I, like many practicing guitarists/musicians, have grown tired of the annoying sounds of a metronome. So when I was presented the opportunity to review the BeatBuddy, I was excited. I thought it would be a great tool to make my practice sessions more interesting. Once I started using the BeatBuddy, I felt like a kid in a candy store. With 200 preloaded beats, and 10 drum sounds on the provided 4 gb SD card (you can get new beats and updates online), I realized it was everything I was hoping it would be, and so much more.
Out of the box, the BeatBuddy looked like a slightly over sized guitar effects pedal. It felt sturdy and solid with a clean, intuitive design. The pedal comes with a 9 volt wall adapter and offers inputs for headphones, MIDI sync, mini USB, SD card slot, footswitch input, and Left and Right stereo input and outputs. The pedal has a small display screen with 3 knobs labeled: Volume, Drum Set, and Tempo. There are also 4 directional arrow buttons and a “TAP” button used for inputing your own tempo. These buttons and knobs are used to navigate through the easy to understand folders and menus. The manual that comes with it recommends plugging it in to a full range, neutral sound system. So your guitar amp or bass amp may not be ideal for getting the best sound. The BeatBuddy does not come with any built in guitar sounds, so the manufacturer recommends putting it last in your pedal chain if used with other effects.
Getting started, I wanted to try out some rock beats (one of many genres). Once inside the rock beat folder, I was presented with 14 options of beats. I selected one, tapped the pedal once, got a 4 beat pick-up, and I was off. When you tap the pedal once again, it will give you a drum fill. If you hold the pedal down, it will transition to a new section of the song. Tap it twice in a row, and it will give you an outro drum fill and stop the beat. The Beat Buddy also has an optional footswitch. The footswitch has 2 buttons and can be used for extras like real time crash symbol hits, or to pause your beat. You can configure the footswitch options in the main menu.
I played with this pedal for a while and thoroughly enjoyed using it. I realized it can be used as a practice tool, a songwriting tool, and could probably even be used for anyone’s “one man band” type live gigs. This is definitely a fun pedal, and I highly recommend it to any practicing musician.
Set to release this month with an MSRP of $349. For more information, visit their site HERE.