When it comes to music production for iOS devices, IK Multimedia has a huge market lead with their iRig line. They’ve released portable DJ rigs (iRig Mix) and iPhone-sized microphone setups. One of their latest products, iRig Stomp is a working stompbox for your iOS device.
The Stomp is a real, working footswitch that connects directly to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. It’s built tough, and is sized and shaped like a standard stompbox. This means that it can integrate well with your existing pedal board, and fit into your live setup fairly easily. Obviously, you will need your iOS device, this can be an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The iPod touch is probably the best option because of size and price compared to the other two. Though the iPad could be useful in the home studio or for practice sessions, thanks to the extra large screen.
The Stomp is designed to accompany the AmpliTube app, which is basically a virtual pedalboard and amp modeler. The software comes free, but it does include in-app purchases for those who want to expand their sounds. You will find your standard array of distortions, fuzz and overdrives. You will also get an amp modeler, which simulates various cabinets and mic setups. One of my personal favorite actually wasn’t a pedal that made sounds. Rather, it was a pedal that stopped sound. It was the noise filter. This worked much like a noise gate in that it got rid of that annoying guitar hum that you will hear while you’re not playing. It worked very well at silencing the guitar when I needed it to be quiet and letting sound through when I was playing. This helps so much when recording guitar.
The gain control lets you adjust the level. This is useful if you need to set levels for your guitar because it has a higher output, etc. You also have a headphone jack. It’s always nice to be able to jam late into the night without disturbing the neighbors or other family members.
Oh, and about recording guitar. That’s one thing users may truly like. They can record directly into their DAW (digital audio workstation). This is useful if you don’t have an amp modeler (I personally have Logic’s included tools and Guitar Rig). However, it’s also nice the be able to dial up a tone and record it directly into your DAW. It saves you precious computer resources, which can be handy when your tracks start getting bigger, or if your computer isn’t a beast made with multitracking and playback in mind.
The added benefit to this is that you can save those settings for live play later rather than having to recreate the sound with a different set of tools later. A few additional features include a tuner (very useful) and recorder. You can play along to tracks stored on your device. That’s ideal if you want to practice, or if you need to use your iOS device a a way to play backing tracks (for instance, have the iPad play your drums and bass while you play guitar and sing, etc.).
We also tried out the iKlip Studio. It’s a small plastic stand for the iPad. It’s built with thick plastic and has a cutout for the charger should you want to use the iPad upright. On it’s own, it’s not much more than a stand. However, you can adjust the angle that the iPad sits at, and you can use the included clip to attach the iRig audio interface. In all honesty, we used this more as a way to prop our iPad on the desk while enjoying Netflix. The fact that it’s adjustable really helped for that.
IK Multimedia makes some of our favorite gear when it comes to iOS. Heck, even when it comes to home studio stuff, like the ARC System. We truly hope that there is soon a way to integrate software like this directly into apps like Auria, to use it as a plugin.