It’s been a few weeks now & I’m getting my head around what this pedal can & can’t do.
I hope my original post wasn’t too negative but as I said before the potential is huge but after a couple of weeks of quite intense tweaking/programming & adjusting it’s still not in a state where I’m comfortable to gig with it.
Things I like are that the pedal plus footswitch is fairly well programable & has dual functions when running or stopped which means I can pretty much control what I need to by my feet.
Creating your own custom kit seems to be the way to go, albeit this is time consuming & probably an ever evolving process.
If I understand correctly each drum hit for each sound has at least 3 different samples for every velocity meaning that it won’t ever sound exactly the same twice & introducing a live feel that I haven’t experienced with other drum machines. Am I right in thinking that the choice of samples is random within the velocity parameters or is there a set pattern of how samples are chosen? Anyway it sounds good.
This pedal is mostly useful for gigging as far as I can understand as I don’t understand why anyone would want to record with it as other software drum programs (superior drummer etc.) would be better choices & far easier to edit.
So for me the whole thing of changing drum kits within a gig or set is a bit redundant. It might be cool that your drums can sound like John Bonham for one song & Carlton Barret the next but that would be pretty unrealistic in a gig situation & be very inconsistent. Any live drummer is going to have 1 kit & maybe use certain instruments in some songs & not in others but changing the whole sound would never be an option.
So for me finding 1 kit you like best & adding any custom sounds to it is way to go. That way kit loading times between songs does not become an issue & controlling volume levels song to song also becomes easier.
Fills are IMO mostly way too loud & busy. If I called a live drummer for my larger band & he played like that, words would be exchanged. Almost all of the fills have to be severely edited to be useable for me.
If I listen to a small group that uses a drum machine I do not want to notice the programmed drums it should be there helping as a tool IMO providing a groove & adding subtle variations or fills but never being the centre of attention. It seems to me that the whole thing has been made by drummers adding complex fills & dynamics that they would maybe want to add in live performances. But one important thing seems to have been overlooked here, it’s not a live player, it’s a machine & therefore should never be calling too much attention IMO.
Editing is a bit of a pain. The BeatBuddy manager is cool for editing the kits, adding sounds, editing your songs & putting them in order but editing the midi is a nightmare.
I understand that a user from here invented it & they added it to the BB manager as there was no midi editing facility in it at all previously. So marks for trying & it’s probably better than nothing but tbh not a lot better.
The 2 choices you have of quantised or tick system is very basic & the just seeing where the notes are in this tick system is difficult. Basic functions such as hearing the individual drum sounds within the editor or looping the pattern are not available.
If you manage some basic editing of the midi in BBmanager & subsequently want to export that & refine it further in another application the ‘export midi file’ function seems to be very hit or miss. Sometimes it works fine, other times it exports only the first hit of each sound & elongates the notes for the length of the pattern. This appears to be totally random but very frustrating.
I’m editing the patterns in Cubase & then importing them into BB. This is ok but I can’t really hear exactly how the patterns will sound with exactly the same sounds on cubase as on the pedal. Maybe there is a way to export or map the BB customised kit to hear it on cubase but if there is I haven’t worked out how to?
So this means a lot of back & forth between Cubase & BB until I’m happy.
My music has a lot of breaks & programming the transition fills to play these breaks is great. Even odd bar numbers appear to be possible by just keeping the pedal pressed for the duration needed. I haven’t seem that mentioned anywhere but it’s a very cool feature. Before I would just stop my player & then start again after the break leaving the actual break drummer free.
Midi communication with my RC-5 looper has been great so far without me having to anything at all from default settings which is amazing & quite unexpected tbh.
But I haven’t managed midi control from Onsong yet. I’m probably doing something wrong & I have bought the widi but nothing I do will make it work. I have now bought a wired lightning to midi connection but I haven’t had time to experiment with it yet. If that doesn’t work I may try another app like Songbook or similar.
Meanwhile I’m just programming the songs I need to do my regular Thursday & Sunday night duo gig. We play about 25-30 songs a night drawn from list of say 70 songs. I’ve done about 30 so far, when I’ve added another 10 or so I’ll be ready to gig.