BeatBuddy Drum Machine Pedal Review

by | Dec 11, 2014 | Best Guitar Picks, Effects Pedals, & Accessories, Best Instruments

PROS: Flexible, great sounds, simple-to-use.
CONS: Editing software is only available (at this time) for Windows.
PRICE: $349

Drum machines have always served a purpose in a studio, but were limiting for live use; the BeatBuddy guitar pedal/drum machine hybrid takes the consistent performance of the machine and adds the ability to manipulate things on the fly.It’s not much bigger than a standard Boss fx pedal and features stereo inputs and outputs as well as a headphone out with volume control. Volume, drum set, and tempo controls sit under a color LCD display, 4-way menu selector, and a Tap Tempo. An SD card slot, USB port, MIDI outputs, and an extension footswitch output round things out.

Out of the box, it’s simple to use. Plug it in, select a drum kit and beat pattern, and it’s ready to go. Press the pedal, and an intro fill starts (essentially a “4” count) and the pattern starts, Press the pedal again, and it scrolls to the next one. If the pedal is held, it creates a transition beat; release it, and it goes to the next part. Depending upon the part, the LCD display changes color, letting you know which part the pedal is playing from a visual point.

There are 200 tracks loaded on the SD card, with 10 variations of drum kits and percussion. The sounds are great, and they’re not synthetically generated. Actual samples of real drums take any “mechanical” stigma away.

Programming is easy, too. Download their software and beats can be edited, and controlled; digging in here this really gives this unit a lot of extra flexibility. The only downside is the software (at press time) is only available for Windows. The external footswitch isn’t included, but it’s recommended to really unlock the potential of the unit.

For any artist who’d like to enhance their performance with drums and percussion that can be tailored on-the-fly, this is perfect. At a street price of about $350, it’s slightly more expensive than a drum machine, but you’ve got the ability to tailor beats, and work with them in real time. If you can’t get a drummer, get a BeatBuddy.

Headphone Jack
1/4” Stereo Input/Output
Mini USB
SD Card Storage
Use With ANY Instrument