iRig Acoustic Review – Compact, yet mighty

The main concept

ModelRatingCompatibleConnecting to PCResolutionSampling rateCheck
IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage Mac, Windows, and iOSUSB 2.032 bit48 kHz Check

IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage
CompatibleMac, Windows, and iOS
Connecting to PCUSB 2.0
Resolution32 bit
Sampling rate48 kHz
Check Check

The creators of iRig acoustic followed the goal to create a budget and compact recording device for acoustic guitar players, that would provide studio-high level of sound quality. Interesting to know that their inspiration is a documentary film on Spanish guitar master.

So, here it is, inspired by the classics and created by the masters. iRig is the first professional recording mini-mic with mobile interface for guitarists playing acoustic. AmpliTube app complements the hardware to make system mobile and easy-to-work with.

Tip:IK Multimedia has seen many innovative devices recently. iRig acoustic is one of them. It is possible to install this recording system in seconds, that can be used with any Apple device for both live performances and sound records of studio quality. iRig is unique in its` kind and easy to start with.

Amplitube Acoustic app will make it possible to work with music wherever you go. The powerful recording studio is both mobile and professional, which leaves no chances for the opponents.

Quality of recorded sound

Well, it is obvious that the best way to record sound of acoustic guitar is by using high-end condenser studio microphone placed in a correct spot in front of the guitar. The combination of iRig Acoustic and Amplitube application was designed to recreate setup as realistically as possible. It captures a wide range of frequencies, tones, overtones and full spectrum of harmonics.

This is possible due to combining special architecture of microphone and MEMS (Micro-Electrical Mechanical System). System was a designed in a way, that allows to place the microphone right inside guitar`s body (so called sound hole). Capturing sound patterns in the place where they`re born is a great engineering move. It allows to naturally imitate the behavior of the first class studio recording equipment.

The device captures not only vibrations, but all the sonic interactions as well. It records the “soul” of acoustic guitar, not only its` physical parameters. This puts it one step ahead all the piezo-electric and magnetic microphones, which only record vibration party. Ease of usage combined with powerful electronic insides makes iRig a truly unique and professional device.

What the MEMS is

Frankly speaking, MEMS technology is not innovative by itself. It is used in many everyday devices like smartphones and headphones. Technology is popular because of its` high productivity, reliability and efficiency.

While being simple in phones, microphones with MEMS of high quality record sound accurately and with sensible responsibility. The levels of compensation are high, so third-part mechanical sounds, like finger taps, are not being recorded. This makes sound clean and clear, in bright tones.

The last bonus is the system`s high durability. The sound records will be delivered continuously, without quality drops.

Installation features

There is not much to say here. Installation is easy and convenient as it could possibly be. Not even a screwdriver is needed. There is that little clip, that can be adjusted right inside the soundhole in seconds. Adding this feature up to a really small size makes iRig Acoustic easy to use and wear in any conditions.

This is what makes it even more attractive than some normal-sized studio microphones, that require a lor of space for recording. It`s just not possible to set them up in seconds. So iRig will come in handy right when the inspiration hits, unlike those kits that will kill all the desire to play after installation.

Body and featured devices

  • The body is simple yet practical. It`s performed of some rubber-like material that is protected form marks and scratches (always keeps its` stylish look).
  • The clip design makes it possible to use iRig with any string musical instruments – classic guitars, acoustic, ukuleles and even violins.
  • Small size of device only left enough space for one jack. It is a default 1/8 TRRS, which will work with most of the headsets.
  • Tracking own results while performing live and comparing them to previous ones makes it possible to improve skills.
  • Finally, the jack is suitable for connecting some speakers to make sound loud and bright.

  • The AmpliTube App

    The hardware by itself wouldn`t have been half as good as it is being used with specified soft. AmpliTube is something like a pocket studio. It includes following features:

    • First setup calibration. After the first activation software will automatically pick your guitar type and optimize all the functions to fit perfectly for your personal adjustment. Following features are included: sonic clarity, frequency, projection and tonal characteristics. All the basic functions that are available in professional studios.
    • Acoustic amplifier emulation. The application has some solid state and tube amps, as well as an acoustic compressor, graphic and parametric EQs, 6,7,10 and 12-strings emulator, octave bass pedal, and body modeler. The last one is especially effective and convenient as it allows to try features of different guitar types having only one device. A couple clicks will change sound qualities completely.
    • Some “sweets”. Small features are only notices when they are not present. Such an awkward situation will not happen with AmpliTube, as it has all needed for the experiments: loopers, trainers and tuners. Just like the real studio.

    How it feels IRL

    The best way to find out how valuable the tool is indeed is to try it out and ask other people what experience they have. Here is what some of guitar players and developers said about iRig Acoustic.

    Steve, 23, Guitar experience – 4 months:

    I was always excited about recording my own tracks and melodies. Of course, my experience is not that big, as well as my skill. I am still developing, so finding something like iRig was a blessing for me. I can`t afford spending hundreds of dollars on studio recording equipment, so such a pocket alternative is what I indeed need. Working out how all the parameters function was a bit rough, as there is quite a lot of them, but in the end of the day, everything is working just fine. And, well, listening to how other praise your skill growth is pretty nice.

    Dave, 28, Guitar experience – 5 years and 6 months:

    Sometimes I perform live in small clubs or for my friends. What I was looking for was a convenient guitar interface, that wouldn`t use many wires, compact and flexible. After learning the market, I figured out that iRig was pretty much the only decent choice. It did not disappoint me.

    I am not going to mention all the pros, just the one that impressed me the most. It is straightforward live rendering. The process is happening in a really fast manner. The “Cancel Feedback” button is working fine with it. It clears all the unnecessary noises, leaving only the clear track.

    Markus, 26, programmer:

    I am not a guitar pro. What I did was simply checking the software functions. It is quite impressive to be honest. We have one rule that says: the simpler the code is the better it works. AmpliTube developers did their job properly. They managed to combine many simple things in one application, to make it both functional and reliable.

    Delivers clear natural sound
    Easy installation
    Beautiful hard zippered carry case
    Durability and comfort of use
    Not sturdy enough for stage use
    Needs better cable set-up
    Some expressed concern about the thin cable attached to the microphone and it is very thin

    Summing things up

    iRig acoustic and Amplitube is that rare example of unique product of high quality that has the great value. It has no worthy analogues, so it is pretty much the only decent guitar interface pick under a hundred dollars.

    It has the functions, the durability, the flexibility – everything an acoustic guitar player needs.

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (62 votes, average: 4.74 out of 5)

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    1 Response

    1. Lisbeth
      I believe IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage this is a really cool digital microphone system for acoustic, classical guitar for your musical instruments to sound exactly as they sound in the Studio, using high quality Studio microphones and interfaces. This device is great for stage use, because once you're done calibrating, you'll hear IK Multimedia do a great job on how the acoustic guitar sounds, and DSP does its magic while avoiding the rattling of piezo guitars. If you're in a small room where you can hear the acoustic sound of your guitar, the iRig Acoustic Stage will be more of a support system that will add depth and tone to your instrument. Even this model is good because even though many still prefer to record a high-quality condenser microphone, if you do not have such a possibility, the iRig Acoustic Stage works at times better than most of the built — in solutions-or microphones that are either configured incorrectly and adversely affect the acoustics of the room, or simply not so good. In the end, I would like to say that I recommend this device to absolutely all music and musical instruments lovers, because the main reason for which iRig Acoustic Stage was created is to play live and if your acoustic guitar does not have internal electronics, then this interface is an alternative.

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