Digitech Trio (the original)

I recently sold a bit of unused gear through a shop in Melbourne and used the money to buy a second hand Digitech Trio they had there for sale (not the Trio+ with the looper… the original one). It’s a really fun unit but I did find I needed to buy the associated external pedal control. To get a decent backing for a whole song you have to be able to record 2 or 3 parts separately and switch between them as you play.

Currently messing around with a few Paul Kelly songs and it makes a great addition.

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Yes it’s a great tool although the Trio+ really did move it up in terms of features. The big advantage of the + is obviously the looper and the song function which allowed you to “program” songs by capturing a sequence of parts. You then just hit the button and it’ll automatically switch between the parts as you’ve programmed them.

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Ah, I didn’t realise it had that extra feature. I already have a looper (well, two actually) and the Trio+ looked a lot more expensive. This was fairly cheap being an older model.

I find it easy enough to switch between parts with the extra footswitch - you hit it any time and it completes the current part before changing over. I’m not performing either - just having fun at home.

The thing I like is the way it chooses things for you. I have a looper with hundreds of drum sounds and it is somewhat daunting trying to work out what to use. The Trio gives you what it thinks works best and then a half dozen other options to check out. That’s enough for me!

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Yes both the original and the plus are very good. The reason they added the looper to plus is that it is impossible to keep a standalone looper insync with the drums so hence the addition of the looper on the plus. I use mine for live performance and practicing songs so the additional features are useful

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Yes, I can see the Trio+ would be a really powerful tool for performing. Pretty much a band in a box!

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Another Trio+ fan here :smiley:

and you get to be a dictatorial bandleader with no backchat from disgruntled band mates :rofl:
At some stage I might start a Trio thread where folk can share handy hints, favourite settings etc.

One habit I’ve developed is, when programming multiple parts in a song, to have an external metronome going. Much easier to keep the same tempo.
Also, I now sometimes record longer sections and switch manually (with my foot! :rofl:) which lets you incorporate silent sections/breaks.
Have fun with your new toy :smiley:

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Ah, that is one question I had. If I record separate parts does it sync the tempo between parts automatically? Sounds like it doesn’t so I need to be careful with that.

And you get to keep all the gig money! :smile:

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The Plus certainly does that, :smiley:

You’ve obviously never seen me perform :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Well, my trio+ is still for sale as it never saw too much action. I used it a lot of sketching riffs in the earlier days of my band though. I had it read a chord prograssion I just made up and then I would jamer over the drums and bass it made it.

When I hear you guys talk of being your companion for live gigs…
I’m not a fan of programming/sequencing when it comes to audio gear and a lot happens live.

How much or how little prep/sequencing do I need to do to have it play along with me in a smart fashion? Could someone describe a use case of “little fuss with the device, nice automatic use during live performance”?

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I don’t see the Trio+ as being a gigging tool, but it because it does what it does so well, it can be incorporated.
If you were only performing a couple of songs in an open mic situation, it might be worth programming them in the sequences you were planning on playing them, just for the novelty of having a backing rhythm section.
A full gig would probably just sound too ‘similar’ and the fact that you can’t program silences or adjust tempo/dynamics, let alone be spontaneous whilst playing, takes away a lot of the point of playing live.
You’re also an experienced guitar player/performer, so would probably see the box as a limiting factor, whereas for newbies it ‘lifts’ the final product and even hides some of our sub-par guitar playing :laughing:

It’s a fun musical companion for home use and a great tool for collaborations where you can easily map out the whole song and share with others to add or replace parts in a DAW later on :smiley:

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Brian has summed things up pretty well here.

Even in a ‘messing around in the house’ scenario or indeed putting together an AVoYP performance, if you play a pre-programmed chorus or verse out of sequence or add in an extra flourish somewhere the Trio of course doesn’t recognise that so it throws the whole thing off.

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Great explanation @brianlarsen thanks!

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I agree. If you just want pre-recorded backing tracks there’s other solutions to that, including many of the better featured loopers that can have backing tracks loaded onto their memories ( Boss RC-3 and Ditto Plus spring to mind).

The main problem for me is that it really wasn’t possible to build parts on the fly. You really cannot, for example, record a verse part then switch to recording a chorus part seamlessly as part of a performance.

Cheers,

Keith

I’ve used it pretty extensively for live. At one time or another I’ve probably done an hours set using it (along with our bass player normally…so we just use the drum track). I build all the backing tracks in advance. The advantage we find is that it’s bit more organic than a downloaded backing track. We rarely play songs exactly as per the original so don’t necessarily want a backing track that is identical to the original. From that perspective building the backing track in the Trio is a good alternative.

I’ve been using it so long it really doesn’t take more than 10-15 minutes normally to put something together. You are generally only building an intro, verse, chorus which you repeat multiple times.

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Interesting replies, thanks.

There is no way I am ever using this in a live performance since I don’t play in public. I did a bit of this about 40 years ago in a previous life but those days are well gone.

But, yes, I can already start to see the limitations. I’m trying a Paul Kelly song where the last time through the chorus he sings half of it then jumps back to the start. Most musos add variations like that to keep it interesting. So, for me it is exactly this…

Which is why I didn’t bother with the Trio+. One other thing that is of use for me though is hearing what it does with a bass line and what drum patterns it chooses. I have never played in a band situation and have no idea how these things mesh.

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I don’t disagree, and it’s great you are making creative use of it.

Yes, the Trio+ can be a great way to create a backing track but, it’s still a backing track which was created in advance.

Moreover, (and this is my main complaint about the Trio+) it has to be created in advance.

I can see no useful ways you can use it to build interesting looped and accompanied multi-part songs on-the-fly, and I think that’s a missed opportunity.

So, whilst it’s a useful tool in creating unique backing tracks, once you have created them, you could just as well put those backing tracks onto a laptop, or record them into one of the memory slots of another looper pedal, and use that for playback and not even take the Trio+ to the gig.

The Trio+ doesn’t even have that many memory slots to hold songs in.

So I stand by my assertion that it’s a great practice tool and, possibly a great composition or arrangement tool, but quite limited as a live performance tool.

Cheers,

Keith

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Haha, this discussion with @Rossco01 reminds me of a couple of threads I read before buying my own, esp. the question of whether it’s suitable for live performances. A number of happy enthusiasts who use it regularly for gigging vs. those that point out its shortcomings/limitations.
It’s a classic glass half-full or half empty scenario.
Except with the Trio+ it’s wine, not water :wink:

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