After a bit of research, trial/error, modding, at-home testing, and finally field testing at gigs, I have come up with a dual-purpose footpedal to control both my BeatBuddy and my Voicelive 3, in order to save space on my pedalboard, but more importantly, to allow me to stop/start loops and drums at the same time; something I wasn’t able to do before. It’s not exactly high-tech but hey, it’s getting the job done, at least it is for me. So, I am guessing that somebody might want to see how I’m doing it, and maybe it’ll give them some ideas too.
See, it just so happens that the TC Helicon Switch-3 pedal’s internal wiring/diode configuration allows it to work with a BeatBuddy pedal; at least it does with mine! But just as a precaution, here’s the disclaimer: Build/use/destroy at your own risk. I make no guarantees as to how things will go for you, though I’m pretty sure it’s not going to hurt anything. Also, note that, as far as I can tell (and this makes sense from an electronics standpoint), the Switch-3 pedal, though having 3 different switches, only controls a variation of two separate BB functions. For instance, I’ve set it up to do Stop/Start BB + Accent (switch 1), Stop/Start BB (switch 2), and Accent (switch 3). And so, you would only be controlling two discreet functions, plus a combination of the two.
After proving to myself that I can use the Switch-3 with the BB, and some experimentation with switch-mapping, etc, I decided to buy a second TC Helicon Switch-3 pedal, and gutted it for the switches (I’m gonna mod both units — more on that later). I installed the set of switches from my new Switch-3 with the PCB, wiring, diodes, jacks, etc into my original Switch-3 unit, so as to give my original Switch-3 a second row of switches, exactly lined up with the original set, with both sets offset from center by 1 inch (therefore, 2 inches apart - see 1st photo). The top row controls the BeatBuddy, and the bottom set controls the VL3. I assigned the switches for each row as shown in the first photo. Two jacks are now at the rear; one for VL3, and one for BB.
Without getting too wordy about how to configure the BB or the VL3, let’s just go with this; to make this all happen, you’d have to set things up via the two units’ switch mapping. I’ll assume that we all know how to do that. My 1st photo shows how the top 3 (BeatBuddy) switches and the bottom 3 (VL3) switches are set up. And as for the main BeatBuddy pedal: BB Main switch short-press = fills; long press = transition.
I have ordered and received the diodes and momentary SPST switches to mod the 2nd pedal for my home rig; but I’m too lazy to do it yet. Eventually, I will have built two of these FrankenBuddy pedals. The second will be a little harder to make, since I’ve got to start from scratch with discreet parts.
The reason I did things this way is because now, I can start/stop a loop while simultaneously starting/stopping the drums, by hitting two switches at once. An example of a song where I needed this sort of control is Goin’ Down (Jeff Beck), where the loop and drums must both stop and then restart, at exactly the same time.
Hitting two stomp switches at exactly the same time is not as hard as it sounds, actually; I can do it nearly every time; And the VL3’s SmartSync feature takes care of the rest. I am considering whether to jumper the upper left and upper middle BB switches together, though for now, for now, I like having the choice of starting/stopping drums with or without an accent when not simultaneously looping. Not sure yet whether that’s practical or not. The upper right switch just cues the accent. In my case, I made the accent a universal cymbal crash/kick drum.
This all might sound convoluted and possibly downright messy, and it’ certainly an “old-school” way to do this sort of thing, but it’s actually working out very well, at least for my uses. And I don’t feel like figuring out a way to do it electronically or with MIDI or whatever.
I also attached a second photo, showing my entire pedalboard in all its glory! On the board, the only thing you can’t see are the wireless base receiver unit (for my guitars) which lives underneath the iPad Mini at the upper left, and the maze of wallwarts, power strips, etc on the underside of the pedalboard.