By Chris Scott Barr
Not only am I an avid gamer, but I am also a musician. I have been playing guitar for about 13 years now, and it helps when I can keep all of my equipment in one place. That’s why when I got the chance to try out IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube iRig for the iPhone, I was really excited. The iRig is a device that allows you to connect your guitar to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and listen, record, and tune your guitar to all of your needs. After toying around with it for a bit, here are my thoughts on the product.
What You Get
In the box, you will get the actual iRig connector piece, and the instruction booklet.The device utilizes an application that you can download through the App Store called AmpliTube. The app comes in a free version, as well as an extended version that includes a ton of plug-ins. For this, I found all I needed was the free version.
The device has a sleek design, and it plugs right in to the i-device you’re using. There’s no issue with long cords or tangling thanks to the iRig’s design. I found this especially useful when I would move from place to place around the house, and when I was packing my gear up to travel.
I found the iRig extremely user-friendly. It was easy to download the app, and when I plugged the device in, the app recognized it immediately. The device is designed so that it uses the headphone jack on your i-device for input. You then plug your guitar into the input jack on the iRig, and you’re ready to go. The setup is very easy, and quick.
Now while using the actual AmpliTube app, it asks if you’re using headphones or if you want to use the i-device’s speaker. On my iPhone, however, it would not let me use the speaker for sound. I could not get the app to one output the sound through the speakers, which meant that whenever I used it, I needed to wear headphones. The only issue with this was that I would sometimes run into comfort issues due to the headphones themselves. The headphones created more wiring, which could get in the way if you don’t watch. Other than this, I didn’t have any real issues with setup.
Once I got everything set up, I started playing immediately. The sound was crisp, and I already had a lot of settings at my disposal. The iRig even lets you record sound clips of your playing so you can save it for later. You can also play back the recording, which helps when you’re writing multiple different tracks for a song.
One thing about me is that I am hugely into metal, and any metalhead knows that the most important weapon in their arsenal is a distortion pedal. The AmpliTube app didn’t originally come with a distortion pedal, but I did manage to grab one. Once you start using the app, it allows you to register it. As long as you register the app, you will receive a full distortion pedal for free. You can also download more effect pedals, such as reverb, echo, and noise by looking within the app itself. This makes for a great time when recording or playing, because it allows a lot of diversity in what you’re sound is. The only issue I found with this, however, is when you first turn your effects pedal on, the app creates a lot of feedback, which is extremely loud. You have to turn your i-device’s volume almost all the way down in order not to suffer from it, so watch out.
With all of these items at my disposal, I had everything I needed. I could tune my guitar at any time, listen to recordings, and make brand new ones that I could use to write brand new songs from scratch. The iRig really is an all-in-one tool for any guitarist out there.
All-in-all I am very pleased with the AmpliTube iRig. It’s the perfect tool for any musician on the go. With the ability to record, play back, and add effects to anything you want to play, it quickly becomes a necessity no matter where you reside. Whether it’s in a quaint little home alone, or with a house full of room mates, it’s the perfect alternative for expensive and bulky equipment. I definitely recommend the AmpliTube iRig to anyone out there who is looking to get the best guitar tool for the money. And at $40, you’re really not spending a lot for what you get.
[ iRig ]