Tempo Buddy

In this thread:


'kittycatonline" (gotta love that user id) posted a video of stepping the tempo up and down using a foot switch. Although not confirmed, I believe that it requires a modification to the Beat Buddy.
I posted a video of my solution in the same thread but I am creating a new thread just in case it gets lost over there.

So, here’s my video:

The code and wiring diagram are attached.
I am just using an Arduino UNO to detect which of the two switches are pressed and then send out the appropriate CC commands to the beat buddy to step the tempo up or down. By sending the CC commands 5 times for each key press I can step the tempo up and down in steps of 5.

A couple of other things you could do with something like this are:

[]Press and hold the switch to step up or down continuously and then just do single steps up or down for individual key presses.
]MIDI merge so you could have something else sending midi to the BB and still control the tempo manually using the foot switch. The midi from the other device would go to a midi in to the Arduino that would then merge that midi with anything it generates as a result of the key presses.

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Part list and approx cost:

Hammond style 1590 BB box - ebay etc - $10-$13
two foot switches - Parts-express.com or similar - $3 each
5 pin din socket for midi out - parts-express or similar - $2
LED (optional) Red or green, does not matter - $2
220 ohm resistors - ebay, jameco.com etc - $2
18g hookup wire - wbay, amazon, autoparts store etc - $5 for a reel, free if yo have it already!
Arduino Uno - Adafruit.com, ebay etc - $25
Arduino ‘shield’ kit - adafruit.com - $10
Programming software - free - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
Tempo buddy software - Free - attached above

See this entry on my blog for how I mount an Arduino Uno in a Hammond 15900 bb case:

You could use a smaller Arduino instead of the uno but it’s more complex to hook up to program and provide power for so I like the Uno because it’s a complete system in a single board.
I use the board and header pins from the shield kit to hook up all the wiring to. Then all I need to do is plug the shield into the Arduino to ‘hook it all up’. Also means you are not soldering to the Arduino directly.
Basic soldering skills needed and drill to put holes in the box fore the switches etc. A small square file to open out the holes in the side of the box for the Arduino programming port and power supply.

This is sort of what it looks like inside the box (different project) but it gives you a general idea:

I use connectors on the shield to hook up the wires but you can solder directly to it.

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Lots of cool ideas from users on controlling tempo.

Just curious though, has anybody tried controlling their tempo using f/w version 1.8.5 (on the remote foot switch settings for functions) and if so, what was your reaction as to how to make it work better?

Here is my remote version. It does tempo and volume, basic song/folder/drum kit navigation, as well as start, stop, pause, and metronome. Has MIDI in,out,and through. It’s also has inputs for electronic drum pads so it can be used with the BB as an e-drum machine.


It started on an Arduino Uno, but it now has a $14 Mega clone board in it with more memory for storing settings, and more pins.

I’m not a programmer, so the the code is horrible, but it’s getting there.

Very nice, scudd, especially since you included the text file and your to-do list. :smiley:

yeah, airing my dirty laundry, but if someone else can get something out of it, all the better.

LOL I just received my beat buddy today and I already opened it up thinking about tapping into the tap tempo button but I like what you did here. It opens up so many possibilities I’ll never have time to play guitar anymore, I’ll just spend it geeking out my beatbuddy :slight_smile: time to order an Arduino!

I’m new to this MIDI stuff, is there a CC code for tap tempo? I’d love to have the option of 3 buttons, one tap, one increase, one decrease.

Welcome, FlatLineRhythm Yes, there is. If you haven’t done so already, download and install the latest firmware. Read the guide for the firmware settings.

If using midi, CC 117 (decimal) with a zero data byte (because it’s not used) enters tap mode and generates a tap event. I’ve never tried it though.
Just add a third switch, hook it up to an unused pin on the Arduino, clone what I did for one of the existing switches and use it to send C 117 instead.

yeah I found the midi command reference manual, it opens up quite a few possibilities!

You guys are mad scientists!


I’d recommend against hacking up the BB. Use the MIDI ports, and either get a programmable MIDI controller, or build one yourself. Hacking into the BB will get you a function or two, but with MIDI, you can control every function already on the BB, as well as many that aren’t accessible via the current hardware. And, you can control other MIDI devices too so it grows with your gear collection.

+1 to that. The developers are very receptive to ideas for enhancements and features to the firmware.

I will add my 2cents on that one two. Yes, let’s do more midi and open a new box of goodies that will be available as we move along. We have a great pedal here and it has come a long way since just last year. Even though I don’t use midi that much, I see the possibilities of controlling the BeatBuddy even more. I will build the controller for the added functions of controlling the tempo as soon as possible. I like the idea of press and hold to scan through the tempo faster and then one click or stomp at a time to fine tune the tempo once you get close to where you want. That would be great for practice and setups would be a lot quicker. Thanks everyone for adding their part to a good pedal design. Thanks to the support team for backing up our ideas to achieve a higher standard product.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

Persist, I just come across a new pedal on-line that controls midi functions and I wanted to get your honest opinion of it. It looks like the only thing you have to do is “Program” it to do what you want it to. Have a look and tell me what you think. It sells for Euro95 or USD $105
Sincerely, Fingertylepicker.

Thanks for finding and sharing this MFC. As I had not heard of this one before, I scanned their user guide http://amtelectronics.com/new/manuals/FS2M-manual-ENG.pdf

Although only 95 $USD, it does not include a power adapter (9-12VDC, 0.12A) and the programming has to be done on the pedal itself as there does not appear to be any kind of software to program settings. I like that it can control amp channel switching but I don’t like having to manually program via the foot switches. If an app exists, it might be worth it as it seems to be half the price of other similarly featured MFCs.

AMT also makes a nicely sized wah pedal (Japanese Girl).

I had a look at the wah pedal yesterday. They also have a volume/expression pedal for a decent price that also controls midi. Thanks for looking at this item for me. I have the user’s manual I downloaded & saved so I will read it all over & check it out. It does look like it’s a programmable unit all by itself which isn’t all bad if you need to program it only once for controlling just a few things. I am assuming it will have the midi commands that I need to set up the tempo control. What I am looking for if it will do certain things like “Press & Hold” to quickly run thru the tempo values and then a “Single Press” to do the fine setting. I have a 12VDC power supply on hand to power the AMT pedal. I could build one if I can find the right stuff. I am looking at the Arduino Uno control board like as described above. It would cost approximately $60 for the build which isn’t too bad if a person doesn’t screw it up. I build things all the time so that’s another possibility. Anyway, thanks for looking at the AMT unit for me. I appreciate that.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.

@persist I couldn’t understand that user manual at all !

I read the user’s manual and the only thing that is confusing is the difference between CC mode and PC mode. I am assuming that I would be using only the CC mode which is the midi talk. Beyond that, it looks very simple to set up for at least what I need for it to do. It does have the Push & Hold function to rapidly increase or decrease values and then a single stomp mode for increasing or decreasing the value by 1 increment at a time. This might be the one I will be purchasing for $105 USD, or Euro 95. Shipping is free.
Thanks again for looking at these items for me. It is very much appreciated.
Sincerely, Fingerstylepicker.