BeatBuddy Firmware Update! Control how drunk your BeatBuddy gets and more! Version 1.85

Hi BeatBuddy buddies!

We’re really excited about this new firmware update! This is NOT an April fools joke

Here’s an overview of the new features:

Download Firmware

Download BeatBuddy Manual

Download BeatBuddy MIDI Manual

Version 1.85

Sobriety function: Control how drunk your BeatBuddy is! One of the things BeatBuddy fans always tell us is that they love how their BeatBuddy never gets drunk (or shows up late, or drinks your beer, the list goes on…), but sometimes it’s kinda fun to jam with a drunk drummer! So we’ve included a Sobriety setting (just press the Drum Set and Tempo knob at the same time to enter Settings - it’s the fourth option down). When Sober, BeatBuddy plays perfectly as always. When Tipsy, BeatBuddy’s had a few beers and starts drifting on the tempo a bit. When Drunk, BeatBuddy has had way too many beers and a few shots and starts drifting on the tempo A LOT as well as throwing in some random fills. When Wasted, BeatBuddy is probably a danger to himself and to others, especially your musical sanity – he’ll be all over the place tempo wise, throwing in random drum fills, transitioning to other song parts when he’s not supposed to and just banging on the cymbals in the most annoying way. Luckily, unlike your human drummer, BeatBuddy sobers up instantly. Just change his setting :slight_smile:

Sleep Mode: You may have noticed that like most guitar pedals, the BeatBuddy does not come with a power button. The only way to turn it off it to unplug it. So we created a sleep mode that puts the BeatBuddy in a low power state. Just press the Drum Set and Tempo Knobs at the same time to enter Settings and select Sleep Mode. This will put your BeatBuddy to sleep until you’re ready to jam with him again. Don’t worry, unlike most heavy sleeping drummers, the BeatBuddy can be woken up with a touch of any button or knob.

Visual Metronome while stopped: Many players have told us that they begin some songs by playing alone and then bringing in the drums after an intro – but it’s hard to play that intro to the right tempo without the drum going. So we made the visual metronome active while in stopped mode so you have a visual cue of the tempo of the drums when you bring them in. And since some intro fills aren’t full bar fills (they may start on the second or third beat of the bar, instead of the first), the beat where the intro fill starts is darker than the rest. But if you like the way your BeatBuddy was without the visual metronome active while stopped, you can adjust it in Settings > Main Pedal > Visual Metronome.

Hands free folder navigation: You can set your footswitch to go to the next song or to the last song in a folder, but until now there was no way to use the footswitch to enter or exit the folders themselves. So we added the capability that when a footswitch is set to Song Advance or Song Back, holding the footswitch down enters or exits a folder. Please note that this will only work with Momentary (unlocked) type footswitches, not latching (locked) ones. We changed Official BeatBuddy Footswitch from latching to momentary around 1 year ago. To test the type of footswitch you have go to Settings > Footswitch > Footswitch detector.
Complete MIDI Control: One of the most common requests we have gotten is for full MIDI support so that the BeatBuddy can be integrated with other systems, programs and devices. We have worked extensively to map (with MIDI CC Controls) practically every function of the BeatBuddy to MIDI so that you guys can have the most powerful possible tool and use it in creative ways. You can control the Volume or Tempo with an app like MIDI Designer. Or you can set a MIDI footswitch to trigger an outro fill with a single press or to skip from song part 1 to song part 3 and then back to song part 2 – you can skip to any part at will! This is especially useful for Keyboard Players who would like the BeatBuddy to sit next to them on the keyboard instead of on the floor so they can see the BeatBuddy’s screen. For full details on MIDI Mapping, see the User Manual.

Instant song selection with Bank Select / Program Change: Now you can use Onsong or other apps to instantly go to a certain beat when selecting a song – this is especially useful for musicians who have hundreds, if not thousands, of songs in their repertoire and don’t want the hassle of search for that one beat on their BeatBuddy when the audience requests a random song. Just select the song in Onsong, and your BeatBuddy will instantly go to the beat you have set to that song!

Technical Detail: To select a song, set your app to MSB 0 (make sure this value is always 0), LSB (0-127) selects the BeatBuddy song folder where 0 is the first folder, 1 is the second folder, etc. – we know this is confusing, but that is how the MIDI standard works, beginning at 0, not at 1. And Program Change selects the song in the folder, where Program Change 0 is the first song, Program Change 1 is the second, etc.

MIDI Merge: The BeatBuddy now has the capability to merge MIDI commands it receives with the MIDI commands the BeatBuddy generates and output the merged commands through the MIDI Out port. This allows you to use a tablet to control the settings on your BeatBuddy and other devices in your MIDI chain while at the same time using the BeatBuddy as a source of MIDI clock and other MIDI commands. The MIDI Merge protocol we developed has the lowest possible latency. To Enable this feature, select: Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Output Type > MIDI-Merge

[B]Added additional settings:

  • Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Sync > Always On / While Playing / Disable:[/B] You can now set when the MIDI Clock signal is sent out by the BeatBuddy. This is useful for if you want to play with your MIDI connected device (like your looper or effects), but one of your songs doesn’t include the drums, so you don’t want the BeatBuddy’s tempo affecting your other device.
    - Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Control Change (CC) > Enable / Disable: You may want to pass CC MIDI commands through the BeatBuddy to your other devices, but not have the BeatBuddy be affected to them.
    - Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Notes Off > Choke Notes / Ignored: BeatBuddy now chokes notes when external notes are received with a velocity of 0. This allows long notes to be cut short.

  • Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Notes > Enable / Disable: Some devices (notably the Pigtronix Infinity) have trouble when receiving MIDI Notes, so we have set this default to off. If you wish to turn on MIDI Out Note streaming so the BeatBuddy’s MIDI notes are sent to another device (such as your DAW), change this setting.

  • Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Next Part & Time Signature > Enable / Disable: Some devices (notably, the Eventide Timeline) seem to have problems when receiving certain MIDI Messages, such as the the time signature midi message or the Next Part Midi message (CC102).

Many bug fixes:

  • Critical bug that was causing the BeatBuddy to reset after 2 to 3 hours of playing
  • Bug that caused a reboot of the BeatBuddy when no accent hit was present and footswitch was pressed
  • USB connection bug that prevented correct operation when BeatBuddy is in Folder / Drum Set / Song Selection window
  • Various minor bugs

[B]Upcoming Feature(s):

Autopilot Mode: [/B]Because of the BeatBuddy’s new capability to respond to CC commands, it is possible have the CC commands programmed into them so fills and transitions are played automatically. We will be releasing new versions of the Most Popular Cover Songs packages in the BeatBuddy Library which the BeatBuddy will play the way the original song was played – but you will still have the capability to improvise using all of the BeatBuddy’s live control functions. Stay tuned for the announcement regarding this new content.

Excellent David!!! Looking for links to FW 1.85…

For those struggling to find the midi control manual on the downloads page it is below the download for the manual (I missed it).
The current direct link is below, but this may change.

Thanks Psalm40 for the link to midi controls
Dave the firmware update is great love the idea of the drunk drummer. I was one of them from time to time and it is fun to jam with one especially when the guitar player has had a few too

Hi David,
Great update! Can’t wait to use some of the features.
Could you please expand on the Autopilot feature - I don’t understand what it does from the description above. Thanks

Many Thanks David, cudos to the development team, the Best keeps getting better!

You guys rock! Best guitar related product (and support) I’ve seen in quite some time. Thanks for the updates!

Good job.

You probably don’t understand how important this real MIDI implementation is for us, early byers on Indiegogo…

As I posted about it more than 1 year ago, your response was negative. Happy to see you change your point of view. Unhappy it takes all this time. (and what about the old posts ? can’t find them again, do you change your forum and clean all?)

My setup is 100% MIDI and sync. Footswitch (Yamaha MFC-10) => BB => midi looper (EHX 45000)…
The CC & PC mapping and at last a REAL midi thru / merge will change my music-life, may possible to pilot advanced functions of the BB by footswitch, and the direct access to section by CC on the looper & the BB in one push of a foot button is great :
=> one push the BB & looper go to verse
=> one push the BB & looper go to chorus
=> one push the BB & looper go to bridge
=> one push the BB & looper go to verse

and all sync…

PERFECT ! I try your new firmware tonight.

Awesome stuff. Looking forward to playing around with it. Just one comment:
Midi manual, page 16, Tempo Control. Last sentence seems to stop in mid sentence:
However, it’s a bit more complicated because unlike the Song Selection system where"

O man so glad you asked. I was wondering if it was me just going crazy again . LOL

What?!? No “sending flirty text to other band members’ girlfriends function”?

will this firmware allow for the 500+ note songs ?

been refreshing this page the whole day. I will try it tomorrow. thanks to the team.

I have the old type of the footswitch. What’s the difference to the new one, can I tweak the old one on my own or do I have to buy a new one?

I got a BB cause I was tired of drunk drummers … it wasn’t pretty ! :frowning: lol
Some nostalgia is better left on the shelf … now, an awesome midi editor … I’m all over it ! (Y)

Talk about timing. I took my BeatBuddy off the shelf two days ago to learn how to use it. I bought all volumes of the most requested songs and loaded them into the software. I checked to see if there had been any updates and found there hadn’t been any. Check today and there’s new firmware. Nice!


I loaded the new files onto my SD card in a card reader. I then put the card into the Beatbuddy and on the screen it said it was loading the new firmware and then the SD card (the original) popped out and the screen went blank. I must not have locked in when I put it in. Now I have nothing but a dark screen. Essentially it will not power up.

Now what?

I found this old solution for Windows… I have a Mac

Sleep mode- very cool. Sure beats unplugging the power all the time. Not sure I understand who will actually be using the sobriety function but to each his own…

I am a loyal customer (meaning I purchased my Beat Buddy from the crowd funding mechanism you used to roll out Beat Buddy and have continued to make supplemental purchases) and up to this point have been a supporter of your company (meaning I have personal been responsible for at least 10 others purchasing your products). However, with the recent addition of the “Sobriety Function”, my support of your company and attendant future purchases are in jeapordy. Allow me to elaborate.

I am a recovered alcoholic. I am also a college professor, a licensed and credentialed Drug and Alcohol Counselor, and an Interventionist. I currently have the privilege of serving as the music minister at my church, which is where I often use your product. I, along with the rest of the western medical and mental health community, consider alcoholism a treatable disease. It is a disease that currently affects 10’s of millions of Americans at substantial costs to our society. That is to say the costs related to alcoholism are greater than heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure COMBINED!

To put this in perspective, imagine someone came to you and suggested you offer a "Cancer Function” - allowing the user to choose between 4 levels of dysfunction of a drummer based on one of the 4 stages of cancer. Or how about a “Parkinson’s Control”, so the drummer has an ever-increasing hand tremors that mimics Parkinson’s.

I am sure those ideas would have been rejected outright as insensitive and likely to place the company reputation at risk.

Why on earth, then, would this idea of an impaired individual seem funny or useful to you in your efforts to grow and expand your company? The rampant use of drugs and alcohol in the musician community, and the mystery and damage to countless innocents, is well documented. That alone should have been reason enough to quash the idea. But surely you know someone who is afflicted by this disease - how could you marginalize someone you KNOW who is affected by the disease of addiction?

I will not be taking further action at this time as I will wait to see your reply. However, I urge you to consider the thoughtless of this new feature and take appropriate responsible action to remedy the situation. Failure to reply will be interpreted as disinterest on your part and will influence my course of action in this matter.

Bill Smith