DigiTech TRIO Band Creator review

  • £149
  • €249
  • $295

Backing band in a stompbox

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Tell the TRIO what to play and it will almost always get it right.

For

  • Lots of backing options. Tracks complex chord sequences well. Section by section learning.

Against

  • Not a lot.
Buying options

Any guitarist who's played in a band will know how brilliant it is when a drummer and bass player mesh together to provide a solid foundation to the music. But getting there takes a lot of work.

So, how about a rhythm section that gets it right first time, is always in time and always hits the right notes? Well, forget about hiring some top session pros - for a lot less money, and 24/7 availability, there's the DigiTech TRIO Band Creator.

"There are options for everybody with rhythms featuring straight eighths or 16ths or some swing"

The TRIO is a stompbox that will automatically generate bass and drum parts, dependent on what you play into it. All you have to do is press the footswitch, play a chord sequence at your desired tempo then press the footswitch again to hear the generated backing track, which you can then play along with.

Once you have played your part you can decide on the nature of the backing track. You can select one of seven music genres (Blues, Pop, Alternative, Country, R&B and Jazz), and choose one of 12 song styles that are available for each genre with options for 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures.

You can also speed it up or slow it down and set the relative levels of bass and drums against your guitar.

For practice, it may suit you to have one chord sequence to loop indefinitely, but if you want to build a song section by section, the TRIO has the capacity to learn three different song parts that can be recalled on the fly, although this involves button presses unless you add an FS3X triple footswitch (£25).

In Use

The TRIO can be used with your guitar amp, connected to a mixer, or both. There's also a headphone output.

Each genre features an optional built-in guitar tone with a touch of ambience, some overdrive/distortion, and speaker emulation for the outputs. You'll also find a rhythm or lead option, which work just fine in context.

Like a looper, you have to hit the footswitch on the beat at the start and end of your playing, but it's not hard. Playing a bog-standard 12-bar in E, we're surprised how it translates to so many genres and styles.

There are options for everybody with rhythms featuring straight eighths or 16ths or some swing, and thoughtful musical basslines that can be sparse or busy.

More complex chord sequences works equally well: if you stick to major/minor and 7th chords, play simply, clearly and in time, the TRIO will always spit out a complementary backing track.

DigiTech's direct expertise in looping and pitch detection technology has paid dividends with the TRIO, creating an invaluable practice and songwriting tool to suit players from beginners to pros.

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Tech Specs

Dimensions82.5 x 63 x 136
Battery/Adaptor TypeNine-volt mains adaptor
Country of OriginChina
Features7 Genres, 12 Song styles, Tempo adjustment, Half Time/ Double Time, Onboard effects