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DigiTech TRIO+ Band Creator Plus Looper Pedal

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DigiTech TRIO+ Band Creator Plus Looper Pedal
 DigiTech TRIO+ Band Creator Plus Looper Pedal

The new TRIO+ Band Creator Pedal includes a "wish list" of features submitted by musicians using the first generation of TRIO. Even more fun like the original, the TRIO+ listens to what is played into its Input jack and automatically generates bass and drum accompaniments appropriate to the "played in" rhythmic feel and chord progression. The TRIO+ has a built-in synced looper, a removable SD Memory Card in an expansion card slot (for storing recorded loops, song info and users preferences) and an FX loop that works fine with any pedal--I used my Edstortion and PhazeVibe F-Pedals for changing the guitar sound for each of the song sections TRIO+ calls Parts.

Simply plug a guitar into the TRIO+ and select any of twelve genres including: Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, Metal, Blues, R&B, Hip Hop, Latin, and Jazz. Then press the Band footswitch to "teach" the TRIO+ the chords and rhythm feel. TRIO+ is a fast learner and pressing the footswitch again you'll hear and play along with a freshly-minted bass guitar part and drum beat.

Styles are variations of the drum playing and kit sound and the bass groove and instrument used--for Jazz, an upright bass sound is used. There are green LEDs surrounding the Style knob to indicate the useable styles to fit your particular playing and the genre--but that didn't stop us from checking out contrasting Styles and getting some pretty quirky music going.

TRIO+ reads your chord structuring, mode, accents, timing and does a good job of figuring it all out. Up to 12 song styles are available for each genre, and the player can select between 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures.

To get things sounding just right for subsequent overdubbing, there are separate fader knobs to mix the level of your guitar loop, bass, and drum kit levels. The bass has three different line modes: one is normal bass player stuff with pushes, anticipations, and playing notes with the kick drum pattern (depending on what TRIO+ has learned from your playing), another is more basic called Simple Bass mode, and another just plays a sustaining tonic whole note on ever downbeat. As a recording engineer, I wish there were separate audio outs for the loop, bass, and drum sounds but the TRIO+ chassis is already full of jacks and switches!

Playing and looping is nearly intuitive with built-in quantizing making hooking the "head and tail" of the loop together automatic. My guitar player had no trouble learning the TRIO+ at all. We both liked how smart it worked--even figuring out bass parts to go with chords with extended voices and played with syncopated rhythmic feel.

The TRIO+ can learn up to five different song parts--separate chord progressions and rhythms suitable for different sounding verses, choruses or bridges. These can be recalled "on the fly" as the song plays back or they'll play in a pre-programmed sequenced for playing along with in live shows.

Once the sections were recorded into TRIO+, we liked that you could quickly try different arrangements of a song but longed for a "Simple Drums" mode so that the beat would lock in and be the same through out the entire song--from part to part. Each part is switchable to have one level higher in intensity--as if the musicians played with just a little more feeling and energy to add a lift for making each of the choruses bigger than the proceeding verse.

I also thought the Audiolastic™ feature used a very good sounding time-stretching algorithm. After TRIO+ has learned your music, you can speed anywhere up/down to twice or half as fast as the original learned tempo making the TRIO+ an obvious teaching tool. The Alt Time button selects an alternate half time or double time setting for each song part. The TRIO+ even provides a selection of built-in effects (in addition to the FX insert) for your guitar that varies according to the genre selected.

The TRIO+ can be connected to a guitar amp or directly into a mixer for recording or used with a PA system. For practicing without disturbing others, there is a rear panel headphone jack with level control. An optional DigiTech FS3X footswitch can be connected to the TRIO+ for hands-free selection of song parts and styles.

Complete with world-ready power supply, the DigiTech TRIO+ Band Creator Plus Looper Pedal sells for $299.99 MSRP and makes an excellent tool for songwriting, practice or casual gigs.

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