iRig BlueBoard Hands-on (Review)

BlueBoard

The iRig BlueBoard is a Bluetooth pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac. What’s awesome is that it’s wireless thanks to the Bluetooth technology. You can take it on stage, and not have to worry about a mess of wires.

The best application is actually for stage performance, from our experience (through rehearsals.) While it definitely helps with recording, we like it best for connecting to an effects unit on our iPhone and stomping the buttons to switch effects. It doesn’t distract from your performance, either, which is good for everyone involved. Audiences don’t like a distracted musician or singer.

If you’re using the BlueBoard with your iPhone, you will need iRig BlueBoard App. The app functions as an interface to convert the Bluetooth signals into MIDI data for any application that accepts MIDI commands. While its most obvious use is as a guitar multi-effects pedal, we prefer to use it for vocals. This is probably because I don’t have a live guitarist, and I hate having reverb or delay on my vocals when I’m trying to speak between songs. This makes it easy to switch things on or off and speak before busting into the next song.

The BlueBoard feels solid enough for our use, and only uses four AAA batteries. If you just use it occasionally for a gig here and there, you won’t have to replace them anytime soon. We’d just take the batteries out if you plan not to play a show for a month or so.

The BlueBoard has two modes: Control change and Program change. Control change allows you to adjust single parameters such as knobs or on/off switches on effects. The Program change mode is going to change between your saved presets. You do this through the BlueBoard app.

If there is a downside, it’s that it requires Bluetooth 4.0. That’s cool if you have an iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5th-gen or iPad 3 and higher. However, unless you have a newer Mac (you will have to look up your specific model for Bluetooth 4 compatibility) the BlueBoard won’t work with it.

It’s good enough for a small-scale band doing live shows at local clubs. It’s small enough for your Gig bag, and it’s very light.

You can check out the BlueBoard at IK Multimedia.

 

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