Sometimes a metronome just won't cut it when you're playing an instrument alone. That's where Korg's KR Mini comes in, providing the galloping metal beat that bridges into a poppy chorus for your bass, guitar or keyboard jam session. You can even chain the unit's nine presets -- 8-beat, 16-beat, dance, jazz, Latin, metal, pop, R&B and rock -- together with a plethora of fills to make your own backing tracks to shred along to. The box's 16 velocity sensitive-pads do double duty too, allowing for finger drumming if none of the onboard loops do the trick.
If you need inputs to run your existing effects pedal-board or foot controls into, the KR Mini has you covered there too. No monitor? No problem. The built-in speakers can provide the sound you need at a moment's notice, with a trio of AAs providing the juice if you aren't near a wall outlet. Considering the company's storied drum machine-heritage, it's cool to see Korg honoring that legacy with this latest KR model. The Mini ships in November for $79.99, and while it may not be the ego-free backing band of your dreams, it probably comes close.