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July 23, 2010

iRig Review

The iRig, made by IK Multimedia, is a very cool Audio Interface Adapater for the iPhone, iPod or iPad.

I just got one, and I admit, I am impressed. Last night, I took the iRig for test spin for the first time, while my video camera was running. See the resulting iRig video demo below.

The iRig design

It's very easy to hook up - you plug the iRig into your headphone jack on the iPhone, and then plug your guitar cord into the adapter. There is a headphone/line-out jack on the iRig.

It is small and sturdy, and it's not likely to break any time soon. The only possible drawback I can think of is that it's small, but then again, that's one of the benefits!

The AmpliTube Software

amplitube irig

The Amplitube app comes in three versions. - Free, LE and the Full version. The free version includes 3 stompboxes, 1 amp+cabinet, 2 microphones. The LE version includes 5 stompboxes, 1 amp+cabinet, 2 microphones for $2.99 USD. More gear can be added to FREE and LE through an in-app purchase of a-la-carte models with stompboxes costing $2.99 USD each and amplifiers+cabinets for $4.99 USD each. AmpliTube FULL includes the entire collection of available gear with 11 stompboxes, 5 amps+cabinets and 2 microphones for $19.99 USD.

You can create 12 presets, of up to 3 pedals and 1 amp and cabinet at a time. You can bring up these 12 presets on a keypad type of interface. To turn a preset on/off, you tap the number of the preset. It's functioning like a foot switch, in other words.

Included in this app is a chromatic tuner and a metronome. This is a great idea, and very useful.

What about backing tracks to jam along to? It can be done. You import songs or backing tracks into the app, and you can jam along while you are listening to a song at the same time.

I like the look of Amplitube. The user interface is easy to use too. Great graphical representations of pedals and amps.

Sound quality

So far, I have only used the FREE version, which has a Marshall type of amp in it. For a virtual amp coming out of a cell phone, it's hard to not be impressed. I could coax out some sweet tones with my Suhr Classic, and adding a bit of delay gave me a great guitar sound. I found myself playing for a good while when I made the demo below - that means I was definitely inspired by the tones!

There is a setting for Latency (Low or Ultra-low). I set it to Ultra-low, and it felt more "direct".

You get a distortion stompbox included as well, but you have to register with IK Multimedia to get it. I hadn't done that at the time of my demo, but it's a good sounding stompbox indeed.

The overall sound is impressive, I will have to say. Through my cheap, powered studio monitors, I could get some convincing guitar tones happening. It's not going to replace my Line Pod Farm - it's quite at that level, but hey - it runs on a cell phone! How cool isn't that?

My conclusion

If you have an iPhone and you play guitar - BUY THE iRig. It's not expensive ($39.99 USD) for what you get - a miniature virtual guitar amp with lots of flexbility and good sound - right on your iPhone. It's perfect for travel or for practicing late at night. Talk about a minimalist guitar rig! Give the iRig a try - I think you will like it.

IK Multimedia iRig - Audio Interface Adapater for iPhone/iPod/iPad

IK Multimedia iRig - Audio Interface Adapater for iPhone/iPod/iPad

The IK Multimedia AmpliTube iRig combines an easy-to-use instrument interface adapter with guitar and bass tone software for your favorite Apple mobile device.

With AmpliTube iRig, you can plug your guitar into your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and jam anywhere with top-notch guitar and bass tone right in the palm of your hand.

At the core of the AmpliTube iRig System is AmpliTube—a leader in gear modeling software for professional recording studios. AmpliTube for iPhone gives you the same incredible ultra-realistic sound and modeling accuracy of its Mac/PC applications in a convenient mobile platform app.With AmpliTube for iPhone, you’ll have an entire guitar/bass rig at your fingertips, comprised of 3 recombinable simultaneous stompbox effects, an amp-head plus cabinet and a microphone.

With AmpliTube for iPhone fully loaded, you will be able to choose between 5 amps (clean, crunch, lead, metal, bass) with full controls, 10 stompbox effects (delay, flanger, phaser, overdrive, distortion, filter, wah, fuzz, octaver, chorus), 5 cabinets and 2 microphones (dynamic and condenser).Plus, AmpliTube for iPhone features a chromatic digital tuner and a metronome. You can also import and play with songs or backing tracks with realtime effects; and create, save and recall up to 36 presets on the fly.


Video Demo

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By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on July 23, 2010

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