Creative Tech: Guitarists… Rock Your iPhones and iPads!

IKMIPIRIG2PLG_gall1Note: The following is part of our Creative Tech series. Creative Tech aims to educate and inform creative professionals about the ways technology can enhance their creative work experience.

Musicians on the go are always searching for new ways to make music with their iPhone or iPad. There are quite a few products on the market and IK Multimedia has several of the handiest, highest quality, easy to use solutions available.

The highly popular iRig 2 is a great example. This product is an evolution of their iRig Guitar Interface. It makes it very simple to connect a guitar or bass guitar to your phone or tablet. Once connected, IK Multimedia has a broad suite of apps that can emulate guitar and bass amps and effects. An audio output is provided on this portable interface so you can listen with earbuds, headphones or send the audio to a stereo system or PA system. They have a series of apps under the AmpliTube name that emulate various popular amp models, brands or artist sounds such as AmpliTube Fender, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Slash, and more. These apps provide the player with a broad palette of guitar amp sounds in many classic styles.

Amplitube pic

A lot of players use these as portable “practice” rigs on a daily basis. I have even used AmpliTube on my iPhone at a live gig out of town when the guitar amp provided didn’t work. It was a lifesaver to be able to plug my iPhone into the PA system with iRig and get through the gig with convincing guitar tones via the AmpliTube app. The fact that my “back up” rig is always with me and fits in my pocket is extremely convenient and reassuring.

IK also has a full line of other mobile music interfaces such as iRig Midi, for connecting midi keyboards and iRig Pro, which combines midi, instrument and microphone connectivity. In addition to audio interfaces, they have a wide range of mobile music tools. Their iRig Mic Studio is a large diaphragm digital mic and audio interface all in one. It connects directly to iPad or iPhone via Thunderbolt or to a Mac via USB. They also offer the iRig Keys, a midi keyboard with Thunderbolt connectivity and an iRig BlueBiard. Blueboard is a Bluetooth footswitch to make it possible to change settings and sounds “hands free” in a live setting.

In addition to the AmpliTube amp emulation app, they also have DJ Rig, a virtual DJ setup and GrooveMaker 2. GrooveMaker 2 for iPad is an audio loop remixing app used to create “beats” and “grooves” in contemporary music production.

Clearly, mobile music creation and production tools have come a long way and companies such as IK Multimedia have embraced the concept and created great tools for musicians on the go!

Roger Adler is a freelance composer/producer/performer who has played more than 4,500 live gigs from smoky bars to the Inaugural Ball for the President of the United States. He has played on more than 1,000 TV commercials as a guitarist and even played on the soundtrack for and appeared in the movie Groundhog Day. As a composer, his clients include Comic Relief on A&E, HBO, PBS (NOVA) WTTW Chicago and many more. He has received four EMMY Nominations for his music for TV and his TV show Wild Chicago won many Emmy awards. He also co-wrote and produced the debut single by Michael Lynch from THE VOICE TV show.


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