iRig Pro Duo USB Audio Interface Review (IK Multimedia)

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iRig Pro Duo USB Audio Interface Review (IK Multimedia)

PROS: works on iOS, Android and computer, plenty of great apps, portable, great sound quality.
CONS: plastic casing, 9v power supply not included.
PRICE: $199

IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro Duo works with iOS and Android mobile devices as well as laptops/PCs, making this a this a true mobile device with plenty of flexibility. With only two audio inputs it may not be the interface to record all of the band’s next EP, but it can handle two channels at a time – enough for a singer/songwriter to get ideas down.

That said, a band on the road could track actual demos using this, no problem. Vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards (via MIDI) can go down easily without a lot of hassle or learning curve. It can reduce time in doing demos or making the base tracks for actual studio production. MIDI inputs and outputs are also available, via two converter cables. Phantom power is also available for your high-end condenser mics. Size-wise, it’s not that much bigger than an iPhone, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space, even in a gig bag.

Sound quality is great. The preamps are super quiet, even at high gain settings, and work in 24-bit for excellent overall clarity. IK also has a plethora of free apps that are included. Included VI apps give bonus sounds for both Sample Tank and iGrand Piano, so getting a nice soft synth sound with a MIDI controller or even a full grand is a snap.

The only downsides are slight; the casing is plastic, but that may contribute to the $199 street price, which is pretty reasonable for an ultra-portable interface that works so well. The other is while it runs on AA batteries, the 9V power supply is not included. But it can work with a 9V power supply – the usual standard for most guitar pedals.

A great, and perhaps non-traditional application of this device is to use it as a guitar amp/rig. For a player who finds themselves without an amp at a gig (amp failure, theft, etc.) connect the unit to a mobile device with a guitar amp/rig app, and dial in a sound, plug in a guitar, and use the monitor or headphone outs to connect to a mixer or PA. It may not be ideal, but can certainly work well in a pinch, and the only question the audience will have is: “Where’s the amp?”

For a musician on the go, it is truly a portable interface that doesn’t have any compromises. And being bus-powered is a true win when inspiration strikes in the tour van.

FEATURES

Computer Connectivity: USB
Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
A/D Resolution: 24-bit/44.1-48kHz
Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ Combo
Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS, 1 x Headphone
Number of Preamps: 2
Phantom Power: Yes
Data I/O: USB On-the-go
MIDI I/O: TRS to MIDI cable included
Bus Powered: USB powered, 2 x AA battery

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