I had been looking around for a while for a small, easy to use drum machine. As a guitarist, I needed something I could use in my studio for backing, but also take along to band practise etc. if our drummer didn’t show, or sometimes working on guitar parts with our other guitarist.
I didn’t want to waste time getting into programming drum loops, and a lot of drum machines seemed to be designed for drummers, or people that wanted to spend the time creating loops.
I saw the Beat Buddy, and it is ideal. It’s aimed at musicians who want an easy to use device to provide drum backing. It can sit on the pedal board (put it last in the chain), or can go into a P.A. or monitors, which is what I do (sounds better through FRFR speakers). It’s controlled like a pedal, and if you can dial up a drum style (rock, punk, blues, metal, etc.), put in the tempo and you’re off, so easy to get something quick going, and there are loads of styles, kits and patterns to choose from. There’s a 4Gb SD card included to store the data.
The sounds are real recorded drum kits, so they sound ‘real’ and don’t sound digital or artificially processed.
One touch of the pedal will start the loop, with an intro section followed by the main pattern. Pressing the pedal once will insert a fill, this will synch to the pattern being played so if you hit it a bit early or late it will compensate, so you don’t have to be exact. Press again twice and the outro pattern will play. There’s a colour coded display which will indicate which part is playing.
If you get the additional footswitch you can get another 2 functions, to add additional cymbal crashes, and to pause the drums completely.
This is how I’m using it, but I’m only scratching the surface. There is software included to create drum patterns, or amend any existing ones, the pedal attaches to PC via USB. Also there is an online community who have written drum tracks for many songs, these are available to download and store on the pedal.
So it’s easy to get started with, but you have complete control of the patterns if you need it.
I use mine all the time in various scenarios, it’s very versatile and sounds great.