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Digitech Trio Plus - warning
Old 30th April 2016
  #1
Digitech Trio Plus - warning

The Digitech Trio Plus is a fun toy, but there are some things that people need to understand if considering buying this.

The USB port is simply there for firmware updates. It's a real shame they didn't implement this for saving loops or storing songs or something. The software that is available only works with a SD card reader, so I haven't been able to see what the software can or can't do.

While this can "save" 12 songs, you can't really save or recall any songs safely. There is no "save" button - each song simply is saved how you last left it. This means it is incredibly easy to screw up a song with the slightest touch of a button, and there is no way to get it back. Very frustrating, and totally not useable in a gig situation. And unless you are prepared to lose your audience with a lot of screwing around, this is not a live tool in my opinion. It really needs to be used at hand height, because there is a lot to go wrong that needs fixing with fingers. And yet, if you are playing guitar, you need to be able to stomp on the buttons while your fingers are playing guitar. So it's been poorly thought through, and the optional foot controller doesn't help much to rescue this.

A major annoyance to me is tempo. You can't set a tempo for a song and have all the parts at the same tempo. It works strictly on detecting your playing - like tap tempo. That's fine for one part - but when you try to make a few parts all the same tempo, it's almost impossible. They give you a click feature to help - but as soon as the loop starts, the click goes away and your timing can drift.

I've been playing with midi and drum machines for years, so my timing is pretty good. But because it works by detecting what you are playing, it can be fooled really easily. And the timing of the final button stomp to close the loop is also part of the calculation.

Basically - what this means is that YES - you can create 5 different parts and sequence them together. But the chance of those parts being in the same tempo is very low. It's especially hard to get a very short intro or outro at the right tempo. The longer loops give you more time to average out the tempo. But a short loop - very erratic timing.

Then again - if you decide to do long loops, after about 4 bars the bass arrangements get more "creative" and you can find that it is playing a fifth when you really expect a root note, which can be annoying. So this, and the memory limitations, force you to stay with shorter loops anyway.

Something very annoying for me - when a song stops, it puts in an automative ending kick and crash. But it fails to play a bass note. So it really weird to have this great bass accompaniment right until the final note, which is not there.

But, if you decide to play a single last note and use that as your 5th part to end the song - it's impossible for it to detect the tempo, so you'll probably get a waltz or something stupid. They just have not thought about how anyone would want to end a song normally ...

Overall - this is a really fun toy that hints of greatness, but fails to deliver.

But I guess this is mission accomplished, because it has given me a stronger incentive to buy Band In A Box software. As far as I can tell, this is basically a marketing stunt on the part of Band In A Box ... and it has achieved this for me.
Old 1st May 2016
  #2
Other negatives ... this device obviously has stereo DAC because the headphone mix is stereo. But - it only has mono output for the main output, which seems like a really wasted opportunity. It would have been so much better if bass and drums could be sent to different outputs.

This is a great practice and inspiration tool - and it's interesting to see how far algorithmic composition has come. I find the auto-arranging feels like real band and not as robotic as those arranger keyboards from Roland, Yamaha etc.
Old 7th May 2016
  #3
Here for the gear
Getting a tempo to be consistent across several song parts is very easy. When you activate the click feature, if you're reasonably close to the previous parts' tempo, the new part gets quantized to match the other parts. As far as live use, if you set up your song complete and don't screw with it while playing, then everything stays put. I have a list for each card and can insert a card and call up the song I want in a matter of seconds. The only activity needed during a playback is if you have the footswitch. Then I use it to mute the bass, or drums, or both at appropriate times. You would have to be really fumble-fingered to mess up a stored song. And if the unthinkable should happen, just restore from the computer hard drive with the software.

The stereo output isn't that big a deal for me. Yes, you need to have a good balance with the three outputs, but it's manageable (admittedly clumsily).

And yes, the way it ends songs leaves room for improvement. Maybe in a later update? In the meantime, I just alter some song endings to suit or just strum the last chord with the kick. It sometimes works. Another trick I've developed is if a part is left unused at the songs completion, I add the last chord in a stand-alone loop and overdub a couple times. This thickens it and when played along with live, it ends the song nicely.

Even with these limitations, I find the Trio+ to be an excellent live device.
Old 8th May 2016
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jasonis View Post
Getting a tempo to be consistent across several song parts is very easy. When you activate the click feature, if you're reasonably close to the previous parts' tempo, the new part gets quantized to match the other parts. As far as live use, if you set up your song complete and don't screw with it while playing, then everything stays put. I have a list for each card and can insert a card and call up the song I want in a matter of seconds. The only activity needed during a playback is if you have the footswitch. Then I use it to mute the bass, or drums, or both at appropriate times. You would have to be really fumble-fingered to mess up a stored song. And if the unthinkable should happen, just restore from the computer hard drive with the software.

The stereo output isn't that big a deal for me. Yes, you need to have a good balance with the three outputs, but it's manageable (admittedly clumsily).

And yes, the way it ends songs leaves room for improvement. Maybe in a later update? In the meantime, I just alter some song endings to suit or just strum the last chord with the kick. It sometimes works. Another trick I've developed is if a part is left unused at the songs completion, I add the last chord in a stand-alone loop and overdub a couple times. This thickens it and when played along with live, it ends the song nicely.

Even with these limitations, I find the Trio+ to be an excellent live device.
The part is quantized?

So it isn't what you actually played?


Lovely.... I hate that crap.
Old 9th May 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

The part is quantized?

So it isn't what you actually played?


Lovely.... I hate that crap.
I guess you really don't like the Trio. That's OK. I'm not trying to change your mind. To each his own. But I have to point out that quantizing doesn't change your signal, it just moves it onto the beat. I find that it is a huge help when tracking by myself without the vibe of a group environment to play off of. It's easy to wander off the beat when on your own. Especially when distracted by thinking about not only playing the part but composing, producing, and engineering the part all at the same time. A home studio can be a lonely place when you're wearing all the hats.

But, please, keep pointing out the real limitations so we can que DigiTech onto down-stream improvements. As far as quantizing, you have the choice of using it or not. So no limitation there that I can see. I have found DigiTech to be very responsive to customer support. My Trio+ arrived without an owners' manual, just the quick start guide. I went on their web site and requested a manual and it arrived less than a week later. I've also had previous experience with them and found them amazing to work with. They really go the extra mile for their customers.

Anyway, the Trio+ keeps all my parts quantized except where I intend to change tempo. It seems to me to be the most simplest, economical, and easiest method of producing a satisfying live sounding one man band.
Old 9th May 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
The part is quantized?

So it isn't what you actually played?


Lovely.... I hate that crap.

Hi John - this will be a toy in your eyes, and you probably wonder why i'm fooling around with a toy like this. But it's a really fun inspirational device - basically a looper on steroids.

What you do is "teach" it some chords with a regular guitar - and it then creates an autoarranger accompaniment of bass and drums. It's like Band-In-a-Box software, but in a guitar pedal for fast, easy results.

So the "quantising" being talked about is not quantization of notes - it's creating a midi backing track (in seconds) from the chords you teach it. The actual performance parts are taken from session players, and have a lot of human feel to them. In this regard they are way ahead of your traditional auto-arranger keyboards from Korg, Roland, Yamah etc ... it feels like you are playing with real musicians.

So once it has created the backing part (based on your average tempo) the part is all the same tempo and loops perfectly.

Then you do you ordinary audio looping, so there is no quantising of what you actuall play. You can time stretch the audio and speed up/slow down etc, but that sucks. It's better to get the tempo right in the first place.

I actually have tried playing along to a drum machine just to get the tempo right. Because each of the 5 parts (into, verse, chorus, bridge, outro) need to be at the same tempo (usually), but unless you play the parts perfectly, they get a different average tempo, which is really odd.

This is a great toy, which is frustratingly close to be a superb gigging tool for all that stuff you don't want to waste your life creating backing tracks for.

The click feature is only slightly useful because it stops clicking once you start recording! If they only kept it going, it would work. If they were smart, they just use the previous drum part while you are recording, rather than a click. And automatically copy that across, because usually you want all the parts to be basically the same genre, style and only make small variations between the parts.

So close, it's frustrating ...
Old 9th May 2016
  #7
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maybe it can respond to a regular click, to eliminate tempo differences
Old 11th May 2016
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
maybe it can respond to a regular click, to eliminate tempo differences
It only responds to your audio input when you are teach it chords.

I have used a drum machine to ensure my playing is consistent between takes. But that's annoying.

I've actually resorted to sequencing up chords on an EP in Garageband just to teach the various parts the chords with perfect timing.

But there is still an element of human randomness, because after letting the PC play the sequence of chords, you have to stop the loop exactly on the next 'one', otherwise it thinks you are doing another bar and then it miscalculates the tempo, and you might end up with a waltz or something ...

So for me, the joy of NOT using a PC has been removed, and so as much fun as this is for practicing, it's not a safe gigging tool and it's no substitute for Band In A Box if you want to create backing tracks. I think Band In a Box got their advertising dollar with this one ...

Really annoys me that you can't save a song the way you want it. Everything is always saved in the last state it was in, even if that last state was an accidental turn of a knob. It's really easy to lose all your hard work.

And yes, you can remove the SD card and put it into a card reader and recall stuff you have saved ... but who wants to do that. The USB is a waste of space since it can't be used to save anything.

It's a fun toy, but just though I needed to address all the honeymoon period praise and talk about some serious limitations if anyone was considering buying one.
Old 11th May 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
It's a fun toy, but just though I needed to address all the honeymoon period praise and talk about some serious limitations if anyone was considering buying one.
yeah it sounds pretty much like I thought it may be. essentially a creative aid
which you'd probably be best just to capture as audio. in the cases you get something
creative in the process. It's almost always impossible to synchronise tools which
have a random creative element. there's always something mutually exclusive in
getting two systems to lock. one nice thing about older Roland samplers was, that
they constantly sample the input. they capture a certain amount, or whatever RAM
you have left. then you hit a button to keep as a sample.

maybe the new pioneer sampler could find applications in this domain.
it's basically their new version of their DJ CD players. they don't sell as that
because it can do probably what a bunch of pioneer CDJ's can do. they will have
very good pitch shifting and time stretching algos. and it's basically a performance sampler.

so anything useful a Digitech could produce could be sampled and time stretched.
personally I use mobius looper, but you'd really need to have a live rig
with a mac mini in it for that. non of these of course generate any kind of backing
from what you play.
Old 11th May 2016
  #10
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
yeah it sounds pretty much like I thought it may be. essentially a creative aid
which you'd probably be best just to capture as audio. in the cases you get something
creative in the process. It's almost always impossible to synchronise tools which
have a random creative element. there's always something mutually exclusive in
getting two systems to lock. one nice thing about older Roland samplers was, that
they constantly sample the input. they capture a certain amount, or whatever RAM
you have left. then you hit a button to keep as a sample.

maybe the new pioneer sampler could find applications in this domain.
it's basically their new version of their DJ CD players. they don't sell as that
because it can do probably what a bunch of pioneer CDJ's can do. they will have
very good pitch shifting and time stretching algos. and it's basically a performance sampler.

so anything useful a Digitech could produce could be sampled and time stretched.
personally I use mobius looper, but you'd really need to have a live rig
with a mac mini in it for that. non of these of course generate any kind of backing
from what you play.
I don't know what all the griping is about. I am using the Trio+ successfully as a live performance aid and I'm quite pleased with the outcome. Also, the downloadable software is really helpful in organizing my cards. I have 8 cards so far with four of them full and adding 3-4 songs a day in my spare time. And the song lists generated from the Trio Manager screens are invaluable. Allows me to pick any song from the entire repertoire of 48 tunes (90 plus potential with 8 cards, unlimited really) and que it up in a few seconds. You need to be pretty organized to set it up this way but hey, everything has a price. And this is a small one to pay for the versatility.
By the way, I programmed all of my songs and prepared for live performances all in about a month and a half without pushing it. That's how easy the Trio+ is to work with and get a good sound.
Old 11th May 2016
  #11
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I guess the gripe is about an approach for on the fly usage issues.
you seem to be saying it has a manager for a more organised approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jasonis View Post
I don't know what all the griping is about. I am using the Trio+ successfully as a live performance aid and I'm quite pleased with the outcome. Also, the downloadable software is really helpful in organizing my cards. I have 8 cards so far with four of them full and adding 3-4 songs a day in my spare time. And the song lists generated from the Trio Manager screens are invaluable. Allows me to pick any song from the entire repertoire of 48 tunes (90 plus potential with 8 cards, unlimited really) and que it up in a few seconds. You need to be pretty organized to set it up this way but hey, everything has a price. And this is a small one to pay for the versatility.
By the way, I programmed all of my songs and prepared for live performances all in about a month and a half without pushing it. That's how easy the Trio+ is to work with and get a good sound.
Old 11th May 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
I guess the gripe is about an approach for on the fly usage issues.
you seem to be saying it has a manager for a more organised approach.
Yeah, the software is really easy to use and has the capabilities to document song titles along with any relevant information you care to record. Like part descriptions and the sequence pattern so you can revisit it later after forgetting details. I number the cards (also edited into the card digital title) and number the corresponding lists. So, it's just a matter of inserting the correct card into the pedal and then selecting from the twelve choices (which are indicated by the illuminated style knob lights).

Having sequenced the song parts for each song, I only have to remember my arrangement to play along without touching the pedal from then on. Unless using the footswitch. Then the three buttons can be utilized to button 1: mute the bass; button 2: mute the drums: or button 3: mute both, if the song requires this.

This all works quite well on stage and, as I mentioned, the sound through my PA is terrific. I use a rack mounted dual channel tube compressor (ART PRO VLA II) to process the signal from the Trio+ through one channel and to process my vocals with harmonies through the other. I have another compressor for my guitars. The Trio+ is also conveniently channelling my pedal boards using the FX loop built into it. This simplifies, somewhat, the on-stage signal routing.

So between my Fender Deluxe Reverb RI and my 1700 watt Electro Voice speaker / subwoofer PA I get a pretty decent sound. It can handle upward to a 200 person room comfortably and can push to a 300 head venue if needs must.

All this capability made possible by a single pedal. When you think about it, it's truly amazing. I started as a drummer for a 5 piece band in the 60's and this would have been considered science fiction at that time. Really amazing.

Rick
Old 11th May 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jasonis View Post
All this capability made possible by a single pedal. When you think about it, it's truly amazing. I started as a drummer for a 5 piece band in the 60's and this would have been considered science fiction at that time. Really amazing.

Rick
I reckon they could probably have a mini jack midi connection on it, which could
respond to program changes. it could load a song via a midi program change message.
if they had that, they maybe could even have it respond to midi clock. though
that's probably a little more difficult.

its algorithm probably gets in the way of stricter on the fly tempo control.
Old 12th May 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
I reckon they could probably have a mini jack midi connection on it, which could
respond to program changes. it could load a song via a midi program change message.
if they had that, they maybe could even have it respond to midi clock. though
that's probably a little more difficult.

its algorithm probably gets in the way of stricter on the fly tempo control.
I used a midi setup about twenty and some years ago for a solo act doing a club/bar circuit. I programmed the drums, bass and piano/strings/organ using an Ensoniq SQ-80 synthesizer that had an onboard 8 track sequencer. It, in turn, controlled an Alesis HR16 drum unit via midi (the Alesis had a much better sounding tone generator than the Ensoniq at that time). It gave me a pretty good sounding backup for the day but was very work-intensive. I remember long weary nights spent trying to get a song just the way I wanted it. The Trio+ is a breeze compared to something like that. It now takes minutes where once it took hours. Having come from that background, maybe you can see why I like the Trio so much.
Old 12th May 2016
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jasonis View Post
I used a midi setup about twenty and some years ago for a solo act doing a club/bar circuit. I programmed the drums, bass and piano/strings/organ using an Ensoniq SQ-80 synthesizer that had an onboard 8 track sequencer. It, in turn, controlled an Alesis HR16 drum unit via midi (the Alesis had a much better sounding tone generator than the Ensoniq at that time). It gave me a pretty good sounding backup for the day but was very work-intensive. I remember long weary nights spent trying to get a song just the way I wanted it. The Trio+ is a breeze compared to something like that. It now takes minutes where once it took hours. Having come from that background, maybe you can see why I like the Trio so much.
I come from a similar background - owned plenty of Ensonic and Alesis gear in the past.

Having using Logic and Cubase etc for years, and going through a period of ditching hardware, and then returning to hardware with a vengeance ... I do know the pain of knocking up backing tracks. (I refuse to use commercial made stuff - it's never what I want it to be).

The Trio+ both surprises and delights, as much as it annoys and angers.

Since the hardware is all there - these are what would really delight me:

1 - if I could capture the bass and drums on seperate audio tracks over USB
2 - if I could tempo match the various parts ... even if they just kept the click on while recording ... I play long parts, because my songs have complex structures and I run out of 5 parts very quickly
3 - if they could be smarter about how a musician wants an outro to end. The ability to just play a simple whole note bass and a kick and crash on the one would be magic - I would have thought that a very basic requirement.

For example - the bass instruments samples are rather good, but very unequal in volume. I would love to be able the bass through a compressor.

Anyway - I plan to buy the full audiophile version of Band In a Box, because this thing has convinced me of the merits of algorithmic composition. I just need more control than this gives me.
Old 12th May 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
I come from a similar background - owned plenty of Ensonic and Alesis gear in the past.

Having using Logic and Cubase etc for years, and going through a period of ditching hardware, and then returning to hardware with a vengeance ... I do know the pain of knocking up backing tracks. (I refuse to use commercial made stuff - it's never what I want it to be).

The Trio+ both surprises and delights, as much as it annoys and angers.

Since the hardware is all there - these are what would really delight me:

1 - if I could capture the bass and drums on seperate audio tracks over USB
2 - if I could tempo match the various parts ... even if they just kept the click on while recording ... I play long parts, because my songs have complex structures and I run out of 5 parts very quickly
3 - if they could be smarter about how a musician wants an outro to end. The ability to just play a simple whole note bass and a kick and crash on the one would be magic - I would have thought that a very basic requirement.

For example - the bass instruments samples are rather good, but very unequal in volume. I would love to be able the bass through a compressor.

Anyway - I plan to buy the full audiophile version of Band In a Box, because this thing has convinced me of the merits of algorithmic composition. I just need more control than this gives me.

I see what you mean. Yeah, it sometimes drives me nuts. For commercial type gigs it's good enough for a dancing crowd. Even a listening crowd if their not too critical. For me the true test will be when I begin programming my recorded compositions. There I will brook no compromise. I'd rather not perform a song than to not do it justice.

Like I said previously, we need to keep pointing out the weak spots and forward this info to DigiTech for future improvements. They're always interested in customer feedback. I have a contact in customer service (actually he's in engineering but he took care of a large issue I had with a harmonizer a few years back) and I'll collect select parts of this discussion and forward them to him.
Old 12th May 2016
  #17
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I've had a midi guitar for a long time, but I never tried running it into the yamaha QY100.
theoretically it can run styles and arrange them, in response to incoming midi voicings.
you can also use your own midi parts as style sources. I don't use it nearly as much
as I should. but I did try to see if it recorded 6 channels of midi, which it did ok.
I suppose you could get that to tack a style to each strings event. but probably more
miss than hit. the advantage of them are that, you can have it output midi or use its internal sounds.
if it goes into a computer and you use sounds there, you could then just record the midi.

anyhow, that's something different. I think the Trio scores in the serendipity department.
I also think its kind of vague understated sound is also a score. but getting the
information out of these kinds of units, gets frustrating. if you could get something
which can sense tempo and output mtc, you could at least lock the computer to it
to make recording and transfering more viable.
Old 14th May 2016
  #18
Part of the problem in having something that is very smart and creative is that it is going to do things you don't want it to do. I'm not going to sell the Trio+, because it's frustratingly good and inspirational. It's sort of like playing with really good, creative players who are off their face ... it can have moments of brilliance, and moments of stupidity, but you are not able to tell it what was good or what was crap ...

I think this type of product will evolve into something good (I hope) ... how about these for ideas, if anyone cares about developing a product ...

Imagine a pedal with 128 midi patches (DIN midi so it can sync with your guitar processors, synths, vocal processors etc).
For each midi patch you can name it (typically the song you will play).
For each patch you can choose a default tempo (which can be overridden with tap tempo if a switch is plugged in).
For each patch you choose a Genre and Style - like Trio+. But there would be no guessing - no embarassing accidents - no unintended waltzes ...
For each patch you can pre-program the chords for each section - intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro. This way, it already knows before you start playing what the chords to each section are - this will eliminate accidents, and allow better fills and bass run ups.
Imagine you can either play a backing track from beginning to end, or - at any point jump to a particular part and start looping a predefined loop - or to the outro etc. This will allow a song to be started, and depending on how the gig is going, extend it for soloing or time filling or for dancing, or to gracefully exit it. Choice of seamless transitions at the end of a pattern, or instant jumps if desired. Some people like to do sample stuttering type transitions, others might just want a normal musical transition.

Imagine something like Band In A Box but in a hardware unit with plenty of real time control. And with real time looping with multiple tracks, AND real time midi recording, looping, so there is no need to capture actual audio from midi instruments - giving best quality sound and mixing options.

Something like this could be the heart of a gigging, mixing system. If fx processing was thrown in as well it could be killer.
Old 14th May 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Part of the problem in having something that is very smart and creative is that it is going to do things you don't want it to do. I'm not going to sell the Trio+, because it's frustratingly good and inspirational. It's sort of like playing with really good, creative players who are off their face ... it can have moments of brilliance, and moments of stupidity, but you are not able to tell it what was good or what was crap ...

I think this type of product will evolve into something good (I hope) ... how about these for ideas, if anyone cares about developing a product ...

Imagine a pedal with 128 midi patches (DIN midi so it can sync with your guitar processors, synths, vocal processors etc).
For each midi patch you can name it (typically the song you will play).
For each patch you can choose a default tempo (which can be overridden with tap tempo if a switch is plugged in).
For each patch you choose a Genre and Style - like Trio+. But there would be no guessing - no embarassing accidents - no unintended waltzes ...
For each patch you can pre-program the chords for each section - intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro. This way, it already knows before you start playing what the chords to each section are - this will eliminate accidents, and allow better fills and bass run ups.
Imagine you can either play a backing track from beginning to end, or - at any point jump to a particular part and start looping a predefined loop - or to the outro etc. This will allow a song to be started, and depending on how the gig is going, extend it for soloing or time filling or for dancing, or to gracefully exit it. Choice of seamless transitions at the end of a pattern, or instant jumps if desired. Some people like to do sample stuttering type transitions, others might just want a normal musical transition.

Imagine something like Band In A Box but in a hardware unit with plenty of real time control. And with real time looping with multiple tracks, AND real time midi recording, looping, so there is no need to capture actual audio from midi instruments - giving best quality sound and mixing options.

Something like this could be the heart of a gigging, mixing system. If fx processing was thrown in as well it could be killer.
I agree. This platform has a really solid beginning. Hoping it evolves as an easier to use live substitute with more computer based configurability to quickly build song sets. Great accompaniment tool for starting out singers and players. Also a better communicator of your ideas to fellow musicians than just expecting the bass player to come up with something more interesting.
Old 17th May 2016
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jasonis View Post
I guess you really don't like the Trio. That's OK. I'm not trying to change your mind. To each his own. But I have to point out that quantizing doesn't change your signal, it just moves it onto the beat.
Yes, that's what I hate - roboticly "perfect", quantized music - its lack of musical feel drives me up a tree.

If god had intended music to be played by robots he wouldn't have invented humans.
Old 19th May 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Yes, that's what I hate - roboticly "perfect", quantized music - its lack of musical feel drives me up a tree.

If god had intended music to be played by robots he wouldn't have invented humans.
I'm guessing you have never heard the Trio+ and still have no concept of what it is or what it does ...

Passing opinions is one thing, but passing opinions on stuff you never heard or understand is another.

Slopping timing does not equate to musical feel. There are quite a few modern genres - Hip Hop, EDM, etc, etc that make serious use of sequencers and hard quantisation, and this makes for excellent dance music. To say they have no musical feel is displaying a great deal of ignorance.

I think God gave us sequencers and digital audio, just as he gave us tubes and magnetic tape.

FWIW - the Digitech Trio does not quantise your guitar playing whatsoever. It does what it is designed to do, which is create an auto accompaniment backing ... and it includes an audio looper. So of course, it has perfect timing once the loop starts. But the drums and basslines it creates are created from session players, and it has a very human feel that I love. It's not robotic - except may for the Electro Pop genre which is by design.

I had another look at top end Yamaha auto arrangers, since the Trio got me interested in where hardware autoarrangers had got to in 2016. Sadly - the Yamaha had the some horrible robotic feel as my old 90's Yamaha arranger keyboard. So I do have an aversion to bad midi sequences ... but the Trio feels good to me. Just frustrated at a few no-brainer ommisions that makes this just a practice or ideas toy. Pretty nice toy though - but it could be so much more.
Old 30th May 2016
  #22
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Oldone's Avatar
Just picked up the Trio+. Pretty amazing product and a must have for songwriters. If the song is arranged already just teach the "band" your sections and then tie the parts together into a song arrangement. Come back with some backing parts and voila, you have a backup band for your acoustic set or light folk or jazz band. It might look funny with one guitar player with a metal or pop band behind them but hey, this thing can do it.

Today I've been inputting the output into Protools and it creates a great reference track for building an arrangement. Much faster than experimenting in midi if you want a quick mock up of what the song could be.

The secret sauce for this thing is to give it really basic choral structure in the learn mode. You can loop in syncopation or upbeat parts later but keep it very basic in the beginning and the bass and drums align really well. Then you can run through the various genre and style settings. Really enjoying this pedal.
Old 30th May 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Just picked up the Trio+. Pretty amazing product and a must have for songwriters. If the song is arranged already just teach the "band" your sections and then tie the parts together into a song arrangement. Come back with some backing parts and voila, you have a backup band for your acoustic set or light folk or jazz band. It might look funny with one guitar player with a metal or pop band behind them but hey, this thing can do it.

Today I've been inputting the output into Protools and it creates a great reference track for building an arrangement. Much faster than experimenting in midi if you want a quick mock up of what the song could be.

The secret sauce for this thing is to give it really basic choral structure in the learn mode. You can loop in syncopation or upbeat parts later but keep it very basic in the beginning and the bass and drums align really well. Then you can run through the various genre and style settings. Really enjoying this pedal.
I agree it's a fun toy, and ideal for practice and inspiration and possibly songwriting. I would not call it a "must have" for song wrters ... the guitar itself is the best for that.

I would not recommend this for a reference track in Protools - unless you are happy to timestretch seriousy. The fact that you cannot specify an exact tempo, and the probablity of each of the 5 parts ending up with the same tempo being extremely low is a real problem.

I would suggest that if the final destination is a DAW, then Band-In-A-Box software is far more powerful and much easier to use and integrate.
Old 30th May 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
(...)
If god had intended music to be played by robots he wouldn't have invented humans.
If god hadn't intended music to be played by robots and humans, he wouldn't have invented humans with the ability to invent robots.
Old 30th May 2016
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
...
The fact that you cannot specify an exact tempo, and the probablity of each of the 5 parts ending up with the same tempo being extremely low is a real problem.
...
If I understood the manual correctly, and also based on my experience so far, Trio+ adjusts the tempo to the previous part if you are "close enough" to that tempo when teaching the band a new part. So all 5 parts WILL in fact have the same tempo.

Regards,

Lars L.
Old 30th May 2016
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Once you get the track down, as stated above, the 5 parts will be at the same tempo. Basically Protools is the bed for creating an environment to create backing tracks. The idea is not to create something commercial but just some tracks for live use. So once the drums, bass, possibly some rhythm or pad is done you upload this into PT, add some useful count offs, definitely fades for endings on some things and you can arrange multiple songs into a set which is in MP3. I think this would work better than all the button pushing required in a live situation. Just spin up the next MP3 or Wav into the PA and sing and play to that. this would eliminate the need for the pedal in a live situation, or not. Just trying to think outside the box er pedal.
Old 31st May 2016
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by larslengberg View Post
If I understood the manual correctly, and also based on my experience so far, Trio+ adjusts the tempo to the previous part if you are "close enough" to that tempo when teaching the band a new part. So all 5 parts WILL in fact have the same tempo.

Regards,

Lars L.
This is not my real world experience with it. Maybe there is a firmware upgrade I haven't got yet ... not really interested in pursuing it since the basic design concept seems flawed to me.
Old 31st May 2016
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Once you get the track down, as stated above, the 5 parts will be at the same tempo. Basically Protools is the bed for creating an environment to create backing tracks. The idea is not to create something commercial but just some tracks for live use. So once the drums, bass, possibly some rhythm or pad is done you upload this into PT, add some useful count offs, definitely fades for endings on some things and you can arrange multiple songs into a set which is in MP3. I think this would work better than all the button pushing required in a live situation. Just spin up the next MP3 or Wav into the PA and sing and play to that. this would eliminate the need for the pedal in a live situation, or not. Just trying to think outside the box er pedal.
I agree that the safe way to gig with this is to record the backing track and play it back with something else. My Boss RC3 looper is perfect for this.

But here is the catch ... Digitech put a USB port on this, but you can't access audio over USB. So you have to record the analog out - which is far from ideal. I wish it would export a WAV file, or at least stream the audio digitally so it could be captured in high quality without 2 unnecessary stages of conversion. Also in stereo - it sounds better in stereo, but that's only available on the 1/8" headphone output - lame.

The weird endings (no thought was put into how to end a song properly) is very disappointing.

It just makes 1000% more sense to purchase Band In A Box software, and generate far better tracks with the necessarily control and features. Not to mention plugins and automation, and the ability to track other essential parts if necessary.

Digitech made use of the words Band In a Box - and maybe they partnered with them to get some basic sounds??? Maybe the agreement with Band In A Box is that this hardware unit was deliberately crippled to force users to migrate to Band In A Box? Anyway - it's probably worked on me.
Old 30th June 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
 

The parts will sync tempo if your reasonably close and end on the right down beat. Also you can recover a part if you Accidentally delete it. Read the manual.

To match a new part's tempo to the previous part using the metronome: 1. If the band is playing, press the BAND footswitch to stop band playback. 2. Using the PART buttons, select the part to which you want to teach or record the loop. 3. If you're recording a loop, ensure the AUDIOLASTIC™ LED is off. If it isn’t, adjust the TEMPO control and set it to the 12 o'clock position — the AUDIOLASTIC LED should now turn off. 4. Press and hold the currently selected PART button until the metronome starts — the PART button will also begin flashing at the rate of the previous part's tempo. 5. When you have a feel for the tempo, keep your guitar quiet and press the BAND footswitch to arm the band (for teaching) or press the LOOPER footswitch to arm the looper (for recording a loop). Now, as soon as you start your down-strum, the teaching or loop recording will begin. 6. As you complete your song part or loop, press the BAND footswitch just as you strum the same downbeat you started on. The band or loop will now begin playing and, as long as your new part is reasonably close to the metronome tempo, the TRIO+ will alter the tempo to match the metronome tempo. TIP: To clear the song part or loop so you can try again, follow the instructions described in 'Clearing The TRIO+ Band' on page 19 or 'Clearing Loops' on page 25.
Tempo Interpretation Using The ALT TIME Button It is sometimes difficult for the TRIO+ to automatically choose between a slow or fast tempo based on the rhythm used for teaching. You can tell the TRIO+ that you would prefer either a fast or a slow interpretation of your song part by using the ALT TIME button to provide a tempo hint. To enable/disable tempo interpretation: 1. Before teaching the TRIO+ your song part (BAND LED flashing red slowly), press the ALT TIME button (the button will begin flashing red). After teaching your part, the TRIO+ will try to choose the slowest tempo interpretation of your rhythm. 2. Pressing the ALT TIME button again (the button will begin flashing green) will cause the TRIO+ to anticipate a faster song part. After teaching your part, the TRIO+ will try to choose the fastest tempo interpretation of your rhythm. 3. To return to normal operation, press the ALT TIME button again (the button will no longer flash). Now the TRIO+ will automatically determine whether a song part plays back at half or double time when enabling the ALT TIME button, based on the rhythm you played while teaching the song part

TIP: If a part is accidentally cleared, immediately press and hold the BAND footswitch again for 2 seconds to restore the song part (the BAND LED will turn green, indicating the part has been restored). Only the last cleared part can be restored.
Old 14th September 2016
  #30
Gear Head
 

bought it today. Cannot figure out how to use my amp sound fx instead of the pedal buildt in fx?? I know its possible to turn off the trio fx but it still wont let me to use my amp fx??
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