BeatBuddy is a great practice or performance pedal that adds the beats of a talented drummer. This pedal is not inexpensive, but worth every penny in my opinion.
The BeatBuddy is a MIDI-based pedal drum machine that easily controls the beat hands-free. Pressing a pedal foot switch starts the beat chosen. Inserting fills, transition from verse to chorus, throw in drum breaks , trigger accent hits such as hand claps or cymbal crashes is easy from the foot switch. Adding the BeatBuddy optional additional foot switch make it even easier.
Plugging the BeatBuddy into a full range sound system is recommended. The sound into a guitar amp from the BeatBuddy clearly is not as good as a full rage sound system to hear the quality of the drum beats.
BeatBuddy comes with an SD card loaded with 10 drum sets and over 200 songs styles to choose from, in more standard and even some less common time signatures. They also have additional kits and actual songs available for a small cost.
So what does it sound like? Simple GREAT!
The Beat Buddy folks say:
“The included beats are non-quantized recordings of real drummers (not programmed) and the drum sets include the highest quality samples at up to 15 dynamic levels and polyphonic support, making the BeatBuddy sound natural and realistic. The BeatBuddy also solves another reason drum machines often sound fake: in most drum machines, when one drum loop follows another, the end of the first loop might conflict with the beginning of the second, eliciting a jarring beat a real drummer would never play. This never happens with the BeatBuddy because it can detect when such conflicting beats would occur and adjusts the loop transition accordingly, so no matter what you decide to play, the BeatBuddy plays continuously and naturally.”
So how does it compare to the DigiTech Trio Pedal I also have? They are quite different pedals. I would say the drum sounds in the BeatBuddy has better sounding drums with stereo output. However the DigiTech Trio Pedal has a mode for sending the drum sounds to a guitar amp. This is handy when no full range sound system is available. When used this way the DigiTech Trio Pedal has some decent sounding beats (although not as good as a full range sound system). The BeatBuddy really needs to be connected to a full range sound system and does not sound great into a guitar amp.
Both pedals can be used with headphones which is nice when you need to be quiet. The BeatBuddy is a much better performance tool which the the DigiTech Trio Pedal was never designed for. The DigiTech Trio Pedal is more of a practice and songwriters tool. But the new DigiTech Trio+ Pedal has a built-in looper and may make this a much better performance tool.
Obviously the DigiTech Trio Pedal has Bass and Drums (the Trio when you add your guitar). The BeatBuddy is just drums, but have a superior sound and is a great performance tool and even has software to edit the beats. Has a nice playlist capability as well.
Bottomline I like both pedals for different reasons. I am looking forward to trying out the Trio+ when it becomes available.