BeatBuddy Random Volume Changes

I’ve had a BeatBuddy for years, and it has run perfectly fine. I’m currently using firmware 3.8.0.

My BeatBuddy has started having an issue where the L/R output volume is constantly changing and the screen is displaying a large font that says “VOLUME” (along with the value that the volume is set at). I do control the BeatBuddy volume via midi with a volume pedal running through a Morningstar MC8 midi controller. However, this issue occurs even with the midi cable unplugged.

Here’s what’s occurring:

  • I’ll set the volume knob on BeatBuddy to 50%, which is reflected on the BeatBuddy screen
  • I switch to a song and use my volume pedal to set the volume to 80
  • The screen is fine, showing me the song title, the visual metronome and the volume set at 80
  • After about 10-15 seconds, the large “VOLUME” font comes on the BeatBuddy screen and then it drops the volume back to 49/50 (the # flickers between 49 and 50).
  • The “VOLUME” font and flickering value will stay on screen (even if the song is playing), so then I cannot see the visual metronome. Sometimes, the screen will revert back to the song info., and then a few seconds later revert back to the large “VOLUME” text.

I’ve tried troubleshooting and have discovered the following:

  • I had thought this was potentially an issue with either my volume pedal or the Morningstar controller (maybe sending volume change midi message). When I unplug the midi cable from the Morningstar controller (which also removes the volume/expression pedal from the equation) , the problem still persists with the BeatBuddy. I’ve also used the “Midi Monitor” feature in the Morningstar editor which monitors the messages being sent from the controller…and it’s not sending random volume change midi messages.

  • The volume always changes back to whatever the value the physical volume knob is set to on the BeatBuddy. If I set the BeatBuddy volume knob to 20, and then use the volume pedal to increase it to 80 - the volume setting drops back to 20 (or 19/20), again with the large “VOLUME” text and the volume value.

Nothing else has really changed in my setup over the past 8 months and the 3.8.0 firmware has been running totally fine (hence why I haven’t updated it), so I’m at a loss as to what is happening, unless it is just a bad BeatBuddy? I’ve used this setup for the past couple of years and it’s worked fine. This is creating some issues for me during my gigs, as I’m now having to constantly watch the BeatBuddy and quickly have to increase the volume whenever the volume randomly changes.

Are there any settings I need to look at to potentially resolve this?
I have sent an email to support@singularsound but was curious if anyone else has seen this issue.
Thanks.

It sounds like you’ve done everything a reasonable person could be expected to do.

While you wait for Support to reply, you could try to reset the pedal to its default settings. If that doesn’t work, you could try updating the firmware to 3.99.

Let us know what it takes to get it working properly.

A LATE THOUGHT: although users have suggested checking that you’re using the BB PSU, I wonder if the PSU output current is fluctuating and causing the volume to vary. If you have another PSU matching the BB specs, you could try that. I’m not advocating that you buy a new PSU but I’m guessing that since your pedal might be a few years old, it might be hardware related.

Thanks @persist
I am using a Cioks7 to power my board (with the BeatBuddy) so I could maybe try switching it to another outlet on the Cioks. However…

In my previous troubleshooting, I had only turned the physical volume knob on the BeatBuddy up to say 50-60%, but then used the volume pedal to go to anywhere from 70-100%. In those instances, the volume always dropped to whatever the physical knob was set to. On a whim, I wanted to see if the reverse would happen, so I set the volume knob to 75% and used the volume pedal to take it down to 30%…and it still was bringing up the large “VOLUME” text, but the volume was not jumping up. Hhhhm.

This got me wondering if this might be an issue with the actual volume knob (maybe it’s just a dirty pot/contact). So, I turned the dial “aggressively” in both directions numerous times. During this process, I noticed that when I turn the volume knob completely up, it only registers as 80% (not 100%) on the BeatBuddy display). Using the expression pedal, I can get it to 100%, but the dial seems to max out for me at 80%. Does this happen for anyone else?

Since rotating the volume knob many times, and setting it to about 75%, it seems to now be stable. I have a rehearsal and a gig this coming weekend, so I’ll report back on whether or not this is resolved. Might just be a dirty volume pot.

Thanks for the additional details. You could use DeOxit Contact Cleaner to clean the pot. Good luck.

We may have created a fix that helps with this issue as of version 4.0.1

Unfortunately it is not fully fixable via the update in all cases, depending on the state of the knob, let me know if this helps!

Hi Ron!
Our experience is it’s a bad pot on the volume-knob:
We’ve had 5 BB’s since receiving our first-batch unit (we run three concurrently in our rig);
of the 5, two have had bad volume knobs… (4 have had bad switches under the pedal…)
Our suggestion: Learn to solder, CAREFULLY, to keep your units working.
Note: If you’re going to use the BB in a live-performance sitch invest in a second unit or it’ll break your heart…
Need help, give us a shout, info on our website.
ROKKON \m/
(BTW, we frickin’ love the BB, that’s why we keep repairing them.)

Hey there. Thanks for the responses/insights. Had some rehearsals and a gig over the past week, and still the same issue with the large “VOLUME” text coming up on the display. I turned the volume knob to 75%, so the volume never dropped below that setting. Again, when I max the volume knob, it goes no higher than 84%. Does anyone else have this issue, or is this just a symptom of having a bad volume pot?

This is an older BeatBuddy (I think I purchased it in 2016), so I’m outside any sort of warranty period (ugh).

Perhaps @DeafBunnysBand or another user can share the part number and source for suitable replacements for your digital encoder (pot).

You can try searching the forum for Alpha Taiwan or digital encoder.

I Always have this problem

Yup, bad volume-pot! Seen it a couple of times before.
BE VERY CAREFUL SOLDERING!!
You can very, very easily burn-out parts of the circuit-board.
(We finally gave up doing it ourselves and take to a repair shop…)

1 Like

Good Morning Persist!
Isn’t this something that should/could be provided by Singular?
Or actually the specs might be even better.
We don’t fix our BB’s ourselves anymore, worth it to send it out for repair.

That is definitely a bad pot, Ron…
I asked if Persist (moderator) can get the part number from Singular.
Or the specs!
(I’ll update by post to him now…)

Thanks DeafBunnysBand.
Yeah, I don’t think I’d try a repair on my own. In your experience will a bad volume pot eventually result in the BeatBuddy having no audio output? Or, does it just mess with the display (constantly showing the “VOLUME” text)?
I’m starting to look at buying another BeatBuddy as a backup/replacement, but was curious if this one will potentially “die”. Would hate to have it happen in the middle of a gig.

Agreed
Done. Perhaps something that Brennan might be able to help with as he previously provided a spec sheet for the PSU barrel connector.
@BrennanSingularSound

Oo! Noice!

We’ve never actually had one “die-die” ever; they became practically unusable long before a “total failure.”
The video from guifreitas is a great example of what we mean by practically unusable.
Think we found you online as “Polar Sea?” We dig it!

Thanks. Polar Sea was my previous act. I have a new playing partner, and we go by The Regular Gents.

should i change the pot??