- 100 built in songs
- 10 different drum kits
- 24 genres/styles of music (rock, country, blues)
- Most popular time signatures
$99 Street – BeatBuddy Mini
$49 Street – Additional Footswitch
Singular Sound, the company that is behind the BeatBuddy drum machines, won a number of awards when it first launched a few years ago, including NAMM’s Best of Show. In 2016 they launched their new Mini model, which has many of the features of its big brother but is a smaller footprint for your pedalboard, and it doesn’t have the editing capabilities the Pro model does. I was a fan of the Pro Model, but for stomp and go Christian musicians it can be a little daunting in a Praise Team or Worship situation. I personally prefer the smaller size of the Mini, and it is very user friendly so the manual isn’t required reading to find cool beats on it. In the review model, I played around with the 100 built in songs (many of which matched up to songs I already knew), 10 different drum kits, 24 genres/styles of music (rock, country, blues) and most popular time signatures. The visual metronome on the pedal is great too. I tested out the Mini at a church service and the congregation thought we had a real drummer hidden on stage and wanted me to use it more frequently. The built in drum sounds are taken from sampled drums so they have a much more organic feel to them.
BeatBuddy Mini isn’t just for guitarists. It’s also a practical practice tool for bassist, keyboardists, horn players, and even percussionists as a rhythm cue. The company states, “We designed the Mini model for students and musicians on the go. It’s smaller, but still powerful, and it fits in a gig bag easily. Plus the cost is much lower for beginners.”
It is powered by a 9-volt power supply and the two knobs on top of the pedal control the volume, genre, song, and tempo, plus there is an additional foot switch to stop and start it. The large LCD screen is also very easy to read from the floor. Street price for the BeatBuddy Mini guitar pedal drum machine is $99, but if you’re going to use it in a live music situation I suggest the additional footswitch for $49.
The footswitch makes tap tempos, add fills, scrolling through songs, and stopping patterns simpler. If you’re a techie and enjoy building your own beats, editing, and storing them, then the original Beat Buddy Pro may be a better fit and it does include an SD storage card and a USB port, but added features push the cost to $299. For my money (and uses) the Mini provides all the drum sounds, songs and tempos I need. Plus it functions like one of my guitar pedals. If I need more percussion than this pedal provides then we probably need to find a real live drummer to play the service with us! Check out the videos online, and if you get the chance, play one for yourself to give it the real life test. The Singular Sound BeatBuddy pedals are not your father’s drum machines of the past.