Review of IK Multimedia’s iRig and AmpliTube

Posted by at 10:10 am on January 14, 2011

The nice people over at IK Multimedia’s sent us the AmpliTube iRig – an interface for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that allows you to plug a guitar into it. then once you intall the AmpliTube app, the iRig turns your iPhone or iPad into a portable stompbox and/or amp with the ability to select from a number of different amp types and audio effects.

Now I am an infrequent casual player, but was before getting to used this great software/hardware combo.

iRig

The iRig hardware goes for $39.99. It is a dongle that works with many recording or tuning apps since it can simply function as a line-in for your guitar or other line level instrument. This alone makes the product useful for those of us who live in small spaces where we just cannot have a jam space always setup.

The iRig is simple and quite straightforward to set up, which makes it great for both non GTR Gods like myself and the pros. Its male 1/8-inch mini-jack connector plugs into your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, and a 1/4-inch input on the opposite side lets you plug a guitar or other line-level instrument in to the device. A 1/8-inch headphone jack then handles the overall audio output, allowing you to listen through headphones for a solo jam session or connect up to an mixer or PA system for performance or recording.

The unit is well built and can take the beating that can happen to it during fast setup and tear downs.

AmpliTube App

The second part of this one two combo is the AmpliTube app. The app makes possible to dial in an insane number of customized amp and effects sounds using UI that look like controls you find on the real hardware.

Now there are a couple of versions of the app to pick from. The full version of AmpliTube includes 11 stompboxes, 5 amps and cabinets plus two microphones for a cost of $19.99. The AmpliTube LE version includes 5 stompboxes, 1 amp and cabinet and two microphones for $2.99. There’s also a totally free version that comes with 3 stompboxes, 1 amp and cabinet and two microphones.

Amps included are clean, crunch, lead, metal and bass and each featured the complementary range of controls you’d find on the actual hardware: volume, bass, treble, tone and reverb depending on the amp model. The amps are based on well-known classic tones from the likes of Marshall and Fender.

The stompboxes include flanger, phazer, envelope filter, wah, octave, noise filter, chorus, distortion, overdrive, fuzz and delay.

All the methods of setting these up are like what you would do in the real world. That is the AmpliTube, it does a great job of making the sound, feel and act like the real hardware. This is not shocking since IK Multimedia is a leader in the software sound modeling arena

Once you get the sound you are looking for, you can store up to 12 presets.

There is a built-in metronome and chromatic tuner. Plus you can buy additional stompboxes from the online store.

The Verdict

In short this combo of iRig and AmpliTube has one strong theme – simple and inviting. It doesn’t take a ton of time to learn to you the software and it really invites you to fiddle around with it to see what sounds you can get.

For those of us who are on a tight budget or just can not justify a ton of gear around the house, this app let you try out and use sounds that you could have not done before so cheaply and easily.

For the pros I know one of the biggest compliments they paid the combo is that system sounds is great and is accurate to the products they are modeling.

At $39.99 for the iRig hardware and AmpliTube starting at free makes the package fit anyone budget. My hat goes off to the team at IK Multimedia for thing so out of the box to make the iPhone part of your jam session.

Rating 4.5

Pros

  • Irig is well builts and take the beating of being in a poorly packed Gear bag
  • Great UI of the Ampl, Stomp Boxes
  • The Sound models are great. A Fender sounds like a Fender with AmpliTube

Cons

  • Buttons can be a little small a times
  • Would love to see some integration in with iTunes

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