In further proof that the iPhone and iPad are one of the baddest devices out there, simply look at all the cool stuff that is out on the market that is specifically designed to plug into them. Well, we were recently gifted the Amplitube iRig ($40) to test out our musical dreams with.
I am by no means a great guitarist. I have had one for a little over a year, I pull it out a couple of times a week and mess around with it just to keep my creative appetite satisfied. But when I got this product, it made me want to instanly take this craft much more serious.
The iRig is basically a small donglish adapter that on one end accepts your standard guitar cord, while the other plugs into your earphone jack on your iPhone or iPad. It also contains a jack for your headphones to plug into. Simple enough really to set up. What you’ll need next is the app for the product to work on your device. The company has five different apps, depending on your device and what you want to be able to do. Ranging from free to $20, the apps basically give you more control over what the device can do for you when you have it plugged in. For our test, we had it plugged in for the iPhone, and just grabbed the free version to check out.
First off, all versions of the software includes a digital tuner and metronome. Which is great to have since you got to at least be in tune before you practice/play. You should tune yourself before every session, cause after a long practice session the strings can easily come out of tune. The metronome is a nice touch for when you are trying to learn a song or just get faster at playing. Basically the biggest difference in the free and paid versions is the number of stompboxes, amp+cabinet, and microphones you get at your disposal. A few more features include..
– Real time mobile guitar and bass multiFX + recording app
– Full rig with 3 simultaneous stompboxes + amp with effects + cabinet + mic
– 3 Stomps, 1 Amp, 1 Cabinet, 2 Mics expandable with 13 Stomps and 4 Amps + Cabinets, available through in-app purchase
– Single track recorder, with re-amping, expandable to a full 4 track recording studio with master effects section through in-app purchase
– Import and play up to 50 songs for use as backing tracks directly from your iPod library or computer
– Slow down or speed up the tempo (-50% to +200%) of imported songs without affecting their pitch
– 36 presets can be saved/named/recalled on the fly
– Includes tuner and metronome
– Low-latency for real-time playing
Like I said before, I’m a novice when it comes to guitar, but I found the controls on this software very easy to handle and figure out. Within about 15 minutes I had it lined up to how I wanted it to sound. The only thing that I didn’t like about the iPhone version was that you can only really see one stompbox at a time. I think that this app and device is probably best suited for the iPad. Which I would be willing to check out, as soon as the iPad fairy brings me one.
The dongle itself feels very well made, the sound that comes out of it via the headphone jack sounds great. It’s a powerful piece of equipment that works well with the designed software. I’d highly recommend this product for parents of wood be musicians as they can practice without the loud amp. Great for people who have limited practice space, thin walls in an apartment, or just want to practice on the go. The actual device itself is usable with many other apps that require you to hook your axe up to your iPhone or iPad. Here is some video put together by the people at iRig with their product in use.
All in all, we give this a big hella cool high-five! And now you can get your hands on one for freeeeeeeeee. That’s right, we are going to throw this into our two year anniversary pot for one lucky reader. Don’t forget to check back next week as we let you in on how to enter!