The mic pre-amp from IK Multimedia has arrived, allowing you to use any professional XLR microphone you want with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. You can use it to record vocals, of course, but instruments also benefit from a clean pre-amp mic sound.
iRig PRE has the essential features found in professional studio microphone preamps like an adjustable gain control, 48-volt phantom power and an audio/headphone output jack for real-time monitoring.
The iRig PRE is ideal for capturing live performances on the go with professional stage or studio microphones. It’s also great for songwriters who want to capture demos of their compositions at the moment of inspiration.
Developer: Seven45 Studios
App Price: Free
Hardware Price: Wired Mic: $69.99, Wireless Mic: $99.99
Version Reviewed: 2.4
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1, Wired Mic
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Soulo Karaoke is a sing along app with a library of popular and public domain songs to rock out to. It can be used with the iPhone 3GS and up, and both iPad devices. It’s possible to record using the built in microphone on these devices, but the company (and our testing) deosn’t recommend it. Instead, they also sell the Soulo Mic, a $70 – $100 microphone accessory made to be used with the app.
The microphone plugs into the headphone port and has a little headphone jack to connect headphones or an external speaker. The app also allows video to be output to an external screen, like a TV, but not currently through AirPlay; the wireless version of the Soulo mic has a video adapter that can be used. According to the support website, “audio out through HDMI is not currently supported while in recording mode, but the audio will work through an HDMI connection to play back your finished recordings.”
The microphone hardware is solid, if a bit light in the hand, and is fairly sensitive picking up vocal sounds. The only issue I had with the microphone is the fact that, because it uses the headphone port, the audio out MUST be via headphone or external speaker. No using the iPad or iPhone speakers. In addition, everytime I used the app, it reminded me to use the Soulo mic, as all mics would not work as well as that one. This is when I was using the Soulo Mic.
Using the app is straight forward. Users simply tap the large “Start Singing” button on the Home screen, choose a song (it can be previewed as well), and start singing along. The volume of the backing music and the original vocals can be set, as can the level of Pitch Enhancement, Tone, Reverb and Echo. Soulo records all the performances, allowing users to share the recording via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Email. If a performance isn’t good enough to share, it can be deleted or saved to work on later without sharing. Users can also sing along to any song in their device’s iTunes library, though resulting performances cannot be recorded or shared.
Soulo comes with a fairly robust library of pop, rock, country, hip hop, and dance tunes, with a ton able to be purchased in the in-app Music Store for $0.99 each.
Bottom line, Soulo Karaoke is a great Karaoke app. My daughter and I had a ton of fun singing along to the songs we downloaded, and being able to share the tracks is a nice bonus feature. It would be great if AirPlay was an option for larger parties, but even without it, I’d use this instead of a big fancy Karaoke machine most days.
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.
IK Multimedia has announced that VocaLive, a professional performing and recording vocal processor app, is now available on the iTunes App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The software serves as a recording solution for iOS users, whether they want to use their device’s built-in microphone or purchase the iRig Microphone.
VocaLive provides vocalists with 12 real-time professional vocal effects and the capability to record studio quality sound on their portable device. The company describes its app as an “easy to use” but “extremely powerful” tool that produces the professional results one would normally have to use expensive hardware and software to achieve.
The software includes 5 vocal effects: “Pitch Fix (for tuning correction or stylized quantization FX), Choir (a 3-part harmonizer), Morph (an X-Y pitch and formant shifter that changes the tonal quality of the voice from subtle deepening to radical gender bending), De-Esser and Double (Double effect gets unlocked by registering),” according to the company.
What’s more, it also features 7 Studio Effects: Reverb, Delay, Parametric EQ, Compressor, Chorus, Phazer and Envelope Filter. The individual effects can be combined into a chain of up to three and then saved as a preset. And to get you started, there are 50 presets included out of the box.
VocaLive allows you to record vocals or instruments with added effects, but it also allows you to sing along with your favorite songs in your iPod collection. Using the Voice Cancel option, you can remove lyrics from songs, allowing you to provide the vocals entirely by yourself. You can also use Vocal Tools and a metronome to warm up your voice before beginning.
VocaLive is now available on the iTunes App Store for $19.99. There is also a free version of the app, which doesn’t come with as many effects or presets but can be expanded. You’re able to individually purchase desired effects as you choose. While you can use the app with the built-in microphone, it also supports the iRig Mic, sold separately for $59.99.