Archive for January, 2016

New Gear: BeatBuddy Mini

beatbuddymini-largeNow this is a box I can gig with!

No sound samples just yet, as I have been playing around with it and practicing before I do demos, but let me just say that this scaled-down version of the BeatBuddy is every bit as high-quality as the original. I’m impressed!

For those of you who are new to the BeatBuddy line, this is something you simply must have. It’s literally a drum machine housed in a foot pedal, and it ROCKS! It’s totally intuitive to use, and while I haven’t gigged with my original much, it gets a lot of use in my studio as a practice and writing tool; especially with songwriting where I need to get at least as close an approximation of a real drummer to help me visualize a song. Well, that said, it’s not just a close approximation…

The BeatBuddy has absolutely natural sound! This is because the actual beats are samples from a live drummer, not programmed from a synth to replicate a drum sound. All the sonic expansiveness that you’d expect from a real drum kit is present in the beats; even the slight – and I mean super-subtle – tempo misses, which is what you expect when playing with an actual drummer. This makes playing with the BeatBuddy very natural and organic.

However, it’s actually VERY useful with recording as well. Here’s an instrumental I wrote using the BeatBuddy:

Please excuse the little mess-up at the end. 🙂 I played the rhythm part right along with the BeatBuddy, then layered bass, electric piano, and the lead on top of it. What’s really intriguing about the drum sound is that I didn’t have to do much with it when mastering and mixing down. I added a touch of compression and panning, and just a little reverb to open up the sound a bit.

So what’s the difference between There are three fundamental differences between the BeatBuddy and the BeatBuddy Mini: 1) Fewer built-in patterns (about half as many as the BeatBuddy) and; 2) No apparent programmability. For me, that’s not a problem whatsoever. When I’ve used the original BeatBuddy, I was using the stock, built-in patterns, and the Mini has the patterns I use the most. Finally 3) Price. This is $149 direct from SingularSound! What a steal!

Another big difference for me is that the smaller footprint means that I can put this on my PedalTrain Nano board as a regular pedal. One of the issues for me with using the original in my solo gigs was its larger footprint meant that I’d have to lose two pedals to make room for it. With the Mini, I can have four pedals on the board: Chorus -> Reverb -> Delay -> BeatBuddy Mini and go right into my TC Helicon Harmony G XT vocal and harmony processor, then right into a PA. SO COOL!

In any case, I’m very excited about this pedal! If you’ve never seen this in action, here’s a one of Singular Sound’s demos:

I love that wig!

For more information, go to MyBeatBuddy.com!

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