Today’s technology brings many ways for musicians to record and play their instruments. These options are often expensive and difficult to use. IK Multimedia has introduced the iRig Acoustic to solve this issue. The iRig Acoustic ($49.99) is a high quality microphone pickup system that allows acoustic guitar and ukulele players to record and play anywhere. Let’s take a look!
If you have ever wished your acoustic guitar was electric so you can make high quality recordings, IK Multimedia has created an innovative product just for you. The iRig Acoustic snaps on to any steel or nylon string guitar or ukulele giving the instrument a high quality pickup. With the use of the free AmpliTube companion app musicians have the freedom to play and record anywhere.
The iRig Acoustic is a small, guitar pick shaped device that simply slides onto the sound hole under the strings of a guitar or ukulele. The device takes literally seconds to install without having to modify the instrument. The iRig is made of soft non-marring rubber material, so it will not cause any scratching or damage. It comes in a small protective carrying case similar to what headphones often come with. You can easily carry the iRig Acoustic in your pocket for easy access at any time.
The device plugs into your phone or tablet’s 1/8″ headphone jack. A provided line out jack is included on the cable to enable players to monitor their sound. Use headphones for privately monitored playing or line out the audio to a mixer or powered speaker for a full stereo acoustic performance.
As someone who has played the guitar for over 30 years, I have to say the iRig Acoustic is an amazing product. Never have I seen a product so small and mobile have such great sound. There is no need for an expensive condenser mic or fancy boxes that require an acoustic electric plugged into a computer to record. I can literally pull this tiny device out of my gear bag, snap it on, plug into my phone or iPad and begin recording. While I am just a hobbyist on the guitar, this could be revolutionary for professional singer-song writers. Anytime you get an idea, plug in the iRig and record in high quality no matter the location.
There is some science involved that allows a small microphone to run through a mobile device and create high quality sound. The product utilizes a unique microphone design and a MEMS (MicroElectrical-Mechanical System). These microphones offer reliable and high quality audio capture. They deliver very accurate sound response while being resistant to mechanical vibrations that could muddy the sound. The MEMS microphone will produce realistic, consistent audio from the instrument time after time.
The free Amplitube Acoustic application can be used on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android devices. The app will require a calibration set up process that will let the app perfect the range of the instrument to produce the best quality sound. The app includes several amp models as well as different guitar bodies and several effects. Getting just about any acoustic sound with the same guitar is simple. The app also includes a 4-track looper, an 8-track recorder/DAW, speed trainer, and UltraTuner. The device will work with GarageBand but sounds best when played through the Amplitude Acoustic app. There is an option to route the audio to GarageBand through the app.
I have to say that I am blown away by the iRig Acoustic. The device is super tiny and can be carried in a pocket, yet the sound is fantastic. Since it is designed for acoustic instruments, you really get the full range sound that is often difficult to record without an expensive condenser microphone. I don’t do a lot of recording, but have enjoyed practicing with headphones and hearing the audio with different amp and body models. Sometimes we forget just how great our stringed instruments can sound. The Amplitube Acoustic app is well designed, but I did find all of the in-app purchases to be a bit much. To get every option available, you will spend just about as much as you did for the iRig itself. With that said, I will still highly recommend the iRig Acoustic for any stringed instrument player. It is just too easy to use and sounds too good for the low price.
The IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic retails for $49.99.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit.
What I like: Super easy to use and produces consistent, high quality audio of my acoustic guitar.
What can be improved: The in-app purchases can become quite expensive.