How Do I Make Drum Kits for the BeatBuddy?

This topic shows you how to make drum kits for the BeatBuddy. You can make drum kits from any sort of WAV file that you create with your microphone or sounds samples from libraries. This tutorial was written for the latest version of Beat Buddy Manager, version 1.32. Please download and install this application if you do not have it (other forum topics cover this process)

There is a thriving industry of recorded sound samples from great companies like Goran Grooves, EZ Drummer, Analogue Drums, etc. Please honor the copyright agreement of the third-party drum kits and patronize our music industry professionals for all they do.

The basic process to create a new BB drum kit is:

  1. Collect a set of sounds samples. Place them in your Beat Buddy workspace.
  2. Start BBManager. Create a new BB drum kit. Give it a name and save it.
  3. Add instruments to your drum kit. This consists of adding MIDI notes, giving them a name, and associating the notes to one or more sounds sample files. Repeat until you have lots of notes, especially the ones in the standard MIDI drum map. Save frequently.
  4. Be kind to other users. Test your drum kit with standard songs. Write a README documentation file with the kit. Write a drum map so people know which MIDI notes produce which sounds. ZIP it all up into one file so it is easy to share.
  5. Share your drum kit. Make sure your kit extracts into the correct paths in the BB workspace. Post your kit where people can download it. Share your kit to the BeatBuddy User Forum.

Wow, sounds like a long process, but let me make posts that explain each step.
Thanks, Dan

This post covers step 1 of making Drum Kits for the BeatBuddy.

  1. Collect a set of sounds samples. Place them in your Beat Buddy workspace.

You must have the BBManager software installed on your computer. BBManager has a workspace where it creates drum kits, songs, and projects. On a Windows computer with BBManager 1.32, this workspace is created in the file system path at “C:/Users//Documents/”. (Windows systems use “” for path delimiters, but here I give everything a “/”.)

The angle brackets “<” and “>” and text in between in that file system path represent a location that was created with your user name or software installation. So my user name is Dan and this shows as “C:/Users/Dan”. So “C:/Users/” means that on my system the file path is “C:/Users/Dan”. Similarly, I installed BBManager with a workspace of “BBworkspace”. Substitute your particular location into the angle brackets and come up with an instance of a particular BB workspace name such as “C:/Users/YourName/Documents/YourBBWorkspace”. The workspace will have different names on Windows, Mac, Linux, but we will refer to this workspace file system location as “”.

Collect your sound samples. Grab a mic and record. Find some sounds samples.

As I mentioned in the original post, there is a thriving industry of recorded sound samples from great companies like Goran Grooves, EZ Drummer, Analogue Drums, etc. Please honor the copyright agreement of the third-party drum kits and patronize our music industry professionals for all they do.

Once you have a directory of samples, let’s copy this to the BB workspace. Copy all the samples to the /user_lib/wave_sources file system path. Keep user contributions in the “user_lib” location. This image shows the location on my file system, “/user_lib/wave_sources”. I strongly suggest you give additional information such as author and library name to the path. So in this example, I created a location with “AnalogueDrums/SplitSticks”. The full file system path for this library is “/user_lib/wave_sources/AnalogueDrums/SplitSticks/Wav”. This image shows some Analogue Drums samples on my file system.
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/userdirectory-png.265/

This post covers step 2 of making drum kits for the Beat Buddy.

  1. Start BBManager. Create a new BB drum kit. Give it a name and save it.

Download and install BBManager. This is covered in other posts. This post is written for version 1.32 of BBManager.

Select “File > New Drumset” of the main menu. This is shown in this image of my BBManager.
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/newdrumset-png.266/

Locate the drum set in the BBManager “Drum Sets” tab in the “Project Explorer” section of the user interface. The new drum set shows up on the right side. When you add a new drum set, the software provides a default name and and instrument list. Locate the “Drumset Maker” section and double click on the drum set name to give it your own name. I like to give the author and set name here such as “AnalogueDrumsSplitSticks”

For the first save select “File > Save Drumset As” and give it a file name. Subsequent save require only “File Save” or the shortcut key Ctrl-S. The saving process is shown here:
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/savedrumset-png.267/

Got that? Get used to saving your drum sets when you work on them. You never know when the power will run out or the dog tries to take our your power cord.

This post covers step 3 of making drum kits for the Beat Buddy:
3. Add instruments to your drum kit.

This consists of adding MIDI notes, giving them a name, and associating the notes to one or more sounds sample files. Repeat until you have lots of notes, especially the ones in the standard MIDI drum map. Save frequently.

The first thing you do is add a new instrument. On the menu bar select “Organize > Add instrument”. The instrument usually shows up at the end of the “Drumset Maker” section at the bottom of the note list. Locate the new instrument and double click on it.

BBManager calls it an instrument. Others call it a MIDI note. The point is to give it a name, a MIDI note number, and a list of WAV sound file samples to play. This screen shot shows how you name and give it a MIDI note number in BBManager. (I do not know what Choke Group, Fill Group, or Polyphony mean at this time. Will fill in later).
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/newinstrument-png.268/

The volume setting can tone down loud samples. Set the relative volume here.

Select OK.

Now that the new instrument name and number are added, time to select some samples. Many providers such as Goran Grooves, EZ Drummer, Analogue Drums, and other provide many samples for each instrument. So one instrument such as a cymbal will have a drum set name, many hit velocities, one or more microphone samples (close or room), articulations (edge or bow, closed or open), etc… The current BBManager has a drum set size limit of 100 MB, so you have a budget of how many instruments and samples you can support.

Add one or more samples to each instrument/MIDI note you create. Press “Add” for each new sample you want to add. Press the red X if you want to delete a sample. When you browse, a single click will play the sound file. A double click will add it to the list. This image shows adding the second instrument to a sample list from the file system.
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/addinstrumentsamples-png.270/

When you add more than one sample, notice the new instrument is shown in red. You must distribute the start and end velocity to the samples. If you add multiple sound samples from low sound to high, for example 6 sounds from soft to loud, just divide 0 to 127 among the sample file names, 0…15, 16…31, 32…47, etc.

When you have correctly divided up the Start and End velocity ranges among your samples, the interface should show the instrument name in white. Also, the file size budget is updated. Here we added one cymbal “Splash Edge” with 4 samples to MIDI instrument 31. The budget is now up to 3%. Plan accordingly. The new instrument is shown in this image:
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/newinstrumentgreen-png.271/

This post covers step 4 of making drum kits for the Beat Buddy:
4. Be kind to other users. Test your drum kit with standard songs. Write a README documentation file with the kit. Write a drum map so people know which MIDI notes produce which sounds. ZIP it all up into one file so it is easy to share.

Try your new drum kit with the standard BB drum songs. Export the project to you BB SD card or pedal. Play it through your PA system.

Write a README file for your new drum kit. Include sections on Introduction, Installation, Drum maps, Contacts, and Version numbers.

This image shows a typical layout on the file system and the location of the sound files. Do not include sound files if they are copyrighted from a third party kit. Rather include instructions so owners can copy the sound files on their own.
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?attachments/bbworkspace-png.272/

Finally, once you have everything layed out, tested, and working in your BBWorkspace, ZIP it up. Include only the files you created such as the DRM file, the README file, and new directories. Do not include third party samples. ZIP it up, look at it, and unzip for a test,

This post covers step 5 of making a new BB drum kit.

  1. Share your drum kit. Post your kit where people can download it. Share your kit to the BeatBuddy User Forum.

In the last step, we ZIPed everything into one file. Place this file on a sharing web site such as your web site or DropBox. Grab the link to the file.

Create a new topic to the new drum kit in the “Board index > User Generated Content > Drum Kits” forum.

You can share most of your README file here in the forum. Users will appreciate reading this before downloading.

Finally, provide some information on how to provide feedback and update. When users provide corrections, I go back and edit posts and links so there is only one set of instructions.

That is all. Provide me any feedback, and I will edit posts in this topic. Good luck, and I hope you give the BB community some awesome drum kits!
Thanks, Dan

An awesome guide!

This should be made sticky.

The BeatBuddy Manager software version 1.33 has a PDF file with a tutorial.“BB Drum Maker Software manual 1.0” is very helpful and explains the concepts of choke group (one instrument mutes another), fill choke group (one phrase mutes notes in another, prevents flams and makes more natural transitions), and polyphony (one note mutes another). Thanks for the new docs!

I notice on some of the drum kits there will be 3 different .wav files with the same velocity curve like 0-31 then 3 more .wav files for 32-66 for example. Does this mean a midi note with a velocity falling in that range would trigger all three .wav files? I have experimented with editing the drum kits trying to find for example hi hat .wav files that are more crisp and deleting the ones that aren’t and changing the velocity so that the crisp one would trigger at different volumes but the same .wav sound. Every once in a while I get an error to correct the velocity settings or something and I haven’t figured out what it’s looking to see. Is there a requirement for the number of .wav file samples per instrument?

I think you need to read the Drumkit maker manual - many of your questions are answered in there. However the way I understand it, those are triggered via an algorithm which triggers them randomly - what you are wanting to do is destroy the natural sound of the BB.

For starters, I can’t locate the Drumkit maker manual. I’ve looked in the box, in downloads and done a search on the forum and all I have seen is a posted tutorial which is good but didn’t answer that specific question. The algorithm makes sense. I’m not wanting to destroy the natural sound of the BB. I was trying to create a copy of an existing brush set and alter it or choose different .wav files of hi hats or ride cymbals for example to exchange/replace the ones in the brush set.

In general if I don’t like the tone of a particular cymbal I was trying to set the ranges so that the .wav file that sounded more like the tone I’m looking for would be heard while reducing the volume or deleting the ones that don’t sound like I’m wanting. I am a drummer so I’m specifically looking for various tones from different kits. Using various drum machines when I select a kit for a pattern/song I can tune each sound or replace it with the sound from a different kit to mix and match for a custom kit. This is what I’m attempting to accomplish.

It is part of the Beat Buddy Manager software download it may not be with the Mac Beta version but it is with the windows one - it is a PDF.

OK, I’ll use the borrowed windows machine and see if I can locate it. It’s definitely not included with the Mac version. I just found it from the Windows download and saved it on my Mac. I’m very happy with the Mac beta for now. Many thanks to the person/s who worked on that.

Here is a link to the PDF from the BB Manager 1.33 release.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3834471/BB%20Drum%20Maker%20Software%20manual%201.0.pdf

(Sorry, it is larger than 1 MB and exceeds the limits of an append to this thread)
Let me know if the link works and the doc is OK.

Hi and thanks for your tips.
I downloaded a couple of drumkits, but I dont know how install them. Do I copy and paste? Do I click on the file to unpack… Im really lost. Thanks

Can someone please point to the instructions on how to load/install a drum kit created and posted to the site? Thanks in advance!

This is pretty good, if you follow the instructions you should have no issues.
http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?threads/dans-percussiondlx-drum-kit.1196/

Thanks to all of you for posting this. The “Beat Builder” download is also another valuable tool. It allowed me to create a “Swing Style” that I’ve been wanting to do. It’s fun and easy to create all your own stuff there too. I am used to step writing, so I fell right in on that one. You can add those files direct into the midi files and download them right into the Beat Buddy Manager with no problem at all. Just make sure you create all one file with the same BPM so it will come out all right in the final setup. Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

I noticed that my version of BBManager is the “minimal” (see filename). Does this imply another “less minimal” version that isn’t missing the “Settings” Tab next to Songs & Drum Sets?

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Hi there, @MikeVL3X. No, there is no other “less minimal” version. The file just happened to be called like that. I don’t know the true history behind the name, but I can come up with a more or less suitable version.

The BBManager is built using a Qt5 Library. There are a ton of Dynamic Load Library (*.dll) files in the full Qt5 redistribution package. However, not all of them are necessary for BBManager. During the process of compiling a package with a minimum libraries (Qt5 dll’s + some other sound ones), the man who created that installer decided to add “LibMinimal-bundle” to the name to indicate this fact. I remember I argued about the name, but it was easier to just ignore it. The naming question may be revisited in the future.

TLDR: this is a “usual” installer version. However, “Settings” tab was specifically removed from the software. None of the new builds will contain one. Footswitch behavior is now setup via the pedal exclusively.