Free MIDI editor designed for BeatBuddy

BeatBuilder 1.0 is now available. It’s a drum track creator and editor specifically designed for use with the BeatBuddy drum pedal and the BeatBuddy Manager software. It has features that assist in the creation of drum tracks like bulk volume adjustments, automatic “humanizing” of drum patterns through randomization of volumes and dequantization of notes, and standard editor functions: cut, copy, paste, delete, and insert.
Beatbuilder automates converting downloaded MIDI files to a format compatible with the BeatBuddy pedal. Specifically, it remaps instruments to the subset of instruments included in the standard BeatBuddy kits. It also lets you select pieces of a file and save them as song parts and it shows you how many pertinent note events are in the track, making it easier to work with the 500 note-on limit.

To install, first, your PC/Mac needs to have Java 1.7 or higher installed. If needed, free PC/Mac downloads are available here:

Download the BeatBuilder.jar file to your desktop:

PC users are all set, just double-click the file to run it.

Mac users need to perform the following steps to make the file launchable:

  1. Click once on the .jar file in the Finder.
  2. From the menubar in the Finder select File -> Get Info".
    3 Click on “Open with” and from the popup menu.
  3. Select “Jar Launcher”, which is built into OS X.
  4. Whenever you double click on the .jar file the program should start


For those who have already downloaded a beta copy and tried it out, I suggest checking out the help dialog, as I put a few tricks and tips in there. For those who have reported issues and asked for enhancements, thanks for your input, you’ve helped make it a better app.

It is a pleasure to work with this software. Very simple to use. The BeatBuddy makes sense here. A big thank you Charles.

I made a couple minor fixes: there was a goof in the paste code and the cut toolbar button wasn’t working. I also set the compatibility setting for Java 1.7 so either 1.7 or 1.8 will be suitable. The JAR file in DropBox has been updated

The import midi files now works perfectly (unlike beta).
So I placed the jar file in the workspace BB and put a shortcut on the desktop to put a more suitable icon (than Java) :slight_smile:

I could not get the program to import any 3rd party drum midi files without first importing them to Band in Box and saving as a new midi file on a Windows 7 machine.
Would it be possible to add a note parser to cleave midi files down to the 500 note limit?
Thanks a lot for your efforts on this!

Can you attach one of the MIDI files that was problematic to the post and I’ll take a look at why it’s having trouble.

As for chopping a MIDI file down to 500 events, maybe the best way to approach it is enhance the count-note-events feature in the tools menu to also include count notes in selection, i.e. let you highlight a selection and then find out how many notes it has. That would tie in nicely to the save-a-selection-as because the two together would make it easy to chop up MIDI tracks into subsections.

Nice software!
Sometimes beats, played on BB sounds quite different than same beats played on Win General Midi, then they are more or less effective depending on drum sets (samples) they use.
Would it be possible to play midi files with BB drum samples?
(maybe by a VST instrument?)

I know what you mean about how weak the built in wavetable synth percussion can sound, particularly on older PCs. I suspect it will take a significant amount of work to play sequences without using the default MIDI synthesis of the PC, but I’ll look into it.

In the meantime, I uploaded version 1.1 to dropbox. I added the ability to get the event count of a selection, useful for chopping up a pre-existing file into song parts using the save selection feature.

Another feature I want to add: compression. Some of the downloaded MIDIs were composed by someone tapping the drums out on a synth and the range of velocities, while they may sound fine played back on a synth, sometimes sound odd with a multi-layered sound bank.

Has anyone tried this on a Mac yet? I just tried on mine and I’m not able to get anything but one sound (snare hit it sounds like) no matter which instrument I use. Some don’t trigger any sound at all. Is there another aspect to this that I’ve missed?

Do you have MIDI devices attached to your Mac? The method I’m calling to get a sequencer to play on is getting it from the Mac’s current default synthesizer and typically that’s the built-in wavetable synthesizer of the PC.

Nice job on the GUI, that was quick work! I disabled Java on my Mac since Oracle and Apple can’t get their S#$t together on support of it and haven’t tried it yet but if the method could support VST/AU plugins like EZDrummer2 and have remapping template support for imports I’d reinstall Java for it.

No nothing MIDI is connected to my Mac.

I’m closer to finishing a song now, thank you Charles !
Is this program not worthy of ‘Sticky’ status ?

For those having trouble with the playback, I’m going to add the ability to choose the playback device from a list of available devices. On some systems the default being returned to my app isn’t necessarily the available wavetable synth and instead it’s running with something horrid. Additionally, you may want the output to go to an actual external synth that you have hooked up.

Congrats Charles …looks like it’s a sticky now !!
… if the program ran ‘with’ the beat it would be easier to find the fills & turnarounds.
I’m starting with an ‘easy’ song file on my learning curve,
so nice to have sounds coming from my cuts. cheers.

I thought the idea behind this is so you could also remap midi notes. I just thought I would quickly edit Blues 2 by changing the stick to a snare and saving it as a different name. The computer I am on does not have a midi editor installed so I thought I would quickly try this - unfortunately it appears that this does not have that capability at this time :frowning:

No problem, version 1.2 will have transposition :slight_smile:

Version 1.2 has been uploaded to DropBox. The popup menu for instrument row headers now includes transposition.

Is the 1.2 upgrade on this page somewhere?

The link is in the first post of the thread.

And here :slight_smile: :