A Comprehensive Look at the BeatBuddy Drum Machine

A Comprehensive Look at the BeatBuddy Drum Machine

It's been a decade since Singular Sound introduced its flagship product, the BeatBuddy drum machine pedal

In honor of its 10 year anniversary on the market, we're going to take a comprehensive look at our drum machine: what it does, how it's changed, and where it's going in the future. 

Let's dive right in. 

What is the BeatBuddy Drum Machine?

In 2013, our founder, David Packouz, was having a problem. While he was pursuing music he found it incredibly difficult to find drummers to play with. Not only that, the drummers he did find were often unreliable, out of practice, or unprepared. 

From then on he began to consider the obstacle and how it could be remedied in a way he could count on. The BeatBuddy was the invention that would solve the problem. He needed a drum machine that sounded like a real drummer, and one that could cover all the genres and sounds that he wanted for his music.

Still one problem remained. David was a guitarist and vocalist. How would he manage to control a drum machine while focusing on his performance? The question produced years of intensive research, and he managed to create a device that would do it all: a customizable, full-scale drum machine in the form of a guitar pedal. 

Since then, Singular Sound has worked to hone the drummer pedal to be more efficient and more powerful. Through firmware updates, physical upgrades and new content, we've developed the BeatBuddy into the ultimate tool for songwriters, performers, practice sessions and studio recording. 

Let's explore everything it can do for you. 

Core BeatBuddy Features and How They Work

Authentic, Human Drum Beats

One the BeatBuddy's primary distinctions is its extensive catalog of drum kits, beats, patterns and more, and every single sound on the pedal is recorded on real drum kits by a real, professional drummer.

Yet that alone doesn't account for things like improvisation and style. That's why our Content Producer records the sounds with varied velocities, and comes with the BeatBuddy Manager software that allow you to edit beats to match your style. You can even upload your own.

Customization is a crucial part of the BeatBuddy experience. With the tap of a foot you can add unique transitions, fills, intro and outros, and with the Footswitch+ add-on, you can perform custom accent hits on demand.

What's Included in the BeatBuddy Default Library? 

The BeatBuddy drum machine boasts more than 220 drum styles and 24 different musical genres to choose from. Within that, there are different drum kits, time signatures and more. 

Here are some of the genres you can choose from: 

  • Metal drum beats: heavy cymbals, blast beats, odd time signatures 
  • Country beats: swing beats and shuffles, waltzes, Americana, Nashville Sound and more
  • Rock beats: 360 beats spread across 90 songs, qt. note and 8th note pulse, 4 unique song parts
  • World Music Percussion: cajon, mini bongos, udu, shakers and more.
  • Funk beats: 421 beats arranged into 241 songs, syncopated beats, driving 8s, cowbell, swing and much more.

There's far more than that. You can even purchase individual Premium Library packs in the style of your favorite artists and songwriters like The Doors, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, Tom Petty and many more. Explore them all on the BeatBuddy Premium Library website.

Thoughtful Design with Performance in Mind

The BeatBuddy is meant to allow your hands to focus on the riffs your playing, the mic you're holding, or the keys you're pressing. We spent years on the pedal's design to make it intuitive and efficient for playing with your feet. 

Core functionality is simple and powerful: 

  • Tap the main button once to begin a song. It will automatically begin with an intro fill, though this can be removed if so preferred. 
  • Tapping once during a song will play a unique drum fill, and will never play the same one twice in a row. 
  • Hold down the main button while playing to play a transition fill which then moves you to the next part of the drum track. Ideal for going from verse to chorus to bridge, etc. 
  • Use the knobs to adjust volume, tempo and move between menus for selecting songs, genres and more. 
  • Double tap while playing to trigger a unique outro and end the song. 

Physically, we designed the BeatBuddy to be compact, durable and incredibly comfortable for your feet. The built-in screen shows you the BPM of your song and which part you're playing. 

Dream Gear for Studio or Stage 

What good is a guitar pedal if it doesn't sound good? You can't walk into the studio or venue with gear that emits poor sound quality. Having a reliable studio setup is paramount to good performance. 

The BeatBuddy provides legitimate 24-bit audio for your show or recording session. It can plug directly into the PA, and provides instant usability with no setup time. 

It's convenient inputs make getting your gear ready a breeze. 

  • Inputs: 
    • (2) 1/4" TS
    • (1) Mini-B,
    • (1) PS/2 MIDI input (you'll need this adapter for it)
    • SD-card slot
    • (1) 1/4" TRS Footswitch input
  • Outputs:
    • (2) 1/4" 
    • (1) 1/8" 

You can upload all of your beats right into your favorite DAW for mixing, or edit them and put the new versions back on the drum machine. 

A MIDI Drum Machine that Doesn't Monopolize Your Board

Naturally, a drum machine built for songwriters and performers needs to play well with other gear. The BeatBuddy is fully midi-enabled, letting you pair it with your favorite guitar pedals, MIDI controllers and instruments.

MIDI gear often means sacrificing a massive amount of space on your pedalboard and choosing between which effects pedals you need the most. The BeatBuddy is far more economical than that, taking up roughly a 3 x 5" area. 

The small form factor doesn't compromise durability, with a sturdy metal housing and solid rubber footswitch top your BeatBuddy can stand the rigors of tour. 

We've designed a special MIDI port for the BeatBuddy's low-profile construction, and a MIDI breakout cable to connect it.  

The BeatBuddy Dream Team: Aeros Loop Studio and MIDI Maestro 

Singular Sound's products are individual powerhouses, but as a trio, they can run your entire show, serve as your songwriting and recording hub, and even help mix your next album

The BeatBuddy and Aeros Gold Edition looper pedal connect via MIDI, and provide a unique performance tandem. 

Your Aeros will automatically quantize whatever loops you're playing to the BPM you choose on the BeatBuddy, allowing you to move to different sound parts automatically just by performing a transition on the drum machine pedal. 

The MIDI Maestro comes out-of-the-box with dedicated modes for the BeatBuddy and Aeros Loop Studio. With them, you can get hands-free control over the Aeros with one-touch actions like undo/redo, mute/unmute, and even change the order of your song parts. 

Plus, the MIDI Maestro comes with a Custom MIDI Mode, where you can get full MIDI control over any MIDI-ready pedal of your choosing.

Likewise, you can control the BeatBuddy to adjust the tempo of your song, double and half time your beats, and add accent hits to accentuate a particularly powerful moment in your show. 

The BeatBuddy Now, and Onto the Future

Singular Sound has come quite a ways since 2013's Indiegogo campaign, with the introduction of new guitar pedals and guitar accessories like the Cabli. Naturally, the BeatBuddy has evolved in its hardware and software. 

Here's the first generation of the BeatBuddy drum machine pedal: 

A photo of the BeatBuddy's first generation pedal, courtesy of Reverb

 We've cleaned it up a bit, and made its footswitch far more comfortable: 

A picture of the current BeatBuddy

On the software side, we've made crucial Firmware Updates that improve the experience of using the pedal. Here's some highlights:

  • Improved hands-free content navigation
  • Major MIDI optimization and added commands
  • Playlist creation: organize your songs without having to use the BB Manager. 
  • Disable transitions 
  • Loop Forgiveness: allows the BeatBuddy to receive a song part transition MIDI command and change song parts immediately while keeping time with the beat.
    • The command must be received in the first 300ms of the measure. 

Join our Community and Help Us Improve the BeatBuddy

Our products grow when users give us feedback on what works and what doesn't. That's the spirit of our Firmware Updates and new-generations of our pedals. 

We encourage you to join the Singular Sound Community Forum, where you can ask questions, solve device issues, explore (free!) user-generated content, and meet likeminded musicians.  

Thanks for reading! Check out the rest of our blog for tips on Singular Sound pedals and musician-geared content to help you get the most out of your music. 

Keep rockin' 


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