DigiTech squeezes a backing band into Trio stomp

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The Trio Band Creator from DigiTech

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Last October, Gizmag grooved along to what has to be the world's most reliable drummer – the BeatBuddy drum machine stomp. Next month, DigiTech will release a new guitar pedal called the Trio that crams a funky bass player into a pedalboard-friendly box alongside a virtual bin basher. The Band Creator pedal is reported capable of automatically generating bass and drum parts that match the rhythmic feel or chord progressions being belted out by the guitar player leading the power trio.

The backing band living inside the Trio can't, in fact, magically predict weird key changes and experimental chops as the musician is playing, the six-string-slinger has to share song ideas with the Trio ahead of the practice session or performance. After plugging in a guitar to the input jack, a player then needs to let the pedal know what chords are going to form the backbone of a song and give it an idea of the rhythm and tempo. Kicking down the footswitch again starts the backing band off and you're ready to rock.

The 2.5 x 5.4 x 3.25 in (63.5 x 137.2 x 82.6 mm) Trio can learn up to three different song parts, such as verse, chorus and bridge, and the player can recall them on the fly during a song. Users can choose from seven musical genres, including rock, pop, country and blues, each one coming with up to 12 song styles. A tempo knob allows players to control the pace, 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures are available and an Alt Time button is included to dial in alternate half or double time for each song part.

There's independent volume control over bass and drum sounds, so you'll no longer have to keep telling the drummer to keep in down, and built-in guitar effects. An included 9 V DC power supply provides the juice needed to run the show.

To the right of its sturdy metal enclosure is a port for a DigiTech FS3X footswitch to help switch song parts and styles while your hands get busy on the guitar. Output jacks for amp and mixer sit to the left and, if you want to set up your band on the quiet, the Trio includes a 3.5 mm headphone jack with level control.

DigiTech hasn't revealed any details on the bass and drum samples used to create the rhythms, but if the video below featuring guitarist Jason Zerbin jamming with the backing band in a box is any indication, the Trio doesn't sound too bad, not too bad at all.

Useful for solo performers and bedroom jammers alike, the DigiTech Trio Band Creator pedal hits the streets in March for a suggested retail price of US$224.95.

Product page: DigiTech Trio

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