Review: IK Multimedia iRig Stomp I/O

(Image: © IK Multimedia)

IK Multimedia has rightfully earned acclaim from the guitar community for its software, plug-ins and apps, particularly its powerful AmpliTube products. These provide a wide variety of virtual amps, effects and more, that sound as good as or sometimes even better than the real thing. But it’s the hardware products offered by the company that really make it stand out from its competitors. These products provide a vital link between the real and virtual worlds, which make it much easier to harness the power of its software and apps, on stage and in the studio.

The latest addition to IK Multimedia’s hardware controller/interface products is iRig Stomp I/O, a powerful USB pedalboard controller that combines an MFi-certified audio interface with MIDI input/output for iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC, with a versatile floor controller unit. Even better, it comes bundled with several guitar, vocal and recording apps (and software for desktop/laptop computers) that provide users with comprehensive creative capabilities from the get-go.

FEATURES The iRig Stomp I/O unit is about the same size as an average guitar multi-effects floor unit, and it’s housed in an impressively sturdy professional-quality metal enclosure, with four footswitches, an expression pedal and front panel-mounted gain and volume controls. The top half of the upward-facing front panel features a textured, non-slip rubber surface that can securely hold an iPad or iPhone in place. The rear panel provides a 1/4-inch/XLR combo input jack, 48-volt phantom power switch (for mic applications), headphone output, a pair of 1/4-inch balanced outputs, MIDI In and Out jacks, two 1/4-inch external controller jacks, USB and an iOS Lightning audio connection. The footswitches perform multiple functions, including bank up/down, tuner, tap tempo, looper and stomp box selection. The iRig Stomp I/O unit can even function as a standalone MIDI controller without a computer or iOS device, allowing guitarists to control other MIDI devices in their rigs. The software and apps bundled with iRig Stomp I/O are comprehensive and if purchased separately, would cost at least three times the price of the entire iRig Stomp I/O package. For Mac and PC users, software includes AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, Ableton Live 9 Lite and several T-RackS processors: Black 76, EQP-1A, Mic Room, VC-670 and White 2A. Bundled iOS apps include Amplitube CS, AmpliTube Acoustic, VocaLive iOS and Mic Room iOS. If you already own other IK Multimedia software or apps, most of those products are also instantly accessible from iRig Stomp I/O when installed in your computer or iOS device.

(Image: © IK Multimedia)

PERFORMANCE If you love the sound of IK’s virtual amps and effects and want them to sound their best on stage, iRig Stomp I/O is the ideal way to go, especially thanks to how easily users can access and control them with the unit. The pro-quality audio interface’s 96kHz/24-bit processing delivers pristine studio sound quality even on stage. The detail of my favorite virtual rigs is impressive, with a three-dimensional quality that even experienced engineers struggle to achieve when miking amps in the studio. Setting up the unit is incredibly simple. I plugged my iPad Pro into the iOS Lightning audio connector using the provided cable, and after adjusting the input gain and output volume I was accessing my favorite sounds within minutes. The iPad (or other iOS device, Mac or PC) does most of the ‘heavy lifting,’ and the DC adapter keeps iOS devices consistently charged. When using a Mac or PC, power is provided to the iRig Stomp I/O via the USB connection. The controller unit may look quite simple and is easy to use, but it’s surprisingly powerful and versatile, particularly when you’ve done proper advance set-up in your iOS device or computer.

STREET PRICE: $299.99
MANUFACTURER: IK Multimedia, ikmultimedia.com

• A professional-quality foot controller unit that seamlessly integrates with an iOS (iPad or iPhone) device, Mac or PC loaded with IK Multimedia software and apps.

• The comprehensive software/app bundle provides guitar, vocal, recording and more functions to get users up and running instantly, and it also controls other IK software and apps.

THE BOTTOM LINE
If you love IK Multimedia’s virtual amps and effects but want a truly powerful, efficient and easy way to use them in the studio or on stage, iRig Stomp I/O offers the solution you’ve been looking for without compromising sound quality.