If you use your iPad or iPhone (or both!) onstage when you perform, you know how hard it can be to find a good place to put them. Putting your iPad on a flimsy music stand just won’t cut it, and leaving your iPhone on the floor near your guitar pedals is just asking for a stomped-on smartphone.
The solution, for me, has always been iKlip iPad stands, which connect right to my mic stand. The new versions, including a sweet new iPhone mount, keep my iPad and iPhone safe from all musician-based harm, and always at the right height and angle to get at my lyric sheets, set lists and guitar effects.
Sliding two distinctive iRings between my middle and ring fingers on each hand and then conducting the bouncy electronic beat coming out of my iPad mini and into my big fat headphones made me feel less like a conductor and more like an awkward boxer, punching at a touchscreen.
Once I relaxed into it, though, the music started to flow and my hands began to dance; this is one cool iOS music-making peripheral.
The iRing is made for making music, but the potential here is stunning: Imagine a video game controlled with your hands, a webpage that scrolls at a speed you define with your fingers, or an e-book that turns pages with a swipe through the air. This is a truly innovative new product.
This probably isn’t the “iRing” you’ve been waiting for — assuming you’ve been waiting for the mythical (One) Ring, forged by the skilled elves of Logbar, that wants to control, well, pretty much everything in your life.
No, this particular ring — IK Multmedia’s iRing — won’t control your TV, your phone or your wallet. But it is imbued with the power to create music on your iDevice.
iLoud by IK Multimedia Category: Speakers Works With: Anything Price: $300
To save time, here’s my advice: If you have an iPad or iPhone, a guitar and $300 to spend, then spend it on the iLoud. It’s a small, portable Bluetooth speaker that is way louder than any other Bluetooth speaker, and it lets you plug in your guitar and use your iPhone – wirelessly – to add effects using an app like IK Multimedias’s AmpliTube.
For the musician on the go, in the studio, or on the stage, this Cult of Mac Deals offer is designed to meet all your mobile sound needs.
iLoud is the first portable Bluetooth speaker designed with musicians and audiophiles in mind. It allows you to reproduce your music – in every possible mobile situation – as accurately as you would in the comfort of your studio. Plus, it offers a ¼” microphone/guitar input for use with iOS music creation apps, so you can record, edit, and perform all on-the-go. And Cult of Mac Deals has the iLoud for just $239 during this limited time offer.
IK Multimedia is responsible for a veritable boat-load of music peripherals and apps, like the hard-rocking guitar crunch of effects app Amplitube and the portable MIDI keyboard iRig Keys. If you’re a musician interested in working with iOS devices on stage, IK Multimedia is the place to go.
iRig BlueBoard by IK Multimedia Category: Music Peripherals Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch Price: $99.99
It was with excitement, then, that I opened the latest review gadget from the musical company, the iRig BlueBoard, a small footprint Bluetooth-enabled pedal board meant to help you switch effects in a guitar app like Amplitube or piano sounds in something like iLectric Piano, both IK Multimedia apps.
The BlueBoard is a great idea, especially if you’re working with a guitar or keyboard hooked up to an iPad or iPhone. Being able to switch settings on the fly with a foot-operated switch is something I do all the time with my analog guitar foot pedals. Having it do so via Bluetooth is even better, as it won’t take up the 30-pin or Lightning connector, leaving that free to connect a guitar or MIDI interface, like the iRig HD guitar adapter or the iRig Keys.
Unfortunately, that’s where the great idea stops and the difficult to figure out begins.
You’ve seen IK Multimedia’s gear grace the pages of this site before — the company is at the forefront of popping out music-making electronics and software geared toward musicians. So it’s no surprise that now they’ve finally joined the increasingly crowded high-end Bluetooth speaker club, their take, the iLoud, is a reference-grade studio monitor — and as its name suggests, an apparently very loud one.
Time to come clean: I play guitar and sing in a disco band. I know, I know, the backlash against that kind of music has been going on since 1977. Trust me, I know.
But the way people respond to this still-valid, we-use-real-instruments form of music is so much better than the way they used to when I played guitar in modern or classic rock bands. In those days, the most reaction I’d see in an audience was a foot tap, or maybe–if I was lucky–a head bob or two. Happy, gorgeous people dancing their butts off? So much more fun.
iKlip 2 by IK Multimedia Category: iPad Cases & Accessories Works With: iPad 2, 3, 4 Price: $39.99
Now, playing in a cover band requires knowing a lot of music, like the chords for the 50 plus songs that we play. As I also take on half the lead singing duties, so I’m required to know the lyrics as well. I don’t do this for a living; I do it for fun and some beer and gear money. I don’t have tons of time to memorize all those songs, let alone the new ones we learn every few months. So I use lyric sheets. I used to use them on paper, but boy is that annoyingly old school and easily lost.
Now I use my iPad (and an amazing app called GigBook) to organize and keep track of my lyric sheets. And I also use the incomparable iKlip 2 iPad holder to attach that iPad to the microphone stand right in front of me.