It has become quite clear that the iPhone is far more than just a phone. With hundreds of thousands of applications that offer mobile and easy-to-use solutions for a wide variety of daily tasks, the iPhone’s flexibility as a multi-faceted tool cannot be doubted.
An example of this extreme flexibility, not to mention the creativity of developers, is the iRig. A product of IK Multimedia, the iRig offers users the ability to access a guitar and bass guitar amplification system complete with effects processors directly from their iPhones.
The iRig is comprised of both hardware and software elements.
The “brain” of this gadget is the AmpliTube software application which is an existing product already available in a desktop version.
What makes the iRig unique, however, is the hardware adapter that IK developed for the system. The adapter plugs into an iPhone’s headphone jack, and on the other end has an input for a line-in and an output for headphones. Since the headphone jack is essentially an output, some neat engineering was needed to enable the jack to become bi-directional, allowing the simultaneous reception and generation of audio signals. The result is a simple and compact adapter that’s ready to receive your axe of choice!
So now that we’re plugged in and ready to go, how about some juice?
This is where the AmpliTube software kicks in. With 11 stomp boxes, 5 amps, 5 cabinets and 2 microphones, AmpliTube offers guitarists and bass players a wide range of effect combinations and is available as a free download.
The stomp boxes and other parameters can be added, tweaked, and removed from an effect chain as needed. Let your ears guide you as you craft the perfect sound.
The iRig is a great tool which will allow you to enjoy your guitar or bass in a new way. Although the sound that the system produces can’t be compared to real analog equipment, the result is definitely a fun product, and its simplicity makes it a great platform for experimenting with new musical ideas.