Implementing looper into the BeatBuddy

Implementing a simple looping capability into the BeatBuddy might be a good idea because we won’t have to deal with multiple devices, midi signal synchro etc. What do you think?

How do you envision using the looper? maybe describing your idea might help the developers conceptualize what you’re proposing. If you’re talking about being able to repeat or loop sections of a BB song, that might be possible however, a looper for more than that might require more h/w or s/w resources than the existing system can support.

I imagine BB has the h/w since it already “loops” a given signal pattern so effectively. I don’t know the innards of the box but basically if we can integrate a Ditto like looper into it where it takes in a guitar’s input signal which is analog, convert it into digital and keep it in a loop memory and sync that with the beat time, then we have killer product which could potentially replace loopers in general. Again, I am no expert but I think it should not require any new h/w for looping external signals. Just some shiny new s/w or f/w.

I think the main issue would be how would you control the looper function. The main pedal is already used for start/stop/fills etc so you’d have to add even more external switches unless you made it into a dual pedal ,something like the Jamman Stereo.
I use a Jamman Solo XT which is about as simple a multi track pedal as you can get. It works fine as a separate unit but I’ve no idea how you could integrate it’s functionality into the BB.
It’s a cool idea but I suspect you would be taking away from everything that is good about the BB which is it’s simplicity in use. Personally I like to keep the two functions separate and just make them work well together (a work in progress with the Solo XT)

Having a 3rd button on the foot switch would do the trick. I don’t think it will replace high end loopers but it will address most ordinary applications of looping. Obviously, BB engineers should deem it to be a viable and cost effective but I would like to urge them think about it.

I did post a suggestion for a third button in the Feature Requests section. Hardware wise it would only take two diodes in the switch pedal (pressing both together could be interpreted as the third button which as all a third switch simulates really anyway, takes a bit of software to implement but not hard). Or a Digitech Fs3x type pedal would work just as well and it’s cheaper then the BB switch ($50 for a box with 2 switches and a socket seems a bit excessive to me)

The only way to implement a Looper, I see, would be with Midi commands… (since it should have record, play, overdub, stop/mute at least)
And there should be a Loop per Song Part… But what to play while Transition?
I am Looping with Möbius Looper (free software) and have 5 Loops for Songparts, and also 5 Loops only for the Transitions into or out of Songparts…
A Looper in BB would only make sense for me, if it could keep up with that.
But I am also interested in other suggestions…

We are actually in the process of creating a looper (right now it is in the planning and design stage). If anyone would like to send specific suggestions for its design or functionality, we’d love to know!

Eli and David are working together on the design of the looper. If you’d like to email them directly, let me know, and I will provide you their emails. I will link them to this thread well. :slight_smile:

Well for me, something akin to the Digitech Solo Xt but with maybe two channels built into the pedal would be great. Also proper midi control!
One feature of the solo Xt that I really like is the use of an SD card to save loops on. It means I can use the loopers internal memory for live looping and still have plenty of space/time for pre recorded loops for more complex songs where I have different parts of the songs pre recorded on different tracks, almost like backing tracks.
Also the high number of loops I can have, 200 on the pedal itself and 200 on the SD card. More than enough for my needs.

Thanks for the info and glad it is in the works. Any idea when it may hit the market? Just curious (and excited).

I cannot say for sure, as it is still in the design stage, so it may take some time.

To quote famous and patient user: “Anytime–real soon–now” :smiley:

Just a few suggestions to bring to market really quickly:
[]Doesn’t have to be too complicated - just a simple looping (rec/play/overdub/del) should be good enough.
]An extra button on the foot switch should be good enough for that. Yes we will need buy the new FS but that’ ok I guess.
[]Loop functions can be indicated using vivid colors on the display, i.e, no need of any new LED etc.
]Charge extra for the feature but design it into the existing hardware so we can just download it without having to buy a new BB.
We all love the product as-is but adding this feature would be just a killer move. Thanks again. Obviously we are here for any feedback, alpha/beta testing.

Guys, thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, the BeatBuddy does not have an Analog to Digital converter, so it can’t record any sound coming into the input ports – also, as @The Big E mentioned, combining the looper with the BB, would limit the controls you would have. So we’re designing a stand alone unit. Any ideas – please post them or send me a message. Thanks!

So great to hear about this!

I am currently using a Boomerang 3. I tried out a TC Electronics Ditto Looper X4 at GC today. I have a Pigtronics Infinity Looper “inbound” expected to arrive tomorrow. These seem to be the three that utilize Midi Sync and can play nice with the BB.

They ALL have features I will never use (reverse, fade, etc.). Features that require more buttons, larger box’s, deeper settings, and higher price points.

I might be in the minority, but I use a looper for one thing and one thing only: to provide a rhythm track to solo over while playing live.

My “Dream Looper” would be simple (less is more). It would midi sync to the BB. It would have a small footprint (maybe same size as the BB). It would have 1, or 2 at the most, silent momentary buttons. It would need to have excellent sound quality. It would be priced in the $200-300 range.

I really love the Boomerang 3 for several reasons. Sound quality, form factor (low to the ground, tactile response of the buttons), and ease of use. But…it has knobs and buttons and features that I will never use. If I can find something smaller I will switch it out.

The Ditto X4 is just too big.

The Infinity Looper is a couple inches smaller. It works a little different than other loopers I have found, in that you must “arm” the track first and then record it. It’s also pretty expensive (as is the Rang3) for gigging musicians and requires a $300 Power Supply (18V 300ma) if you are using it on a pedalboard with other pedals.

Integrated with BB or a new product ?

I currently have a Boomerang III with BB and the only thing I miss with that combo is the ability to save my loops.

I also have a Digitech JamMan Delay but only use it for playing backing track for practice purposes.

Apart from not being able to save loops I find the Boomerang III to be the most musical looper to date and the features are just great.

I especially like the function to first recording a short piece on one channel and then laying down longer pieces on the other channels.

David said that the looper they are working on will be a new product (“designing a stand alone unit”)

Having it be able to sync with the BB as far as tempo would be the main thing… (for me)

One would sort of think that would be a given LOL!
Especially since a lot of the posts on here are about the difficulty of syncing with various loopers.

All the same, good idea to explicitly put it on the list of requirements otherwise things could get a bit ‘Dilberty’ - " Dilbert - I thought YOU were doing that feature! Wally - I thought YOU we doing it’. Pointy haired boss (what is his name anyway?) - “Don’t blame me!”

I use a Jamman Solo XT loop pedal. Some info and how I use it in my setup:

It has 200 internal tracks and you can add 200 additional tracks on an SD card.
The nice thing about the SD card is that you can pre record and save loops on to it, thus giving you what is in effect a pedal based backing tracks machine. In addition you can obviously swap out the SD card for a different one giving you in effect an unlimited number of backing tracks.
One down side to the pedal is that you you have to step up or down through all the tracks to get to any specific one so if I am on an internal track, say 130 and I want to get to a track on the SD card, say track 30 which equates to track 230 really) then I have to stand there with my foot on the ‘up’ switch (I use an external three button switch to step up/down and stop playback) while it steps up to the track I want. It’d be nice if I could just hit a switch an alternate between the SD card and internal memory but in reality, for my ‘act’ it’s not a big deal.

The way I use my loop pedal is that for ‘live’ looping I use the internal memory and have every 5 tracks set to that tempo. So for example, track 100 is 100 bpm, track 105 is 105 bpm etc. So to set any particular tempo for live looping I just select that track number and get that tempo. I also capture that tempo from the jamsync signal they send out and convert it (in a magic box I built) to midi that I use to set the tempo in the beat buddy. That way there’s no messing with the beat buddy tempo, select a loop pedal track and it sets the BB tempo for me. All I have to do is use the BB external foot switch to select a song to get a generic drum backing track/beat.

I use the SD card in the loop pedal for longer loops or songs that require multiple loops because it has multiple parts, eg, intro, verse, bride, outro. In that case I’d pre-record each part of the song into adjacent tracks on the loop pedal. When I select the track, the magic box sets the tempo in the BB. So all I have to do is start the loop pedal playing the initial track and play along with it, for the bridge I just tap the ‘up’ switch on the external three button switch and at the end of the current loop, it automatically switches to the track I just selected. At the same time, if the tempo is different from the tempo of the previous track, my magic box detects that and resets the tempo of the BB to the new tempo. The track parts do not have to be adjacent to each other in the loop pedal but it makes it simpler if they are (less tap dancing). When I hit stop on the external loop pedal switch, it stops the loop pedal (I have all my tracks set to fade out) and my magic box tells the BB to play the outro at which point it stops.

I don’t capture sync siganls from the jamman or send sync siganls to the BB, I may just be lucky but I don’t experience any drift in timing between the BB and the jamman and I’ve let them run for 20 minutes just to test it. Typically I start the BB first and then hit the loop pedal on the beat at the start of the bar. The jamman then gives me a one bar lead in (for live looping) and then switches to record mode. I record my loop and when I hit the pedal again it sets the loop length and switches to playback. From there I can overdub. You get very good at starting recording songs part way through so you don’t have to wait for the loop to complete before recording the next part!

One thing I would like is the ability to record at least a second track live. As it is now, if I switch tracks when using the internal tracks I lose what I just recorded so it’s a one loop songs. There’s a lot of stuff you can do like that and having the SD card and the ability to pre record complex songs as multiple tracks makes up for it but even so, you cannot do multi track songs live. Having a second ‘track’ would also allow me to do a temporary overdub so that rather than using it as a track, switching between the 1st and 2nd tracks, I could record something that I only want to play at intervals but not as part of the loop, for example something during a break. I could do this with my existing setup if I add a second loop pedal such as their Express XT which is really a cut down solo xt and since it also supports their jamsync, would stay in sync with the main pedal.

One difference I have between the way I use my loop pedal and how I think most people use them is that I tend to treat my lop pedal as the master, It is my main control since it sets (indirectly) the tempo of the BB. It would be nice if I could get it to control the BB start as well but it does not send out the signals I need to implement that in my magic box so I have to start them independently, BB first then the loop pedal but other than that, it works just fine.

Hopefully that lot will give you some ideas.