A friend and I filled in for a last-minute cancellation on a gig tonight as a duo. The BB was our ‘third’. LOL First gig ever with it.
Overall? It went very well. I had prepped us for this situation with a bunch of sng’s at the ready, but scrambled this morning throwing a bunch of simple beats together in a set list for tonight (and tomorrow night as well…as it’s a 2-night commitment).
There are a couple of tweaks that a performer should be aware of.
First - if I have one criticism of the canned midis, it’s that the fills are much, much, much, much, much too ‘busy’ for performers. It’s like you can hear John Lennon’s voice in the background admonishing, “Just play the F-ing beat!” After a couple of embarrassingly complicated fills escaped on some of the last-minute additions I hadn’t had a chance to vet completely? I seldom threw-in any fills at all from that point onward during the night. Note to developers - simple is better. Real performers just need the most rudimentary of fills. Most of them sound like the by-product of some self-frustrated drummer trying too hard to impress the audience with his syncopation and stick-speed prowess. NOT cool for 90% of performances.
Second - you have to dedicate the BB to its own PA channel and have some sort of volume pedal at the output of its signal. Changing drum kits in the software and downloading it to the SD card on the pedal doesn’t really prepare you for the seriously varying gain levels that get outputted to the PA in a live setting. I was constantly ‘riding the fader’ because most of the standard kit’s volumes were totally strong and too far out front, while most of the brushes kit were so far underneath that gain level we struggled to even hear them. Yes - I know brushes are supposed to have a softer feel…but they shouldn’t completely disappear relative to the standard kit. JMHO.
If it sounds harsh - it’s only because we’re fairly picky, as performers, as to the quality of our tools of the trade. It’s the main reason we picked BB - because the sound is REAL. This may be nit-picking, but it’s just a heads up for other performers who may be able to glean a little experience from those who have traveled the path before them.
Overall? A great pedal. Easy to use. Realistically sounding. Just a few tweaks you’ll need to do to reliably use it in a gig situation. 1) Have a volume pedal in the chain after the output and run the BB pedal a little ‘hot’ so you can throttle it up or down as needed. 2) Preview EVERY song’s fills so you don’t get embarrassed by the oh-too-busy drummer in your live performance. Eliminate/delete the ones that won’t fit your requirements. Yes, it’s tedious. But necessary.