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IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo

Review by: Jason D. Buchwald

 
             
   

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IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo

By now, most people are familiar with the IKM’s mobile line of audio and MIDI interfaces, some of which are already in their updated second iterations. All of these have worked well for their intended purpose, and over the years, functionality has been added to include USB (computer) support, Android support (as the interfaces originally presented as iOS devices), and a growing line of software, including some really nice sounding iOS instruments.

The iRig Pro Duo essentially is a number of IKM products rolled into one (several of which we have reviewed here at MusicPlayers.com). The iRid Duo combines two audio inputs, MIDI in/out, phantom power, and several other goodies that make this a versatile product. The specs, as per IKM:

  • Dual identical XLR/TRS combo input jacks
  • Dual preamps
  • Individual input gain controls
  • 48V phantom power
  • Self-powered (2 AA batteries), device powered or DC power adapter (not included)
  • 24-bit AD-DA converters
  • Dual 1/4” switchable TRS balanced outs
  • 1/8” 3.5mm Headphone out w/ level control
  • MIDI IN/OUT jacks (but proprietary, special cables needed, inculded)
  • Comes with mini-DIN to Lighting, Micro USB OTG and standard USB cables (though unfortunately, not with mini-DIN to 30-pin cable for older iPads- but we had one from our iRig Keys, as it uses the same connector)

The hardware part of iRig Pro Duo is a black rectangular box roughly 3 x 5 x 1.5 inches, so it is compact and can fit in your hand. To make it this small, the MIDI jacks look like 1/8” jacks instead of MIDI jacks. The needed cable are of course included, but you better not lose them or you’ll need to purchase a replacement! The device is powered by USB when connected to your computer, or by a combination of two AA batteries and your iPad/iPhone. IKM reports that battery life under “Max load” (meaning 2 inputs at full gain) is 3 ½ hours for rechargable batteries but only 45 minutes for alkaline batteries, while playback for same batteries is 10 and 3 hours respectively. At least two alkaline batteries are included to get you started!

While there’s no 10-step LED meter of levels, the multicolor LEDs work well- blue for low signal, green/orange for a good signal, and red for clipping. Another set of LEDs also shows you when 48V phantom power is on and when MIDI signals are active.

Below these LEDs are two gain dials. We weren’t big fans of these. These were very recessed, almost flush with the surface of the device- which we understand was to make it compact. However, there were no ridges, so the surface was very smooth and not as easy to adjust as we would like. We found the best method to turn these was to use the entire surface of your thumb. Nitpicking perhaps, but somehow it seems this could have been designed a little better.

A nice touch is a jack for direct monitoring with headphones (separate from the two output ¼ inch jacks). Besides volume control, there’s also a switch that turns off/on direct monitoring- meaning you can hear the source directly or hear the retrun sound after processing from your connected device. Pretty cool.

Like other IKM mobile products, there is included software, which now includes for iOS Amplitube free, Vocalive free, iRig recorder free, Sampletank free, and iGrand Piano free. We have discussed many of these here previously as well (see review here for more details on the software). Let’s reiterate here that these are very good-sounding instruments, and cover a lot of ground when fully exapnded.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo SampleTank

Newer to the scene is the software for the Mac/PC. You get Amplitube metal (gutair amp moedlling), T-RackS Classic (mixing and mastering suite), SampleTank 3 SE (sample workstation), and several collections to use within SampleTank. Again, these are good plugins which will easily come in handy to most musicians in any genre- particularly when fully expanded.

We found the iRig Pro Duo very easy to use, it was simply a matter of connecting your instrument to the device. We tested MIDI by connecting to a trusty Roland XP-30, and tested the audio by connecting to our beloved Yamaha CP-70 (yes, a real one. We got the idea by seeing on IKM’s website they had their iRig Pro Duo connected to a Rhodes piano). Both worked without a problem, and it was nice to see the gain really help the CP-70 get to an acceptable audio level via the multicolor LED (though we didn’t like the gain control knob itself).

All in all, IKM has made a useful “Swiss Army Knife” of an audio and MIDI interface that is portable and pretty much can work with anything you connect it to. SampleTank in particular combined with the iRig hardware creates a pro-level setup that sounds great and has a great deal of flexibility.  While we wished the gain controls were designed a little better, IKM has created a useful, flexiable interface. Combined with some great software, it is an attractive package. For $199 MRSP, it’s not the cheapest iOS interface, but considering it’s an “all in one” device you can also use on your computer with a good selection of software, it is certainly worth checking out.

 

Contact Information
IK Multimedia


   
   

 

Overall Rating - Product Summary


   
   
Category Value Rating
Features 20% 4 Stars
Usability 25% 3 Stars
Sound 25% 3.5 Stars
Documentation & Support 10% 3.5 Stars
Price 20% 3.5 Stars

OVERALL RATING = 3.5 Stars

3.6 stars or better: Outstanding, WIHO Award
3 stars or better: Worth considering
2 stars or better: Suited to specific needs
1 star or less: Not recommended
       
   

 

   
             
             
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