My iPhone is much more of a pocket laptop that it is a mobile phone. In fact let’s be honest – it’s a pretty lousy mobile phone. But it is excellent for making music on the go. iMachine is one of my favourite toys, GarageBand is ridiculously good for pocket software and apps like Figure, EveryDay Looper and Thumbjam are amazing for creating fun and interesting songs. IK Multimedia are well aware of the musical potential of iDevices have been consistently putting out high quality accessories for a number of years. Their latest – the iRig Pro – is great for musicians who want to cross the digital device.
The iRig Pro is an audio interface that accepts most going audio inputs and can have your iOS device playing nicely with guitars, basses, line-level inputs, dynamic mics, conducer mics or MIDI inputs. There’s high-quality 1/4″-XLR combo input connector for connection with standard XLR cables, 1/4″ mono line or instrument signal cables, and a switchable 48V phantom power supply for use with studio condenser microphones. It has an ultra-low-noise, high-definition microphone-and-instrument preamp; a high-quality 24-bit A/D converter; a preamp gain control; plus LED indicators for device status, MIDI, phantom power and signal level.
Working through the lightning connector (rather than the headphone jack) there’s a massive reduction in noise and the benefits from working in digital are made apparent from the super clear tones you hear from your equipment. The plug and play nature of the device is great – there’s no set up and bad old days of installing drivers is long gone. It does make things a bit of a mess of cables in the box, but you’ll only ever be able to use one at a time. iRig PRO comes with three detachable cables, compatible with Lightning, 30-pin and USB connectors, respectively, allowing for digital connection to every model of iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac, out of the box, with no need for adapters. A MIDI cable with a standard MIDI jack is also provided to connect the widest variety of MIDI-compatible keyboards and controllers.
The iRig small and compact, sitting nicely on most desktops, but this delightful design does mean that they did’t have space for an audio output, although you can of course monitor sound through your iDevice. There are no real buttons, aside from a discreet switch on the side for phantom power and a giant gain knob on the front. Although IK Multimedia make a range of great music creation apps such as AmpliTube, VocaLive, SampleTank, iGrand and iRig Recorder you aren’t locked in to any one platform.
The iRig PRO is out now for $149.99/€119.99 (exc. taxes).