After raising more than four times the project goal on Indiegogo, David Packouz began shipping his BeatBuddy drum machine in a stomp to backers in August last year. Gizmag got to call on the realistic-sounding and very responsive percussive skills of Singular Sound's virtual bin basher at commercial release time and we were mighty impressed. Now the company has announced a less expensive, and slightly less capable, version called the BeatBuddy Mini.

Though the original asking price of US$349 for the BeatBuddy has since been reduced to $299, that's still quite a wedge to throw at a new addition for the pedalboard. Recognizing this, Packouz has set his sights on getting his personal, always on call, never late for rehearsals, always able to keep perfect time drummer-in-a-box into the hands of more musicians by halving the price of entry.

The Mini retains many of the BeatBuddy's key features, including real-time control of the beat, the ability to insert fills, move from verse to chorus and back again, and add accent hits or breaks – all at the twist of a knob or the push of a footswitch. But the smaller size and lower price point have led to a few notable changes being made.

These include sound quality that's been bumped down to 16-bit resolution from 24, and a two-line monochrome LCD screen instead of a full color display. Where the included drum sets are available to use on any songs that come with the BeatBuddy, the Mini's kits are fixed to songs.

Elsewhere, there are flashing LEDs for the visual metronome as opposed to the bars moving across the high quality screen of the bigger sibling, fewer songs have been included out of the box (100 rather than over 200), players can only use two fills per song part and there's no additional content.

The BeatBuddy Mini is currently up for pre-order for $149 (list price $199), with shipping slated for December this year.

Product page: BeatBuddy Mini

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