Every now and then you come across an accessory that after using it seems so obvious, so necessary, that you can’t believe it took two years for someone to bring it out. THAT, in short, described my feelings about the iKlip Studio from IK Multimedia. Let’s take a look!
-Sturdy, durable, lightweight, shock-resistant thermoplastic construction holds your iPad securely without scratching or marring it
-Rubber foot pads grip the desktop and prevent unwanted sliding
-Flexible orientation allows iKlip Studio to be tilted from a very low-profile angle to near-vertical positioning
-The device can be quickly rotated between its horizontal and vertical position
-All controls, buttons, connectors and camera of the iPad are accessible
-Includes detachable iRig bracket for IK’s popular iRig™ guitar interface adapter for use with the AmpliTube range of apps or any other guitar effects app
-Folds flat for extreme portability
I have used my iPads for music since I got the first iPad immediately upon release back in 2010, but they were of two types: the keyboard dock, and the Apple case with integrated flap that turned into a wedge-stand. But with the cover on I couldn’t use the dock, which meant too much work removing the iPad from the cover, and in the dock I can only use the iPad in portrait mode. So needless to say I was thrilled with the iPad 2 and the ultra-thin and convenient Smart Cover.
But this year one of my goals was to get my guitar chops fully in shape. Guitar has never been my primary instrument, but this year I took on the task of learning everything I need. And since IK Multimedia has so many great iPad tools for guitarists such as the iRig and Amplitube in addition to GarageBand from Apple and many other great apps, my goal was to use my iPad as my primary workstation (after more than 25 years of Mark of the Unicorn’s Performer, no less). But I ran into a small problem using the 2nd gen iPad with Smart Cover and an iRig with my Guitar – at the shallow angle I couldn’t see the screen very well, and at the steep angle the weight of my guitar cord could cause the iPad to tip over if it moved at all.
So when IK Multimedia announced the iKlip Studio at CES in January, I thought ‘ooh, now THAT would be awesome’. And after a few weeks with the iKlip Studio I can confirm that it IS awesome in pretty much every way, and is the stand I wish I had for my iPad since April 2010.
While I understand that a stand is not particularly exciting, once you make the iPad a music studio workhorse you will realize that a good stand is essential. And since the iPad is thin and light, you want something small and light but still robust.
The iKlip Studio is made from a shock-resistant thermoplastic, which makes it rugged and resistant to breakage when dropped. But the stand also has a non-slippery feel that makes you confident tossing it around and putting your gear on it. The support for the iPad is wide enough to hold any generation iPad – and even fits perfectly if the original iPad has a cover. I also tried with the 3rd generation iPad with an Oberon case, and it fit but the case design was really not intended for that type of use, so I would recommend checking the dimensions if you are using a large case or an original iPad with anything bigger than the Apple flip-case.
It has a non-slip surface and rubber feet on the bottom to kep it from moving – and also at the top to keep your iPad from moving! Once you put your iPad into the iKlip Studio you no longer need to worry about it – I might seem to be belaboring the point, but it is truly significant the extent to which these small featured differentiate the iKlip Studio from any stand I have ever used. Even with the Apple keyboard the Smart Cover causes the iPad to lean to the side a bit – but as you see in one of the images, my son was jamming with the iPad in the iKlip Studio with his Korg microKeys USB keyboard hanging out of the end without a single issue.
Setting up the iKlip Studio is quick and easy. The hinged design snaps into place for travel, so you gently open up at the top, then the enclosed positioning foot drops out and you can choose your position. The range of positions is also very impressive, pretty much matching the full range of the iPad Smart Cover – but in a much more stable and secure way!
Fixing positions is also trivial – there is a small tab at the bottom of the foot that inserts into any of the eight positioning slots along the base. This is all part of the same plastic piece, so there is no concern about strength, and the slots are wide in order to properly distribute the force – again, loads of attention to details that really matter in order to make this a no-thought accessory for musicians.
Along the same lines, the design of the iKlip Studio features four clip points and a special clip-tube adapter for the iRig. Simply slide your iRig into the adapter and clip it onto one of the four clip points. Why are there four? Because that allows you to orient your any way you want, whether portrait or landscape, left or right. Once clipped in place, you can easily plug and unplug your guitar and actually move around without worrying about the iPad at all.
The iRig clip is my single niggle about the iKlip Studio. You have to remove the iRig clip in order to fold down the iKlip Studio, and there is no way to clip it on to keep it with the stand. For me the solution has been to simply leave it on the iRig, which is what I recommend for others as well. I don’t have a suggestion of a different way to handle it, it was just the only thing that raised any concerns for me. Of course, by keeping it with my iRig, when my son borrows the iKlip Studio to use with the iPad or iRig MIX (which is often) I don’t have to worry about the iRig clip getting lost.
Finally, I appreciate that the design provides enough coverage to provide stability, but isn’t so big that it blocks anything. You have room for a dock connector, access to speaker and microphone, the volume control and rotation lock, and the 3.5mm speaker/mic jack is easily accessible. It is this way that the iKlip Studio works according to YOUR needs rather than forcing anything upon you that really makes me love the stand. I know that is a rather gushing appraisal for a simple iPad stand, but the truth is that the iKlip Studio is more than just a stand … it is an essential part of my music studio – wherever that might happen to be at the time.
Here is a hands-on video of the iKlip Studio in use:
Review: iKlip Studio
What I Like: Perfectly balanced; solid construction; thoughtful design; works with all iPads including some cases; flexible and reliable construction.
What Needs Improvement: Possible to lose the iRig clip.
Source: Publisher provided review sample