Musicians, pocket videographers, podcasters, and anyone who has ever tried to record quality audio directly into their iOS device or computer has inevitable come to a crossroads in their experience. What’s the easiest, highest quality method for capturing great audio without high price of elaborate recording equipment? IK Multimedia’s new iRig Pro is a universal solution for capturing quality audio, regardless of what you’re recording on the go!
The name iRig is mostly synonymous with creating music on iDevices, and the iRig Pro takes that to the next level. Available for $149.99 from IK Multimedia (and various other retailers), the iRig Pro is capable of taking audio from nearly any external instrument or source and guide it straight into your iDevice or Mac.
Not much larger than a roll of quarters, the iRig Pro is compact, but packs a huge punch when it comes to it’s compatibility on both the input and output side of things. The iRig Pro takes XLR (mic), 1/4″ (guitar/bass/etc.), Line-level sources, and midi and can push it out to 30-pin, lightning, or USB devices, making it compatible with old and new iOS devices, and your Mac.
The iRig Pro also features a preamp with adjustable gain for perfectly tweaking the sound into your iDevice, which can be ideal for creating the perfect amount of grit in your instrumental tone, or help amplify a weak voice, offering excellent tone, without blowing your speakers or causing undesired loss of tone. iRig Pro isn’t picky when it comes to capturing that voice, either, with a simple switch to turn phantom power on and off, depending on your mic’s requirements.
What good is this sweet audio interface without an equally awesome way to capture it? IK Multimedia offers a fairly extensive suite of iOS and Mac apps (both paid and free) that offer amp simulation, vocal processing, effects, and a piano simulator (which can pair with a midi keyboard for additional sounds and instrumentation). The iRig Pro isn’t solely for IK Multimedia’s apps, though, as it is compatible with any Mac or iOS app that supports external audio input , including Garageband, Loopy HD, and even video camera app Filmic Pro. In tests with both guitar into various music apps and as an audio interface for mic’d video recording, the iRig Pro yielded great, natural tone (obviously influenced by the mic which was connected). Being able to connect the highest quality audio sources to an iOS device is one of the biggest reasons the iRig Pro is such a great investment!
With video being one of my passions, and my new-found love of iOS video production, I’ve discovered that the size and versatility of the iRig Pro adds a level of expandability to my recording, without adding lots of cumbersome audio peripherals. During a recording, if audio seems a little low, I can boost the level right at the iRig – a feature that most video recording apps lack. Either using a small stand clamp, or even a cheap piece of velcro, the iRig can easily be mounted on the side of a Padcaster or even the back of your iPhone (or much safer – the back of an iPhone case).
Verdict: [rating: 4.5]
Having used the original iRig to capture guitar into an iPad, it’s clear the iRig Pro truly takes it to the next level. By utilizing the USB, 30-Pin, or Lightning connection, the iRig Pro can deliver superior quality digital audio using state of the art Analog-to-Digital conversion and a highly reliable connection. The versatility and range of input sources also makes the iRig Pro a fantastic tool both for instrument, midi, and mic’d recording.
- Support most common input connections
- Built-in preamp
- Compatibility with 30-Pin, Lightning, and USB devices
- Available phantom power as needed
- Industry leading 24-bit audio conversion
- Price may deter some would-be buyers
Whether you’re a serious musician or just beginning, an amateur videographer or are producing the next Apple commercial (shot on iPhone), the iRig Pro is one of the best consumer audio capture tools available for your iOS device.