Beatbuddy Manager Frustration!

It’s been 3.5 years waiting for an update for the Beatbuddy Manager.

I bought my Beatbuddy direct from Singular Sound before they went on sale in stores.

I love it but very very disappointed with software support.

If your team can’t handle it then maybe someone else should take over?

I’m sure a lot of us would be willing to spend a few dollars to have an application that would help us utilize the Beatbuddy’s potential.

Along with state-of-the-art software on Windows and Mac we should also have apps on IOS and Android as well.

Come On Singular Sound and “Get With The Program!”

From one very unhappy customer. :frowning:

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I’m certain you’re not the only user that feels this way. Maybe David will reply. @DavidPackouz

I wrote about this late last year. I still don’t use my $500 BB investment because it’s too difficult to program the way I would like to. I bought it based on the potential but am very disappointed with it so far. They responded to my posts with some promises of improvement but I have yet to see any headway.

My suggestion to anyone considering to buy BB is - DON’T! It’s basically a toy boat anchor at the moment. Most of the beats don’t work very well in songs and the fills are horrible. Not very practical at the moment. Who knows how many years if ever it will take them to make it work the way it could. Pretty sad, it certainly has fallen far short of expectations.

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Still using 10-15 year old technology ( Yamaha PSR3000 ) for our drums because the BB is far inferior. BB doesn’t even play a proper shuffle beat. it doesn’t groove right. Really disappointing.

I seriously have no idea what would keep people from using the Beat Buddy – certainly not the BBM – but I would like to understand, because maybe I can help. In my view, the Manager, while arcane, does the job just fine, and you CAN buy beats from other sources if you don’t like what it came with.

My duo relies on our Beat Buddy, and have used it for nearly 200 shows since I got it as part of the Kickstarter. We have a repertoire of almost 100 songs, and none of them use the stock beat without, some editing, some original playing-in on a Roland Octapad, or some rearrangement because I’m a perfectionist, and want the drummer to play the parts correctly.

I use an Octapad for recording new parts, Reaper for editing, and BBM for creating songs and setlists. And that all works just fine. Yes, it’s clunky, but, it does work for me (like I said, 100 songs, 200 shows). So help me understand why it doesn’t work for you, maybe I can help.

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Disagree. It plays several “proper” shuffle beats. Maybe not the one you want, though. For example, I had to program an east coast swing shuffle to play stuff like Home for a Rest.

What song are you trying to replicate? Give me an example.

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I guess the challenge is that I don’t want to use Reaper (or Sonar in my case) to edit and then use BB Manager.
I would like to do it all in one and would also like to do it from my iPad or other device.

There are several users that are frustrated with the BBM and the fact that the MID Editor is low on features and has such poor functionality. If it can’t be improved, they’d probably be just as happy to see the MIDI Editor removed as long as the BBM features and performance could be improved.

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What’s funny is, as I recall, the MIDI editor is not a Singular product – someone else contributed it. I could be wrong about that, though.

Anyway, yeah, I agree, I’d love to see a proper, dedicated editor, too. But you do have to remember that we’re talking about a small company that probably needs more saleable products before it needs free software to give away. As a very regular user of my Beat Buddy, I need these guys to still be here in ten years, because I rely on them to support the products they already have in-market. So if I have to make do with third-party software for editing, I consider that a small(-ish) price for what I have.

Besides, I already know Reaper well enough to be moderately proficient in it.

That said, I am beginning to understand what you’re after – a complete development platform. What would be cool is a platform with the ability to plug in new modules that program and manage the new hardware they’re working on. Maybe if we all buy MIDI Maestros and the upcoming looper, it will free up enough capital to spend some time and money on new supporting software.

:slight_smile:

Meanwhile, it’s still incredibly good value: I only paid the drummer once (actually, twice, I have a backup), and he’s making me money every time we play (142 shows in the last three years). So learning how to program through third-party offerings has been a reasonable trade-off – for me, anyway.

The other thing to consider is there ARE libraries of material available commercially, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of free MIDI files out there that, with some minor editing, become one-press solutions that the Beat Buddy will cheerfully use. And, let’s not forget all the songs being posted here on the forum. It may not be perfect, but we are a part of a pretty reasonable and supportive ecosystem.

So, all that to say, I now think I understand your pain, but I don’t think the issue is a show-stopper, because, between the resources available here and online, you are never really completely stuck.

Oh – right, almost forgot iPad. Apple is a whole other issue. Don’t hold your breath on that one. Apart from the complexity of programing what already exists in the BBM (not even looking at the new functionality you want), there are the resource constraints associated with iOS apps, not to mention the Apple Police, who have to vet and approve your app for sale. Plus, of course, you have to hire someone to build an app in the first place. So, sorry, no help here on Apple…

So, to sum up:

  • Yes, I get your pain now;
  • Maybe the challenges are are not insurmountably difficult to manage; and
  • No, Apple is bad, very, very bad.

:slight_smile:

Joe

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We completely understand you. We know that the software needs to be improved to bring out the BeatBuddy’s full potential. Around 2 years ago we decided to rebuild the BB Manager from the ground up using a new platform because we were told it would be much faster to develop on. 6 months ago we realized that this new platform was never going to live up to our expectations and we decided to go back to fix the original software, which we’ve been doing for the past 6 months. We are about to release a new version of the software with some critical bugs fixed. If you’d like to be part of our beta tester program please email us at contact@singularsound.com

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Don’t get me wrong. I do understand the challenges of being a small company and I do love my Beatbuddy!
Sorry but I also love my iPad. I use Auria pro, OnSong, and other guitar effects and midi on it.
I can use Bluetooth to connect with midi to the Beatbuddy to trigger it. All I need now is a way to edit patterns on my iPad and save them to the Beatbuddy.
What if Singularsound partnered with someone to develop this software for us?
In today’s world of cloud etc… I want to be able to compose and configure my devices from anywhere.
Just sayin’

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Sorry but I forgot to say that there may be a lot of us Users out there that would be willing to pay for this functionality.

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Composing beats on an iPad and saving it to your BeatBuddy would be very cool!! Unfortunately the BeatBuddy doesn’t have a Bluetooth connection so you’d still have to use the BeatBuddy Manager to put the beats on the BeatBuddy. But we do plan to add Bluetooth to BeatBuddy 2 :wink:

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Joe,
If Beat Buddy had usable beats right out of the gate, I think everyone would be happy. Not everyone has time to spend many hours programming and tweaking beats. Most of us have families and work for a living. Perhaps you do as well but are a genius with the technology. I don’t know. What I do know, is most of us would like to be able to find usable beats coupled with natural sounding fills as you would actually hear them in popular songs. Yamaha has done a very good job with that in the PSR3000. They work well in most songs. Those beats on the Yamaha come as part of the package. No need to buy additional beats. It would be really nice if Singular would revisit that on the BB. If we had good beats and fills to start with we may not need to edit much. Thus little need for BB Manager.

One reviewer on Sweetwater stated very eloquently that the Beat Buddy beats have no subtlety to them. He said he would try to lower the volume to try make them sound less harsh. He compared the result as like having full on opera singers as backup vocalists. I get what he was describing. its just really hard to get any finesse out of these beats.

I’m not asking Singular to copy Yamaha’s beats but they could certainly take a lesson by listening to what they have as a standard offering without having to buy additional beats.

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Fair comment, Single-trick. As I said, there are a lot of other suppliers of beats out there, including a lot of free MIDI backing tracks that help with this. But I take your point that maybe you shouldn’t have to go too far afield to get what you want.

I’m also with you that, especially the fills, are less-than-subtle, and sometimes approach badly-overplayed. What I have found interesting is that they always seem WAY over the top on the bench, but in live situations, they actually usually fit – especially when I play on the more electric side.

In my other band, everything except vocals and my guitar come out of a Yamaha keyboard, and I would say it’s the equal and opposite of the BB in the area you are describing. It is VERY metronomic, and VERY sterile-sounding to my ears. And the beats, while close to what we’re trying to do, are almost never exactly right (same boat as the BB, for me, except we can’t edit them, so we’re stuck with them). And I miss the human side of the BB when I play with the Yamaha.

I would love for the next gen BB to include patterns that are somewhere in between these two – I don’t want to call them extremes, but maybe approaches? Because I’m pretty happy with the overall package, but I can see where you might want some more subtlety.

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…But I also want to address this:

“My suggestion to anyone considering to buy BB is - DON’T! It’s basically a toy boat anchor at the moment. Most of the beats don’t work very well in songs and the fills are horrible. Not very practical at the moment. Who knows how many years if ever it will take them to make it work the way it could. Pretty sad, it certainly has fallen far short of expectations.”

We work every weekend as a duo, and get traditionally full-band gigs on a regular basis, including weddings, festivals, and “sweaty rock-band” clubs, and we are busy because the Beat Buddy differentiates us from our competition. Yes, there is some work involved if you are as anal as I am about having the drums do the exact right thing (a lot of people are not), but we are the only duo I’ve ever seen in a pub that gets people dancing regularly, and that keeps bums in chairs (most duos in pubs are background noise in my neck of the woods), not to mention lands weddings, private parties, and festivals on a regular basis.

Being busy, filling dance floors, and supplanting full bands is not the result of my grace, good looks, and charm, it’s the result of the package we bring to market – for which my Beat Buddy is an integral part. So, if you just want to use it out of the box and you have the expectations I had when I got it, then no, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you are willing to work with it, the beat Buddy is an exceptional device with almost limitless possibilities.

And there is nothing unusual or proprietary about the way programming works if you want to dig into it; to the contrary, the fact that I’m using third-party software to bend my BB to my will speaks volumes about just how open and non-proprietary the device is.

And don’t forget that it is entirely possible to gig without doing any programming. Singular offers volumes of songs, and there are tens of thousands of MIDI songs out there (many for free) that you can use with the BB.

So, while I appreciate that it doesn’t work the way you want it to, and I understand how and why that is, I think it’s a bit misleading – even disingenuous – to call it a “toy boat anchor,” when that perception is a direct reflection of what you are prepared to do to bend it to your will, rather than what the BB is actually capable of doing.

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If you like your PSR3000 style files you can use them with a bit of work. The style file is a compilation of MIDI data ‘arranged’ to be used by the Yammy arrangers. I have a PSR S900 and have dissected and extracted bits and chunks of the drum patterns in Reaper which I’ve then been able to import into BBM. A PSR 3K ‘prs’ sty file renamed to a mid extension and loaded in Reaper shown below. I would believe some of the other instruments might be able to be pulled out as well if one has the patience.

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That is brilliant!

Hey Mark, this is really pretty cool. I found bunches of the PSR format files on the web, and tried opening a couple up, and yes, you definitely can pull the beat out of those. As you say, change the tag to .mid, and you’re all set. I used Logic Pro X.

For kicks, i then tired the same trick with a Band-in-the-Box .STY file. Unfortunately, no luck on those, but its simple enough to get Band-in-a-Box to give you midi when you want it.

And while we’re on this for those who don’t know, midi karaoke files, that end in .kar can be opened in the same manner. Change the tag to .mid and you’re set.

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I use my BeatBuddy in two bands. Very happy with what I can do. Have added my own drums sets from free downloadable wav files. Maybe because I used to be a programmer and don’t expect everything to be done for me (and that usually adds limitations).

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