IK sounds out fingerpickers with the iRig Acoustic

8 pictures

The iRig Acoustic clamps to the soundhole of an acoustic guitar or ukulele

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For a good long while now, IK Multimedia has been helping to satisfy the mobile noodling needs of electric git-fiddlers with a succession of instrument interfaces that bridge the gap between a smart device hosting digital effects and amp simulations and a plank of wood, some pickups and a few strands of tensioned steel. Now the company is taking aim at dreadnought picker types with the iRig Acoustic, which is billed as the first acoustic guitar mobile microphone/interface specifically made for acoustic guitars and ukuleles, and one that's claimed to rival pro-grade studio microphones.

At the heart of IK's new guitar pick-shaped, clip-on soundhole microphone for acoustic guitar is a MEMS-type omnidirectional microphone selected for its durability, reliability and "outstanding" audio capture capabilities. It boasts a frequency response of 15 Hz to 20 kHz, a sound pressure level of 130 dB, a signal-to-noise ratio of 63 dBA and -40 dBv sensitivity (1 kHz, 94 dB SPL). It's reported to install in seconds and, when calibrated and used with the newly-released AmpliTube Acoustic digital amp and effects app, is said to essentially replicate the sound of an ideally-placed high-end studio microphone.

The iRig Acoustic weighs less than an ounce (20 g), and comes with a 6.6 ft (2 m) cable ended by a 3.5 mm TRRS audio jack that includes a headphone monitoring jack, which can double as a line-out to send the signal to powered amps or into a studio desk.

IK Multimedia is claiming a number of advantages over piezo or magnetic pickups and studio microphones, including the ability to capture a "complete picture of an acoustic guitar with every sonic vibration represented" as opposed to being restricted to registering the vibrations of strings or soundboard, and allowing the player to move around well beyond the range of a condenser microphone's static "sweet spot." It can be installed on any stringed instrument sporting a circular soundhole, and accommodates steel- or nylon-stringed acoustics.

The iRig Acoustic is available from today for US$49.99, works with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Android devices and comes with AmpliTube Acoustic Free (though this is iOS only at present).

The short promo video below sees IK pitching the iRig Acoustic against the studio favorite Nuemann U87 condenser microphone.

Product page: iRig Acoustic

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