BeatBuddy AutoPilot 2020?


The latest promo (20200725) for the Premium BB Library teases this very exciting news:

Autopilot- COMING SOON

With a single press, the BeatBuddy will play a song in its entirety while still allowing you to interact with it as usual.


Our newest, highly-requested, and most significant feature is the AUTOPILOT. When enabled, it allows you to perform highly complex song arrangements with a single press of the pedal while still letting you interact with the pedal in the usual way.

Merely press the pedal once and focus on your instrument part. At the same time, the BeatBuddy takes care of all the drum parts automatically for the entirety of the song. Each main section plays for the set number of bars. If any drum fills were programmed, they also play on their own. The song will also automatically transition from one section to the next, playing any programmed transition fills along the way. It ends at a set place.


To take advantage of the autopilot, go to the pedal settings and make sure that the autopilot is switched ON. All songs that have been programmed to work with the autopilot utilize it when this switch is on.

To extend a section, press the main pedal to trigger a drum fill. Once drum fill has finished playing, the bar count for that section resets, and the count starts again, effectively extending the section. A section can be extended indefinitely in this manner. If there is no drum fill loaded into the song, the bar counter restarts at the end of the bar where the pedal is pressed.

To shorten a section, manually trigger a transition fill. You can still play the transition for as long as you want by holding the pedal down.

The song ends as programmed by the autopilot. Still, you can end it at any time by initiating the outro fill with a double press.
To avoid ending a song at a set point, either extend that section in the manner described earlier or transition to the beginning of the song.

So, can we have some idea of how soon is soon? (e.g. in 2020?)

And, as cool as that description is, could SS perhaps comments on how it might relate to the request for Bi-Directional Part Navigation ( Request for Bi-directional Part Navigation ) either initially, or perhaps in a follow-on release?

Thanks for whatever further preview can be provided!


Also, are all the songs in the Premium Library ultimately going to be retrofitted to be enabled for Autopilot? (and how long would be the estimate for accomplishing that?)


Wow. Impressive.

Does this mean each part has a number of repeats (which is different than the number of measures in the part/pattern)?

For example, part 1 is four measures, and we play that three times before going to part 2.

Going to resist the urge to ask a million questions or request follow on features … for now.

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This suggests the answer to my prior question is yes.

The auto fills sound like an interesting capability as well (but take a bit more effort in the editor to get right).

This seems to provide a way to support “one shot parts” without mapping out the entire song:

  • Set the number of measures for the one shots to the length of the song part
  • Set all other parts to have the largest number if measures possible (so they effectively repeat more/less indefinitely).

This will be huge.

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Be even “huger” if it ever happens!


All artists/ band cover songs in Complete Collection 2020 will be programmed for the autopilot, just as soon as it is ready. It will take us probably a couple of weeks to program 535 songs once we begin. After that we’ll be rolling out individual albums.


Each section can be set to play for a number of bars or left to loop indefinitely. I have made specification to how the language should change depending on what song parts are present to make everything intuitive and confusion-proof. Right now, only the necessary GUI functionalities are being added and later the overall look of the software will be updated to be cleaner, nicer and more user-friendly.
You will be able to see all programming of a song at glance.
We’ll have videos explaining how it works and how to program songs.


Goran, is there any “roadmap” for this feature?


This has been in the works for the last couple of months. We are looking at another 2 weeks for some issues to be sorted out and another week for testing. If all goes well, we should have a usable BB Manager with Autopilot in about 3 weeks. But, that’s subject to change of course. We were expecting to have it ready a couple of weeks ago.
Most of it is done. There were a few visual tweaks to be done. The main hiccup has been the file format, which will need to be changed in order to accommodate part names. Yes, you will be able to name song parts, so when you have 20 songs parts, you don’t get lost 3rd part in :smiley:
I can tell you that this will be a no-compromise, full-featured autopilot.


How will this interface with the Aeros looping?

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How will this affect the existing one-press songs and user-created drum sets?

I believe it will work the same way as if you were triggering things manually on your BB.

One-press songs and any other regular songs will stay as they are unless they are programmed for AP. I think that once you open your previous project with the new BB Manager, the file format will be updated and then you will only be able to open it with that or higher version of BB Manager. Drumsets will stay what they are for now.
However, I will be requesting drumset versioning for one of the future updates. Whatever feature is introduced, the BB Manager will need to be backward compatible. You will always be able to open old stuff on the new BB Manager, but not vice-versa.


Thanks Goran!

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This upcoming BB AutoPilot is a very exciting advance, as-described. Thanks for the preview info!

I’ve still got to keep mentioning Bi-Directional Part Navigation (BDPN) ( Request for Bi-directional Part Navigation ) though.

I certainly understand if this nearly-ready implementation of BB AutoPilot did not plan for and won’t initially have BDPN, but it can be important to keep something in mind even if you can’t get to there right away. IOW, not to paint yourself into a corner!

Simple example: Suppose I have 4 parts - Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Ending (V, C, B, E). Consider those my building blocks for the user’s next MonsterJam. The goal is to be able to build that MonsterJam on-the-fly into any structure the user wants/needs in realtime.





Correct me if I’m mistaken, but to have this flexibility I think you MUST have BDPN, yes?

So if there are implications for the file format, you need to build those in now, right?

(Else pay a very high price in changing the file format and updating the Premium Library twice, which probably means it never happens …)

Can you see the goal and concerns here?

This is best-answered by @julissadantes I think.

Keep in mind that the autopilot feature is really for pre-set complex songs, cover songs in particular. For situations like what you mention, I wouldn’t use the autopilot. If you are going to be changing the order of sections on the fly, that defeats the purpose of the autopilot, I believe.

Functions like this wouldn’t affect the file format. This has to do with BB firmware.


Would also be good for the Aeros to have some similar capability. The Aeros parts often don’t correspond to a beat section and there’s definitely a need for the Aeros to be in charge at times.

For the BB autopilot, canb you setup someting like ABAC … or do you have to make a copy of A for the second usage?

Exciting stuff.

Well, I grok the given AutoPilot motivation, but I suggest another way to look at it.

The BB AutoPilot (BBAP) as decribed, is basically a (major!) flexibility enhancment to the idea of One-Press-Play (OPP). BBAP will provide flexibility to a) define a complex structure using parts (instead of as a linear MIDI file), and b) extend or shorten the current part (in realtime).

BDPN, if ever implemented and compatible with BBAP, would provide flexibility c) to navigate backwards and forwards in a complex structure.

One could conceive of BBAP and BDPN as being separate modes of operation, but why do that? That would be choosing to build in a new unnecessary “wall” between a) b) and c).

I’m advocating for making sure (by thought and design) that a) b) c) can all live and work together in the ultimate unbeatable cyber-drummer accompanist!

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Hopefully this release allows for syncing to a Mac. Love new features, but this is a critical feature that is broken for many people.

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