Reviewed: IK Multimedia iRig Stomp I/O

Sound & Music | sound-music.com | Expect to Pay: $589

Of course, you’re all aware of the machine that is the IK Multimedia iRig revolution. Those Italian designers keep coming up with bigger and better ways to integrate the guitar with mobile devices for use in both the home and live performance environment. When the first iRig Stomp came out, it offered guitarists a rugged pedal housing for the somewhat delicate iRig interface. This has grown through several generations to the latest and greatest device in the iRig Stomp I/O.

This is IK Multimedia’s foray into the multi-effects pedalboard, but it retains all of the benefits and ingenuity of the iRig concept as well. It’s a ‘best of both worlds’ concept that works for jamming, recording, live performance or just playing around at home. The biggest limitation with the original iRig was that you had no foot control for playing live and as such, you were essentially locked into using one sound in a song. Later versions improved with the ability to switch effects on and off with a foot pedal, but never really gave the user full control—until now.

 

The iRig Stomp I/O is designed to make IK Multimedia’s Amplitude software a very real contender in the live music and studio market. It’s built with the musician in mind, with a solidly constructed frame and an easy interface for accessing sounds. With the new Live mode in Amplitude, you can operate the software in a number of ways to best suit your needs. Your iPad will slot into the groove on the board, making it easily visible whilst playing, so you can see what effects are being used at any time. With Live mode engaged, the display changes to ensure it’s easy to see what’s happening even when standing away from the unit.

 

 

The device allows you to control just about any parameter in Amplitude and set up your sounds as you like. You can use it to browse through various rig setups if you prefer to have all your sounds built beforehand or you can use the four buttons to turn individual effects on and off, just as you would on a pedalboard with the real pedals. It’s easy to move effects around in the signal chain and store your settings, and if you want, you can use the expression pedal—or another two of your own if connected to the device—to change any parameter on any pedal in real time.

 

This gets a little crazy when you assign the expression to a delay time and ride that pedal through time changes, but it can be used for some clever effects too. As a MIDI controller, it can also operate the software on Mac or PC computers, and can even be used as a standalone controller for other MIDI-controllable effects pedals. The only downside is that the Android crowd get left out on this unit for the moment. We can only hope that as the product develops, there will be support for the ‘other’ tablet users of the world. Some of them play guitar, too.

Hits and Misses

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Rugged build

Works in standalone mode for those who don’t want to rely on a device

Great range of effects

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Sadly, the Android users get left out in the dark again

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