Our first introduction to IK Multimedia came in 1997 when we heard about a new program, GrooveMaker. Later with the introduction of the iPad, we started reviewing their Apps allowing musicians to model a wide-variety of amps, rack effects, editing software, and more. And in 2010, the iRig, which was a guitar interface for iOS devices, followed by the iRig Mic. After that an avalanche of products followed from cables to speakers to keyboards. The new iRig Mic HD 2, and iRig Pre HD build upon that history.
iRig Mic HD 2
We have tested excellent USB microphones from Blue and Audio-Technica, but most USB mics are designed to be used in a stationery position. The iRig Mic HD 2 is a USB condenser microphone designed for handheld use, and has the feel, build quality, and balance of a traditional dynamic microphone. Solidly built, it should survive drops and bumps without damage. It has a protected Micro-USB port in the bottom of the Mic, as well as a headphone out for live monitoring. It comes supplied with a handy vinyl storage bag, a Lightning iOS cable, USB cable, table tripod, mic stand adapter, and a 5/8" to 3/8" thread adapter. So, it's ready to go right out of the box.
We connected it to our Macs and it appeared in the Audio panel immediately, truly Plug-and Play. Registering the Mic with the included QR codes is fast and easy, and unlocks a full suite of recording software/applications. The mic has a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter with sample rates up to 96kHz and a low noise, high-definition preamp, with a low noise floor. As a self-contained system it’s ideal for journalists, bloggers, instructors, as well as musicians.
It has good noise rejection allowing interviews to sound good in noisy environments. Designed as an all-purpose microphone, it’s a great general tool with a frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz, -3 dB. The unit can withstand a maximum sound pressure of 125dB, iRig Mic HD 2 will stand up to recording even very loud sources and the cardioid pickup pattern will help reject unwanted sounds from back side of the microphone. Our tests with the unit revealed it to be solid performer, and compared to normal analog mics, it had a nice open sound, capturing high frequencies, as well as providing an accurate amount of bass to vocals.
iRig Mic HD 2 also comes with Mac and PC software including Ableton® Live 9 Lite™, a Digital Audio Workstation application; T-RackS Classic collection of audio processing plug-ins; and Mic Room, the microphone modeling collection.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can take advantage of the included versions of the Mic Pack for VocaLive, that adds a collection of virtual microphone models to the real-time vocal effects processing and multitrack recorder app; Pro Bundle for iRig Recorder, which adds essential processing like equalization and compression to the pro-audio recording and editing app with video; and Mic Room, a recording app that features realistic virtual models of some of the most desirable microphones of all time.
If you are making music, recording vocals, and working with audio, you should be looking at the iRig Mic HD 2. With it’s included suite of software, first-rate build and audio quality, for an affordable price under $130. If Santa has been watching you do good deeds, if you are really lucky and on his “Nice” list, you might just find an iRig Mic HD 2 under your tree.
iRig Pre HD
The iRig Pre HD is an easy to use, affordable ($99 bucks) digital pre-amp allowing you to use your existing microphones with either an iOS, Android phone or tablet, or with your Mac or PC. It has an XLR socket, gain control, 48V phantom power, 24 bit/96kHz resolution, an integrated headphone amp with volume control.
One feature we liked was the strip of multi-colored LEDs on the front of the unit, allowing an instant read on levels, and phantom power. With adjustable gain, it’s a great feature that allows instant gain control on the fly without having to look at the recording device. And similar to the iRig Mic HD 2 the iRig Pre HD also comes with similar Mac and PC software including VocaLive, Pro Bundle for iRig Recorder, and Mic Room, and at $99.99 it’s a great bargain. While there are other digital pre-amps on the market, none that we have seen match the affordable price, with high-quality electronics, and a superbly useful software suite. Highly recommended.
Harris Fogel & Ken Kramar, with additional editorial input from Frank Schramm, Posted 11/13/17
For more information on the iRig Mic HD 2 visit: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigmichd2/
For more information on the iRig Pre HD visit: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigprehd/