If you want to reduce the amount of gear you roll with, but still want professional results when you record a voice track, IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic Studio may find a place in your bugout bag.
Technically, the iRig Mic Studio is a USB sound card, which can connect to a smartphone or tablet (Android or Apple flavor) or a Windows or Mac laptop. Operationally, it’s a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone (1 inch), with a microphone preamp and monitor channel, powered by the device to which it is connected. The iRig Mic Studio will connect to Apple and Android devices running Android 5 or higher.
The connection is made with an OTG cable for Android devices, a Lightning cable for Apple devices and a USB cable for connection to laptops, all three of which are enclosed with the iRig Mic Studio. A 30-pin Apple connector is available from IK Multimedia.
It has a 3.5 mm jack for headphones and level controls for microphone output and headphone output. LED indicators include shades of blue for standby and power, green to orange for setting optimum output levels, and the red LED which, with your ears, will tell you to back off on the gain.
The iRig Mic Studio comes with its own mount and folding desk stand, and a pouch to protect the mic from scratches in transit.
I used the iRig Mic Studio and Lexis Audio Editor to record short liners for my “Radio-Road-Test” program on a Nexus 7 tablet running Android 6. The device recognized the iRig Mic Studio as a sound input via the OTG cable with no recognition drama. With my Galaxy S4 running Android 5.0, I recorded a short test count using Lexis Audio Editor. That sort of flexibility is helpful if you need to do quality work in a big hurry, and your studio is not available for whatever reason.
Admittedly it’s not a Neumann U 87, but it does produce the warm, robust sound one would expect from a condenser microphone with a 1-inch diaphragm. IK Multimedia specifications say the unit will pass audio with a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 24-bit, 44.1/48 kHz resolution. The maximum SPL for the iRig Mic Studio is listed as 133 dB.
Because of the inherent sensitivity of a condenser microphone, quiet spaces would be optimal for recording with the iRig Mic Studio — so, too, use of a windscreen or a pop filter if you tend to get close to the microphone.
So what applications might the iRig Mic Studio be used for? It could be used to do voiceovers, cutting voice tracks, and, if using a live origination app like Skype or Luci Live Lite, to substitute a full-fidelity microphone for the onboard microphone on a smartphone or tablet.
The list price for the iRig Mic Studio is $179.95, street price is around $149.99.
For information, contact IK Multimedia in Florida at (954) 846-9101 or visitwww.ikmultimedia.com.