. This is just to get you in the ball park:

iPad Lightning Port to iConnect Lightning Cable
iConnect MIDI OUT (black) to BB MIDI In Cable
iConnect MIDI In (white) NC
BB small MIDI I/O Connector to side of BB
BB Out to VL3 MIDI In

BB Settings:
[INDENT]Main Pedal
[INDENT]System Real Time
[INDENT]Disable (Prevents VL3 from handling Tempo)[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]
MIDI Channel Number
[INDENT]Channel 2[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Output Type
[INDENT]Channel 1[/INDENT]

VL3 Settings:
MIDI Tempo
Input Channel
Output Channel
Input Filter
Output Filter

Set List Maker Settings
[INDENT](Select desired Layout to modify)
Play Automation Track
[INDENT]On (probably not important for this exercise)[/INDENT]
Play Tempo
[INDENT]Off (Lets the BeatBuddy handle Tempo)[/INDENT]
An important caveat here is that Set List Maker is extremely complex, and there’s a whole lot more that needs to happen for the more advanced stuff like Loop Slots vs Sync Sources, Metronome On/Off, etc, to work. I’m just assuming that you already have all the other necessary SLM parameters up and running, or else you wouldn’t have read this far down.

Good luck!

1 Like

This is a BRILLIANT post! We’ve just started to do the same thing! I was looking for something else and stumbled across your post! Totally awesome! ROKKON!!!

Thanks for the props, DeafBunny. I am glad someone benefitted from this. I re-read my posts just now, and it brought back a lot of memories of how much sleep I lost during those 2 or 3 days. And BTW, still going with this plan, and all still seems well.


First of all, congrats on the setup! I had the VL3 myself last year but had to sell it because the lack of MIDI Start/Stop.
How do you mange to Start/Stop the loops in the VL3? The ideal scenario would be that it responds to the signals sent by the BB, as it happens in other more specialized loopers.


I’m pretty sure this is not the answer you’re looking for, but it (sorta) works for me. I decided that even though I do use the BB as the MDI sync generator, and I do use Set List Maker to send out MDID setups, etc, the fact is that generally speaking, I really don’t want to get too MIDI crazy, because for some reason, MIDI has always baffled me and is a real pain in my brain. me.

So, I went low-tech:

I remember your other post, and that is a great solution! If it works for you then it’s all good!
I hope TC Helicon brings their game up in their next pedal! Because I really miss my VL3 :frowning:

Hey the3nuges,

thanks a lot!
Your description has saved me. For 3 days I’m looking for the reason why my VL3 and BB become asynchronous after a while. Now I have made your settings and everything runs perfectly synchronous.
Once again a big thank you.

Hoy cow, I hadn’t thought about this thread in quite a while, so I re-read all the posts, including my originating one.

I am not sure how I ever got to the bottom of this problem, and frankly, not even sure I understand what the heck I was even posting about, other than generally, I do remember it was a real BEEYACH of a timing issue, which seemed, until I figured it out, unbeatable, and that the words in that post are surely me. I can tell because that’s the way I write. But man, I was deep into it, apparently; I suppose because 15 songs in my setlist were riding on it. It’s funny how you can focus down on things when you need to. Once I got things down, I completely forgot about the whole thing.

On the the other hand, I am 63 now. So I hope my memory lapse is not just due to blown-out neurons and misfiring synapses from old age and high-ABV craft beer.

On the other, OTHER hand, at least I can brag that my guitar playing has never been as good as it is now, and maybe that’s because my trusty VL3 / BB / iPad / SLM rig allows me to just focus on how I play my guitar, and not on all that technodweeb stuff!

In any case, thank you for the kind words. My geezer ego needed that.