This week at 148Apps.com, we got into the holiday spirit with a review of a gadget that might be on many people’s wish lists this year – the iRig Keyboard. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “IK Multimedia might be trying to take over the music peripheral world. The company has a wide range of apps, instruments, and support items that could, in theory, be used to build a band entirely out of iOS instruments. The latest offering from this prolific manufacturer is titled iRig Keys, a super portable iOS keyboard with 37 velocity-sensitive keys, modulation and pitch wheels, low power consumption, and core MIDI compliance. The iRig is aimed at the portable musician, the composer on the go, the backpack virtuoso, and as such, it succeeds brilliantly.”
The upcoming holidays were also on our minds at GiggleApps.com, as Amy Solomon reviewed Ice is Nice: All About the North and South Poles. Amy says, “As the name may suggest, Ice Is Nice does indeed give a lot of great information about the earth’s North and South Poles, as well as animals found in these areas that children and their adults will enjoy a great deal.
As with the other titles from this series, go on an adventure with The Cat in the Hat, Dick and Sally as well as Thing One and Thing Two, who are all here to learn such topics as the harsh temperatures found at the Poles or why there are six months of darkness or perpetual sun.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-06-27 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson explored the improvements made in Tapjoy’s latest SDK: “Mobile advertising service Tapjoy has announced version 9.0 of their SDK for iOS and Android. The purpose of this update is meant to expand out and improve their current set of features to improve user engagement with their ads, and to integrate daily rewards, a popular feature that developers can now easily implement. These are meant to provide advertisers ways to developer targeted ads in a better way, and for developers to generate revenue even from non-paying users through incentivized ad viewing, service signups, and app installs.”
And that sets us up for a week of pre-Thanksgiving hysteria here in the States. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to keep track of holiday app sales, news and reviews across all of our sites…and do yourself a favor and start thawing that turkey now.
AmpliTube Fender, from IK Multimedia, is a guitar amplifier modeling app, allowing users to rock that famous Fender sound with their guitar or bass, using classic amp sounds like the ’59 Bassman, the Fender ’65 Twin Reverb, the Super-Sonic, the ’65 Deluxe Reverb and the Pro Junior. It also includes classic Fender stompbox models like the Fender Blender, Overdrive, Tape Echo, Phaser and Compressor.
Today, AmpliTube Fender gets updated to 1.2, bringing MIDI integration, digital audio support, audio copy and paste, and a redesigned (and Retina-compatible) interface.
With a connected MIDI capable device like the iRig MIDI, users can now use AmpliTube Fender hands-free on stage, controlling every knob, switch, or preset in the interface with a MIDI-capable foot controller. The feature is available as in-app purchase and it is free for iRig MIDI users.
AmpliTube Fender has always included a recording feature but the redesigned recording studio now supports audio copy and paste, for quickly moving audio around for the perfect mix. You can also copy from AmpliTube Fender and then copy to external apps like GarageBand.
Digital audio interfaces are now fully supported, allowing you to connect to any iOS compatible digital audio devices, like the StealthPlug USB audio interface cable, making getting audio in and out a snap.
The new AmpliTube Fender 1.2 update is now available in the App Store as a free update for all previous AmpliTube Fender users on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
Developer: IK Multimedia
Hardware Price: $69.99
App Price: $19.99, FREE Lite Version Available
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4, iPad 1
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IK Multimedia is cranking out the iOS music accessories – and the apps to go with them – at an alarmingly fast rate. We’ve reviewed these as we can, from the iKlip music stand and the iRig Mic to the iRig guitar interface, and the company turns out some great products. The iRig MIDI, a keyboard MIDI interface for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, is no different. This is a stellar accessory, and the professional app, SampleTank, that is made to work with it, is as pro as it gets.
MIDI stands for “Musical Instrument Digital Interface,” making it a protocol for instruments and software to communicate together. MIDI files do not contain actual music, but rather the performance variables of music performances, which can be ported to any MIDI-aware sound source. With the iRig MIDI, the MIDI-capable keyboard or drum pad (not included) becomes the performance source, and the iOS device is where the sounds are output, via SampleTank or other core MIDI app, like Garageband and a host of other compatible music apps.
The iRig MIDI accessory connects to both the iOS device of choice via the 9-Pin dock connector, with the other MIDI jack connected to any MIDI capable device via a thin wire. It has three MIDI ports, allowing users to connect IN/OUT and THRU, as well as a micro USB port to keep the iOS device powered while using it. It’s a great accessory, feels well-manufactured, is small in size, and will allow musicians to use whatever keyboard, drum machine or pedalboard they want to. I used both an M-Audio keyboard as well as the Rockband 3 keyboard and both worked flawlessly. When I plugged in the iRig MIDI for the first time, my iPhone prompted me to download the free iRig Recorder app, which is required for the accessory to work.
SampleTank itself is as full featured a synth app as I’ve seen, and holds its own against my current favorite, Akai’s SynthStation. The difference between these two apps, besides the price tag, is the interface. I’d say that the preference of the user will be the deciding factor. One thing I do not like about the interface for SampleTank is the way the onscreen keyboard is set up. In order to reach higher or lower octaves, the iPhone keyboard interface must of necessity be able to be moved up or down. SampleTank does this by swiping. This is not my favored method, as it keeps me from sliding from one note to another via that same swipe method. SampleTank does well at keeping the complication inherent in such a software product to a minimum, but wasn’t always intuitive to my way of thinking; your mileage may vary. I also found it difficult to get the app keyboard and the hardware keyboard to match in terms of the octaves, which I attribute to the different keyboard hardware and my inability to figure out the interface in the app.
Other than that however, the sampled and synthesized sounds are fantastic, and well worth the price. This is basically a mobile version of award winning desktop software, SampleTank 2, for a fraction of the price. There are over 900 MB of samples for over 500 acoustic, electric and electronic instruments plus a selection of over 1,000 melodic and rhythmic patterns to meet all of the mobile musician’s synth needs. It allows for up to 4 different sounds to be loaded at once for live performance or recording with the built-in recording function. Needless to say, this is a pro-level set of tools in one Universal App.
The iRig MIDI accessory is, bottom line, a fantastically put together MIDI interface for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. SampleTank is a incredibly rich and robust tool to create music on these devices as well; while I personally prefer a different layout, there’s nothing amateur about SampleTank itself.
IK Multimedia this week launched iRig Recorder App for iOS, which serves as a companion app for the company’s iRig Microphone.
The app costs $4.99 and gives you editing options for recordings done with the microphone. The audio editor feature numerous options, allowing you to optimize tones for speech and music, clean up background noises, brighten voices for clarity, smooth out vocals, and change the speed of tracks without affecting their pitch.
What’s more, iRig Recorder lets you organize your recordings by date and time and tags them with geographic location for easy file management. You can also export your recordings via e-mail, Wi-Fi, FTP and iTunes File Sharing. You have a number of export options for different sizes and formats, including CD-quality, uncompressed audio.
It seems that the iRig Microphone and this new app are an ideal choice for podcasters.
The app is now live on the App Store. You can purchase the iRig Microphone, meanwhile, for $59.99 at both online and offline retailers.
IK Multimedia, creators of the iRig guitar interface allowing guitarists to play their guitar on iOS devices, are back with the iRig Mic, a handheld condenser microphone with multiple gain settings designed to work with iOS devices. Similar to the iRig, it comes with an adapter that plugs into your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad’s headphone/mic jack, and the adapter has a sound output for monitoring your sound with headphones or plugging into a sound system. The microphone will work with any app that supports sound input, including the new GarageBand app for iPad, but several apps from IK Multimedia are available that will utilize the iRig Mic: VocaLive, which offers real-time vocal processing effects; AmpliTube, so guitarists can add vocals to their guitar playing with the app; and finally, iRig Recorder, a free audio recording app that is coming soon. The iRig Mic is available from IK Multimedia for $59.99.