Posted by
Sep 9, 2013

At this point I would say that the iOS platform is here to stay as far as music creation goes. With the advent of Audiobus, an iOS app for allowing the interconnection of audio apps, we’ve seen many new creative inventions and ideas for effects processing, amp modeling, new takes on the DAW, and completely new inventions not possible before iOS.  One of the key elements needed to get the most out of these sound processing apps is a way to get audio into the device at the best resolution possible. Enter iRig HD, IK Multimedia’s high definition audio input device with Hi-Z connection via a 1/4″ jack with gain control!

IK Multimedia was one of the first company championing the idea of using your iOS device as a means to process external sound musically. First it was the iRig, but the sound quality by way of tapping the headset microphone port was limited. They took the opportunity to upgrade this slightly by making the circuit active in the iRig Stomp. However, with the iRig HD they have completely redesigned the device to provide its own analog to digital conversion. They have also made the device compatible with Mac as well as iOS by way of interchangeable cables that vary from Lightening connector, 30-pin (iPod), and USB. This provides seamless integration no matter what platform you choose.

IK Multimedia are also famous for their wonderful Amp and Stomp Box modeling software available on both iOS and Mac formats. Despite the iRig HD sounds particularly good when used with IK’s own software, the device can be used with any core audio compatible wares. The unit is capable of recording audio at 24-bit resolution.

I demonstrated the unit with IK’s AmpliTube Fender software. The difference between iRig Stomp and iRig HD in terms of sound quality was nothing short of astounding. I felt as if it made the Amps and Effects come to life in a way I hadn’t heard before. With the iRig Stomp I seemed to always be fighting with the EQ on the amp to achieve the desired tone. However, with the iRig HD I plugged in and tabbed through some presets and just enjoyed how they sounded, making little to no change. I tried with a few other sources like my synthesizer and bass and it just felt very transparent and responsive.

I highly recommend this interface to those interested in playing their instrument with iOS or Mac. It’s on par with the Apogee Jam and works particularly well with AmpliTube. It’s highly portable, bus-powered, and provides all of the cables one may need. My only feature request would be a way for the iOS device to continue charging with the iRig HD connected, but it’s not a big deal. – Gus Green