Over the past year I have produced many podcasts, screen flow presentations and other various vocal projects. Earlier last year a fan wrote to me and expressed his frustration with the sound of my voice, expressing that they would no longer view my productions until I corrected the problem. I never gave much thought to the importance of a proper balanced vocal podcast. However when I researched the mechanics involved I was quickly overwhelmed. As all my readers know, I am heavy into simplistic and functional products. So setting up a proper sounding podcast sent waves of frustration thru me, I was overwhelmed. The improvement would require this piece of equipment, that wire, possibly various filter, and there was no sure guarantee that I could properly install and use this expensive tools. That’s when I reached out to IK Multimedia, and asked if I could be privileged to review their new iRig microphone. A simplistic plug and play microphone with a guarantee to work straight out of the packaging.
Simplistic Design and Set-up
iRig is perfect for packing in a school bag and setting up a podcast in any environment. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and MacBook Pros. It is the quintessential go to portable recording device. IK Multimedia has included a traveling pouch to insure proper storage of this gem. iRig has a dual in/out mini-jack connector attached to a six foot cable, you simply plug it into a headphone jack and you are ready to podcast. An extra benefit of this type of connector is the ability to plug in a pair of headphones, allowing you to monitor yourself in pure stereo. For band recording, the iRig has a three level gain switch (low, medium, and high) making it perfect to record in various environments, even a loud smoky bar. Combined with the headphone output feature it is perfect for simple vocal recordings, musicians or adding on external amplifiers.
iRig Applications Available In The App Store
IK Multimedia has developed three free applications to work hand in hand with the iRig microphone. As an amateur podcaster I downloaded the iRig Recorder application, it allowed me quick and simple recording. Easy to operate, just hit record and begin your podcast. Even easier to export, iRig Recorder has the option of email, iTunes sharing, Wi-Fi, FTP upload and even sound cloud. I exported two podcasts using the Wi-Fi option and was pleasantly surprised at the simplistic function; within seconds I was exporting my podcast and ready to edit. AmpliTube is another free application designed for guitar and bass players. This application offers a wide range of guitar and bass effects as well as the basic recording and exporting functions included with iRig Recorder. The final free application is VocaLive, a true laundry list of vocal options are included. VocaLive is more beneficial for a singer who is looking to fine tune, and add in a few hip effects. Singers will enjoy the ability to adjust choir harmonizing effects, pitch correction, and vocal doubling. The iRig microphone and its included free applications pack a fistful of awesome features.
iRig is a condenser microphone, with a unidirectional / cardioid polar pattern. The three level gain switch allows for maximum sound pressures of 120 dB, 90dB, and 75 dB, distortion is 3% THD at 120 dB, 1 kHz. iRig has a convenient windscreen built in so there is no need to add anything, resulting in perfect outside performance. Included is a microphone clip, making it compatible with all microphone stands.
My Experience Using iRig
I used the iRig to record various podcasts for my Health Informatics classes. The included free applications made for simplistic function and easy set up. Almost immediately I earned a new respect for proper vocal recording. There was zero distortion, pure crystal clear stereo, and no popping. The combination input output jack was wonderful in helping me adjust my tone of voice during an outside recording. iRig fits very well in the hand as it is in the shape of a traditional microphone, however I did purchase a desktop stand for easier recording. I am very happy with the results of iRig, in any environment be it loud, and busy or windy you will notice that your recordings will truly come out sounding very professional.
iRig Recorder was a perfect companion to the iRig microphone. It was super easy to use, as well as export. The application has very basic adjustments, at first I was hesitant to play with them, I was concerned that I would destroy my recordings. Nothing more then the opposite, IK Multimedia kept these options simplistic and tailored for a true amateur. My favorite feature is the compatibility and ability to use the iRig Microphone with so many different devices. I recommend this device to anyone who is looking to improve their vocal recordings, and wants to avoid complicated microphone options.
iRig Expandability and Add-Ons
IK Multimedia has many add on products available to compliment the iRig microphone. iPad owners are sure to like the optional iKlip, a microphone stand adapter designed to hold the iPad in place. This is a great option for someone recording recently pend music. iKlip has many adjustable angles, perfected for a sitting instrumental player, or even a teacher conducting a school choir. Another exciting add-on is the iRig Plug Interface Adapter. This device will allow you to plug in an instrument, and use the iRig Microphone simultaneously. The recording options with these add-on options make the sky the limit.
Availability and Purchase Options
iRig is currently available at most brand name guitar centers and musical shops. IK Multimedia is also selling the iRig directly at there website www.ikmultimedia.com. iRig has a retail price of $59 USD and is truly worth it. I enjoyed having the opportunity to review this product, and even my fan that criticized me in the past has recently emailed me with nothing but kind words on my improved and balanced podcast vocals. If your looking for an awesome simplistic microphone, that is sure to work with all your Apple devices then iRig is the way to go!