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iRig Mic Turns iPad, iPhone, iPod Into A Mobile StudioiRig Mic Turns iPad, iPhone, iPod Into A Mobile Studio

For musicians, podcasters, voice over artists, the iRig Microphone is an excellent mobile recording companion for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

InformationWeek Staff

April 14, 2011

4 Min Read

IK Multimedia's iRig microphone records audio on the iPhone and iPod touch -- a compelling need on mobile devices that weren't built for audio recording. We tested the microphone as well as companion applications, some that are directly associated with the iRig, and some that aren't, but that exploit it well. We were happy with the audio quality, but the iRig wouldn't be considered high quality in the world of professional microphones.

The first app that we tested was IK Multimedia's own Vocalive app, which is tailored to singer-songwriters. IK Multimedia touts it as the first professional, practicing, performing and recording vocal processor for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad (although we noticed there wasn't an actual iPad HD app for this application; the company says an iPad app is coming, but did not say when). Included in the hefty $19.99 price of Vocalive is a suite of five dedicated, real-time vocal effects including pitch correction, choir harmonizer and voice doubler -- more than what you'd need in a mobile recording application. The app also packs in seven vocal processing effects including reverb, EQ and an envelope filter. Most of the effects were a lot of fun to fool around with, but very much geared towards the music professional as opposed to the voice over or the podcasting professional. Vocalive also includes a cool feature which lets you to import pre-recorded music from your iTunes music library to sing over for karaoke style fun. For the ambitious recording artist, Vocalive offers a $4.99 add on that allows multi-track recording, which lets you record multiple sources separately. We found this app to be beautifully designed and quite functional, but some of exporting features were a little bit tricky to figure out. After about five minutes of testing, it was smooth sailing. Adding $4.99 onto the $19.99 is a little bit pricey for what I'm looking for, so we looked for a couple of cheaper options and the first one we found was Voice Memos ($.99 on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Voice Memos couldn't be easier to use. Unlike Vocalive, Voice Memos is a straight up audio recorder with absolutely zero bells and whistles. Our biggest complaint about this app was its inability to allow the user to monitor their recording in real-time. Although we could see the levels displayed on the lower part of the screen, not being able to hear what you are recording is a huge no-no. Additionly, if we wanted to export the audio as an email or trim a recording, we were prompted to spend an additional .99. No thanks. Finally, we decided that we wanted an app with a little more functionality than Voice Memos, but less costly than Vocalive. We give you the all-new GarageBand. From the start, the $4.99 app for GarageBand comes across as a fun and easy to use application. Aside from all the musical instruments and amps included in the application, it also has a wonderful audio recorder which is very easy to use. We were blown away with the audio quality when paired with the iRig microphone, and we liked the ability to send high quality audio to anyone via email. Coupled with the $59.99 iRig mic, the $4.99 GarageBand is a must have for any podcaster or voice over artist working on the fly. Matt Conner is the Video Producer for TechWebTV. You can write to him at [email protected].

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