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NAMM: IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard and iLoud

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IK Multimedia was one of the very early adopters of guitar products for mobile devices, and they’ve now  completed the portable rig with iRig BlueBoard and iLoud. BlueBoard is a Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac which lets you control your sounds with your feet instead of having to do the ‘tap tap tap’ thing with your fingertips when you’d rather be going ‘tap tap tap’ on your fretboard. And iLoud is a deceptively powerful stereo speaker with built-in iRig interface for plugging guitar guitar in and rocking. Here are the press releases.

IK Multimedia Announces iRig BlueBoard
The first Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac, gives musicians hands-free control over music apps

January 23, 2013 – IK Multimedia – the leader in mobile music-creation apps and accessories for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – is proud to announce iRig® BlueBoard, a groundbreaking new Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac, which gives guitarists, bassists and keyboard players hands-free control of mobile and Mac music apps.

Winner of the iLounge “Best in Show” at the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas), iRig BlueBoard is a great addition to any mobile or studio rig for live performance and recording. Guitar players, vocalists and keyboard players can use it to extend control of their preferred music apps by switching presets, changing sounds or modifying effects parameters – all hands-free. They don’t have to put down their instrument, and can remain focused on their performance.

Any music app or software that is MIDI compatible (the standard communication protocol for musical instruments) – such as IK’s AmpliTube, VocaLive, SampleTank, iGrand – or any other Core-MIDI-compatible app like Apple GarageBand, can be operated wirelessly with iRig BlueBoard.

This ultra-portable unit uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to transmit the actions of its four onboard, backlit footswitches and its two optional external pedals to the mobile device or Mac. Then using the included iRig BlueBoard app and software, the Bluetooth signals are converted into MIDI messages and routed internally to the music app that’s running on the device.

It’s also possible to fully customize the MIDI messages that are sent out by the four switches and two optional expression pedals. It’s easy to setup iRig BlueBoard to control patch changes, effects parameters, reverb, delay on/off – or any parameter that can be controlled via MIDI. For a guitarist or vocalist using a mobile multiFX app like AmpliTube or VocaLive as a sound processor, iRig BlueBoard provides the foot-controlled functionality and convenience of a pedalboard, but with a form factor so compact and portable that it can easily slide into a backpack, a laptop bag or an instrument case.

Because it’s wireless, iRig BlueBoard lets musicians setup onstage without being tethered to their mobile device. The unit’s range is 10 meters (over 32 feet), giving musicians a great deal of mobility to roam the stage that would be impossible with a wired unit. Because the footswitches are backlit, they’re easy to see in all lighting conditions, even on a dark stage. Additionally, the fact that iRig uses wireless Bluetooth leaves all the wired ports of the device free, so they can be used simultaneously by interfaces or controllers that feature the 30-pin or Lightning connector, like IK’s iRig HD, iRig MIDI or iRig KEYS, and adapters or microphones that use the device mini-jack such as iRig or iRig MIC.

Even with all its impressive functionality, iRig BlueBoard measures only 27cm wide x 9cm deep (10.6″ x 3.5″). It’s extremely lightweight, but with a sturdy, stageworthy chassis and four footswitches made of soft-touch rubber and designed for durability. Because of its ultra-low profile (it’s only 2cm / 0.8″ tall) the unit can easily fit on a desktop.

For total portability, iRig BlueBoard is battery powered. It takes 4 standard AAA batteries, and because it uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), it draws very little power, leading to extremely long battery life.

iRig BlueBoard is compatible with iPhone 5 and 4S, iPad 3rd and 4th generation, iPad Mini, and iPod touch 5th generation. For Mac, it’s compatible with any model that supports Bluetooth 4.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy, like any MacBook Air, Mac Mini, or MacBook Pro that was released after June 2012.

Pricing and Availability
iRig BlueBoard is priced at €79.99 MSRP (ex. VAT), and will be available in the second quarter of 2013 from the IK network of music and electronic retailers around the world.

For more information, go to www.irigblueboard.com

IK Multimedia Announces iLoud, the First Portable Speakers Designed for Musicians
The range of portable speakers that sound like studio monitors

January 23, 2013 – IK Multimedia is proud to announce iLoud®, the first portable stereo speakers designed for musicians. IK leveraged its 16 years of pro-audio engineering expertise, and its experience as the leading developer of mobile music-creation apps and accessories, to design battery-operated speakers that combine superior power, pristine frequency response and amazing low end in an ultra-portable form factor that make them the perfect alternative to studio speakers for music creation and composition on the go.

The iLoud line consists of two models, iLoud and iLoud MINI, both of which provide musicians with sonic accuracy that’s on par with professional studio monitors, making it possible, for the first time, to compose, record, and mix from a mobile speaker system.

Dynamic Duo
Despite their diminutive size, both iLoud speakers are indeed very loud. In fact, they’re 2 to 3 times louder than comparable size speakers. The iLoud model offers a blasting 40W RMS of power, and it’s little brother, iLoud MINI, a robust 12W RMS.

Both iLoud models provide highly accurate reproduction of a wide range of musical styles from rock, hip-hop and electronic dance music, to more nuanced and sonically demanding genres like classical and acoustic. The speakers are equipped with onboard DSP, for maintaining accuracy and efficiency at all volume levels, and high-quality, custom-designed neodymium loudspeakers. iLoud is equipped with a bi-amped 4-driver array, and iLoud MINI with a pair of full-range speakers. The enclosures feature bass-reflex and passive radiators construction, which helps create their superior bass response, with tilted profile for perfect listening position.

Plug and Play Convenience
iLoud also offers the possibility to connect a guitar, bass or dynamic microphone directly to the speaker and process the sound with a multitude of real-time effects apps. Featuring the same circuitry as IK’s iRig – the most popular mobile interface of all time – the input allows users to plug in an instrument and access AmpliTube or other audio apps on their mobile device for practising, performing and recording. The input also accommodates dynamic microphones, making it possible to run an app such as IK’s VocaLive for realtime vocal effects and recording.

Ultra-Portability
In addition to their impressive response, volume, and features, the iLoud speakers are surprisingly small, exceptionally portable, and can be used everywhere. iLoud MINI, the smaller of the two, is only about the width and height of an iPad mini while iLoud has the size of an iPad. Only 6cm / 2.3″ thick, either model can easily fit in a laptop bag or backpack. Both iLoud and iLoud MINI are also equipped with a high-performance Li-Ion rechargeable battery with smart power-management features that reduce its power consumption, making possible to go long periods without recharging, an important factor for mobile users.

Wired and Wireless
Both iLoud models support Bluetooth operation, which adds even more to their mobility. Users can stream music to them from any compatible mobile device such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad for casual listening. For sound sources like MP3 players that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities, the iLoud speakers each have a stereo 1/8″ mini-jack input for connecting line-level devices such as home stereos, DJ gear, mixers, MP3 players, and more.

Pricing and Availability
iLoud will be priced €239.99 and iLoud MINI €159.99 (ex. VAT) and they will be available in the second quarter of 2013 from the IK network of music and electronic retailers around the world.

For more information, go to www.ikmultimedia.com/iloud


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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com If you'd like to support the site, feel free to kick in a couple o'bucks using this donation button.

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