Tuesday, March 13, 2018

IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD Initial Impressions (Pt. 2)

This is a two-part article.Click here for Part 1.

Yesterday, we tested the IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD mobile mic preamp on an iOS device, the iPad Air. They didn't give us the cable to connect to an Android device, that is, a Micro USB or USB 3.1 cable. Therefore, we had to wait until today to do an Android test; we used a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone. You can listen to the test recording below.

Monday, March 12, 2018

IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD Initial Impressions (Pt. 1)

This is a two-part article.Click here for Part 2.

Today we tested the IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD, which we plan to use for some mobile recording.
This is a compact mic preamp built for audio recording with mobile devices, but it also works on desktop or laptop computers. Below is our test recording using an iPad Air.

The iRig hooks up to your device using a USB cable, and has a micro USB port. The preamp comes with a cable to connect itself to a USB 2.0 A port, which you probably have on your computer. It also has a Lightning cable, but nothing for Micro USB or USB 3.1 Type C, which Android devices use.
The iRig Pre HD has a 3.5mm headphone jack for its direct monitoring feature, which allows you to monitor the recording with no audio delay. From my test, that feature works very well, and offers a volume dial.

The microphone we used for this test was a RODE NT1000 condenser mic, which we used to test the 48V Phantom Power feature. The device comes with 2 alkaline AA batteries, and it seems to have handled the phantom power well. This is just an initial test, so we don't yet know how long the iRig can run on these batteries.

The device has two LED indicators, one to show you whether the phantom power is on, and one to show the levels. The levels indicator is very basic, so my expectations were low, but it works pretty well. It stays blue with no audio, it turns green when picking audio up, orange when it's louder, and red when it clips.

One thing to note if you're using this on desktop: I tested it briefly with Adobe Audition, and noticed it made my voice very high-pitched. Therefore, if you try the iRig out, make sure your Master Clock in your audio hardware settings is set to the iRig and not your sound card.

As for mobile apps, I used iRig Recorder Free with the iPad, and it has okay functions offered for free. Basically, you get to record, listen, and export as .m4a for free. All other features require micro-transactions to unlock. I assume this device also works with other recording apps, and that is something we may test in the future.