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06 September, 2013

Field test: iRig Pro audio for mobile journalism

BERLIN: This is a quick and dirty field report produced with the iRig Pro that debuted yesterday at IFA Berlin. The iRig Pro is IK Multimedia's latest product to address the needs of professionals capturing audio with mobile devices.

I am testing the latest solutions for Smartphone journalism from a variety of manufacturers to find the the stuff that works best in one of the harshest environments for multimedia - Field reporting.

I wish I had this when I was detailing all the mobile reporting gear that would be purchased for the S.M.A.R.T. Media Lab and outfitting field reporters for Radio Free Europe around the globe.

Listen to the first recording made with the iRig Pro made just moments after unboxing.

 I tested this with two mics I commonly use for broadcast journalism. The Rode NTG-1 condensor shotgun mic and the Sure VP64AL dynamic stick mic.

What I like about this pre-amp is that it really reveals the differences in the mic quality and repsonse. That's a good thing. For example, when you use a great mic with a proper pre-amp, it should sound REALLY great.

The iRig Pro features a 1/4"-XLR combo input connector for connection with standard XLR cables, a 1/4" mono line or instrument signal cables, and a switchable 48V phantom power supply for use with studio condenser microphones.

These specs allow any mic to be used and is pretty common. But the best part is the signal chain. 

The device has an ultra-low-noise, high-definition microphone-and-instrument preamp; a high-quality 24-bit A/D converter; a preamp gain control; plus LED indicators for device status, MIDI, phantom power and signal level.

And this combination of carefully tuned components is what makes this a pro preamp for iOs. IK Multimedia targets musicians with it's products so the device also has a MIDI input, not that you'll need it for Electronic Newsgathering tasks, but it is there should the opportunity present itself.

iRig Pro comes with three detachable cables, compatible with Lightning, 30-pin and USB connectors, respectively, allowing for digital connection to every model of iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac, out of the box, with no need for adapters.

This mic preamp is class compliant and compatible with Core Audio and Core MIDI, so it can be used with any audio and MIDI processing apps for iOS and Mac OS, for true plug-and-play performance without additional hardware/software.

 iRig Pro is available from music and consumer electronics retailers worldwide for €119.99 (exc. taxes). iRig PRO can now be ordered from the IK Online Store and select retailers.

  For more information on iRig PRO, visit