I know that for me one of my biggest challenges when making music at home on the computer is trying to get my drum tracks to sound lifelike. I hate that overly mechanical, ultra-quantised, every-hit-sounds-the-same MIDI drum sound that’s all over the place. I agonise over drawing in my own drum parts one note at a time in the MIDI window. Lately I’ve been using IK Multimedia’s iRig Keys to do it instead, which introduces an extra layer of realism (typically I’ll do one pass for the kick and snare and another for the cymbals). But now IK Multimedia has announced something that will make this process more intuitive and performance-oriented than my awkward keyboard-tapping: iRig Pads! There are jillions of things you can program this thing to do but I know that for me it’s exactly what I want to get more lifelike drum performances onto my tracks. It works with your iOS device or computer. Here’s the press release:
PRESS RELEASE: IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation apps and accessories, today announced it’s shipping iRig® Pads, the full-featured, ultra-portable MIDI groove controller for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as well as Mac and PC. It’s the perfect companion for the mobile electronic music producer on the move: Now you can make beats, grooves and mixes anywhere you go.
iRig Pads is designed to be effortlessly portable. It’s smaller than an iPad and less than 1″ thick – it’s the smallest groove controller in the market. It has a slim, compact form factor and it’s lightweight, which means that it can be slipped into any iPad or laptop bag or backpack and carried around with ease. For maximum portability, iRig Pads is a low energy consumption device – it draws its power directly from its host device and does not need a power source to be fully functional. It can be used with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via its included Lightning cable (30-pin connector sold separately) without the need of an adapter as well as Mac and PC via its included USB cable.
Extreme versatility, custom controls
At the heart of iRig Pads is its 4×4 grid of 16 velocity-sensitive, backlit multicolour rubber pads. Each pad lights up in multiple colours – red, green, orange and every shade in between – depending on the velocity of your playing and the MIDI information sent by your chosen music app or software.
But iRig Pads does more than your average mobile pad-based MIDI controller. Its full spread of controls – two knobs, two buttons, one slider and one pushbutton rotary encoder – let you get creative. All controls are MIDI assignable and customisable: Up to 16 distinct MIDI maps or “scenes” can be saved, which allows for full control of apps and software on stage or in the studio. iRig Pads comes with 6 pre-programmed scenes designed to work with many of your favourite apps and software right out of the box.
Apps for Beats, Loops, Decks and more
To help you get in the groove, IK is working to make iRig Pads the ultimate controller for beats, loops and more by adding support for a growing suite of powerful apps and software. iPhone and iPad users will be able to make beats out of the box with the included SampleTank® free, and they’ll soon be able to control grooves and launch loops with GrooveMaker® 2 free for iPhone and iPad and remix their preferred tracks with DJ Rig™ free (all downloadable from the App Store℠).
On Mac/PC the included SampleTank 3 SE (worth $99.99/€79.99), available as a standalone and a plug-in virtual instrument for every major DAW, includes over 6.5 GB of sample contents, 400 instruments and 150 MIDI patterns, for a complete music production workstation, out of the box (coming soon as download from the IK user area). In addition, by registering their iRig Pads, users will be able to receive The Grid, an exclusive and free additional collection of 50 instruments (800 samples) and 50 MIDI patterns – designed exclusively for beat makers and groove performers who use iRig Pads – for SampleTank on iOS and Mac/PC (a value of $9.99/€7.99 for iOS and $39.99/€29.99 for Mac/PC).
And that’s only scratching the surface – iRig Pads is also fully MIDI class-compliant, which means you can use it and customise its controls for use with virtually any MIDI-compatible app such as FL Studio Mobile, iMPC Studio and GarageBand or Mac/PC software such as MPC Studio, Ableton Live, Maschine, GarageBand and more.
Pricing and Availability
iRig Pads is now available from music and electronics retailers worldwide for $149.99/€119.99 (excluding taxes) as well as on the IK online store. Thanks to its generous feature set, included content value and universal uses for iOS devices as well as Mac and PC, iRig Pads offers the best quality to price ratio of any MIDI groove controller on the market.
For more information, please visit www.ikmultimedia.com/irigpads