I have just recently bought a BeatBuddy, planning to synchronize it with the central MIDI clock I am already using to sync all my other gear. While my other gear syncs perfectly (as they always had), the BB seems to have some issues with syncing correctly with the clock source I use (a Molten Voltage Master Control).
What I am experiencing is this: When starting the external MIDI clock it sends a MIDI Start command and starts feeding the clock signals. Pretty standard. The BB does indeed react to the MIDI Start and starts playing as expected, but if the BB is not beforehand set to the tempo that is being sent by the MIDI clock, it does not seem to compensate for the excessive or missing clock signals received when it has managed to identify the tempo. This results in the beat being in correct tempo, but not actually in time.
As a concrete example which I believe demonstrate the algorithm used by the BB:
- set the tempo on the BB to 150bpm
- prepare the external MIDI clock to use tempo 100bpm
- start the external MIDI clock
What seems to happen is that the MIDI clock and BB starts simultaneously. The BB is of course, as expected, going too fast until it has detected the tempo. Since the MIDI clock is initially going 2/3 of the speed of the BB, it will finish transmitting the first 24 ticks halfway into the second beat of the BB, which at this point is able to adjust its own tempo to 100bpm. But the BB does not compensate for the beat which is now exactly half-off where it should be. The tempo is correct, but the BB’s beats happens exactly halfway in between the beats of the other gear which syncs correctly. I speculate here of course since I cannot know exactly how the implementation of the BB works, but this simple test seems to demonstrate such an algorithm, at least on a conceptual high level.
[SIZE=1]----------------->[/SIZE][SIZE=6] [/SIZE][FONT=Courier New][SIZE=3]Start[/SIZE]
FONT=Courier New = [/FONT]This is were the BeatBuddy has detected the tempo from the MIDI Clock (after receiving 24 clock ticks), and adjusts its tempo from 150 to 100bpm. It should in addition to that treat the [FONT=Courier New]X[/FONT] position as a new beat, and compensate its currently playing pattern to align it to the new beat placements. For the metronome presets this can be easily solved by simply either “injecting” a new click at the 25th clock tick, or internally register the new beat position and play the next click at the next, now corrected, beat position. For actual drum patterns this is a little more involved, and should probably involve a more gradual tempo-change to align the beats into correct positions.
I have tried both the firmware which was preinstalled (1.2.9), and the newest officially released (1.4.1), and I experience exactly the same behaviour.
Each synced device in my setup, incl. the BB, has it’s own dedicated MIDI cable from a MIDI splitter, so the problem is not because of excessive daisy-chaining using MIDI thru (I don’t use MIDI thru at all). While the Molten pedal is a very good and stable MIDI clock source, to eliminate the possibility of any problems in my setup, I have tried to reproduce the problem using only BB connected to my Mac, using Logic Pro as MIDI clock source, and I experience exactly the same behaviour.
I hope I was able to explain the problem properly, and I would love for this to be fixed. Please ask if something is unclear. I have a somewhat technical understanding of MIDI, so I will be happy to assist with any testing if that can be helpful!