iRig Pre, iRig Pro I/O, iRig Mix, iRig Keys Mini, iRig Keys Pro, iRig Keys I/O 25&49, IKlip, iLoud, iStomp, iRig Mic Video, iRig Mic Cast, iRing, Amplitude, Sampletank, iGrand Piano, VocaLive, EZ Voice, Mic Room…
What do these IK Multimedia products all have in common?
They are tools that you can use to record your songs right on your iPhone, iPad, Android, most smartphone and tablets! I’ve bought them all, and many I use daily when teaching voice (iGrand + iKlip for iPhone + iRig Keys I/O 49) and when recording songs (iRig Keys I/O 49 + iRig Stomp + iKlip for iPad Pro + SampleTank + Amplitube + VocaLive) and when on the road (iRig Keys I/O 25) with an iRig Pro I/O on the go in my gig bag in case I would need an interface.
Technology has changed so much in the past few decades. So much that a musician can now record a song without breaking their bank account in the cost of gear and studio time. I remember those bank-breaking days. I spent a lot of money recording in a studio only to produce cringe-worthy songs. I then decided to do it on my own, so I bought an Alesis ADAT when it was brand new; $6000.00 for an 8-track that still recorded to tape. This was in 1994. I was no engineer and I really sucked at using it:(
Luckily, I discovered the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) in 1999. My first introduction was Cool Edit Pro (now known as Adobe Audition) when my buddy, Billy Guy brought over his desktop. I was amazed by the streamlining of tracks and visual representation, so I bought it and installed it onto a PC that was less powerful than my iPhone 3 (that was when I finally caved and joined the iPhone community).
I’ve since used other DAWs including Reaper and Studio One, but they were hard for me to master. There was always some sound card problem or my laptop would lock up in the middle of a take because my processor wasn’t fast enough to handle all the tracks I’d recorded..but again, I suck at engineering, so this was probably more of a “Jaime” problem.
While fully frustrated, I discovered something amazing: iPhone and iPad apps. Naturally, my app search began with music. I looked for a DAW and only found a four-track. But I did find some piano apps, yet none that sounded amazing…Until IK Multimedia appeared with iGrand and Sampletank.
I bought their apps and quickly realized I needed some way to connect a MIDI keyboard or microphone to my iPhone/iPad, which lead me to discovering the first run of IK products for Apple and Android, their iRig Keys series and the iRig Pre. As IK evolved, I upgraded as well.
To be fair, I’ve also discovered other amazing apps that I currently use. Synth apps like Sunrizer and Poison-202, iSymphonic Strings, and Ravenscroft 275 piano. I love my iGrans, but do use the Ravenscroft 275 Piano to blend in a unique sound. (I didn’t want to appear IK biased, though I do love their products.)
With my sound samples in check I still needed a DAW. Yes, I could record inside of VocaLive, which is actually similar to an 8-track ADAT setup, albeit an easier way to process the tracks, but I missed that Cool Edit Pro look and feel. Luckily, DAW apps were finally becoming a thing, my favorite one being Meteor Multitrack for iPad. But it was iPad only.
There were times on the road where I had my iRig Keys mini and the iRig Pro that I wished Meteor was also for iPhone. So I kept searching for DAW apps in the app store. I’ve since bought every DAW for iPhone and iPad, and while I can record vocals inside of VocaLive, and still do when working on basic recordings for my school, Vendera Vocal Academy, my favorite DAW for full song production to date is Audio Evolution Mobile, which works on iPhone and iPad.
For me, AEM seems to have the least trouble handling a large number of tracks, with very little latency or freezing during recording. This opened an entire new recording world of ease for me. I HATED recording take after take, clicking my mouse, typing on the keyboard on my PC. Now I could run my microphone right into my iRig Keys I/O and out into my iPad to record vocals, as well as piano, strings, and synths. It is now much easier for me; I can sit at my keyboard with my mic in my face on a boom, with my iPad in an iKlip mounted to the mic stand. I can record a piano piece or a vocal take and if I am not happy I just tap the UNDO button on the screen…five seconds later I am recording again! No more mouse for me, ha-ha.
For those wondering about degradation of sound quality via recording into an iPhone or iPad, it is not true. And we actually address this in an interview I’ve done with Derrick Floyd from IK Multimedia. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/mlxrLgH9cKs
Or you can hear for yourself on jaimevendera.com/about
The song Casual Suicide was recorded via Meteor Multitrack with Sampletank strings. It was however mixed by engineer Dallan Beck in Pro Tools.
The song, Fallen, is a demo for a upcoming song was recording using Audio Evolution Mobile and iGrand Piano and demo mixed by songwriting partner Ryan Wall in Logic.
Like I said, I am not an engineer, ha-ha, and I haven’t convinced Dallan and Ryan to mix on an iPad yet… but it could be done. Bottom line, you write and record music because you enjoy it. I am not trying to sway you from recording in a studio or using a Mac. I just want musicians to know that other options exist. If you’re on a tight budget, and you own a smart phone or tablet, you could literally create your own studio at a very affordable price so that you get those ideas in your head recorded now as opposed to later.
We love music, we love singing, so please know it won’t make you any less professional to use apps and gear designed for your smart phone.
Personally, having such a compact recording setup works for me. It also saves me time, frustration, and is sooooo much easier for my engineering-challenged brain:)
Now, grab you smart phone and show me what you got! I’m excited to hear what you’ve recorded:)