beatbuddy, voicelive 3, 1 button...

i use a voicelive 3 when i perform and the only switch i currently use, is the on/off harmony switch.
i’m having a hard time controlling both the vl3 and the beatbuddy, since they both usually need a stomp before the choruses.
so, i was just considering how to deal with this problem and i’m wondering if there might be a way to control both pedals with one switch…?
i mean 1 switch that would simultaniously activate the harmonies of the vl3 and the fill/ next part of the beatbuddy…
what do you think?
possible or not?

I wonder if you could make the harmony switch respond to a midi note (rathen than a midi command). If so, you just put the note in somewhere that there isn’t an instrument.

sorry, but i really don’t know anything about those things.
this is the answer i got from the vl3 forum:
“VL3 is sending a midi cc if harmony button is pressed. Dont know if its possiblde to trigger beatbuddy over midi?”

@brynte5 you only need to hold the BB down for a moment to trigger the transition, so if you do this at the beginning of the bar, you have the rest of the bar to get ready to press the VL3 harmony button before the chorus begins. Unless your tempo is fast, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Note. I am pretty up to date with using midi editing to create beats and stuff for the Beatbuddy but do not know much about Midi cc commands and the like so Im not sure if what I am talking about here is possible.

It would be an incredibly useful feature and would make life easier. I have a TC Helicon H1 pedal and the reason I don’t use it is there is to much tap dancing when trying to change beat, change guitar sound, trigger harmony pedal, play guitar, sing and engage the audience all at the same time. As I have progressed with programming songs for the beatbuddy I have gone from songs with lots of fills and transitions to songs with say the whole chorus as a fill so I only have to tigger the beat buddy as little as possible. In a live performance keeping it simple is king.

Apparently the Voicelive 3 can accept midi commands to change presets. Im pretty sure guitar effects pedals like the amazing looking new line 6 helix do the same thing. Here is a video I found of Setlist maker program on the Ipad controlling the changing of voicelive 3 presets through midi.

Now imagine.
You have a song programmed in the beat buddy. You trigger the chorus section on the beatbuddy. There is an event or two events programmed in the song midi which sends out a midi cc command in the midi out. Your effects pedal and voicelive 3 receives this command and automatically changes presets. On a vocal harmony for example it could switch the preset on or off at different points in the chorus. And best of all no tap dancing at all. The only button needs pushing is the beatbuddy.

Unfortunately I wont have any available funds to purchase equipment like the voicelive 3 in the forseable future but this would be amazing. The beatbuddy is primary advertised as live performance drum machine. Can it be that hard to program it to send out midi cc commands programed into the .sng files. Midi CC commands and midi sequencers and the like have been around for a long time surely there is someone out there with the knowlege.


A bit of a long winded piece but please have a read if you are interested in the midi capabilitys of the Beatbuddy.

I have had a bit of a look at midi commands and this is my understanding of it. There are two types of commands that can be sent. There are CC (control change) and PC (Program Change). The CC commands are used to change paramaters in effects, volume etc and the PC commands can be used to change presets etc. If the beatbuddy can send out PC commands you would be able to change settings in effects pedals and amplifiers that are compliant.

Since I use Reaper I had a look in reaper and you can add PC commands to midi files that can then be used to change presets. I found a youtube video where the user shows how this is implemented and used to change presets on an AxeFX.

I am also aware that through the midi in/out the beatbuddy is capable receiving and sending the midi parts that make up a sng. For example beatbuddy can receive incoming midi events from an external drum machine to trigger the beatbuddy samples instead of using a .sng file. I believe it also sends out the midi events that are contained in .sng files when the beatbuddy is playing. My information for this is based in this thread.
From my understanding reading this thread the beatbuddy will output midi notes from only one channel at a time.
(Midi can use up to 16 channels with 128 notes per channel. eg Beatbuddy uses note 36 for bass drum, 38 for snare. With midi it is possible to send say drums on channel 1 and bass on channel 7 and they can be picked up by seperate output devices.)
I’m not sure if this will affect adding “midi PC” as long as it is added to the same channel that the drum midi is on.

My question is that when the beatbuddy is outputing the .sng midi events through the midi cable when playing will the midi PC commands also pass through and be included in the midi out even though the beatbuddy won’t read them or play them if they are part of the midi file imported into a song using beatbuddy manager. I hope this makes sense.

If the midi PC commands can be sent through the midi out with the midi events I believe that this can be used to change presets in midi enabled products. I have a blackstar ID60 and the presets can be changed via midi programming or a midi footswitch. It has 128 presets which line up with the available 128 midi PC commands available per midi channel.
For example. Hopefully I can start a song on beatbuddy with midi PC 1 included at the start of the verse loop. This will activate preset 1 on the blackstar which is my clean setting. I can then trigger a chorus fill on the beatbuddy and when the chorus starts a midi PC 3 command is sent which activates preset 3 on the blackstar which is my dirty channel. etc. I would be able to set up presets with delay’s, chorus, reverb etc over 128 presets and use the beatbuddy to trigger them depending on my programming of midi files used to create songs in beatbuddy manager.

I hope someone might be able to shed some more light on this feature. In the meantime I plan to get a midi cable to connect up my Blackstar ID60 to the beatbuddy to see if this is possible. If not possible now I’m sure it could be implemented in a future firmware update. How awesome would it be.


So the “problem” this is just that the BB only emits midi on one channel, in order to use it as a controller? And to do it right, you’d want to emit, say, voicelive commands on ch 11, and blackstar commands on ch 12, and lightshow on ch 13, etc? Do I understand this correctly?

Edit. just had a think about it and it makes sense. It’s probably the same reason why you have to merge the drum and bass midi’s into one file when exporting to midi in reaper so you be able to hear both in playback.

That’s pretty much how I understand it. From Norberts thread if the beatbuddy allows midi PC commands as long as they are on the same midi channel as the midi files for the drums it will work. In your example. If the drum midi’s were programed on midi channel 11 the voicelive would work but the Blackstar on 12 and lightshow on 13 would not work.

I think the main issue first is finding out if the beatbuddy will transmit the PC or CC Commands.

Ok little bit disappointed.
I have just done some more research on how midi controls work and Think I have some understanding now.

I have conducted some tests in beatbuddy manager and unfortunately I don’t think sending midi PC commands is going to work but I do think Beatbuddy team could implement it without to much problem.

Norberts Thread talked about the beatbuddy not being able to send out two different midi channels (eg 1 and 5) in the Midi out. I created a midi file in reaper using bass drum on midi channel 1 and snare on midi channel 2. I exported this to midi file. I opened this file again in reaper to check it wasn’t changing any settings when exporting to midi but there was no changes to the midi channels used.
I created a sng in Manager and used this file in main part. Both bass drum and snare played no problems. I used the export to midi feature in manager and then opened this file in Reaper to check. The midi events for both bass drum and snare were now merged together on channel 10. In a midi file say like a backing track channel 10 is normally drums which i think is why Beatbuddy does this.

Now with issuing a PC command this would not be a problem for me as with the blackstar ID60 it can read PC commands on any of the 16 channels. I added a PC command to the original midi file I created in reaper and exported to midi. I opened this file in my sng in manager and from there exported to midi. Opened this file in reaper and the PC command was gone.
Beatbuddy manager must delete any PC or CC commands present in a midi file when used in a sng. Hence we will be unable to use PC commands to change presets in other devices unless the beatbuddy team makes a change here.

Manager also changes the midi events and I think deletes the midi off events.

I have a VL3 and beatbuddy and its all practice ,practice ,practice and timing

If we could get the BB to send PC or CC, a whole world of possibilities would open up. Incidentally, anyone know if the VL3 can act as a master to the BB, using the VL3 as a master clock instead of the BB?

like Stu mentioned it seems only one track midi minded. Im guessing SS did that to make it easier to read type0 and type1 and just assume the only notes in it were drum to get it out the door. When exporting from Logic with only one instrument it makes type0 otherwise it knows to make it type1, both play in BB. I’m hoping they can address it so that Type1 midi file read in can output whatver is in the file to midi on the appropriate tracks, would be a killer sequencer and replace the need for a laptop or things like a Roland BK-7M and other players. CC and program change messages could control effect patches. Using BB as master clock I’d just use a looper to do a quick loop to play along with as a layer, or for a sampled intro etc. vs trying to make it into a backing track player following segment tags and use midi notes out to a good sound module to could do any instruments, controlling a lighting rig or a robot band for that matter. Come on Singular. Oh, and add option to kill the double tap outro on main pedal :slight_smile:

This is not a direct solution but you might find something useful and interesting here: They make a range of special boxes that take a signal from a footswitch or similar and convert it to midi. You can program them. Perhaps with mod to the BB you could send a signal to one of these when a transition is executed and in turn send a midi command to the Voicelive 3.

Following on from my previous post I found this on the Midi Solutions web site: Event Processor Plus ( - this unit is very programmable - for example it looks like you can watch for a sequence of midi commands / notes and then trigger a midi CC message once found. So if your transition fill uses a certain sequence (or even if it has one unique note within it) you could possibly trigger a control msg to the Voicelive to turn on the harmony, or whatever else. It seems a little complex to program but flexible too - you can use variables within the unit to store certain midi values for use later for example. There are many other functions too. It looks like this unit along with some of the other ones on the site should allow you to do almost anything using the BB midi output. I am looking to get the Vicelike too - being able to control guitar and voice patches within the Voicelive from the BB midi output would be amazing.

I have quickly checked out the midi solutions event processor and I believe that it would do the job. You could send out a midi note event that is outside the range of used midi notes in the drumsets and the event processor can change it to a PC or CC command on any channel and number. Unfortunately I’m not gonna spend the $200 - $300 to get one of these to Australia. Again I don’t believe it would be to hard for the beatbuddy to be programmed to let PC and CC commands thru to midi out. The Beatbuddy team is missing out on a big feature they could use to sell the beatbuddy with if they can’t or don’t.

Make sure you watch the second half of the video

I suppose it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to assign all the existing drum kits to ch 10. Create new “drum kits” that are other instruments, and have the midi trigger those on different channels. With the 100mb drum kit size limit, there may be a total limit to the number of samples. If there is no drum kit for that channel, then play those notes out the wire. That way the BB is a midi solution itself, and a simple sequencer.

Thanks Guitar Stu and tomd100! I successfully programmed pauses and tempo changes into the BB using its MIDI note-out and a MIDI Solutions Event Processor. The Event Processor can remap note-on to a CC # so I just added some notes into the song part which aren’t played (no instrument in the drum set) and also got it to send CC to my Voicelive 3 turning harmonies on/off automatically during performance! It would be GREAT if the BB manager didn’t strip CC events from MIDI files so an Event Processor wouldn’t be needed.

Is this specific to IOS or can this be done using a Windows OS or android?

Automation is a great thing. The more I play live as a solo performer the less I want to be doing with my feet. I got enough going on as it is. Good to see it worked.