Ways of improving the default content

Hi everybody,

I’ve heard from quite a few people that the fills that are included on many of the default content songs are too busy and not useful for live performances. I would like to get everyone else’s opinion whether you agree or disagree with this opinion and examples of specific fills and songs that you guys think are too busy and examples of fills that are good.

I also want to get everyone’s opinion on any other ideas to improve the default content.

Thank you all for being a part of this forum and of the BeatBuddy community

Thanks for acknowledging this David. It would require quite a lot of time to give all the details on this, so to start, I’ll just say, listen to the fills in most popular songs that us working musicians would likely be playing at our gigs. Listen to the Eagles, Beatles, CCR, Supertramp, Doobie Brothers, etc, etc, just about any popular song from the 1950s to 2005. These songs generally have pretty basic short fills. Not drum solo fills. This is what I am looking for.

I want to use the BB in a way that allows me to perform live and throw fills in on the fly. Change to an alternate beat on the fly. I don’t want to have the same fill every time so we need at least 2 or 3 fairly short fills associated with each beat, that are not too busy.

Sometimes the problem is that when I find a beat that works and then increase the tempo to what is needed, then the fill also gets too fast and busy sounding. Thus the need for fills that are not so busy. Then if speeded up they don’t sound like a crack addict on steroids and speed.

Fills don’t need to be over the top, just there to add a little emphasis and variation.

Another thing I find is lacking in the stock beats is a good solid shuffle beat. Something like what would be used in “Crazy Little Thing” - Queen. "All Shook Up - Elvis. etc. The stock shuffles seem like they are not quite quantized correctly. Or the velocities are wrong. I don’t know. It just feels a little off compared to other drum machines I’ve used. Shuffles should be based on triplets. BB does not sound like precise triplets. Almost sounds like its trying to get as close as possible using 32nds or 64ths but not true triplets.

I hope these suggestions help. I would love to be happy with this thing and be able to use it effectively in gigs. At present it just hasn’t cut it for us to use it that way. Yet, I believe the potential is there if you guys could take it to the next level with some really useable beat and fill combinations.



The fill issue raised by single-trick is a good point. There has been a steady discussion of the need for simple beats and for something more like a traditional drum machine. That was, after all, what made me create the LBDM 4BB - to provide a more simple beat drum machine type content.

But, in terms of what is missing, that is very regional. For US users, a variety of blues shuffles would be great. These shouldn’t be just based on a strict triplet, but rather a couple variations. If a triplet is viewed as a 66.67% shuffle, then shuffles starting at 55% up through 85% in 5% increments would satisfy those needs.

Next, Classic Country beats are sorely needed as default content. Country waltz, Texas two-step, boom-chick - we need the country guys to weigh in.

Latin beats are often sought by our friends with ties to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. We have an amazing Latin kit, but need more of the common Salsa, Cumbria, Merengue, etc. beats.

Finally, I see European users who are looking for ethnic beats and instruments particular to countries and Regions - basics like Polka and Schottisse, and more complex stuff like odd time Bulgarian beats.


I grew up in the Mississippi Delta and love the blues but also soul music from the sixties and pop from the Brits , but what gets me churning is when I take a trip to Nawlins and get some Zydego and second line. my taste in soul comes from just up north a bit in Memphis and Stax and over to the east at Muscle Shoals. If you could nail those rhythms that I mentioned, you’d have me being happy.


IMO, the default fills are loud and sometimes complex and disconnected with the regular parts. Sometimes the fills feels awkward in live situations - like out of place. I would have to go in and edit the fills, remove some toms and lower the volume level in each note.

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What I do it turn down the volume of the ‘higher’ parts of the fills, such as cymbals. It takes the edge off them a bit. They do tend to be too busy though and can take away from whatever else is happening.

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Indeed, most of the fills are too busy, overrated in a way - at least for my needs.
So first, I deleted or lowered the crash cymbals in every fill and most of the main beats, as well as the toms (sorry, Goran…) While editing all that stuff, I remembered my musical tutor saying „Less is more“ and „silence can be a very strong musical element.“
I enjoy using the BeatBuddy. Now that you asked for opinions, here‘s mine: Sometimes, less is more…


Not sure if busy is the correct word. I would personally say to me they just feel a little heavy handed…almost like the drummers chance to solo rather than accompany a song. In particular I would say that of the intros, I really struggle with most of them and it’s too much effort to work through and edit them all…most of the time I have them switched off, or I have programmed an intro on a different device before kicking in the BB (that’s tricky!)

If there was some sort of “soft fill” and “normal fill” option and an easy way to start a song with or without the intro beat via the foot switch that would be great imho :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve never used my BB live because of the fills. I have an iPad Pro but no computer for editing so I can’t fix the problem. The fills on most of the beats don’t match the main beat, and seem like they don’t even belong. I bought mine when they came out, and it’s now a toy on the shelf I don’t play with anymore. Send everybody a new sd card with the problem fixed, and I’ll try to use it. I have two more friends in my area that own BB also, and we all agree with each other. I’ll keep useing my drum machines instead. BB is a great idea, just doesn’t do the job I need it to do, simple beat, simple fills. I would love to be able to use this pedal and totally ditch my two Roland machines I’ve been using live for years.

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Great comments and suggestions coming out here. Thanks everyone for throwing in your detailed descriptions of how it is or is not working for you. Definitely agree with the “less is more” comment and also experienced that it was not just me who was unhappy with the beat / fill combinations. My band mates have not been keen on the Beat Buddy sound or feel. As much as I wanted to work it into our music combo due to its compact size, it just has not worked sound and feel wise.

One other issue for me has been the dynamic balance between the beat variations and fills. One beat or fill is noticeably louder or softer than the other. Is there some way that these could be balanced out in an update? I have tried adjusting dynamics in the BB manager but find it to be very time consuming. Have not found a way to reduce or increase the velocities in a more global manner. For example, if I want to change the velocities of all the snare hits. I have only been able to do one hit at a time. I would like to be able to select all hits for any given drum and change all the velocities higher or lower. This is a standard function in most modern DAWs.


Actually, it would be ideal if those global edits could be made right on the Beat Buddy itself. Have an edit mode like a drum mixer that makes it possible to make and save each different / individual drum track velocity on the fly. This is actually pretty important because it’s hard to know the best balance unless you can hear it in the mix. No matter how much tweaking you do outside of a mix, you never really know if it’s right until you hear it in context with the rest of the band.

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Honestly, the only issue I have is that most of the fills are overplayed (where “overplayed” = “too loud and too busy”), which limits the number of fills I can actually use. I am usually able to find enough fills to build what I need, but I do find that I can, in practice, only use about a quarter of them.

One of the apparent issues that I have noticed is that a lot of the fills are designed as full-bar fills, and, in most circumstances, I only end up triggering the last half of them. This becomes a problem when the fill relies on the first two beats to set up the last two. For example, consider Blues Fill 18 that has a weird dropped kick to start the second half of the phrase.

Others are just plain weird. The “tribute to Phil Colins” opening to Blues Fill 14 doesn’t quite fit the rest of the song, and it is also a perfect example of the toms being too loud/overplayed. Blues Fill 16, because it essentially comes to a complete stop in the middle of the phrase, is of limited use outside of an outro. Blues Fill 41 and 46 similarly bring things to a rather abrupt momentary halt, especially when played at speed.

But there are some great fills that I always end up going back to, like Blues Fill 2 (build), 5, 6, 10, and 21. What these all have in common is that they all have strong, musical beats 3 & 4 – which is where most real fills live.

I don’t have time to go through all of the available fills at the moment, but that’s just sort of my initial response. And, to my ear, it really comes down to making sure the last two beats of each fill hang together on their own, and maybe easing up on the volume of the toms in the rolls.


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Like others have stated less is more i.e Charley Watts, Ringo. Dont get me wrong love a lot of drummers just with the bb its important to fit in. Also have to second the thoughts on standard blues shuffles not being included etc. All that being said my duo is using the hell out of the bb just with the defaults and having a blast.

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Our duo uses it really just as a rhythm track. I’ve edited out some of the over the top intros and skip a lot of the fills. It works well for us that way. I do use a volume pedal to counter different songs having different volumes. I know I could spend more time editing things in the Beat Buddy Manager but that’s more time than I have to give right now and an entirely different issue!

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+1 on the Blues Shuffle. The GrooveMonkee Blues Classics pack has two real good ones - the Mod Shuffle and the Reed Shuffle. Both work real well for the average blues shuffle song.


Maybe there is an opportunity for some cross-promotion here between Groove Monkee and Beat Buddy…

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@Groove_Monkee Hey, Russ, you might want to visit this thread.

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Thanks very much. On the road right now but will check it out and download ( if my pea brain can figure it out!)

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Haven’t edited a thing with bbmgr yet. Not very savvy and don’t want to screw up. Usually get a beat type that fits, set up tempo and go. Use the pause mostly for breaks, sometimes but rarely use default fills ( cinnamon girl). Get people on the dance floor so its all good

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I agree with single trick about the fills, I have been a drummer for 50 years an. d people lie my drumming because non busy simple fills(i.e. RINGO). also within a song it seems some fills are longer than others which messes you up. The intro fill I’m sorry to say i find useless, instead a 1 or two bar 1/4 note count in on hi-hat or cowbell, sidestick. The intro fills are either too short or to busy or both to get a feel for the tempo. I start by listening to the beat, pause it then start from the main beat either at the head or I might bring the beat in a bit later. I love the unit an I am dying to have time to check out its MIDI capabilities as I just received your midi cable.

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