IK Multimedia announced today that the iRig MIC cast is now shipping!

We at THE Tech Scoop were lucky enough to have some time to perform a hands on review and once again, we like what we are seeing (hearing?) from IK Multimedia.

This microphone plugs right in to your 3.5 mm headphone jack in your iPhone or iPad and provides high quality recording capability.  iRig Recorder for iOS is the perfect companion product and comes in a few different flavors:

  • Free, with option to buy in app upgrades, or
  • Paid, with full access to capabilities

Using the iRig MIC cast is very easy but the best way to illustrate the difference in quality versus the built in microphone is to “show” you.  Here are 2 recordings.  Both are taken in my noisy office.  One uses the iRig MIC cast and the other does not.  I dare you to tell me there is no difference.

WITH IRIG MIC May_31_2012-001

On this one I turned the mic away from my face so you can hear the directional sensitivity.  There’s a sweet spot described in the included documentation that shows you the ideal position for anyone speaking in to the microphone.

WITHOUT IRIG MIC May_31_2012-002

Listen to all that noise!

There was no doctoring of these files…I exported to itunes as a high quality wav file and then converted to mp3 directly.  No post processing or anything.  Everything in the iRig Recorder was set to the default values for both recordings.  There is a huge difference in the quality of the sound, IMHO.

Future use?

My kids do voice over auditions about once a month and this microphone will be the PERFECT companion for their efforts.  Also, I can’t wait to use this to produce more video content for THE Tech Scoop – background noise and sound quality in general was a problem that I was struggling to overcome.  Now, we have some better tools thanks to IK Multimedia.

Also, please note that you are not REQUIRED to use the iRig Recorder, the MIC works with other applications too.  I tried it with the Avid iPad video editor and found the same differences in sound quality and background noise.  The MIC was superior.

As an extra bonus, you can monitor your recordings while they happen by plugging your headphones in to the side of the iRig MIC Cast.  This can be very handy if you’re recording audio from your self and others and you want to be sure that the sound levels are coming through appropriately.  The mic can be adjusted for distance as well.  If you’re recording from sources that are further away, you can adjust the microphone accordingly by using the switch on the front.

What’s in the package

For your MSRP or $39.99 you get a nice iphone stand and the iRig MIC cast plus some instructional materials and info on downloading companion applications.  Depending on the size and shape of your iPhone case you may not be able to use the stand (i can’t).  One really nice thing about the microphone is that it is constructed in such a way that it can plug in to thicker cases.  I have an thicker case and I can’t use certain head phones or microphones because access to the headphone jack is semi blocked.  The iRig MIC Cast works just fine.

iRig Recorder

This software is very intuitive.  I tried out both the free and paid versions and really had no complaints about either of them.  At 2.99, the paid version is slightly higher than i might expect but once I read through the list of features, it seems like a good value.

iRig Recorder features:

• Convenient, easy-to-use mobile recording and editing app: just launch the app and press record!
• The perfect companion to iRig Mic for your podcasts, interviews, concert and field recordings
• One touch recording with real-time monitoring
• Intuitive, non-destructive editing tools to cut, crop and loop your recordings
• Pitch and time – based effects include changing the speed of your recordings (without affecting pitch) to adapt your audio content to other media such as video
• Organizes your recordings by creation date and tags with geo location
• Export files as compressed .m4a or uncompressed .wav
• Recording time is only limited by the storage space on your iOS device
• FREE version also available with in-app shop to add individual features or upgrade to full functionality
• 8 intelligent effects processors automatically optimize your recordings – no audio knowledge required!

1. Optimize Level: automatically adjusts for optimal volume
2. Optimize Tone: automatically adjusts for optimal equalization
3. Cleanup: automatically cleans up the background noise in recordings
4. Brighten Voice: automatically increases clarity of speech and vocals
5. Smooth Voice: automatically smooths harsh or overly bright vocals
6. Speed up: decreases the duration of the recording without altering its pitch
7. Slow down: increases the duration the speed of the recording without altering its pitch
8. Change Pitch: raises or lowers the pitch of the recording without changing duration

iRig Recorder is also available as a FREE version where you can purchase the editing, processing and exporting features a la carte via the in-app shop.

 

If you’re looking for a compact, quality microphone for use with your iDevices, I encourage you to take a look at the iRig MIC Cast by IK Multimedia and the companion software iRig Recorder and VocaLive.