Can I just play a song straight through?

The normal workflow I’m seeing in the editor lets me choose parts, and pressing the BeatBuddy’s main pedal allows me to advance through these parts. This is wonderful for improvisation.

But sometimes for whole songs that I’ve scripted out, I would rather the BeatBuddy just play a fully pre-programmed song from start to finish without needing to manually tell it to advance.

Is this possible?

One method I thought of would involve making a very long pattern the length of the song. But the editor tells me I can’t have patterns more than 500 events, so that won’t do.

No, not at the moment, in the future I am hoping they will add a play list function to each song, in the mean time you will need to record the song in another device and play it from there.

Really? How utterly disappointing. I’m really surprised.

This strikes me as a very basic feature. Drum machines have had the ability to construct songs out of patterns since like… forever. The interface is great for improv or songs with an uncertain number of repetitions. But it adds a lot of extra tap-dancing for a scripted song. Sure, I could record it to a tape deck and push play, but there goes my ability to make sure that playback is in sync with my MIDI gear… which is half the point of using a drum machine in the first place.

Seems like a pretty easy function to add… just an option to play the patterns one after the other for any given song. Or better yet, just a checkbox between patterns to tell it to advance automatically or not (this way you’d get the best of both worlds). I hope the devs can add it soon.

If the devs can add this feature and make sure the BB will slave to an RC-300 rock solid (the forums seem to indicate possible problems here?), I’ll celebrate this as the best drum machine of all time. Seriously. I’m really really excited about the BeatBuddy. I want one so bad.

But without those I’ve got to look elsewhere. Now I’m bummed. Back to the SR-16 it is then…

I have many SNGs set up to play straight through. They have a subtle fill in measure 4 and another one in measure 8. Subtle because it’s classic country. You could go out to 16 or more with more fills.

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The goal of the beat buddy was for spontaneous live play not backing tracks. It is a beautiful piece of hardware that does for the most part exactly what it was created to do. Asking it to be a backing track is going backwards in my opinion.


Although I agree, it is important for the BB to be be as flexible as possible, so it can be used in lots of different ways. Lifting the 500 midi note limit would allow the use of full songs, if users so required. If you are dealing with a number of efx pedals then the added complication of controlling the BB maybe too much and having it in “Auto” may be a solution. The ideal solution would be “auto” with the ability to break in and add fills. Another thought - if you have a full midi song and you are happy with it, you don’t want to spend ages chopping it up into usable loops just so you can play it in the BB.

It’s not really going backwards in my opinion. The ability to autoplay is certainly less-advanced, but that doesn’t mean it has no place. Psalm40 points out my exact use case… I’ve got plenty to do with my feet as it is. The flexibility of the existing mode is great, but if you already know exactly what you want, it calls for more input than is necessary.

Lots of popular drum machines have this mode already. Often, you have the ability to create patterns and then chain them together into songs. The ever-popular SR-16 is a great example. You can create patterns and use a foot-pedal to transition between a verse, chorus, and two fills – much like the BeatBuddy (though not as powerful). But you can also create songs which automatically sequence patterns in a chain. I use both modes frequently. Having both these modes has contributed to its staying power a lot. There’s a reason that this thing is still in production and wide use 25 years after it was released.

Of course, it does not have many of the other the advantages of the BeatBuddy. Being able to load MIDI files, load wavs for accent hits, load your own drum sets onto the machine, switch between them easily, and do it all with MIDI sync and a small form factor are all huge. There’s nothing else on the market with these features together.

Removing the 500 note limit would certainly do it. I wouldn’t mind just being able to chain existing patterns, either. I wouldn’t find myself “cutting up” an existing MIDI file very often… nearly any song I’m constructing is made of smaller patterns like those made in the BeatBuddy already, anyway.

The super-deluxe solution would be to also include functionality to repeat a chorus or verse an extra time before progressing. But while that would be nice, it’s not as important. I’m wary to even mention it, because if this feature is easy to add, I’d hate to slow it down with any featurecreep.

Before we run ahead of ourselves, just because we think this is a good idea and will probably be implemented it may take some time - although if Daef is on the case maybe not too long…still you need to be patient.

Oh, certainly. Development always takes time and I don’t feel I’m entitled to anything. I just thought the forum would be a good place to learn more and let the developers know what prospective users would like to see. I’ll be excited to buy one if this feature comes through.

I fully agree with Threeleggedyoyo, and this is a big deal breaker for me. :frowning: I was literally ready to pull the trigger and order a Beat Buddy until I learned that I could not just simply load a single midi drum file and play the file through. I have midi tracks for all my songs written, and I have no problem even splitting them into parts and having them play through an arrangement in “auto” like was suggested. In fact I would love to have the ability to let an arrangement play through on “auto”, but repeat the current section if I chose on the fly, tap again to transition back to auto…which I just realized Threeleggedyoyo also similarly suggested. This would be the best of both worlds, solo artists being able to reproduce their songs, but improv or extend if they want on the fly.

I don’t want to be chained to a laptop, I love the form and factor of the Beat Buddy and really want to purchase one…it’s just not useful to me without being able to play through arrangements without triggering the next pattern.

Ryan Veitch, I totally agree with you!
“Play through” is definitely an absolutely necessary mode for a BeatBuddy.

Hi! I would like to have this option too! Can you estimate how long will it take to be implemented?

Setting time frames can be dangerous.
Though, I hope I will be able to discuss this (and many other important questions) soon.

Please don`t forget to mention Midi-control:);):cool:

At first I thought this was the stupidest idea ever, until just recently. Working on a song, had all my parts figured out and was rehearsing when I though “it’s a pain in the butt to be doing the manual fills/transitions”, doing it full auto would have been convenient.

loopers, even the cheap ones, are incredibly useful here. Record your drum track all the way through once and you’re done.

Well said. I use a Digitech JamMan Delay Looper with my Beat Buddy and it works out great. The only bad thing about a looper is it the repeatability all the time unless you make the loop longer. It does handle the drum fills nicely though. I found that some of the drum tracks that are in the Beat Buddy are long enough and also have accent beats within the original “Beat Track” which sometimes you don’t have to use the fills. They’re already in there which makes it nice. I am learning more and more what the Beat Buddy can do all the time and the new “Beat Builder” is a great tool for building your own tracks.
Keep up the good work David. It is much appreciated. Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I like the flexibility of song structures that can be made with BB but as a solo/duo guitar player/singer the last thing I want to do is to have to play being a drummer with my feet for every fill and transition and I really don’t want that much attention on a drum machine. I’ve found that for me to want to take this out I need a song mode (and a way do disable that damn double tap outro). Ideally BBM would have something like a DAW track to list of the pattern positions like In, V1,F1,V2,F2,Br,Out with tempo adjust for each segment so that song tempo can be predefined to be varied. The song option would be most useful if it allowed a foot transition to extended loop of current pattern and regular switch control of fill/transition back to the pre-defined layout. This would also permit BBM full song auditioning and practice.

With time now using the beat buddy I have also found if I can get away with as little button pushes as possible the better and altered some of the earlier songs i made to make them easier. I really only use beats with bass now but the same principals i use can apply to just the drumbeats.

I will use the fills and transitions in different ways to make the song easier. EG. Alot of the time I will have main beat play the verse and instead of transitioning to another loop for the chorus I will program the chorus as a fill so one button push to start the chorus including a fill leading into the chorus and at the end of the chorus the beatbuddy goes back to the verse by itself.

I did this with Sultans of Swing and went from 4 fills and 9 Transition pushes to 4 fills and one transition push.