My OnSong setup with BeatBuddy

Quite some time ago I detailed how to configure OnSong to automate the BeatBuddy; in a nutshell, it means that when you change song in OnSong, Beat Buddy selects the correct drum part and BPM so you’re good to go. If you missed it, you can read here: It also has some videos on my setup.

I’ve done quite a bit of gigging since that post, trying out what works and what doesn’t with the beat buddy. As such I’ve amassed quite a large OnSong catalog and made drum tracks for quite a lot of them.

I found that long drum parts or many different drum parts did not work well; it’s just too complicated when you’re trying to perform. It was often better to find a similar simple beat and just stick with that. Sure, if you’re at home jamming you can certainly do more trickier drum beats, but live it’s a recipe for disaster.

Eventually I ended up with 2 drum folders on my BeatBuddy; one for specific songs that had signature drum beats (which I simplified), and another folder which had pretty much every drum beat that is generally used in music. For this second folder, each drum beat has 2 parts; a simple hi hat count in, then the main beat. This made for easy count ins and if the song had a break, I’d transition back to the count in, then transition back to the main beat when needed.

Here’s some samples: They’re a bit rough as I just recorded them before I wrote this, but you’ll get the idea.

You can see a list of songs I have here: Songs.html?dl=0[/URL]. And you can download my entire OnSong catalog here (like any song book it’s a little rough in places): [URL=‘’] Make sure to backup yours beforehand.
For the drums to work you’ll need to add this drum folder: just after the Metronome folder on the Beatbuddy Manager (should show up in position 23 when you copy it to the beat buddy). Then add this folder:

All you need is an iPad - I’d recommend an iPad Mini (The iPad Mini 2 is dirt cheap right now).
Some way of sending MIDI to the Beatbuddy - I use a PUC+ but you could simply use the iPad camera connection kit and any cheap USB-MIDI cable (get them on ebay for about $10)

Edit: Fixed link to download OnSong files.

Thanks for this - do any of your songs have bass? These are great. Thanks for posting.

Nope. I generally play as a 2 piece where I play Bass.

Thank you, ruairiau, for taking the time to document. This is great information.

I read all of your posts and am in the process of digesting it all to see if there are things in there I can use. My needs are a bit simpler but that may change as my library grows. For now I am okay with using the BB and the external foot-switch to control the song flow.

My question is related to the Pigtronix Infinity Looper I just purchased. The Infinity Looper can sync up with the BB midi-clock so that both midi devices are controlled by one clock. Very cool. The Infinity Looper also comes with its own pedal that controls a few of its midi functions; However, the one thing it does NOT control is the ability to change presets with its foot-switch. Lame, I know. I’ve been looking a the Midi Moose and the Midi Mouse as affordable options to address this need.

Do you think that I could use OnSong to change the presets on the Infinity Looper like we can with the BB song selection and drum settings? If so, I might not need to add a midi footswitch to my setup . . . . . . yet. :wink:

You sure can. I run my BB and a 45000 looper off my OnSong and works excellent. However, you will have to have each device on its own MIDI Channel. BB for example channel (3) and the Looper on channel (4). Also i use MIDI merge,for the out to my looper.
Look up the midi comand to change loops, mine was 32, not sure what your is.

Larry, thanks for your reply. I am making progress; I just got my BB midi-sync cable and connected to my Pigtronix looper. Tested it out and it works great.

Question on connecting the looper and BB to different channels: How to connect both the devices to MIDI? I’ve read posts from ruairiau on how he used the Puc+. Do I need a Puc+ for BB and one for the looper?

Not at all, just run a MIDI cable from the OUT of the BB to the IN of your devise and make sure the channels are different from the BB and your devise. . Set the BB to MIDI out to Merge, and set the channel out on the MIDI to the Devise. The same goes with OnSong. Also make sure the devise you are adding is set to the right channel.

Excellent! So, then I would include the midi commands for the looper along with BB commands in the song’s header. Would this midi header information need to include channel info?

It would, for example for example the BB would use channel 3 and the other devise would use channel 4, nothing fancy. then run the regular commands that you normally would. So your IN channel on the BB would be set to 3, then OnSong commands for the BB would all be done using channel 3, then the other devise would be set to channel 4 so all OnSong commands would be 4, also the BB OUT would be placed on channel 4 and the IN on the BB would be 3.

I am new to this so I may post incorrect, please guide me if this post incorrectly. I do have drop box and use this every day. I was unable to down load any of the song files etc.

You need to log into DropBox through OnSong and Import the songs into OnSong.
This will allow the songs to be placed in OnSong

Would the Yamaha md bt01 midi adapter be a suitable alternative to the PUC+ ?

The PUC is about twice the price. Any thoughts?

That works. :slight_smile:

I think that OnSong uses that same adapter in their video while using BeatBuddy.

CFMD28 would you happen to have some pics of your setup?.. I have an infinity looper with beat buddy…and am thinking of using onsong as well …i want to be able to control all … but i get confused unless i can see it… pic? thanks!

I think the PUC+ is overpriced for what it is. I was gonna buy the Yamaha MD-BT01, but from what I’ve read it will only power from the MIDI out and that doesn’t really suit my setup as I use the Beat buddy as the clock source and Bluetooth MIDI can’t support that speed of signal.

I’ve actually changed my setup just this weekend and purchased an iRig Pro Duo (see It’s a dual input (with phantom power) interface that has MIDI. Most importantly it’s tiny, about the size of an average guitar pedal, runs off a standard Boss 9v power and fits easily into my pedal board next to my tuner, beatbuddy and iRig Blueboard.

Hey guys,
Just a quick update on my setup. For the last few months I’ve been testing out the new version of Quantiloop on the iPad. I’m in the beta program and so I’ve been helping out testing with the Beat Buddy.

Here’s what it looks like:

I’ve been using it with my iRig Pro Duo (audio & MIDI interface) and iRig Blue Board. Here’s my floorboard:

This is hands down the best and most feature rich looper I have used to date and works great with the Beat Buddy. I’ve been having a heap of fun with this and if you have an iPad, I recommend checking it out.

That is really cool. Question though, can it be controlled by MIDI through OnSong, for example to change loops?
And how many loops can you store on it?

Yeah I tested it out with OnSong and I can send Program change commands to change the Quantiloop bank. The Quantiloop has banks/patches 1A to 8D; so 64 patches altogether. You can pre-record loops and they get saved with the patch - in my testing I recorded the bass lines for Billy Jean; then I was easily able to load the drums and Looper bass lines using OnSong.

That is great to hear, so I can save a total of 64 loops? Great to know the OnSong does control it. Also how are you running the audio out from the Pad? Also does the BeatBuddy MIDI control the Tempo for the loops, and is the OnSong and the Loop program on the same IPAD?