Wireless MIDI and the BeatBuddy: My configuration

Hello BeatBuddies,

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share the particular MIDI configuration I ended up with and some additional information regarding MIDI Program Change commands in relation to the three devices I currently use, namely: BeatBuddy, Voicelive 3 and Roland GR-55 guitar synthesizer. I have attached (or will attach, hoping it works…) two PDF files containing what I described. Some basic notes first:

  • I use wireless (bluetooth) MIDI via the Yamaha MD-BT01 interface (there are others, this is the only one I could get through Amazon.ca) because this way I can charge the iPad with its cable/adapter during performances while sending MIDI wirelessly. So far it has worked just great.

  • I incorporated a Midi Solutions Quadra Thru box due to the fact that neither the VL3 nor the GR-55 have MIDI THRU capabilities. The BeatBuddy was instrumental in this case, due to its MIDI THRU (and/or MIDI MERGE) capabilities!

  • I use Onsong primarily but I’m sure Set List Maker could also do the same (I have both but Onsong seems more user friendly to me)

  • Any MIDI instructions could be used, limited and/or in accordance with each device’s specific MIDI mapping.

I think that’s it. I hope this is useful to some of you. Feel free to ask me questions and or make corrections if need be.


1 Like

Hi Luis - I have used a similar setup - I have an iPad connected to the VL3 and instead of the GR-55 I used a Fishman Tripleplay midi pickup with MainStage running various midi instruments on a laptop.I also have the BB and have tested connecting it via midi in a similar setup. But I cannot decide whether it is better to use the BB or to use backing tracks (also in MainStage). Ideally I would like to use the BB with a bass guitar backing track running on the iPad (so I can ditch the laptop) that keeps in sync with the BB.

A few questions: do you use backing tracks in your config at all? In your config how do you distinguish the midi commands that are destined for the VL3 from those destined for the GR-55? And do you use a looper at all?

Thanks, Tom

Hi Tom! Please accept my sincere apologies for not responding earlier but I don’t come this way that often. To answer your questions:

  • Backing tracks: No, I don’t use them. I like the idea of improvising now and then on a song, depending how I feel and how the audience responds.
  • Looper: I am only recently getting around to using a looper (Voicelive 3’s looper), mostly when I need to do a guitar solo (e.g. Comfortably Numb) and I find it very useful for my one-man band show (early stages)
  • MIDI commands vs recipient devices: Channel number, my friend. You set different MIDI IN channel number on each device and then distinguish them assigning the corresponding MIDI OUT channel number within Onsong, Set List Maker, etc.

I hope this helps. Cheers!

Luis L.

Hi Luis,
I do realize that this is an old thread, but I’m having trouble syncing my VL3 with the MD-BT01 it seems.
I have tried almost everything, but to no avail. I’m hoping you can help me with this…
I have a similar setup…iPad with Onsong as my choice midi app, BB (ch 1), VL3 (ch 2), and SampleTank which is also connected via bluetooth to a keyboard (ch 3). I have yet to begin tackling the potential issues with SampleTank because I’m stuck on the VL3 issues.
For whatever reason, I cannot get the VL3 to communicate with the MD-BT01. I see the adaptor blink when I send a command via Onsong to it on channel 2 for the VL3, but nothing happens on the VL3…it just sits there on whatever patch I have it on. It is SO frustrating!
I downloaded your BB/VL3 midi table (thank you by the way!!), and I know that I’m typing in the correct commands…at least I think I am.
Let me give you an example: I want to use patch# 60 in the VL3, so…I would type MSB: 0, LSB: 0, Program: 61, Channel 2…is that correct?
If so, I don’t know why the VL3 doesn’t respond. Can you tell me what my setting should be on the midi tab in VL3? I think I have them set correctly, but maybe I don’t.
Also, do I actually need to type in a metatag in addition to all of the programming above? I noticed in your configuration screenshot that you had {midi: 0.20:6@1}. I’m not sure about the @ sign being there, and I’m not sure whether it matters if one uses { } or ( ).
If I have to use a metatag, I thought all I needed to type in the editor was: (midi: 0.0:61) for the VL3 to switch to patch# 60.

Please tell me where I’m going wrong! I am so close, but so far away it seems from getting this thing working!!

Thanks for your help Luis!


Hi Luis,
I figured out that I do need to add the metatag from watching some VL3 videos.
Unfortunately, I am still having issues with the communication between Onsong, the bluetooth, and VL3. It’s just not communicating. I have posted questions on Onsong and TC Helicon in hopes that someone will be able to help me. I’m thinking that I don’t have something set up correctly in the VL3.

Sorry for also adding to an older thread but I’m a little confused about how to use this setup with the Voicelive 3 when I want to have its looper sync’d to the Beatbuddy AND receive song specific messages (change patch, effects, etc) from OnSong.

  1. One side of MD-BT01 to Beatbuddy Midi IN - That’s Clear.
    Function: Beatbuddy receives messages from iOS OnSong

  2. Beatbuddy MIDI Thru/Out connects to Quadra Midi IN with a generic male-male MIDI cable - Clear.
    Function: Beatbuddy passes thru (and can send it’s own) MIDI messages to be distributed via MIDI cables to up to four downstream receiving devices.
    Question: In the case of VL3, I’d like the OnSong message to 1)select the Beatbuddy beat AND send VL3 Patch selection, effect changes, etc. to be passed THRU the Beatbuddy; AND 2) For the Beatbuddy to send its clock so the VL3 Looper stays in sync with the beat.

Can this all occur with the one MIDI cable from the Quadra Thru to the VL3 MIDI IN?

  1. I’m a bit confused by the diagram because it seems you connect a midi cable FROM one of the Quadra Thru ports back to the other MD-BT01 port?
    Question: What is the function of this connection and can you confirm I have this right? It would take a male - female MIDI cable yes?

Thanks so much for any clarification or direction you offer!!!

I use a similar config for three devices (BeatBuddy, Midi Maestro and MD-BT01 for Tablet).
Yes you do have to have a male-female cable or adapter. I have both, but this adapter works fine and is more compact