interface

Apogee announce Element Series by House of Noise

Apogee have been making audio products for approaching 30 years, and recently have been known for the high-class preamps and AD & DA conversion found in their interfaces. The duet is one of the sleekest looking interfaces around but suffers from the problems of having breakout cables for all their connections which can be pretty annoying and fiddly. 

Apogee Element Series Specifications

The Element range are all thunderbolt interfaces with the same excellent standards of pre-amps and digital conversion, with a typically stripped back design, let's take a look at each product in the range:

Apogee Element 24

The entry in the series has 2 mic/line/instrument inputs with selectable phantom power, 2 XLR outs, 1 headphone out, 8 ADAT in/outs, word clock connections, runs on external power and of course, connects via thunderbolt. It's currently priced on the Apogee site at $595. 

Apogee Element 46

The next up in the Element series doubles the inputs to 4 preamps, however keeps the rest of the specs the same: 2 XLR outputs, 8 ADAT inputs and outputs, word clock. This interface is currently priced at $895.

Apogee Element 88

The top of the series the Element 88 has, yeah you guessed it, 8 inputs. The first four are combi channels also suitable for lines/instruments, whereas the last 4 are solely for use with XLR. You get 2 more outputs on the back with the addition of 1/4" outputs, and also the ADAT in/outs doubles up to 16. This interface will retail at $1495.

Apogee also state that it's possible to make the interfaces work together if you want to expand your set up in the future. 

Apogee Element Controller

Perhaps the most exciting part of this new launch is the USB hardware controller remote that will work beautifully with all the interfaces in the series. You get 8 buttons and a control knob which will perfectly sync with Logic, as well as the ability to apply your own shortcut configurations via the app. This looks set to be released in November and priced at $195! Nifty!

IK Multimedia announce iRig HD 2 & iRig Pro Duo by House of Noise

What is an iRig?

IK Multimedia have released an update to their best-selling iRig, a high spec, highly portable mobile recording device aimed at guitarists on the go. It can run batteries, records at 24bit/96Khz quality, has a headphone out, an amp out with switchable options and comes with a full version of IK's awesome Amplitude 4 software for Mac/PC/IOS, perhaps the best AU amp emulator we've used. 

What connections does the iRig HD 2 Have? 

  • 96kHz Digital Audio with 24-bit A/D conversion
  • 1/4" Amp output jack with switchable output “FX” and “Thru”
  • 1/8" Headphone output with preamp and level control
  • Comes with microphone stand mounting clip and Velcro strip
  • Comes with AmpliTube 4 for Mac/PC
  • Unlocks full version features and gear of AmpliTube for iOS (Free download from App Store)

Can iRig plug into an Amp?

Yes! You can use the 1/4" Amp output straight into your amp, this is found on the iRig2, HD2 or on the iRig Pro Duo there's 2 balanced 1/4" outputs for speakers on an amplifer.

Perhaps the most useful feature of the iRig HD 2 is the ability to send your signal to an amp without the need for any converters. You can send your "wet" or "dry" signal allowing you to connect directly to a tuner, or another amplifier so you can blend sounds to create another huge guitar tone in a live set-up. You can send a stereo signal out to a PA to create more width in your sound. There's also a handy mic stand clip so you can keep the interface in place as your rocking out on stage. 

Can I use the iRig with my iPad, iPhone and Garageband?

The ability to hook your guitar up with Amplitude and use in a live setting is very useful. No need to lug around heavy guitar amps to gigs anymore! You can just use your iPad or iPhone and plug straight into the PA or speaker system. It offers a much cheaper alternative to Kemper's famous profiling amps. You can hook the iRig up with the Blueboard which allows you to switch between amps/pedal settings via bluetooth. You can of course use the iRig to then use the inbuilt amps on Garageband, but the Amplitude amps a WAY better and sound more realistic. 

Can I iRig be used on a PC or an Android device?

Yes! Don't be put off by the "i" iRigs are compatible with PC's and Android devices, you just need to be careful which one you buy. There's a specific Android devices The iRig UA, but the standard iRig 2 works with PCs/Android/Samsung devices. You can also use the Amplitude UA app on android devices. 

Can iRig be used with a microphone? 

You can hook up a microphone to an iRig as long as you have the correct cable (XLR to jack) but you might be better offer buying the iRig Pro Duo. This model comes with 2 XLR / 1/4" jack inputs, 2 balanced outputs, phantom power for condenser microphones and input gain knobs. It's the most connectable of all the iRigs and works more like a multi-functional audio interface, therefore it's the most expensive, but it works with any device, PC, Apple or Android. 

iRig Pro Duo features

  • iTruly mobile dual-input audio interface for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PC
  • Simultaneous dual track recording interface for all instruments
  • Ultra-compact housing for extreme portability
  • Dual identical XLR/TRS combo input jacks
  • Dual ultra-low noise studio-quality IK 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
  • Ultra-compact housing fits in the palm of your hand
  • Includes Lightning, OTG and USB cables (optional 30-pin cable can be used for older iOS devices)

The iRig pro duo comes with €450 of freebies through a whole bunch of IK multimedia music making software: Amplitude, Volcalive, iRig Recorder, SampleTank, iGrand Piano and many more: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigproduo/

How much does an iRig cost?

The iRig 2 is very affordable and feature packed for only €48.99 (€39.99 + VAT)

You can pre-order the iRig H2 directly from IK-Multimedia for €121.99 (€99 + VAT)

Or if you want XLR connectivity, midi in/out, 2 channels of recording/playback the iRig Pro Duo costs €243.99 (€199.99 + VAT)

More info here: www.ikmultimedia.com