Review: Digitech Trio

Digitech-Trio

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It’s a Wednesday evening, and you want to jam; but the drummer’s at the hairdresser’s and the bassist has to babysit all evening long.

So what do you do? You get bored to tears sitting on the sofa with your fingers widdling away idly on your favourite couch guitar…

Actually, now there’s a better, much more creative way to spend your spare time – Digitech’s brand-new Trio Band Creator pedal lets you jam and work on new song ideas by supplying an indefatigable rhythm-section-in-a-box.

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Digitech Trio full front

The Digitech Trio (current street price in Finland approx. 240 €) uses a learn function that detects the chord changes (and tempo) of a part straight off your guitar’s audio signal. There’s no need for complicated step-by-step programming or an expensive (and fiddly) MIDI-pickup – just plug in your guitar lead, and you’re ready to go.

The Trio offers you seven musical Genres to choose from, each offering a whopping 12 Styles (meaning: different pattern templates for the drum rhythm and bass pattern). The patterns have all been developed for the best-selling Band In A Box computer software.

Digitech’s new wonder box picks up the tempo directly from your playing, but you can fine-tune the speed after the fact using the Tempo control. You can also switch between a normal and a half-time feel.

Digitech’s Trio also includes a very rudimentary guitar effects section, should you want to jam without using your guitar amp.

The Trio Band Creator comes in a very compact, yet very sturdy pedal format.

Digitech Trio right

There are two jacks on the right side of the pedal – one is the guitar input, while the second one allows you to connect Digitech’s own FS3X footswitch unit for hands-free Part-switching.

Digitech Trio phones out

The pedal’s front sports the input for the power supply unit (included), as well as a headphones output with its own volume control.

Digitech Trio left

The USB-port on the unit’s left side is for firmware updates, while the two output jacks are the guitar amp and mixer outputs.

The Digitech Trio automatically detects which of the outputs are in use:

If only the amp output is used the drum and bass parts are pre-EQ’d to work well with a clean guitar amp. When using only the mixer out the guitar signal will run through the pedal’s cabinet emulation. Using both outputs simultaneously sends the guitar signal to the amp output and the rhythm section to the mixer. Plugging in headphones into the pedal’s headphone output automatically mutes both the mixer and amp outputs.

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Here’s Kitarablogi’s video clip showing you how to use the Digitech Trio:

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And here’s the Digitech Trio used in context, playing a three-part song (using Alt Rock styles):

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Digitech Trio angled

I found Digitech’s Trio very easy and intuitive to use. In my view it’s a fantastic little unit in a living room jamming and song developing context.

The Trio Band Creator does a surprisingly good job of learning the tempo and chord changes of a part straight off your guitar playing, provided you a) don’t syncopate too wildly, and b) stick to major, minor and 7th chords for the most part.

The drum and bass sounds are very decent, and an ample amount of automatic Style variation keeps enough semblance of the ”human” element in the accompaniment, to keep it from sounding robotic.

I would have liked to have seen a Metal Genre included in the Digitech Trio. On the other hand, this would have meant the inclusion of a riff-learning function of some sort, which probably would have made the pedal too complicated and expensive.

For non-Metal guitarists, though, the Trio Band Creator is a fantastic tool to keep your playing chops up, as well as for jamming and coming up with new songs. No need to noodle aimlessly on the sofa, anymore!

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Digitech Trio Band Creator

Current street price approximately 240 €

Finnish Distributor: EM Nordic

A big thank you to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review unit!

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Pros:

+ build quality

+ compact

+ interactive

+ large variety of Genres and Styles

+ quality of drum and bass sounds

Cons:

– no Metal genre available

– cannot learn riffs

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