PDA

View Full Version : More iRig Acoustic comparos



Jim Hanks
01-20-2016, 05:20 AM
Last weekend I was in a local Sam Ash and spotted this gizmo.You know I had to have it.

Sample #1:
https://soundcloud.com/jim-hanks/irig-acoustic-test-ik-1

Sample #2:
https://soundcloud.com/jim-hanks/irig-acoustic-test-ik-2-1

These were made with my Iriguchi Keystone tenor (in Bb tuning) simultaneously by running the iRig Acoustic into my iPhone and running the K&K Twinspot passive pickup into my iPad with an Apogee Jam interface. To provide an apples-to-apples comparison, both inputs were recorded into the same app (Multitrack DAW) with no effects, EQ, or output level applied. These are as raw as it gets. :p The input levels were adjusted to give approximately the same hotness and then I normalized the samples before upload to Soundcloud.

I'm curious to hear any impressions, guesses, etc.

I also did another sample, this one with my Cocobolo super concert. This one has no pickup so I'll tell you this one is the iRig Acoustic. Not sure if that will give away the poll, but there it is.
https://soundcloud.com/jim-hanks/irig-acoustic-test-coco-1

Osprey
01-20-2016, 05:35 AM
Thanks for the sound samples. I will be interested in what others think as well as the actual results. Both samples sounded pretty darn good.

FinnP
01-20-2016, 06:50 AM
Thanks,-so you recorded into garageband on your iPad?
Just got mine today, but i haven't had time to check it out yet. I noticed that mic fit is a little loose in the soundhole and slide from side to side. Got to find a way to fix that.

Jim Hanks
01-20-2016, 06:57 AM
I used the "Multitrack DAW" app but you should be able to use Garage Band if you like.

Yes, I noticed the fit was looser on the Iriguchi tenor than the Cocobolo - guess the top is thinner. If you hear some buzz/rattle in the samples that's probably it. I thought I heard some while recording but didn't listen for it in the samples.

FinnP
01-20-2016, 09:06 AM
Yes..I think a piece of thick paper will do the trick. What a nice mic. I tried to connect it to my Fishmann loudbox mini with a minijack stereo to mono jack cable and it sounded very good. Much better than the Kala with built-in mic I've tried before.
The built in feed-kill is very effective too. I have an Apogee One ipad/mac too. I wonder how the instrument input on the ONE will sound with the output from the irig+ipad output with the mono cable, when I record in Logic X on my iMac.
Best of all, I can now use it with all my ukes.

Inksplosive AL
01-20-2016, 11:05 AM
EDIT: heh just saw the poll...

I hear they cut down on background noise this interests me as my home is too noisy to even try to record anything acoustically. Its something to look into.

I dont think I'm very interested in starting to record to a tablet or my iPod.

Booli
01-20-2016, 11:34 AM
Interesting test Jim.

Hard for me to tell one device's recording from the other since in all three recordings I can hear some very subtle clipping that was likely present before the track was normalized.

Since this unit is a pretty hot mic, I found clipping to be a challenge to mitigate in my own fooling with the iRig Acoustic, unless you set your peak input level no higher than -3 db, otherwise you may not have enough headroom for the volume peaks if your max input level is set at 0 db at the start.

You might also be able to get away with an even lower input level set where the setting is no higher than -6 to -5 db, which you can always normalize UP closer to 0db after the fact, and depending upon the settings when you normalize if you set it to 'normalize based upon peaks' instead of 'normalize based upon average gain' you will also hear a different sound between the two settings in the end result.

Lower input level will also lower the noise floor, and after normalization, will yield a perception of greater dynamic range for the listener, all WITHOUT any compression applied.

I had thought about doing a similar test, but with a slightly different method:

1. Attach my Apogee Mic to my Mac via USB

2. Attach my Apogee JAM to the SAME Mac via USB

3. Attach the iRig Acoustic to the SAME Mac via USB using the NRG TRRS-to-USB adapter mentioned previously in another thread

4. Using a uke with a pickup already installed plug in to the Apogee JAM

5. Attach my iPad to my SAME Mac via USB

6. On the Mac, in the app 'Audio/MIDI Setup' create an 'Aggregate Audio Device' with all 4 audio inputs

7. In Garageband on the Mac, record all 4 inputs, each to a discrete track

8. With no Effects or post, while muting the three other tracks, export each track one at a time to an AIFF file

9. Submit them for review/comparison

Having all 4 devices record simultaneously, as you did with 2 devices, would completely eliminate any variations in playing the song 4 times over, and save some time to hook up each recording input, and make 4 discrete recordings.



Yes..I think a piece of thick paper will do the trick.

and


...Yes, I noticed the fit was looser on the Iriguchi tenor than the Cocobolo - guess the top is thinner. If you hear some buzz/rattle in the samples that's probably it. I thought I heard some while recording but didn't listen for it in the samples.

For instruments with a thinner top, I cut a 25mm square from a 0.5mm thick foam sheet and place that between the guitar-pick shaped body and the uke's top, and it offers a nice snug fit with no rattle


What a nice mic. I tried to connect it to my Fishmann loudbox mini with a minijack stereo to mono jack cable and it sounded very good. Much better than the Kala with built-in mic I've tried before.

Does the 1/8" AUX input on the LoudBox Mini provide the necessary plug-in power that this mic requires?

It is NOT a dynamic mic, but a MEMS mic, similar to an electret mic, and requires anywhere from 3-12 volts DC in order to operate.

DownUpDave
01-20-2016, 01:16 PM
That was a VERY interesting test as you have done as much as you can to make it even and fair. Recording the very same piece with both devices while it was played was a great idea.

These blind tests are so hard........that's what makes them so much fun. The two recording are quite similar in nature with no huge differences. My test showed a marked difference between the iRig and the Zoom because one is an internal mic and one is an extnernal mic.

I will stop wasting time and dragging my feet, I voted the second choice, #1 the K&K and #2 the iRig. My only reason for that choice is I felt #2 had a bit more bass presence.

Jim Hanks
01-20-2016, 02:01 PM
Hard for me to tell one device's recording from the other since in all three recordings I can hear some very subtle clipping that was likely present before the track was normalized.

Since this unit is a pretty hot mic, I found clipping to be a challenge to mitigate in my own fooling with the iRig Acoustic

You might also be able to get away with an even lower input level set where the setting is no higher than -6 to -5 db

For instruments with a thinner top, I cut a 25mm square from a 0.5mm thick foam sheet and place that between the guitar-pick shaped body and the uke's top, and it offers a nice snug fit with no rattle

I don't doubt there is some clipping in spots. I think I had the iRig input at -4.5db and the Jam at 0db but using the input dial on the Jam. I was just eyeballing the waveforms on the screens to get close. For real recording, I agree -6 or -8db would still leave plenty of level to work into a mix and still avoid clipping. I rarely normalize but figured that was the quickest way to get comparable levels to avoid the "louder sounds better" effect.

I will definitely have to try the foam or something before I do something for real on this tenor. The Coco seems to fit pretty well au naturale

Jim Hanks
01-20-2016, 02:13 PM
The two recording are quite similar in nature with no huge differences.
That's interesting, cuz listening back now, to me, #1 sounds a LOT brighter than #2. I like the tone of #2 better just to listen to, but #1 might be better to mix with as it is generally easier to EQ out harshness then add back brightness if needed.

I just realized as I'm typing this that I honestly don't remember which is which, so the reveal is going to be as much a surprise to me as everyone else. Sucks getting old, doesn't it? :p

Booli
01-20-2016, 02:37 PM
I don't doubt there is some clipping in spots. I think I had the iRig input at -4.5db and the Jam at 0db but using the input dial on the Jam. I was just eyeballing the waveforms on the screens to get close. For real recording, I agree -6 or -8db would still leave plenty of level to work into a mix and still avoid clipping. I rarely normalize but figured that was the quickest way to get comparable levels to avoid the "louder sounds better" effect.

I will definitely have to try the foam or something before I do something for real on this tenor. The Coco seems to fit pretty well au naturale

Ahh, good to see that you don't solely rely upon the math or some arbitrary rules, but yet apply the appropriate techniques as necessary on a case-by-case basis.

I should say, that with my own 'golden ears' LOL, (which I consider to be pretty acute, but yes, everything is relative/subjective), after listening back 3 times over, I'm still having trouble telling that the recordings are made with different devices.

So I need to step back and try again in like 2 days, but were I forced to label them now, I'd have to say that I'm unable to tell them apart.

Jim, at the moment, you've got me stumped, which I actually consider both a success and a great skill (if I may compliment you on your recording expertise while also toot my own horn :)). I've always worked on developing a more discriminating sense of hearing, and often been told by audio pros that I have achieved a rare skill.

I've purposely NOT played with my own iRig Acoustic prior to your listening test here because I do not want to have any bias when I listen. I want to listen 'clean'. This removes any other point of reference and forces me to decide, in the moment which is which.

So I have to say kudos :bowdown: to you Jim, and give you lots of credit, for NOT making this too easy.

To me that is the sign of someone who knows (and has mastered very well) the techniques not only to record an instrument, but also possesses serious talent for mixing and mastering audio.

You've done a fine job here. :)

DownUpDave
01-20-2016, 02:40 PM
That's interesting, cuz listening back now, to me, #1 sounds a LOT brighter than #2. I like the tone of #2 better just to listen to, but #1 might be better to mix with as it is generally easier to EQ out harshness then add back brightness if needed.

I just realized as I'm typing this that I honestly don't remember which is which, so the reveal is going to be as much a surprise to me as everyone else. Sucks getting old, doesn't it? :p


That is so funny Jim because when I did my test I kept forgetting which mic was which. I actually wrote it down so I wouldn't screw up the reveal, :old:

Jim Hanks
01-20-2016, 06:19 PM
I should say, that with my own 'golden ears' I'm still having trouble telling that the recordings are made with different devices...I'd have to say that I'm unable to tell them apart.

To me that is the sign of someone who knows (and has mastered very well) the techniques not only to record an instrument, but also possesses serious talent for mixing and mastering audio.

You don't hear the bright vs warm distinction? Even on my iPad speaker, #1 is almost harsh and #2 is comparatively dull to my ears. On the second point, I think you give me far too much credit. This recording took me about 10 minutes total. It took a lot longer to get it trimmed, normalized, and uploaded to SC than to do the recording. But thanks. :o


I actually wrote it down so I wouldn't screw up the reveal
Don't worry, I can pull the file names back off the devices so I won't mess up the answer. :o

Ukulele Eddie
01-20-2016, 07:36 PM
That's interesting, cuz listening back now, to me, #1 sounds a LOT brighter than #2.

My ears hear the same.

bonesoup
01-21-2016, 01:06 AM
Jim, thanks for doing this. Very interesting. I preferred sound sample 2 because it brings in more bass and warmth.

Slightly off topic, I also appreciated hearing your Iriguchi itself. There aren't many sound samples of them on youtube. If you'd ever like to write a review of it, I'd sure like to read it. What kind of wood is yours?

Doc_J
01-21-2016, 02:02 AM
Jim, I enjoyed your recording and your playing.
Number 1 sounded the most bright/clear to me, with nice treble. Number 2 was a little muted on the treble, but warmer. My guess is number 2 is the K & K Twin spot.

I think much depends on the speakers that these samples are played through. I swear they sounded more similar on the crummy built-in speakers of my display in my office. But here at home (with slightly better speakers) they are clearly different.

Thanks for putting the comparison together.

Jim Hanks
01-21-2016, 03:12 AM
Slightly off topic, I also appreciated hearing your Iriguchi itself. There aren't many sound samples of them on youtube. If you'd ever like to write a review of it, I'd sure like to read it. What kind of wood is yours?

I don't think I ever did a full review of it, but I've posted several times about it. Here are some other threads if you're curious:
Spy pics (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?89175-First-spy-pics-of-my-new-tenor)
Almost NUD (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94197-My-Iriguchi-tenor-is-almost-here!&p=1496234#post1496234)
Original song (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97707-Jazzy-Original-with-IKT-and-BUT-quot-Not-Sure-Why-quot)

It's poplar and redwood.



Thanks for putting the comparison together.
You're welcome.

Have to get to work folks but I'll do the reveal this evening.

Nickie
01-21-2016, 07:01 AM
Jim, you lost me at "gadget".
The 1st 2 recordings hardly sound like the same uke. One sounds tinny, the other one sounds subdued.
The 3rd one has a thump in it that doesn't sound like it belongs there.
Whatever that gadget is, I doubt if I'd buy it.
But WTH do I know?

Pukin' Ukin'
01-21-2016, 09:49 AM
I think the acoustic iRig has a lot of potential. I've used it with GarageBand directly to my iPad, very easy to create this. I know it could use some Eq'ing but I went for a more open sound. Not pro quality, mine I mean. Check it below.

I recorded every part with my Pono ATSHC-C-PC with Aquila reds and a Fremont soloist low g.

https://soundcloud.com/user-user-810991265/uke-irigger

Inksplosive AL
01-21-2016, 11:15 AM
I agree with the first sample sounding a bit tinny but the second sample sounds like too much bass and too many highs are cut. I voted #2 as the second recording sounds more compressed to my ear than the first. I also hear a rattle which made me believe this was the irig mic.

It was early on in my tattooing career that I learned how different all our eyes and perception with color can be. Today as an aging motorcycle rider my interests are more in the brain/eye connection and the tiny bit of lag we all experience between seeing something and our brains registering it. But thats getting off track a bit.

Having experience with differences in visual perception it isn't a great jump to imagine the same exists in taste and hearing as well. I'm using whatever onboard sound the MB has on my system. Its not junk there is THX TruStudio running and I'm currently listening through a set of AKG K44 headphones $16.99-$19.99 at guitar center. Like bottom of the line monitoring headphones.

Jim Hanks
01-21-2016, 01:54 PM
Thanks to all who listened and voted. 10 votes for the poll and they split right down the middle. :D
And the winners are...........

Those who made the second choice - Sample #1 is K&K pickup, Sample #2 is iRig

Lessons learned so far:
- this pickup needs a preamp and/or fairly heavy EQ to get a more natural tone

- the iRig needs more experimentation with input levels and fitting but has more natural tone already

- dual miking these two might be worthwhile if the iRig does prove to be too subdued - just add back some of the highs from the K&K