Help the BeatBuddy into a happy future

No, I am not a shareholder, and my only connection with BeatBuddy is being a happy user. But I hope for success with this product, because it’s a very useful drummachine with a lot of possibilities – especially in the future! The BB should be a dynamic tool – a machine that I can adapt to my changing needs.

I have installed the BB manager, I even managed to download a new song – but it was a hard process filled with dead ends, trials and strange error messages. When it’s so difficult to install new songs and change the setup, the BB might end as a “frozen moment in time”, that don’t reflect my changing needs. The BB might end collecting dust on the shelve.
On the other hand: imagine when I show my friends in my music community, how I keep on finding new and useful patterns and songs – that the BB is the solution to our musical needs – no matter what kind of musical style we need. Then the BB will be a steady sales success and not just a shortlived idea. My focus (like many other BB users) is playing music, and I am not interested in digging deep into programming. So I am hoping for an active community creating new songs and drumsets. Yes, I would even be willing to pay for expansion packs – and I guess many other will.

But it all boils down to ease of use – In short: Do something about that BB manager and make it more user-friendly.

Making BBManager more user friendly is exactly the task I’ll be actively solving all this month.

@Spiritof1955 thank you very much for your honest opinion and advice. We all agree with you 100% and we are seriously focusing on this exact issue.

I agree that a strong user community will help greatly. I liked the pedal when I first got it but I love it more with the addition of the user contributions even so far to now… (I’ve only had it a few days but I’ve been either fiddling with the pedal or playing with the manager as much as possible.)

Been meaning to dabble with the Beat Buddy manager, but too busy playing the damn thing. I’ve not even taken the time to update the firmware. Hopefully my growth as a musician will get to the point where I will see value in updating the firmware and using the manager.

The Firmware adds extra features to the Pedal, so it is worth updating. The Manager software is something entirely different but you will need it if you ever want to make changes to the BB including creating set lists.

I finally learned the manager at least at the first level and now have a majority of the songs I perform on the pedal. If I am in a little different mood, it is easy to reach down and change the tempo slightly for different moods and attitude. It was a daunting task to learn how to put things into the memory and synch, but now it seems easier. I was committed to doing that because I think a drumbeat is a welcome addition to my performances. I used to come up with drum sounds on a chord organ and kept trying to figure out how to put that in the background, so this somehow seems easier. Not entirely user friendly, but acceptable.

Thanks for your honest opinion here! I really hope you’ll like the new version of BBManager better. It will be ready soon. Really soon.

Overall, I’ve found BBManager to be pretty easy to use. It would be nice to be able to copy/paste songs from one folder to another rather than export/import, but that’s a pretty minor inconvenience.

Mr. Daef, old buddy, good buddy, buddy, buddy, buddy! Look out! Here it comes. Someone informed me (Psalm 40 to be exact) that you might have “Quantized” a bunch of songs and and might have them available for download. I sure would like a copy if you have done this. This would save me some time as I have been using the Beat Builder to slowly “Quantize” the songs that the beats are “not so perfect” on. It is very time consuming and I don’t have means or access to midi equipment to do this. I am what you call a “Perfectionist” and I would rather have a drummer “on beat” with good tight rolls. I have spent some 60+ years playing with some very excellent drummers and a few bad ones too. It makes life easier to sit down and play music without having to worry about a drummer keeping decent time. I realize that the Beat Buddy team tried to give us some human-touch drums which they have done only too well. Now it’s time for some “Tight” professional drummers for us “Old Timers” which we are more used to. The newer generation might like it too. Anyway, it would be much appreciated if you have done this and also get a message to Charles Spenser that the “Quantizer” does not work in Beat Builder.
Thank you for all ready doing what you have done and also for what you intend to do. It is very much appreciated.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I agree with FingerStylePicker, Some songs I have just given up on. I can pick out the rhythm, beat, and all of that, but the sound does not create the feeling that is so important for the song. I spent the afternoon working on the Dan Hill song, “Sometimes When We Touch” and while I can get the rhythm and beat to match the original recording perfectly, none of them convey the feeling of the song. Guess there are some songs that I will use BB and some just do not “qualify”.

I will try to explain this the best I can. A lead guitar player, singer are always “Ahead of the Beat” with phrasing. Also, sometimes behind the beat as well. The drum beat therefore has to be “Dead On” so the player, singer, can keep track of where he is at and have that “Definite Beat” to come back to. If the beat is slightly off, then there is trouble coming back to that point and it can throw the timing of the whole song off. When you try to make your music as perfect as you can with your own phrasing which makes you “unique”, you have to have that drum beat right on the money. The feeling of the song comes from you and the way you “Phrase” it. People sometimes forget that the drums are a background part of the music as well as the bass is. You have your drum solos, yes, or a good riff, but that basic beat has to be there always, and it has to be “Dead On”. Enough talk! I’ve said what had to be said.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I agree. In trying to make the drums have a human quality it somehow goes against the grain of making it more realistic. If that makes sense. I like to have the drums dead on and then have the freedom to play with the beat by phrasing ahead or behind to give it the feel. If the drums are not dead on then you have no exact reference point. This is strictly from the view point of playing with a drum machine. I have played with some great drummers through out my career as well. The drummer that I currently play with is as solid as they come. He always says that you don’t really notice a good drummer. They do their job but don’t get in the way or overplay. The groove is where it’s at and to me the drummer is the foundation. You may have different interactions with different types of players but I think when it comes to a machine you want it to not sound stiff but be accurate. The articulation of the parts can make a big difference. Which beats are accented etc. If you quantize and then have every note at the same velocity then it can sound robotic. Slow, rubato type songs are probably the hardest to use a machine for because you really do need the human element for that feel. and interaction. I think Fingerstylepicker you said it perfectly.

Thank You! I appreciate that very much. Been trying to get this point across for a long time. Daef is supposedly working on “Quantizing” drumsets for the Beat Buddy eliminating the “Sloppy Drums” as some of it is now. Hopefully, some of this will get done. Also, I work with the Beat Builder all the time and it has a “Quantizing” function in “Tools” but it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe Charles Spenser that built it could take a look at it and hopefully fix that too. I seem to spend a lot of time “Correcting” the timing on the fills to get them to come out right and I have corrected something like over 100 songs already. It takes some time and I would rather be playing music instead. Other than that, I really like the Beat Buddy and if they get a few of the problems fixed, it will be around for a long time. I use it on my pedalboard every day and I mean that. I do play music everyday, or I should say nights. I am retired now but I have a decent music room with everything in it, and I am still very active at music.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

Since this is an issue with many BB users, perhaps the BB guys can quantize all the songs (or the MIDI files to be exact) that comes with the BB SD Card, and put it up on the BB website for download (like the SD Card download), and those who want to can download and use those quantized songs instead of those that came with the SD cards.

Why don’t those of you who are dissatisfied with the songs pull them into your DAW and use the quantize there?

The issue I have with the slightly imperfect BB drums is that they were made imperfect to sound human, presumably because humans are imperfect. That reasoning seems sound (pun intended) at first, however, humans can also recognize imperfection and correct themselves to some degree when needed, and that is something the BB doesn’t do. It’s imperfection is programmed and occurs without regard to the flow of a performance or it’s accompaniment. It doesn’t ever think to itself “oh, I’m a little behind”, or “I’m a little fast”, it just simply plays out of time because it was programmed to do that. The very nature of it’s programming makes it sound unnatural and drives some of us crazy.

The subject is “Quantize”. Is there anyone out there reading these forums and the issue with hopeful wishes to get the songs quantized? There hasn’t been one single reply from anyone as to the “why not fix this problem” thing yet. Some of the consumers (users) out there have devices to fix the quantize thing but some of us don’t. Oh, we can fix the problems but we would rather be “Making Music” with the Beat Buddy as intended and not wasting time fixing this phrase or that phrase. I would like to enjoy what I paid for and I think I speak for the rest of us. Sure, there are problems with a new product but the problems should try to be held down to minimum. Come on Support Team, give us some support.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

Most of us don’t see it as a problem. It’s perfectly useable out of the box. If you personally have a problem with it, it’s not that difficult to change in a DAW.

I paid the price for this pedal and I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get it to work decent. No, it’s not a big problem but I consider my time valuable. The original idea behind this pedal was for a drum machine on the floor you could operate with your foot. Not something you would have to waste hours on to get it perfect. No, it is not perfectly useable out of the box. For you maybe but not for me. I have been at it too long to accept anything less that my normal standards which are sometimes higher than other peoples standards and I’m not the least bit sorry for that. I don’t have to be.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.