SMG Review: The BeatBuddy Guitar Pedal Drum System

BeatBuddy-MIDI-Sync-Output-View

 OUT OF THE BOX

BeatBuddy is a stomp box that looks similar to your other guitar effects pedals, but this is where the comparisons stop. BeatBuddy is designed to allow musicians to effectively and easily rock out with a killer drum beat at the tap of the feet.

Let’s take it back a step. Maybe you’re a solo act and you have a gig and want to show off your guitar chops. You could become a one-man band, complete with guitar slung around the shoulders and a large bass drum strapped to your back. Aside from the weight, awkwardness and tonal difficulties that go together with achieving a solo rhythm section, it is quite limiting. Perhaps you’d rather just jam in the house and utilize a drum machine. This can sound and feel very robotic and get boring quickly. Well, I have some good news for you. These problems are a thing of the past thanks to the new and exciting BeatBuddy!

 

THE SPECS

When you twist the knobs and dial up one of the 200 different beats that come pre-loaded on the included SD card, you will find yourself being able to instantly play along with a killer sounding drum backing track. It’s like having the ability to get your favorite drummer to jam along with you anytime you want and you don’t have to buy him a case of beer or fork over gas money! Aside from the included drum beat options you may also select from any one of the 10 different drum kits that also come included.

The tone and dimension of the BeatBuddy drums is a treat and much better than that of a standard drum machine because — it is not a drum machine. What you get instead is a collection of actual high-quality sampled drum patterns. Another great feature of the BeatBuddy is the ability to tap your foot on the pedal to create your own pattern, drum fills, pauses or transitions in a very easy to operate and natural sounding manner.

With the main BeatBuddy unit you can dial-in your favorite volume, drum sounds and tempo. Stomp on the pedal to start the intro and later outro fills. Monitor the display to always know where you are in the beat. The screen color changes to red during the intro and outro, green when you are in the main part of a song, yellow when you create a fill and white when you go to a transition.

The idea here is to find the right tempo, your desired drum sound and play along to the beat. The beauty of BeatBuddy is delivered in the natural sound and feel that is achieved with a a simple tap of your foot here and there while you are riffing. You get a great sounding drummer to jam along with your guitar playing while you control the intro beat, add drum fills, cymbal crashes and outro fills.

 THE LOW DOWN

Like any technology there is always a learning curve, but the BeatBuddy has managed to make something that might seem very complex, amazingly easy to use. The BeatBuddy is a must have for any level guitarist. For beginners, let the BeatBuddy be that pal to help you lock in your timing and gain confidence, so that you are ready to jam with others. And for seasoned pro’s that want to shred with a killer virtual ensemble, the BeatBuddy has plenty of flexibility to help your music shine.

10-rating

Pros: Ease of use, quality sound and construction, compact design, excellent visual indicators, versatility, ability to edit and add more songs to the SD card.
Cons: NA

MSRP $349

  • Mike Snyder

    It looks promising except for the price point. Also, it is missing the “bass” component in order to have a power trio in one musician so to speak. I bought the Digitech Trio which I haven’t got, which is ridiculous to me in this day in age. 90 day shipment delays? Excuse me? But that is reality. I said, well, I am going to get myself a beat buddy in the meantime, but you not only can’t get it right away, it doesn’t have bass and it is too damn expensive. I paid $149, for the Digitech Trio I haven’t got! Got screwed anyway…LOL Help!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • George

      The Trio sounds like crap. BeatBuddy actually sounds real

      • Mike Snyder

        Believe it or not, I ended up with the Digitech Trio and the Beat Buddy. I do like them both for experimental purposes but…… The Trio’s bass sounds like coming from an “Atari” computer. With today’s technology to me is like a mediocre as a product. Sometimes, I think that the algorithm to come up with the bass and drum parts is screwy or out of his binary mind…LOL Concerning the Beat Buddy it is great and has software to customize. One thing they missed besides the “Bass” was to have it run in “auto” mode. I have enough trouble playing guitar and now I have to manage my feet and that interrupts my dancing while I play. That bone rattling and movement,to me, is part of the guitar playing experience. If you don’t “feel” it, then what’s the point?

  • EARL

    I HAD THE DIGITECH TRIO AND TOOK IT BACK – THE BASE PARTS SUCK HARDLY NOTHING TO PLAY ALONG WITH -TRADED IT FOR A BOSSRC-3 — ITS SOUNDS GOOD IN THE VIDEO — BUT NOT MY TYPE OF BASE AT ALL–BUT I LIKE MY LOOPER –BUT SHOULD HAVE A OUT PUT FOR THE DRUMS ONLY SO YOU CAN PLAY SOME EFFECTS ALSO– BUT FOUND A WAY AROUND THAT–THIS BEAT BUDDY HAS TO BE PROGRAM I BET FOR ALMOST EVERY BEAT –AND THAT SUCKS -TO MUCH TROUBLE

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