Three days in and, if you’ll forgive the reference, “it doesn’t show signs of stopping.” Welcome once again to another one of our holiday shopping guides! Even the most battle-hardened gift giver can be plagued by indecision. Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.
Today’s guide is for those creative types in your life. These are the people who like to draw, compose music, sculpt, or otherwise make things with their iOS devices. So long as they enjoy creating, and you’re in need of some gift ideas, you should check out our list below.
OlloClip Quick-Flip Case
The Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses ($69 – iPhone) are about the best recommendation we can make for the creative types in your life. This collection of interchangeable lenses – 2 macro, a fisheye, and a wideview – clips right on to the iPhone, and are a great way to enhance one’s photography without the need for any retouching. The only real issue with the Olloclip lenses is that they can’t clip on to an iPhone unless the case is removed. The Olloclip Quick-Flip Case ($49 – iPhone) is the perfect answer to this problem. The corner can unclip and swing away to make room for the lens attachments without the need to remove the case entirely – and as an added bonus it comes with a tripod adapter. [Our Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses Review] [Our Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review]
While the Olloclip lenses are great, there’s no shame in getting a little digital help for those photos and videos. Pro Camera 7 ($1.99 – iPhone) is a very handy app for taking great photos and videos. TimeShiftGen2 ($0.99 – iPhone) with its real-time filter previews and easy-to-use interface would make for another handy inclusion.
SanDisk Wireless Media Drives
These wireless SanDisk Drives ($50 to $100 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are also a worthwhile consideration for most artistic types. Whether they like to snap lots of photos, mess around with amateur (or even professional) video, or illustrate, they’re a fantastic option for storing a massive body of work without eating up an iOS device’s storage space. They can be particularly useful for when users are on-the-go or otherwise away from their computer for extended periods of time. [Our Review]
Pretty much any apps that allow users to store their created content would be a great fit with these SanDisk drives. AppCooker ($9.99 – iPad) allows would-be developers to create rough app prototypes, so having an external backup for all of those files and assets is a good idea. Music creation apps along the lines of Session Band – Piano Edition ($5.99 – Universal) aren’t a bad idea either. I mean those remixed tracks need to be saved somewhere, right?
Intuos Creative Stylus
The Intuos Creative Stylus ($99 – iPad) and drawing go together like two things that go really, really well together. Wacom knows tablets, and by extension they know styli. The Intuos feels great, works great, comes with an assortment of attachment tips, and the compatible apps (listed on the official site) offer palm rejection and pressure sensitivity. [Our Review]
For the more musically inclined, consider the iRig HD ($99 – iPad/iPhone). The device can connect a guitar to any iOS device and plays the sound directly through the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Producing songs or simply screwing around with a guitar and converting the resulting tunes into a digital format doesn’t get much easier than this, and Amplitube for iPad (iPad – $9.99) is the most significant companion app to consider along with it – since it’s actually developed specifically to work with the iRig HD and allows users to do all their recording and editing directly on their device. [Our Review]
Castiv Guitar Sidekick
The Castiv Guitar Sidekick ($29 – iPhone/iPod Touch), on the other hand, is a surprisingly simple contraption that’s equally as clever. This little clip attaches to the neck of a guitar and allows the user to clip their iPhone or iPod Touch to the other end – an ideal spot for reading tablature, recording tunes, tuning, and more. [Our Review]
Why not add The Backing Track App ($0.99 – Universal) to the Sidekick while you’re at it? This useful little app adds a background track for the guitar player to mess around with. The tempo can be adjusted and the tracks will loop until the users decides to turn them off. It makes practicing improvised tunes a snap, and is a lot more portable than a computer or radio.
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated creativity app ideas.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 24th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
AmpliTube, the app that provides you with your own guitar recording studio, gets a new update that adds iOS 7 compatibility and inter-app audio support. Inter-app audio lets audio apps communicate and stream audio from one app to another. The feature is similar to AudioBus, and it allows musicians to use stompbox and amplifier effects during real-time or recorded music sets. Inter-app audio is available on iOS 7 only.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on May 30th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
IK Multimedia announced today two huge new updates to their flagship iOS guitar product line, Amplitube 3.0 and iRig HD, bringing prosumer-level audio processing and input to the iPad and iPhone.
Amplitube 3.0 brings a new in-app purchase option, Amplitube Studio, which turns your iPad into a full-on digital audio workstation (DAW). It also lets you chain effects on every track, and iRig HD owners get four special gear models not available otherwise.
iRig HD is the new, higher-quality solution to connecting a guitar or any line-level instrument to your iPad or iPhone, letting you take advantage of amazing apps for guitar amp modeling and stomp box effects, like Amplitube, which is also Audiobus capable.
Developer: IK Multimedia
Device Reviewed With: new iPad, iPhone 4
Integration with iPad/iPhone Rating:
Hardware Design Rating:
Re-Use Value Rating:
The iRig Mix is a multichannel DJ hardware device that lets users connect up to two iOS devices at once. It also features an extra guitar or microphone input, allowing musicians to use it with other IK Multimedia apps like Amplitube or VocaLive. As with any iOS hardware peripheral, the quality of a device like this comes down to two main areas: the hardware build and the software that it can be used with.
Hardware-wise, the DJ Mix box is fairly solid feeling, and works well to split the audio signal from one or two different iOS sources, as well as an alternate music source like an MP3 or CD player. The top face of the device, where all the action happens, has what you’d expect from a small, two channel mixer, with a master volume control, channel gain knobs, bass and treble knobs for each channel, vertical volume sliders and a horizontal channel selection slider. It also includes a Cue button to listen only to one specific track, as well as signal amplitude lights, and a power light. The iRig Mix is powered via micro-USB, and comes with a wall charger, which must always be plugged in as there are no batteries.
The options are controlled via hardware buttons as well, including whether the input is one device or two, and whether users need X-Sync, a way to synchronize the audio tempo from a second iOS device or alternate audio source. There are two 1/8 inch ports for iOS devices, and two 1/4 inch ports for mic/guitar and headphones. It’s surprising that the headphone jack is the larger size, as most users will have headphones with a smaller 1/8 inch connector.
The sound quality of the box seems a bit on the low side, though that could be affected by the type and quality of audio connector and/or software used with the box. I found the same lower quality sound, however, via the headphone jack as well as the RCA audio out port; I wouldn’t use this in a professional setting, but it’s good enough for parties.
The software I tested the device with, DJ Rig, is a great app to try out dual-audio mixing with. The app recognizes the setting on the iRigMix for single or dual devices, and splits the audio output to the Mix box as specified. There’s a portrait and landscap interface, allowing users to mix, scratch, and add effects easily as they prefer. It allows for the importing of audio tracks, synchronization of tempo, and the like – all standard for the turntable style DJing. I was surprised to find that the app is iPhone only – seems like a Universal app would make more sense.
All in all, the iRig Mix is a decent prosumer-level two channel mixer that can be used with several music apps from IK Multimedia and others. The hardware quality is good enough for amateur use, and the downloadable apps work well with it.
My isn’t Slash just having a massive comeback year? He’s got a new album, new band mates, and now he’s got a an app for rockers with his brand on it. While you’d have to be hiding in a bunker not to be at least passingly acquainted with the late 80’s metal icon of Guns N’ Roses fame, you may not be familiar with IK’s line of audio accessories.
But, if you are a guitarist or bassist with an iPad you’ve likely at least stumbled across their AmpliTube apps. The first iteration was featured in the original iPad ads and lets you play and record music with realistic amp effects. Now they’ve released AmpliTube Slash, a universal app with the same pedals and Marshal amps Slash favors.
The app, like the rest in the series, is also a multi-track recording studio. Apparently Apocalyptic Love, Slash’s new album was helped along with several IK products including iRig.
“AmpliTube iRig comes in really handy for on-the-go practicing, recording, or just jamming on different ideas – even if it’s on the bus – it’s right with me all the time,” Slash said, adding, “I’ll do some tweaks on the Marshalls, but there are also different effects that are available including distortion, chorus, auto-wah and more.”
AmpliTube Slash is sold as a stand-alone product or the effects can be purchased in AmpliTube’s main app as in-app purchases at $9.99 for the whole kit or a-la-carte effects for $2.99 each.
IK Multimedia has built up quite a reputation for its numerous products aimed at professional musicians. Whether it be the iKlip, iKlip Mini or AmpliTube, there’s something for every form of music recording. Such variety has been enhanced, today, with the release of SampleTank an app that promises to be ‘the first professional quality sound and groove module that puts hundreds of world-class instruments and patterns in your pocket’.
The app allows its users to play SampleTank instruments on stage with the addition of the iRig MIDI interface and a conventional keyboard controller, or directly with the on screen keyboard.
SampleTank is out now in two different varieties. The free version of SampleTank includes 8 different instruments and over 400 patterns of riffs and grooves. A version priced at $9.99 includes 72 instruments and over 900 different patterns. Numerous in-app purchases are available ranging from $4.99 to $39.99. These can increase the number of instruments to 16 different instrument categories, offering in all over 400 instruments that cover pretty much everything worth considering. Drums, pianos, bass, guitars, synthesizers, strings, percussions, it’s all in there.
Check out the video below for a full view of exactly how it all works.
Every day the iPad can be something different – a fun way to play games one day and an easier way to read books the next. Now, it’s music’s turn with AmpliTube for iPad. Amplitude is a virtual amp and effects processor for your guitar or bass, allowing you to plug in your instrument via the iPad’s 3.5mm jack connection with some specially designed kit made by IK Multimedia. The application is available now for $19.99. There is a free version available, with a limited number of effects, but you can buy and download effects on-the-go.
AmpliTube provides the same twenty-three effects as the iPhone edition, which was released last month also at $19.99. Such effects include five amp models, eleven stompbox effects, five cabinets and two mics. For a full break down, see the bottom of this post. The iPad’s extra power means that it can handle four simultaneous stompbox effects, rather than three on the iPhone. In addition, a built-in tuner and metronome are provided, as well as the ability to import songs and backing tracks.
The specially designed kit that I mentioned earlier, namely IK Multimedia’s iRig, costs $39.99 (€29.99) but doesn’t include the premium version of AmpliTube. You plug your guitar into iRig, which then connects to your iPad. It offers a 3.5mm line-out for headphones and speakers. You can buy it here.