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There is a good review on Guitar Player from June 2017. Review: IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage

I'm not a real gadget guy but for $120 on Amazon.ca I might take a chance.
Thanks !

The review talks about the mic AND an electronic device...

I got interested in the mic use since my son gave me an iRig mic at Christmas (I sometimes record on iPad to send videos to friends and relatives on special occasions).

I am getting used to AmpliTube app it uses.

I would gladly post my own experiment when I succesfully record...
 

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Here are the results of my amateur try. It is clearly not professional and did not intend to be so. But I believe it compares to what we can read in mags... ;-)

*Intro.*

Some years ago, I used to get my best acoustics equipped with electronics and so gave a try to many devices from simple undersaddle piezzo stick or K&K underbridge pure mini mics to dual systems, namely K&K and LRBaggs iMix. These summed up to be quite expensive. In addition I was not really satisfied and came to share John Hammond Jr's opinion on the subject : "... it is no longer acoustic". I finally decided Shure mic on a stand would actually suit my needs in a better way, as budget and sounds were concerned. So no expensive on board electronics for me anymore !

I eventually began to record some pieces on video (because I would wear particular attire for the occasion ! ) I would send to friends and relatives here and there to underline some events in my or their own life. I was at first making these videos through my PC web cam but a motherboard crash made me upgrade to a new PC which CPU fan was too noisy to make decent takes so that I ultimately turned to the silent iPad I eventually got. I had always been limited to a one take shot but it was fine since I did not want to make audio/video work.

I thought the iPad did quite a decent job until I met its sound limitations while trying to show the differences between four orchestra model guitars : while the iPad partially blunted the sound differences, YouTube "enhancement" treatment quite finished the blunting trauma my sound take so that the resulting YouTube video finally showed very subtle if any significant differences one could still hear so that I never published that video. Anyway, the iPad still met my usual needs.

Then came a multimedia game industry guy, my son, giving an iRig mic to me at Christmas. "This mic just needs to be clipped at the soundhole of the guitar." he said. I already knew a bit about the mic (thanks AGM). No tool needed, no hole to be milled or drilled. And you just take it off after use ! It is devoted to recording on iPhone, iPads... How couldn't I give it a try ?!

*The iRig microphone... and AmpliTube App*

The mic comes in a small quite odd semi-rigid pouch closed with a zipper. The wiring appears quite frail as it is clearly thinner than standard earphone wiring : This casts some doubt about its capacity to conduct high quality signal and one can also wonder how long before it cuts ?

*First scoop*
The mic is suited for flat top instruments like guitars and ukes. I even read a review saying it would not fit on archtop. Well, I easily installed it trough the f hole of my Godin 5th Avenue. I could even put it on the protective bar of the tricone ! I long for sound checks to see if it is as good on the Godin and tricone as it could be on flat tops.

Now, as one may wonder, the iRig mic needs an app to work properly on an iPad. The basic version of AmpliTube is fortunately available for free at iTune store. While the basic version is a basic amp including a recorder, the complete version appears to be a recording studio with mastering functions.

*Second scoop*
You downloaded the AmpliTube app and plugged in the iRig mic, what next ? Well, there is a brief tutorial amongst the factory's promotional videos. It is unfortunately not enough to run the whole thing. Exploring the menu of the app, I discovered that the operating manual becomes available after registration of the mic on the website : It is free and easily done... and your are then granted another function (unlocked) in your basic app. Unfortunately, the manual reviews most the functions available in the full version of the app without much distinction as what belongs to the basic app or need to be added (purchased). Moreover, it helps a bit more than the video I mentioned, but I could not take the best out of it since I am not a sound technician.

CAUTION : You have to plug in the mic (AND "earphone") BEFORE you start AmpliTube.

Before your first dive in this new recording adventure, you have to record a sound sample of the instrument you want to play : repeating the sampling process with different instruments allows to build a library that makes changing gear easy during a set since the mic is easily took off to be instantly clipped on another guitar. This library is called by tapping the guitar icon of the toolbar. By the way, the software includes a tuner.

*Ready to record your performances ? *

You have to check for input/output settings in the dialog box lower right.

I noticed that the mic would take even the tiniest vibrations as your arm or clothing slides on the guitar as well as the hand sliding on back of fretboard or even your thumb and index pinching the tuners.

Chose the appropriate guitar sampling in the library ? Is the guitar tuned ? Need the metronome ?

As you press the icon of the good ol' tape recording machine (lower right of the screen), the title of the project appears as a piece of tape sticked on the engraving part of the recording machine. Tap on this and you are allowed to name the project. There are two way to get in the projects library : tap on that sticker or on the "project" button lower left of the screen. To get out of the library, you have to choose a project or add a new one by clicking on the "+" sign upper left on the screen. To delete a project, tap the "Edit" button (upper right) and cross the "x" that appeared on the corner of the project. To leave editing mode, tap the "Done" button which replaced the "Edit" one.

BEWARE ! Next time, the recorder may open directly on the last project you worked on : you have to get through the library.

Before you begin the recording, you may select recording settings by tapping the "----" menu of the bottom tool bar of the recorder : There are some presetted values, while you can add your owns. Obviously you do not make any selection before sound sampling.

You may add some effects, presented as "pedals", like 12-stringed guitar, record an octave lower with the bass effect... The complete AmpliTube version offers two additional amps, each including additional effects. Unfortunately, reverb is not included in the basic version, but delay and chorus are.

Ready to record, at last ! Tap the red light and the recording start. To stop, tap the play button. To listen to the track, tap on the rewind sign : it will lead you back to last portion recorded while double tapping brings you to the beginning of the "tape".

AmpliTube allows to records a total of eight track for the same project. But, you have to pay in order to get the additional tracks and the recorder in order to master the tracks.

You can just keep your recordinds as projects. AmpliTube allows to export projects through File Sharing, Air Drop, E-mail or SoundCloud. I do not know if you can export tracks or a mastered recording.

Many other features may be purchased as part pf complete software.

If I were to use this new mic, I would have to get use to "SoundCloud", another software to manage though !

* Sound checks *

The sampling process was simple with the exception that the tuner was unable to sense correctly the first string of one of my two nylon guitars, namely Aria AC-80. I did it again without any problem on second take.

I so sampled my nylons and most of my acoustics (Taylors, Martin and Gibsons), as well as Godin 5th Avenue (archtop with f holes) and (yesss !) tricone Hot Rod.

I then recorded with the first settings found in factory presetted library, the "Classic". The recordings appeared quite crude but I did not recognized the particular sound of some instruments : The archtop sounded rather folk, the tricone did not sound as metal as I expected, while nylons sounded mellower than others but were not really sounding nylon. The Godin archtop sounded nearby Gibsons parlors L-1 and L-00 (which resulted in quite similar sounds while they are acoustically quite distinct though recognizable as Gibsons).

I wondered if direct iPad recordings would not result in better sound takes. I so recorded the Taylor 512 through iRig device and directly through iPad video function: resulting takes appeared somewhat better with iRig, but not that much.

I then tried some takes with the Taylor 512 who sounded quite well though the Martin M140 strings clearly began to show some rust. I recorded first with factory settings "Classic", then "Gentle Steel" and finally "Warm". It seemed to bring some alteration in sound quality though I have to confess I was listening through earphones.

I then tried to record the Taylor under setups of other instruments I had sampled in. I did not find it made big differences with other acoustics and nylons but resulted in total mess under tricone sampling where treble notes appeared fantomatic behind some boominess ! So, I am not sure what the sampling process does, but it does something !

Finally, the question : is it worth the money, time and learning curve ? The answer depends on the use you want to make of it.

Most of all, starting from the microphone may have sent me on a journey from the wrong starting point. The mic is an entry to a system and that system is devoted to produce recordings. So the real question should have been : Do I want to master recordings ? My personal answer is no. So, I did not need the hardware, nor the AmpliTube software, nor the mic.

As for practice monitoring, headphones plugged on my amp appears more user friendly, versatile, and instructive since I so get more accurate sounds.

Should I ever want to record, I have some guitars with onboard electronics and an analogic mic, an amp which bears some effects and an audio transducer to drive the whole thing to my PC where I do have recording software.

ADD ON : succeeded in sending a project via email : the app convert to a ".m4a" format read with QuickTime.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are the results of my amateur try. It is clearly not professional and did not intend to be so. But I believe it compares to what we can read in mags... ;-)
Wow, good review. I’m late in answering cause Tapatalk no longer notifies me of conversations in the forums so I’m on a lot less than I was.

I think I was looking at it more as an on-stage device to plug into a PA and try and make the acoustic sound better than a piezo pickup. (The way that people are starting to use Impluse Response in modelers).

From what I gather though it wasn’t worth it for the cost versus the sound quality. I am no longer playing on stage right now and I don’t record so I no longer have a need for it

Thanks for the info though


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks ! I did not address the stage use because I know nothing about stage armamentarium !
But a question is stuck in my mind : how to get the sound out of the iPad since the jack hole is used by the mic ?
Bluetooth ?? Any interference problem on stage ??
I do not know anything about Bluetooth except my neighbour once got tuned on my TV ! The range of the signal could be a few hundred meters... more than a block. I finally found the function on my TV and disabled Bluetooth...

The more I read posts here about electrics an electronics, the more I understand how you guys must get knowledgeable in electronics to perform on stage, a world of potential nightmares. I will keep going on my acoustics though. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks ! I did not address the stage use because I know nothing about stage armamentarium !
But a question is stuck in my mind : how to get the sound out of the iPad since the jack hole is used by the mic ?
Bluetooth ?? Any interference problem on stage ??
I do not know anything about Bluetooth except my neighbour once got tuned on my TV ! The range of the signal could be a few hundred meters... more than a block. I finally found the function on my TV and disabled Bluetooth...

The more I read posts here about electrics an electronics, the more I understand how you guys must get knowledgeable in electronics to perform on stage, a world of potential nightmares. I will keep going on my acoustics though. ;-)
If I understand correctly- the irig stage is just a pack with an output. You can go to an iPad or go to a regular DI box to a PA. I haven’t looked for a bit but that’s what I remember. You might be thinking of the regular irig
 

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Well, I just don't know much.
Since the iRig acoustic mic needs its AmpliTube software which can apparently be loaded only on iPad/iPhone,
where to go next ?
The mic connection has a connection for a jack earphone : could plug it to DI box ??
Anyway, only theoritical to me since I do not have to go onstage.
I would leave the connecting job to sound tech... ;-)
 
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