External tempo control pedal for the BeatBuddy


I started this project a year ago, initially building a tempo controller using a volume footpedal. While it worked, it was not very useful in a stage setting. From lessons learned, I put together a simple two-button tempo controller, which increases or decreases tempo by 5 BPM on each press.
I don’t have a detail of the build yet, but will stick one together with a parts list, more photos, etc.
Anyhow, just thought I’d share my BeatBuddy hardware hack here.

WoW, that’s really cool! We really need to know how you do it?

That would be nice for me since I can not get the tempo to Auto change with in my Android version of setlist maker and BB.

@[SIZE=4]jstrausss - I’m in the same boat with sending MIDI commands to BB with Android on a Nexus 6p. If you ever figure something out, let me know![/SIZE]

I will - What device are you using that will be sending the commands ? I’m just trying to get the Android Ver. of setlist Maker to change tempos but so far what I’ve learned is that this version dosn’t have or send beat clock midi signals but from what the developer for SLM said is that I can change tempo by setting up Raw data.
So Right now I’m teaching myself more in regards with Hex formatting and Raw Midi data so hopefully I can find some type of work around to get this to change tempo automatically.

I was kinda hoping to use my smartphone as a MIDI controller of sorts. Nexus 6p.

I use two FS-5U Pedals for my external pushbuttons. I set the left one for changing the tempo when BeatBuddy is going or stopped. All I have to do is stomp on the button a couple of times at the tempo I want and it will be there. You can make fine adjustments as you are playing to correct the timing very slightly if you are careful enough. I use it this way all the time when I am setting up a track using the BeatBuddy and my Digitech Looper. Works great for me and with a little practice, you can get very close to the tempo you want. I have the right pushbutton setup for instant pause and then when BB is stopped, I can advance to the next song, or now with the new upgrade, I can also advance to the next folder (which I am still practicing at). It would be nice though to have an external volume/expression pedal to set the tempo on the fly. Lately, I have been practicing to slow the song down at the end and so far, it’s working out pretty decent.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I’m not too much into midi so this would be right up my alley. Does the cable to the Pushbutton Pedal plug in to the BeatBuddy thru the din cable or does it use the 1/4" Jack that would have to be installed? I am assuming that the push buttons are momentary contacts. Can the unit be adjusted for different increments other than the 5 that you have now? What is the average cost to build this unit as you have it now? Sorry for all the questions. I am definitely interested in building this great litte device, so keep me posted in the development. Thanks for your work to help make a better product. If you’re interested, I will give you the schematic of the Volume/Tone equalizer that I built to antennuate the level of the output of the BeatBuddy. It is much too strong to feed direct into an amplifier, so I built a stereo control box with tone controls to take the harshness off the cymbals and the snare hits and lessen the output. It also kind of smoothed out everything. Works Great.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

You can. I use my iPhone as a midi controller. You need an interface and some software. Yamaha just came out with a Bluetooth LE interface that’s inexpensive and doesn’t need batteries. Midi controller software is cheap or free for a basic pad.

I just thought of a crazy idea to look at the control on the BeatBuddy that sets the tempo. If someone were able to parallel the switch or potentiometer (it looks like it’s a continuos switch), then run a cable into an external switch, let’s say open or closed contacts, it just might trigger the tempo. One switch for increase in tempo, the other for decrease in tempo. Wow! I guess I’ll have to pull the BeatBuddy off the pedalboard and have a look. No harm in trying.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

If and when you put a diagram together for the tempo push-button control of the BeatBuddy, send some info my way. I would be excited to build one. I remember your idea with the expression pedal and it was great but this one sounds even better. Would like to know what components you used in the external footswitch. Thanks for the idea and can’t wait. You can leave me a note here.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I kept trying to figure out what you had done for that tempo switch because from the video it ‘looks’ like you were using the usb to talk to the BB but I just went to your web site and from the comments I think that what you have done is to basically ‘clone’ the tempo knob to an external (I guess TRS) 1/4 inch jack (whih is located beneath the usb port which is why i thought you had it hooked up to the usb) and then used an Arduino to control the ‘setting’ of the virtual tempo knob.

Sound about right ?

If that’s correct it’s a pretty interesting solution although it does require some fab/modification of the BB to make it work which may be beyond many people here, not to mention voiding the warranty etc.
It should be pretty easy though to make a similar box to simply step the tempo up and down by a number of steps using the midi in.

Basically a Hammond 1590BB box with a couple of push switches on it, an Arduino and some code to drive a midi out to the BB to step the tempo up and down.

If there’s any interest in that I could throw a sample together, let me know.

Any recent updates on the materials and circuit used on the tempo push-button unit? Would like to know so I can build one of these. It would be really handy for me and would prevent me from having to bend over to adjust the tempo with the back injury that I have. Keep me posted as to when the information will be available.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

OK, I threw a quick demo together of something I like to call my TempoBuddy:

Unlike the original poster’s version which I believe requires hardware mods to the BB, mine just uses the standard midi in to the BB to control things. I am running with the 1.85 level of firmware in the BB.

The box is one I had built for an earlier midi project project but since it had everything I needed for this demo I just reprogrmmed it. Basically it has an Arduino Uno in it connected to a midi out socket and the two foot switches.
Pressing the left switch send 5 ‘decrement the tempo by 1’ midi CC commands (CC 97) while pressing the right button sends 5 ‘increment the tempo by 1’ midi CC commands (CC 96).

A few questions! Does the Arduino Uno cost much? Don’t know that much about midi and really never used it. I understand the principal of it though. I just never got around to finding out about it. Too busy playing music I guess. I started playing guitar back in the 50’s and back then was a for-runner to even analog. We used tube operation echo machines like the old Echoplex and nobody ever heard of how to build a reverb unit. Hammond Organ Company was the first to come out with the “Accutronic Reverb Unit” in a device about 2 foot long. Later, Fender got a hold of it and built a portable reverb box in about 1963 and it was a pretty fair unit. Anyway, I got a little side-tracked there. How much would a unit like this cost and can a person build one fairly reasonable. Would you be willing to part with the schematic for one? Let me know.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

See my other post here http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?threads/tempo-buddy.5972/