Midi Velocity Volume Control For Live Performance

Hi everybody,

This is my first post here in the forum. I currently using my Beatbuddy almost everyday for live performance. I’m using a Line 6 POD HD500 to control the tempo and master volume of the Beatbuddy via MIDI.
While it’s an awesome, incredibly straighfoward tool for the solo gigging musician, I’m really missing the possibility to control the intensity of the drums performance. Controlling the master volume live with the PODs expression pedal as I progress through the songs helps a lot with the dynamics, but I started to wonder if there’s a way to actually control the midi velocity of the whole arrangement in real time the way I currently control the master volume.
Anyone already missed this feature? A found a similar request in another tread. Someone found a workaround?
I think a midi filter (in the likes of a DAW midi plugin) would dramatically increase the level of realism of the drum performance as all the drum samples of any kit would become accessible in any song as I adjust this “midi velocity filter”. It could be an overall adjustment, keeping the relative levels of all the drum parts the same, but would sound just like a real drummer playing more softly or loudly. I know that anyone that played a sampled drum kit understand this principle, as with any other virtual instrument.

A possible workaround to this would be sending the midi parts inside the beatbuddy to a DAW, applying the filter there through a midi expression pedal and sending the parts back to beatbuddy to play them. I obviously need the control of every transition and fill as I improvise a lot over the beatbuddy drums. I don’t know if this is possible. Need to check, but I don’t think so as of now.

Anyway, thanks to anyone that could help with this.

Cheers from Brazil,


I’ve tested de DAW workaround for the midi velocity filter within Ableton Live, using the Velocity midi plugin. As I said before, I intend to keep using BB as the master clock and playback control of my LIVE LOOPER PERFOMANCE RIG 'cause I want to keep doing all the start/stop, transitions and fills controls from BB itself. If not, a could try to use Ableton Live internal drum sampler sounds and work a way to activate drum parts and feels through Live’s Session Clips. I really love BB and sure want to keep using it everyday for years to come but, today, for me, it’s playbacks lacks realism for there no way to control the drum dynamics and use all the possible drumkit sounds in real time. We’re stuck with the original note’s velocity in the midi files every time a song is played, and changing the audio output master volume (as I already do) only counteracts the static sound to a minor degree. If you use BB live everyday - REALLY! - it only takes some days to start to resent the monotony and repetition of the drums performance.

BB’s sample engine is already able to play both the internal midi file that’s sent through the midi out and the received midi notes from Ableton Live with just the audio interface latency as a delay between the sound drum sound, using two different midi channels to prevent a midi feedback loop.

And there’s where the last hurdle resides. I just need the returning velocity filtered midi notes to be played, obviously, and there’s no way for the output of midi notes from BB to bypass the sample engine in the current version of the firmware.
To make matters more complicated, as both midi arrangements are played simultaneously in BB, with input midi notes delayed from the audio interface latency as it goes through Live, a flam is generated in the drum sound due to parcial phase cancelation.

I also tried a desperate strategy: using our community’s BeatBuilder, I proportionally lowered the midi velocity of all the midi notes in a funk groove and imported it into the original song for comparison to try to lower as much as possible the volume of the playback of the internal midi notes, to than raise back the note’s velocity within live and be able to control the dynamics of the drumkit. The result was not good at all, as the natural groove of the BB was lost and even the most quiet sample of the drumkits are too loud to go unnoticed when mix the returning midi notes playback.

The best possible solution for this would be to the internal midi file to bypass the BBs sample engine altogether as it is sent through the midi output, leaving only the returning midi files, processed by Live, to be played by the BB sample engine.

So, my most important request for a future firmware update, and with utmost respect for the Singular Sound development team of this awesome product, would be:

Best regards to everybody in the forum!

Yet another solution for this wound be not using the internal sample engine of BB at all. Using it just as a midi player and master clock and playback control. Sending the midi notes to Ableton Live and using a expression pedal midi controlled midi velocity filter plugin before triggering drumkits inside Live itself.
That would a massive shame though. Specially since a just recently purchased the awesome John Bonham Tribute and Vintage Gretsch drumkits from the Premium Library and loving them.

With the present firmware configuration, I think the only way to get the result that you want would be to have a second Beat Buddy as the receiving unit. The idea of having a bypass of the sound engine to allow for external processing and then having the BB act as the playback device upon return of the midi stream certainly has merit.

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Thank you for your reply and comments Phil. I agree with you. After a lot of testing, the only way to achieve the result I want is using the BB as midi playback and control only. I might even build some drumkits for Live using the Premium Content Samples. : )

Hey Guilherme!

This is agreat idea and one i would love to have and would use extensivly.

I`ll keep an eye on this thread and see if anything develops.

Im of the understanding the new Maestro Midi pedal will allow this with an expression pedal... But cant seem to find any info on it.

One thing i`ve been doing is using an analouge guitar pedal “filter” for bridges etc, it makes the drums sound small and distant… Which then creates an impact when the Chrous comes back in etc. But yes, being able to bring the velocity down would be absolutely fantastic.