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Booli
01-18-2017, 05:04 PM
I just saw a story about this on appleinsider.com, so it must be new for NAMM.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/18/irig-pro-io-irig-acoustic-stage-gives-musicians-more-guitar-recording-options

(direct link to product page is down below)

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/joomla/images/ik_images/product_page/irigacousticstage/1.0/img335/iRig_Acoustic_Stage_front.jpg

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/joomla/images/ik_images/product_page/irigacousticstage/1.0/img335/irigacousticstage_0U6A5729_r.jpg

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/joomla/images/ik_images/product_page/irigacousticstage/1.0/img686/irig_acoustic_stage_scheme.jpg

Nice to see the USB output instead of Lightning-only which means that this can be used with the iPad Camera Connection Kit 30-pin-to-USB which I have for my older iPad, as well as the newer Lightning-to-USB version, and also your desktop/laptop PC/Mac/Linux, etc...

Also, it appears that you can use this standalone going into a PA or amplifier or other recording interface, so this could be a universal way to get a clean signal.

Hopefully this new model, with it's own electronics and preamp will solve the many issues with the first-gen iRig Acoustic which suffered from being easily overdriven (likely due to too-low supply voltage from the headphone jack) as well as terrible crosstalk when recording and monitoring multitrack audio, MEANING that there is BLEED of the sound of the headphone out BACK IN to the input channel, and this is an electrical/electronic problem in most TRRS headphone/mic combo plugs and jacks....

It might be some time before I can get one, and I definitely want to try it, for it can simplify the recording setup as well as preclude the need for pickups in multiple ukes, and the PRIMARY benefit to something like this, IMHO, is ISOLATION from background noise. like if you have a fan or heater going in your room, most good mics will ALSO pick up that sound, but if the mic is a surface transducer or physically ON the sound source like this unit, the difference in volume betw the background noise and the instrument is a very wide range and likely the background noise is imperceptible under normal circumstances.

I love that IK Multimedia is innovating and continuing to improve their products. FYI, I am not a stooge, a shill or otherwise compensated by this company in any way. I am just a humble shmoo with 35+ yrs of audio engineering experience that likes to see new products in the market that offer us new and/or better options.

More info/direct link here:

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigacousticstage/

Thanks for reading. Your thoughts?

photoshooter
01-18-2017, 06:00 PM
I was just coming to post about it but you beat me to it (no surprise there). I like iRig products and am pleased with the items I've purchased. I think I'll be giving this one a try in the next week or so...

Jim Hanks
01-18-2017, 06:22 PM
Yeah I saw that announcement too. It does look interesting, but at this point, it is not going to be a priority for me. I have the iRig Acoustic and have used it for several recording projects recently. The sound is actually pretty good and for "studio" use can be cleaned up perfectly well with the facilities available in iOS DAWs like Cubasis and effect apps like ToneStack and JamUp. The crosstalk is a problem, but I've worked around it by only using it for input, never output or monitoring.

Now if I were playing live, I would take a much closer look at the Stage. The first version really is not suitable for stage use IMO - flimsy cord, headphone input, requires iOS device so then you have to get the sound back out so that's more interfaces and wires - no, just no. But the Stage seems to have none of those issues. I'd be concerned about the limited "preamp" with the tone presets but I guess that could be augmented with another preamp box if necessary.

Booli
01-18-2017, 06:35 PM
I was just coming to post about it but you beat me to it (no surprise there). I like iRig products and am pleased with the items I've purchased. I think I'll be giving this one a try in the next week or so...

Hey brother,

Sorry if I stole your thunder, but I thought folks might want to know right away and saw no other threads on it yet so I went ahead. It's nice to see that you were going to post it too since it shows how we are all looking out for each other here on UU. :)

Please report back if/when you get one. I am very interested to know if the upgraded functionality will be worth it for the improved sound potential from this new model.

Booli
01-18-2017, 07:04 PM
Yeah I saw that announcement too. It does look interesting, but at this point, it is not going to be a priority for me. I have the iRig Acoustic and have used it for several recording projects recently. The sound is actually pretty good and for "studio" use can be cleaned up perfectly well with the facilities available in iOS DAWs like Cubasis and effect apps like ToneStack and JamUp. The crosstalk is a problem, but I've worked around it by only using it for input, never output or monitoring.

Now if I were playing live, I would take a much closer look at the Stage. The first version really is not suitable for stage use IMO - flimsy cord, headphone input, requires iOS device so then you have to get the sound back out so that's more interfaces and wires - no, just no. But the Stage seems to have none of those issues. I'd be concerned about the limited "preamp" with the tone presets but I guess that could be augmented with another preamp box if necessary.

The crosstalk of course can be dealt with as you mentioned, but the biggest problem I had was that I bought and returned 2 units of the original iRig Acoustic, one from Amazon, and a different one from B&H Photo NYC, and then I also bought a 3rd from Sweetwater which I just kept.

The IKMM forums were totally useless and the official 'guru' from IKMM was arrogant and hostile to those asking for help. I dont have hours to spend on the phone or in painfully slow email conversations to work out the kinks on a $50 product. For that, they should PAY me to help out.

I thought them to be defective, and maybe so by design but not intent. I felt this way due to the fact that no matter the settings or other changes in use, I always had a very hot input level on average, and since a lot of my compositions have a very wide dynamic range of both soft parts and louder strumming parts, my choices were either to have a low input signal and mess a lot with compression and normalization in post, or run the risk of clipping during recording. This happened no matter what app I used, on iOS, Mac or Linux.

(I dont have this 'over-sensitivity' problem, nor need to do much post-production when using nearly any kind of pickup, or any of the many microphones that I have)

(also, proper mic technique can prevent the need for lots of cleanup in post, and in my work-flow, I prefer to 'get it right' upon capture, rather than spend hours twiddling virtual knobs and still not getting 'the sound in the air' that I heard with my own ears, but YMMV and in no way am I knocking other methods, what works for you and what works for me can be different and we can both be happy :))

On the original iRig Acoustic that uses the headphone port, my guess is that the TRRS voltage limitation of 1.5v DC is causing the MEMS mic to act as a 'starved-capacitor' in the circuit and thus has little headroom and a narrower dynamic range than if run at 6v or 9v DC, which is within spec for these MEMS mics, but requires another resistor, capacitor and or buck-converter in the circuit to make the jump UP from 1.5v or if via 2x AAA/AA batteries 3v, and likely they omitted that from the original design.

Also the crosstalk can be easily prevented by putting a capacitor across the ground of the input and ground of output within the iRig dongle hump itself, acting as shunt and to isolate them from each other, but there may be be other circuit factors inside the iOS headphone jack that interfere with this that I don't know about....

As far as the limited preamp circuit, 2 things:

1. I would expect that you can alter the presets via the USB connection from the computer and save your own settings, but I have no real info yet

2. The MEMS mic needs SOME kind of impedance matching and amplification done in order to work with guitar amps and PA systems like in the 3rd photo in my original post above, and likely IKMM realize that an iOS device is not the ideal device for this on the stage, especially with that flimsy 20' cord that I hated and kept coiled down to about a 6' length any way.

I'm going to see if I can scrape together enough change to get one, but I will also wait because there might other great toys coming out of NAMM betw now and Monday...and the flood of videos on YT will take time to watch and decide...

But, I tell you, if the new model has the same issues as the old one, or sounds bad to my ear, it's going to be returned and I will continue to use microphones for both recording, whenever live for stage use.

I dont have to dance around and dont mind staying in position to a mic on stage, and in the studio, it's not an issue to stay in one place.

Booli
01-18-2017, 07:54 PM
I thought this video might be helpful to see how it works:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r3-w7zvS0g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r3-w7zvS0g

Jim Hanks
01-18-2017, 08:00 PM
Yeah, I am curious to hear some reviews on it.

You lost me on the volts and ohms stuff :p but I do know what you mean on the input level. My last project I used the Multitrack DAW app and I had to turn down the input level in the app but only by 2db. Now I wasn't playing very hard and not very "dynamically" either, so I can see how that might be a real issue in another context.

Booli
01-18-2017, 08:37 PM
...You lost me on the volts and ohms stuff :p...

The volts thing is related to 'plug-in power' for classic electret mics, which MEMS mics share some, if not most of the same electrical dependencies, as well as with phantom power.

The typical 'plug-in power' is a spec for 1.5v & 500mA DC to supply a charge to the mic element so it can 'respond' to sound pressure.

Phantom power can be 12v, 24v, 36v, or the most common 48v DC and works in a similar way.

Most condenser mics also have a nice circuit board inside with it's own little preamp, pre-set EQ, and impedance matching circuit), and all of this requires power, usually phantom power, if not a single or dual AA battery or 9v battery for portable use.

The problem with too low a voltage is that the membrane of the microphone which senses the vibrations and converts them to electricity is usually going into a transistor, like a JFET or MOSFET, or other derivative with a source-follower-gate arrangement internally.

(I can offer links to read up on, or videos if you want more info, as it can get pretty deep here.)

What this means is that the transistor needs to have a 'bias' voltage going into it parallel with the audio signal on the same input pin to activate or 'carry' the electrons going into the transistor, but on the side leg of the transistor, there is a GATE that is opened proportionally to the amount of voltage that is fed to the transistor to the input leg.

What this translates to is that the voltage going in is proportional to the amount of dynamic range before clipping or overdriven signal at the output. Too little voltage and it take very little audio signal to overdrive the output, and more voltage actually OPENS the GATE proportionally more, and allows more audio to FLOW through to the output, giving greater dynamic range and more headroom before distortion. Most electret as well as MEMS capsules as per the data sheets provided by the more popular makers of these components such as STM Microelectronics via Digikey, Mouser and BG Micro, show that there is a range of about 1.2v DC up to about 10.5v DC where these mic components will 'work'.

However, the caveat is how you define 'work'. If it is for something that is simple sound detection, as in "sound: Y/N?" and PWM type inputs for digital logic, then 1.5 volts is fine, but typically this low voltage causes the GATE of the transistor to have a narrow bandwidth and narrow usable dynamic range for audio fidelity, especially if shared with both the transistor, as well as the charge needed for the mic element itself.

Conversely, more voltage, say 9v DC as a median, will allow for greater audio fidelity.

I am grossly over-simplifying things here, and not sure if this makes sense, but it's like a garden hose, too low diameter=distortion even at low levels and low SPL at the input and larger diameter=improved overall audio fidelity.

The voltage is the diameter of the garden hose. For better audio fidelity, we want the 'water' to have as much flow as possible.

Let me know if this makes sense.


but I do know what you mean on the input level...I had to turn down the input level in the app but only by 2db...

Remember that the decibel scale is logarithmic and not linear, thus a 1db change in the meter is actually a 10x change in perceptible sound pressure level (volume), and a 2db change is actually a 100x change (10 x 10) in perceptible sound pressure level (volume)...

So if you set the gain so the meter reads the peak level at -2.0db, you are actually lowering the sensitivity of the input by 100x. Sounds crazy, I know.

I don't have the math background to explain the finer-detailed layers of the theory, but I know 'how it works' in real world use, and that's good enough for me. :)

Hope this helps - if not let me know.:)

jimavery
01-19-2017, 02:32 AM
Thanks for the heads-up Booli. I was contemplating buying and fitting a pickup for each of three ukuleles until you mentioned this.

I won't need to amplify very often, so I'm just really glad there's an inexpensive way to get me set up for busking, small gigs or open mics, and still allowing me to swap ukulele mid-set for different tunings if I want to.

Booli
01-19-2017, 02:52 AM
Thanks for the heads-up Booli. I was contemplating buying and fitting a pickup for each of three ukuleles until you mentioned this.

I won't need to amplify very often, so I'm just really glad there's an inexpensive way to get me set up for busking, small gigs or open mics, and still allowing me to swap ukulele mid-set for different tunings if I want to.

Hi Jim - no worries. Glad the info is useful.

Seems to me that at $99US, this would be a lot cheaper than at least $100 ea x3 for an active pickup like the MiSi or the LR Baggs Five.0, and you also wont have to drill a hole in the end block for the endpin jack or in the bridge slot the pickup ribbon.

IKMM usually has a sort of parallel pricing scheme so $99 USD and 93 Euros or 81 GBP seems to be the going price. I dont know if it will have a discount unless there is some NAMM promo for the product launch.

In case you don't know, NAMM is a big trade show in Anaheim, CA that occurs every year and that runs from today (Thurs) until Sunday where all the folks that make music stuff get together to show off and announce new products...if I see any discounts I will share them here in this thread and hope that other folks would do the same. :)

Booli
01-19-2017, 03:15 AM
FYI - Sweetwater has them in stock as of the time of this post:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/iRigAcousticStg

Guitar Center does not show it yet, nor Musicians Friend or the other 5 sites I checked listed as online dealers on the IKMM product pages. Maybe in a week or so, since NAMM is just starting today.

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/dealers/

photoshooter
01-19-2017, 05:49 AM
I just ordered it from IKMM. I had Jampoints to redeem :)

Croaky Keith
01-19-2017, 06:54 AM
I thought they only worked with iPhones & iPads, so never even bothered to look at them before! :wallbash:

What a daft name to call it - no doubt lots more people like me about - they're probably losing quite a few sales. ;)

Choirguy
01-19-2017, 08:10 AM
I'm going to watch for your opinions before buying one, but if this works, it would far outweigh the expense of a MiSi...and allow for use on multiple devices!

Booli
01-19-2017, 10:56 AM
I thought they only worked with iPhones & iPads, so never even bothered to look at them before! :wallbash:

What a daft name to call it - no doubt lots more people like me about - they're probably losing quite a few sales. ;)

Keith, this product in this thread is BRAND NEW, and yes, many products from IKMM were only for iOS devices. Starting about 3 yrs ago, they ALSO made USB audio interfaces under the iRig name.

For me, they can call it anything they want as long as it works well for the price. :)

greenie44
01-19-2017, 12:49 PM
Just curious - since there is a USB output, could you use it directly with a DAW on a Windows machine? That might make it useful as the simplest rig to take with me when travelling in case the recording bug strikes me.

Booli
01-19-2017, 01:21 PM
Just curious - since there is a USB output, could you use it directly with a DAW on a Windows machine? That might make it useful as the simplest rig to take with me when travelling in case the recording bug strikes me.

I would say that DAW input (regardless if Mac/PC/Linux/iOS/Android) was part of the intended use as per this info direct from the page linked above in the first post:


Compatibility


iRig Acoustic Stage can be connected to any amplifier, mixer or PA system using a 6.3mm / 1/4" TS mono jack cable.

iRig Acoustic Stage can also be used as USB recording interface for Mac/PC, iOS, Android.

Computers

Mac®: Mac OS X 10.6 or later. One free USB port.
Windows®: Support using the ASIO4ALL driver on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10. See our FAQ here (http://www.ikmultimedia.com/faq/3628) for further details.

A USB to Micro-USB cable (sold separately (http://www.ikmultimedia.com/shop/index.php?REQ=SHOWPROD&PRID=USB_to_Micro-USB_cable)) is required.

iOS Devices

Compatible with iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPod touch 6th generation, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad Pro (9.7-inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch), iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini. iOS 6.0 or later is required.

A USB to Micro-USB cable (sold separately) and a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately) are required.

Android Devices

Compatible with Android devices that support Samsung Professional Audio technology, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 require Android 5.

Compatible with Android devices with USB (OTG) connector running Android apps that use USB (OTG) audio input.

Compatible with any Android devices with USB (OTG) connector running Android 5.

A Micro-USB-OTG to Micro-USB cable (sold separately) is required.


[edited to add] Rick, your RISA stick can likely go into the AUX input which is intended for the piezo that might already be built in to your instrument, and you can turn the MIX knob to 100% AUX and all should be well. Keep in mind that this is a MIC and NOT a pickup so attaching it onto something like the RISA stick is likely to not capture much sound, this is NOT a piezo pickup it is a MEMS mic. If you have not already watched the video above, it shows how this is done.

Croaky Keith
01-20-2017, 12:02 AM
...were only for iOS devices....top selling device for iOS ....

Whether the name daft or not, the original iRig was the first device of it's kind that allowed a guitar input to the original iPhone


That's what I'm saying - they were marketed for iDevices - & I don't have any! :biglaugh::cheers:

good_uke_boy
01-22-2017, 04:06 PM
I just ordered it from IKMM. I had Jampoints to redeem :)

Please let us know what you think of this gear? Thanks.

Booli
01-22-2017, 07:35 PM
I just ordered it from IKMM. I had Jampoints to redeem :)

Thanks for reminding me about the Jampoints! With a 30% discount from Jampoints I figured that I might as well be one of the mavericks here too.

So add me to the list of early-adopters of the gen-2 version of the iRig Acoustic (sigh and fingers crossed) :rolleyes:

They only let you apply the points for a maximum of 30% off the price per item, so I actually have some points left over.

Thus the price went from $99, down to $69, which is cheaper than Sweetwater, Amazon or B&H, all of which have free shipping. So since basic GROUND shipping from IKMM was a hard $12.99, I opted to upgrade that to 2ND-DAY-AIR for an additional $4, and in the end the total came out to $86.98.

Depending upon their pre-shipment processing time, I should have it in a few days.

Once I get it and have a chance to play with it, I will put up a video.

However, I have a low tolerance for devices that do not deliver on their promise and if I am not happy with it, I am sending it back right away, but I will still share the video in either event.

Stay Tuned! :music:

Croaky Keith
01-23-2017, 12:01 AM
Looking forward to seeing reviews of this from our members.

I originally thought having electric & electro acoustic was the way to go, but I've been playing mainly acoustic lately, using a USB mic, so this could be something to think about buying.

braguesa
01-23-2017, 09:17 AM
Got one today and messed with it for several hours, never got a decent Sound. The calibration process ruins your sound, sometimes tiny other boomy, I have the original analog version and sounds way better. Another thing to note is that the two versions are not compatible, mics have different plugs.


Looking forward to seeing reviews of this from our members.

I originally thought having electric & electro acoustic was the way to go, but I've been playing mainly acoustic lately, using a USB mic, so this could be something to think about buying.

greenie44
01-23-2017, 09:21 AM
Rick, your RISA stick can likely go into the AUX input which is intended for the piezo that might already be built in to your instrument, and you can turn the MIX knob to 100% AUX and all should be well. Keep in mind that this is a MIC and NOT a pickup so attaching it onto something like the RISA stick is likely to not capture much sound, this is NOT a piezo pickup it is a MEMS mic. If you have not already watched the video above, it shows how this is done.

Thanks, Booli. I would use this with a uke other than the Risa to avoid taking an audio interface with me on the road. If I am going to be playing with anyone else, I have other ukes I prefer. Thanks again.

Booli
01-23-2017, 01:38 PM
Got one today and messed with it for several hours, never got a decent Sound. The calibration process ruins your sound, sometimes tiny other boomy, I have the original analog version and sounds way better. Another thing to note is that the two versions are not compatible, mics have different plugs.


Thanks for sharing this info. Mine is due to arrive on WED 1/25. I will be very upset if my experience parallels yours. I'll just have to wait and see.

photoshooter
01-23-2017, 02:35 PM
Mine arrived today. I didn't have time to put it through rigorous testing but my initial impression is very good. I'm no authority on audio so I'm just going on what I feel. It's so pleasing to hear my uke come out of a speaker sounding like...my uke. The calibration process went well for me. I'll make some time this week to do some in depth testing. I also pulled out the first acoustic version to see if they were compatible and was a little surprised that they're not.


Booli, I'll drop you a line. I'll need your help setting up a meaningful test/demo.

Mike

Booli
01-23-2017, 02:45 PM
...Another thing to note is that the two versions are not compatible, mics have different plugs.


.... I also pulled out the first acoustic version to see if they were compatible and was a little surprised that they're not...

Are the plugs different sizes? As in the old version is 1/8" or 3.5mm and the new version is 3/32" or 2.5mm?

Or is it because the plug on the old version is 4-conductor TRRS and the new version is 3-conductor TRS or 2-conductor TS? (you can tell by the number of black rings on the plug, which are the insulators between each connection)

In any of these cases, there are adapters you can use to make it work. I had thought of this as well, and just figured I'd cut the 20 ft cord of the original about 6" from the hump with the headphone jack, and then solder on a new plug to whatever matches the new version. Places like allelectronics.com and parts-express.com sell all kinds of plugs, jacks, etc for audio and computer stuff for real cheap (some even less than $1), but you will pay at least $7 for ground shipping.

Too bad Radio Shack is gone, and no retail left. Yes, their parts were not cheap, but you could have them in hand immediately, and they really botched their web site. Days gone by...alas...radioshack.com is now owned by a holding company that bought their assets (including the name) and is still selling a very limited sub-set of the original inventory items.

photoshooter
01-23-2017, 03:47 PM
Yes the plugs are different sizes. The actual mic part looks identical.

braguesa
01-23-2017, 04:41 PM
Mine arrived today. I didn't have time to put it through rigorous testing but my initial impression is very good. I'm no authority on audio so I'm just going on what I feel. It's so pleasing to hear my uke come out of a speaker sounding like...my uke. The calibration process went well for me. I'll make some time this week to do some in depth testing. I also pulled out the first acoustic version to see if they were compatible and was a little surprised that they're not.


Booli, I'll drop you a line. I'll need your help setting up a meaningful test/demo.

Mike

I'm so disappointed I'll return mine using my 14 days Withdrawal Right. It doens't work for me, sound is terrible!!!

Jim Hanks
01-23-2017, 04:42 PM
Yes the plugs are different sizes. The actual mic part looks identical.
Interesting. I wonder why they did that? Could be simple "planned obsolescence" but I guess there could be a technical reason like the gen1 has to support input and output and the gen2 just does input.

Booli
01-23-2017, 05:01 PM
I'm so disappointed I'll return mine using my 14 days Withdrawal Right. It doens't work for me, sound is terrible!!!
Maybe your calibration was imperfect?

Is it not possible to 'undo' the calibration and restore it to default? Does the default setting sound bad?

What about just re-doing the calibration?

Have you another uke or guitar or something else to test it with?

Maybe all is not lost and it's just a matter of the proper finesse during calibration?

What have you plugged it into? USB? 'Electric' Guitar Amp? PA input? All variables that will alter the expectations for audio fidelity that need to be considered.

I won't be able to offer specific feedback until mine gets here in 2 days. :(

photoshooter
01-23-2017, 05:37 PM
Braguesa, I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out. I'm hoping as I get to play with mine I don't discover any shortcomings.

Booli and Jim, I'll add that the new plug is thinner than the gen 1 plug. I suspect the main reason is that they're two different products and as Jim pointed out they perform different functions.

braguesa
01-23-2017, 05:48 PM
Maybe your calibration was imperfect?

Is it not possible to 'undo' the calibration and restore it to default? Does the default setting sound bad?

What about just re-doing the calibration?

Have you another uke or guitar or something else to test it with?

Maybe all is not lost and it's just a matter of the proper finesse during calibration?

What have you plugged it into? USB? 'Electric' Guitar Amp? PA input? All variables that will alter the expectations for audio fidelity that need to be considered.

I won't be able to offer specific feedback until mine gets here in 2 days. :(

I'd like I was wrong, I wanted this so much, as I have the analog version, I like its sound and this version should be a big step up. I tested with full range speakers and sound quality is far from acceptable. The first time I tried it I liked the sound but when I calibrated, sound was totally uneven. You cannot do a reset, so I think it's done for me.

Booli
01-23-2017, 06:04 PM
I'd like I was wrong, I wanted this so much, as I have the analog version, I like its sound and this version should be a big step up. I tested with full range speakers and sound quality is far from acceptable. The first time I tried it I liked the sound but when I calibrated, sound was totally uneven. You cannot do a reset, so I think it's done for me.


This is sad news.

I was just now searching on the IKMM support forum where I found your thread and they do not seem so helpful: http://cgi.ikmultimedia.com/ikforum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13128&p=68037&hilit=stage#p68037

I wonder, can you 'reset' the calibration by holding the button and not making any sound at all, (or not even have the mic cable plugged in while doing so) and just wait for it to timeout?

If that works, then maybe it will sound better?

If it cannot be reset, then those of us getting these after you should maybe avoid doing the calibration at all, and just use it in the default mode out of the box. There has to be some way. It would be a total design failure if there was no way to reset the device back to factory settings.

Please let us know if you get a reply to your support ticket with IKMM, and what they tell you.

Jim Hanks
01-23-2017, 06:28 PM
I simply can't believe there's no way to do a factory reset.

ETA: and yet that's the answer you're getting from IK. Hopefully the real tech support will have a different answer.

Booli
01-23-2017, 06:44 PM
I simply can't believe there's no way to do a factory reset.

ETA: and yet that's the answer you're getting from IK. Hopefully the real tech support will have a different answer.

I've read quite a few threads on the IKMM forum, and there is far more helpful and in-depth info from users on YT than in that support forum.

If a reset is in fact not available, then maybe as a group we should voice our disappointment directly to IKMM, for this will be the second time that such a product has failed on it's promise.

I will restrain myself from an immediate 'call to arms' until I get hands-on with it myself, so maybe for now it is wise to wait before we start sharpening our pitchforks and machetes.:)

Jomasino
01-24-2017, 02:37 AM
Hi everybody. First post here. Long time ukulele player.
Just wanted to say that I just purchased the irig acoustic stage. It sounds phenomenal to me. A game changer, literally. It gives a real microphonic sound (and a good one too) with extreme convenience and mobility.
I did not calibrate it. If you read the manual carefully, the full manual from IK website, it basically suggests to calibrate it only if you have a dreadnought guitar. I tried with many instruments of mine ( guitars ukes mandolin) and it sounds really really good. In the worst case (my taylor 314ce), it sounds much better than Taylors' piezo pickup. In the best case (my nylon guitar) it rivals an actual revording with a good quality condenser mic in front of the guitar. For ukes, its sounds very very good. Maybe a tiny tiny bit nasal, but that can be easily fixed and I'm being really picky here.
However I am very surprised that you cannot reset it. There must be a way. In the meanwhile I strongly suggest NOT to calibrate it unless you're really unhappy with the sound, which I think it's very unlikey, according to my own personal experience. But of course every instrument is different.

Booli
01-24-2017, 02:59 AM
Hi everybody. First post here. Long time ukulele player.
Just wanted to say that I just purchased the irig acoustic stage. It sounds phenomenal to me. A game changer, literally. It gives a real microphonic sound (and a good one too) with extreme convenience and mobility.
I did not calibrate it. If you read the manual carefully, the full manual from IK website, it basically suggests to calibrate it only if you have a dreadnought guitar. I tried with many instruments of mine ( guitars ukes mandolin) and it sounds really really good. In the worst case (my taylor 314ce), it sounds much better than Taylors' piezo pickup. In the best case (my nylon guitar) it rivals an actual revording with a good quality condenser mic in front of the guitar. For ukes, its sounds very very good. Maybe a tiny tiny bit nasal, but that can be easily fixed and I'm being really picky here.
However I am very surprised that you cannot reset it. There must be a way. In the meanwhile I strongly suggest NOT to calibrate it unless you're really unhappy with the sound, which I think it's very unlikey, according to my own personal experience. But of course every instrument is different.

Hi Jomasino,

Welcome to UU.

Thanks for the reassurance and for sharing your experience with the new iRig Acoustic Stage.

It adds to my own hope that this device is not a waste of time and money, yielding only frustration and disappointment.

As per FedEx, mine will be here tomorrow 'Delivery by 9PM', but FedEx usually comes by 1pm most days.

braguesa
01-24-2017, 03:57 AM
Hi everybody. First post here. Long time ukulele player.
Just wanted to say that I just purchased the irig acoustic stage. It sounds phenomenal to me. A game changer, literally. It gives a real microphonic sound (and a good one too) with extreme convenience and mobility.
I did not calibrate it. If you read the manual carefully, the full manual from IK website, it basically suggests to calibrate it only if you have a dreadnought guitar. I tried with many instruments of mine ( guitars ukes mandolin) and it sounds really really good. In the worst case (my taylor 314ce), it sounds much better than Taylors' piezo pickup. In the best case (my nylon guitar) it rivals an actual revording with a good quality condenser mic in front of the guitar. For ukes, its sounds very very good. Maybe a tiny tiny bit nasal, but that can be easily fixed and I'm being really picky here.
However I am very surprised that you cannot reset it. There must be a way. In the meanwhile I strongly suggest NOT to calibrate it unless you're really unhappy with the sound, which I think it's very unlikey, according to my own personal experience. But of course every instrument is different.

When I tried it first it seemed good to me, too. Problems happened when calibrated, sound quality simply has gone and no way of resetting to original. I posted a technical support issue with no luck, no answer. My experience with IKMM has lows n highs, software is not so good, hardware has some good devices, indeed. I'll give you an example, iOS sound modules have a 15Khz roll off freequency that compromises sound quality and that is omitted, later they agreeded with me and it was just like that!!! The iRig HD sounds really good, yet, as the iRig Mic Studio.
P.S - I've several IKMM devices, I know what I'm talking about.

Booli
01-24-2017, 04:33 AM
When I tried it first it seemed good to me, too. Problems happened when calibrated, sound quality simply has gone and no way of resetting to original. I posted a technical support issue with no luck, no answer. My experience with IKMM has lows n highs, software is not so good, hardware has some good devices, indeed. I'll give you an example, iOS sound modules have a 15Khz roll off freequency that compromises sound quality and that is omitted, later they agreeded with me and it was just like that!!! The iRig HD sounds really good, yet, as the iRig Mic Studio.
P.S - I've several IKMM devices, I know what I'm talking about.

if you remove the batteries for a full 48 hrs and just let it sit, maybe the unit will forget the calibration and come back in default setting?

Can you please try it?

Sometimes these things have and save to a volatile flash memory that gets wiped when there is no power, or if a capacitor is inside to help the settings survive a battery change, you have to wait for the capacitor to drain of all stored power, and then the settings are lost, which is what we would WANT in this case.

and then after waiting 48 hrs with no battery and no USB connections during that time, try again, without doing the calibration, and see if it sounds like the original, BEFORE calibration...

Please try this and see.

This ^ is what I'd do first, and then I would open it up and look for a shunt or dip switches or a reset jumper, but I may have more experience investigating unknown electronics than most folks here and I AM NOT RECOMMENDING anyone else try this, and I am not responsible if you do open it and break it - proceed at your own risk and only if you are knowledgeable with electronics, like using a logic probe, oscilloscope and soldering iron, if not, then I recommend DO NOT OPEN IT!

Mahalo! :)

braguesa
01-24-2017, 06:12 AM
if you remove the batteries for a full 48 hrs and just let it sit, maybe the unit will forget the calibration and come back in default setting?

Can you please try it?

Sometimes these things have and save to a volatile flash memory that gets wiped when there is no power, or if a capacitor is inside to help the settings survive a battery change, you have to wait for the capacitor to drain of all stored power, and then the settings are lost, which is what we would WANT in this case.

and then after waiting 48 hrs with no battery and no USB connections during that time, try again, without doing the calibration, and see if it sounds like the original, BEFORE calibration...

Please try this and see.

This ^ is what I'd do first, and then I would open it up and look for a shunt or dip switches or a reset jumper, but I may have more experience investigating unknown electronics than most folks here and I AM NOT RECOMMENDING anyone else try this, and I am not responsible if you do open it and break it - proceed at your own risk and only if you are knowledgeable with electronics, like using a logic probe, oscilloscope and soldering iron, if not, then I recommend DO NOT OPEN IT!

Mahalo! :)

Sorry, I'll send it back tomorrow, cannot trust this device.
:(

photoshooter
01-24-2017, 08:50 AM
Welcome Jomasino, I'm happy to see that someone else is having luck with their iRig. I only played with mine for a short while last night but I like the sound I'm getting from it. I did the calibration and I think it made the sound even better. It's funny but before I set mine up I checked the IKMM forum to see if there were any known issues. I didn't see your thread braguesa or I would have not done the calibration. Thankfully it worked out (for now at least).

edited to add: Just for the sake of conversation… when I did the calibration I played a fairly gentle strum on each designated fret. I'm not crazy about the pictogram type user manuals. They're universal but leave a little too much to interpretation.

Jomasino
01-24-2017, 10:02 AM
I've been using the iRig a little more today. I'm extremely pleased.
The piezo "quack" is gone. The sound is very very "microphonic", which is what I'm looking for (but it's a matter of taste, of course ... I have friends who prefer the piezo sound over a well miced instrument .. go figure :o

Anyway, I'm still amazed by the technology. I've never been able to find a convenient, mobile, inexpensive way to get "that" kind of miced sound for my acoustic instruments. I thought I was going to sound "piezo" for the rest of my life :) Not anymore :)
I'm trying to find criticisms, but it's hard. Even the preamp unit is well designed. My only concerns:
- the cable connecting the mic seems very very thin. I hope it's robust. It surely doesn't look like it. I'm gonna be very careful about it, but accidents happen. I wish it felt more solid and reliable. Time will tell I guess.
- the fact you cannot reset the calibration is so weird. If it's true, well, I can't understand the logic behind it. I'd love to experiment with calibration, but at the moment I just won't, unless IK tells us how to reset the device.
- I wish there was a way to use the "old" iRig Acoustic with the Stage Preamp. The connector is different. We don't even know if the old mic is the same as the new one. I think I will try to find an adapter and see if it works.

(by the way, I have an old iRig acoustic which I NEVER used cause I bought it my mistake - I have android devices, not iOS, so ... I hope the old one can work as backup).

Jomasino
01-24-2017, 11:39 AM
Guys, I've done something really unusual, really brave, really bold, really dangerous .... I read the MANUAL !!! :)
And I found this (see page 12):

To return to the factory default calibration: start the calibration as per point (1) above then, while the
calibration process is going on, press the Tone button for at least 2 sec.

Hope this helps. Now I'll calibrate :)

IK Multimedia
01-24-2017, 01:05 PM
Guys, I've done something really unusual, really brave, really bold, really dangerous .... I read the MANUAL !!! :)
And I found this (see page 12):

To return to the factory default calibration: start the calibration as per point (1) above then, while the
calibration process is going on, press the Tone button for at least 2 sec.

Hope this helps. Now I'll calibrate :)
You beat me to it. Sorry for any confusion experienced by anyone in this thread. This is a brand new release for NAMM and it has been a crazy time (as usual!).

The calibration reset is indeed in the manual as well as a list/chart of the instruments that should or should not use the calibration process. This full User Manual is available in your IK User Area upon registration of iRig Acoustic Stage.

I hope that helps.

Oh, I forgot the most important part - ukulele is one of the instruments on the list NOT to use the calibration so please perform the reset if you've tried the calibration already.

Thanks!

photoshooter
01-24-2017, 01:50 PM
Welcome IK Multimedia. I hope to see more of you around these parts :)

photoshooter
01-24-2017, 02:10 PM
Guys, I've done something really unusual, really brave, really bold, really dangerous .... I read the MANUAL !!! :)


You're going to ruin it for everyone!
Now we'll all be expected to read manuals...
;)

Booli
01-24-2017, 02:35 PM
Guys, I've done something really unusual, really brave, really bold, really dangerous .... I read the MANUAL !!! :)
And I found this (see page 12):

To return to the factory default calibration: start the calibration as per point (1) above then, while the
calibration process is going on, press the Tone button for at least 2 sec.

Hope this helps. Now I'll calibrate :)


You beat me to it. Sorry for any confusion experienced by anyone in this thread. This is a brand new release for NAMM and it has been a crazy time (as usual!).

The calibration reset is indeed in the manual as well as a list/chart of the instruments that should or should not use the calibration process. This full User Manual is available in your IK User Area upon registration of iRig Acoustic Stage.

I hope that helps.

Oh, I forgot the most important part - ukulele is one of the instruments on the list NOT to use the calibration so please perform the reset if you've tried the calibration already.

Thanks!

Thanks to Jomasino and IKMM for detailing the info to reset the calibration.

Hopefully braguese will see this before he returns his unit.

This is very good news. :)

braguesa
01-24-2017, 02:59 PM
Thanks to Jomasino and IKMM for detailing the info to reset the calibration.

Hopefully braguese will see this before he returns his unit.

This is very good news. :)

Yes, already packed for return but now I'll give another try. If I knew there was such a PDF manual maybe this discussion would never happen...

braguesa
01-25-2017, 03:54 AM
Thanks to Jomasino and IKMM for detailing the info to reset the calibration.

Hopefully braguese will see this before he returns his unit.

This is very good news. :)

One last thing, I used to ask for support on IKMM facebook and they simply BANNED me...
...akward atitude!

Booli
01-25-2017, 04:07 AM
One last thing, I used to ask for support on IKMM facebook and they simply BANNED me...
...akward atitude!
That's just stupid.

Word of mouth spreads really fast online, and if they get a reputation for being evil, it's only a matter of time before folks start looking for other products by a different company.

Sorry that happened to you.

IK Multimedia
01-25-2017, 05:08 AM
One last thing, I used to ask for support on IKMM facebook and they simply BANNED me...
...akward atitude!
That's not normal, I know there were some automated processes with banned words and such and mistakes are made so please PM your Facebook information to me and I'll have someone take a look. Thanks for letting me know.

Please note that our IK Support team does not use Facebook for support, and going forward the best way to get support is through the ticketing system. Thanks!

IK Multimedia
01-25-2017, 05:11 AM
Yes, already packed for return but now I'll give another try. If I knew there was such a PDF manual maybe this discussion would never happen...
We are putting direct access of the PDF manuals outside of registration and for pre-purchase of our accessories on our site, and I believe we'll be adding the manual for iRig Acoustic Stage to the product page soon so hopefully that's a step in the right direction and I thank you for the suggestion.

Croaky Keith
01-25-2017, 05:16 AM
Good move IK, you might tempt me into buying one. ;)

Booli
01-25-2017, 05:20 AM
We are putting direct access of the PDF manuals outside of registration and for pre-purchase of our accessories on our site, and I believe we'll be adding the manual for iRig Acoustic Stage to the product page soon so hopefully that's a step in the right direction and I thank you for the suggestion.

Thanks for being so responsive.

Like many gear-heads, I usually grab the PDF manual and read it, and actually study it before purchasing new equipment so this will help many people understand your products better.

JesterBlod
01-25-2017, 06:10 AM
I was put off, and now.... I might just get one.... good response IK Multimedia

IK Multimedia
01-25-2017, 06:22 AM
I was put off, and now.... I might just get one.... good response IK Multimedia
Thanks, good to hear!

Please it may take a short time for the PDF manual on the product page, though. In the mean time, please note that the manual can be accessed by anyone right now at http://www.ikmanual.com/irigacousticstage [edit - that was quick, there's now a "Manuals" subpage available from the iRig Acoustic Stage product page (http://www.irigacousticstage.com)]

I hope that helps too. We should also be adding additional information from the manual (especially that what instruments one should or should not calibrate) to the product page(s).

braguesa
01-25-2017, 08:23 AM
Thanks, good to hear!

Please it may take a short time for the PDF manual on the product page, though. In the mean time, please note that the manual can be accessed by anyone right now at http://www.ikmanual.com/irigacousticstage [edit - that was quick, there's now a "Manuals" subpage available from the iRig Acoustic Stage product page (http://www.irigacousticstage.com)]

I hope that helps too. We should also be adding additional information from the manual (especially that what instruments one should or should not calibrate) to the product page(s).

Resetted, tested again and...
...I will not return this one, it sounds amazing!!!
I'm glad for my hearing, it didn't fool me.
That PDF must be online , indeed, people will try calibration and can get some very nasty results.
Thanks.

DownUpDave
01-25-2017, 09:06 AM
Booli brother thanks for this post, as always you are a great source of information. As you well know I was the first to get the iRig Acoustic sound hole mic and did an extensive test here A/B ing it against a Zoom H2N. I like the iRig but really, really really wanted to be able to plug it into an amp. Could not do it with the unit so never used it much

I will be buying this unit for sure. I like the idea of being able to plug in my piezo pick up equipped ukes (most my ukes have LR Baggs 5.0 pick ups) into the pre amp and blend with the mic via the mix nob. This should be fun and I will definitely do some sound samples.

braguesa
01-25-2017, 12:40 PM
Believe it or not, this portuguese guitar was recorded with the iRig Acoustic, through an iPod.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAiBgoSngSs
:music:

Booli
01-25-2017, 06:04 PM
Booli brother thanks for this post, as always you are a great source of information. As you well know I was the first to get the iRig Acoustic sound hole mic and did an extensive test here A/B ing it against a Zoom H2N. I like the iRig but really, really really wanted to be able to plug it into an amp. Could not do it with the unit so never used it much

I will be buying this unit for sure. I like the idea of being able to plug in my piezo pick up equipped ukes (most my ukes have LR Baggs 5.0 pick ups) into the pre amp and blend with the mic via the mix nob. This should be fun and I will definitely do some sound samples.

Yes, Brother Dave, you were the pioneer last time and took the leap-of-faith for all of us - LOL

Your efforts were pivotal in many of us deciding to follow you.

The original iRig was innovative in the use of a MEMS mic, but for me, had limitations as well.

I am glad that IKMM has continued to develop and improve on this idea and the technology that has enhanced it in the new version.

Booli
01-25-2017, 06:30 PM
so YAY!

I received my iRig Acoustic Stage via FedEx today @ 10:40am.

I have not given it a full test yet, but here are a few first impressions:

- The box/packaging feels much like an Apple product, as such it inspires confidence that the prize inside will be magnificent (like when you get your first ever iOS device)

- Inside is a manual, quickstart guide and registration number, with a link for registering and another to download free software

- open the flap and you are greeted by a nice square-shaped zippered case, sort of a leathery feel, about the length and width of an audio CD jewel case and about 1.5" thick

- opening the beefy (nice) zippers and the case opens and has a large mesh pocket on each side to hold the goodies in place.

- included are:
- the preamp box (about the size of a an old analog cassette, but a little thicker)
- a belt clip
- a pair of AA alkaline batteries (Made in China)
- the actual guitar-pick shaped MEMS mic with about a 4ft cord that terminates in a 2.5mm or 3/32" 'mono' 2-conductor TS male plug


- putting it all together was easy, but trying to remove the belt clip is going to require me to RTFM. Removing the belt clip is necessary to change the batteries. My first thought was that I hope they sell replacements in case the clip gets broken

- build quality is very good on the preamp. nothing rattles and it does not feel cheap, but due to it being very light (which is a plus in my book) one can mistake this as cheap

- the buttons and switches feel solid and seem to work well

Having said the above, I had only a few minutes to test it on 2 different ukes, 1 guitar and 2 different amps, so this is not a full 'review' but there were 2 things I noticed right away:

1. The mic clip itself needs something to help it stay on the soundhole. On every instrument so far, the gap where it hangs is too wide compared to the thickness of the instruments top at the soundhole, and as such it vibrates and rattles when you play. This is NOT a pleasant sound.

I have some closed-cell craft-foam 'sheets' that I can cut a piece to fit underneath, but a pair of Fender 'MEDIUM' guitar picks should also work. It needs about 2mm of 'stuffing' to hold it so it does not vibrate. Something that wont scratch the surface of your instrument.

Cardboard would likely be too abrasive, unless you covered it with Scotch 'Magic Tape' but might be unsightly if performing with such a thing.

I do not see this as a design flaw, for having a wider gap allows you to customize the fit to your instrument, and if it were too small, then it would just not fit, and likely break if forced.

Later I will share photos of my solution that I had used on the original iRig Acoustic which had the same problem.

2. If you turn off the preamp, before turning off your amplifier, you will hear a very loud hard THUMP as the speaker bottoms out when the preamp goes off. This is disappointing. This can damage a speaker by forcing such violent extrusion of the speaker cone. One needs to avoid causing this as a matter of common sense when using equipment that causes this effect.

I guess I am more used to tube preamp circuits that die gracefully when powered off, as opposed to a capacitor just dumping all of the DC at once. So TURN off or TURN DOWN your amp BEFORE you turn off the preamp.

I am not kidding when I said LOUD. I was 3 ft away from my Kustom Sienna 30 watt acoustic amp and it made me jump in my seat, and the master volume was only at about 4 on the amp.

As to the sound, right now, I can only say that 'it works' in that it makes a sound and is like an ukulele and/or guitar, but I have not played with all the tone settings yet, so I speak to the audio fidelity yet.

I also did not yet test the USB recording function.

Once I give it a full test I will report back, possibly with audio samples.

The one takeaway though, is that it feels solid to hold and use, and the case it comes with will keep it protected during transport, but is likely too big for most uke cases/bags and will need to go into your 'other gear' bag, which you are likely to have anyway.

more later :)

Booli
01-26-2017, 12:24 AM
Just an update...

I did some recording tests on the iPad and discovered the following:

- the volume control has no effect on the signal level going into the USB, likely (and hopefully) this is set for 'unity gain'. and thus your record level is controlled by whatever software you are using

- the input level runs a little hot, and does require you to lower the gain to prevent your meter showing in the red above 0db, however when I open the file in Audacity and select 'Show Clipping' in the ANALYZE menu, there are only a few peaks that are above 0db, despite the metering in Audacity showing it hitting the red zone a bit in that part of the time-line, so there may be some compensation being done by the preamp in the form of hard-limiting or compression, but whatever it is doing, there is no audible distortion

- it sounds a lot like an ukulele, and I did not focus on HOW it sounds because I was more focused on testing the functionality, but later on will do a sound comparo with the iPad's built-in mic, as well as other condenser mics so you can make your own judgments

I also tested to see if it was truly class-compliant USB audio by plugging the USB into my Xubuntu Linux computer and in the sound preferences panel, it is recognized as an audio device and when I play, the meter level moves accordingly, so this is good news for us Linux users that this device works with Linux (even though not 'officially' supported by IKMM). I did not make any recordings under Linux just yet. (I also use a Mac as well, but have not tested it with the Mac yet, but plan to in the coming days)

One thing to note:

When I first tested the USB connection, I got no sound, not on the iPad nor on the computer, so I swapped out the USB cable for another, and then everything worked as expected.

(there is no USB cable in the box, but monoprice has them for cheap [less than $2 for a 10ft], and has never let me down in the past 5 yrs of buying from them - yes >>click here<< and on the page select the length you want - I suggest the 10ft or 15ft so you can be as far away as you need to without feeling 'tied' down) (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030307&p_id=4867&seq=1&format=2)

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51391.jpg

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51393.jpg

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51392.jpg


It seems that I had initially grabbed one of the USB cables for charging one of the USB powerbank batteries that I have, and that cable must not have had all the 5 pins (micro-USB has 5 wires) wired through and only the 'power lines' but not the 'data lines' (since it is only meant for charging)...

So if you are not getting any sound over USB into your computer or Phone/Tablet where you USB cable is attached, just try another cable.

I was relieved that it was just a silly cable, and this can happen to anyone and is NOT the fault of IKMM.

Some time in the next few days I will record and put up the full demo and comparo video, but so far, the device seems to be working as promised.

Stay tuned! :)

Jomasino
01-26-2017, 02:41 AM
Thank you Booli, your review is very interesting and I look forward to read what you think about the sound.
Just a short consideration.
I think it's interesting to compare the sound of the iRig with the sound of a condenser microphone. I think it holds up pretty well, but of course there's a thousand variables to consider.
However, I think that an even more valuable comparison is between the iRig and the most common ways to amplify an instrument on stage (piezo etc.). Because that's really, I think, where this product seems like a real game changer to me. In other words, to have a "microphonic sound" with the ease of use of a piezo, for example. With the added bonus of portability (from one instrument to another) and low cost. That's really where the iRig shines. To my knowledge, this is what is truly NEW to this mic technology. This is what blew me away about the iRig. The iRig might be useful in the studio as well (and it probabily will be ...) but after all, in the studio, I just use a nice condenser mic and I get what I want. That's on stage where the iRig makes a HUGE difference, as it simply allows to do something that was not possible before.
So, to me, the real test is when I compare the iRig sound with all my piezos (including expensive ones). And that's when I just can't believe what I hear ... in a good way!

braguesa
01-26-2017, 03:07 AM
Just an update...

I did some recording tests on the iPad and discovered the following:

- the volume control has no effect on the signal level going into the USB, likely (and hopefully) this is set for 'unity gain'. and thus your record level is controlled by whatever software you are using

- the input level runs a little hot, and does require you to lower the gain to prevent your meter showing in the red above 0db, however when I open the file in Audacity and select 'Show Clipping' in the ANALYZE menu, there are only a few peaks that are above 0db, despite the metering in Audacity showing it hitting the red zone a bit in that part of the time-line, so there may be some compensation being done by the preamp in the form of hard-limiting or compression, but whatever it is doing, there is no audible distortion

- it sounds a lot like an ukulele, and I did not focus on HOW it sounds because I was more focused on testing the functionality, but later on will do a sound comparo with the iPad's built-in mic, as well as other condenser mics so you can make your own judgments

I also tested to see if it was truly class-compliant USB audio by plugging the USB into my Xubuntu Linux computer and in the sound preferences panel, it is recognized as an audio device and when I play, the meter level moves accordingly, so this is good news for us Linux users that this device works with Linux (even though not 'officially' supported by IKMM). I did not make any recordings under Linux just yet. (I also use a Mac as well, but have not tested it with the Mac yet, but plan to in the coming days)

One thing to note:

When I first tested the USB connection, I got no sound, not on the iPad nor on the computer, so I swapped out the USB cable for another, and then everything worked as expected.

(there is no USB cable in the box, but monoprice has them for cheap [less than $2 for a 10ft], and has never let me down in the past 5 yrs of buying from them - yes >>click here<< and on the page select the length you want - I suggest the 10ft or 15ft so you can be as far away as you need to without feeling 'tied' down) (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030307&p_id=4867&seq=1&format=2)

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51391.jpg

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51393.jpg

https://images.monoprice.com/productlargeimages/51392.jpg


It seems that I had initially grabbed one of the USB cables for charging one of the USB powerbank batteries that I have, and that cable must not have had all the 5 pins (micro-USB has 5 wires) wired through and only the 'power lines' but not the 'data lines' (since it is only meant for charging)...

So if you are not getting any sound over USB into your computer or Phone/Tablet where you USB cable is attached, just try another cable.

I was relieved that it was just a silly cable, and this can happen to anyone and is NOT the fault of IKMM.

Some time in the next few days I will record and put up the full demo and comparo video, but so far, the device seems to be working as promised.

Stay tuned! :)

Nice review, indeed! Thanks.
The switch off is really an issue and the mic needs to be accommodated. As for size, it is difficult to overcome physical limitations, the buttons and the batteries need space.

braguesa
01-26-2017, 03:17 AM
I noticed mic too sensitive to feedback, piezos are way more effective. I think you cannot have a loud monitor on stage. This is a question of taste, I love a good piezo sound, too!

Booli
01-26-2017, 03:36 AM
Nice review, indeed! Thanks.
The switch off is really an issue and the mic needs to be accommodated. As for size, it is difficult to overcome physical limitations, the buttons and the batteries need space.

Glad you liked the write-up so far, but this was not intended as a full review, but as more of a 'first look' and I think that something of a full review can be had from combining the forthcoming, smaller iterative parts.

I just dont have the contiguous block of time to do it all at once, so it will have to be done in pieces and spread out further...

Also the thump sound when you power-off can be remedied if you use a volume pedal or an A/B/Y switcher, or even a 'killswitch' mute pedal but I think that even if the first pedal in your chain is a noise gate, the thump is still likely to trip the threshold and you will still hear it

Booli
01-26-2017, 03:40 AM
I noticed mic too sensitive to feedback, piezos are way more effective. I think you cannot have a loud monitor on stage. This is a question of taste, I love a good piezo sound, too!

Reading in the PDF manual which you can get from the page linked above by IKMM, it says that the feedback cancellation can be active on and remember up to 10 different frequencies at a time in order to cancel the offending feedback.

In the little I played with it, and before reading the manual without a full understanding of how it worked, I can tell you that the feedback cancellation DOES in fact work and work very well, but you need to read the full instructions to get the most out of it.

braguesa
01-26-2017, 04:38 AM
Reading in the PDF manual which you can get from the page linked above by IKMM, it says that the feedback cancellation can be active on and remember up to 10 different frequencies at a time in order to cancel the offending feedback.

In the little I played with it, and before reading the manual without a full understanding of how it worked, I can tell you that the feedback cancellation DOES in fact work and work very well, but you need to read the full instructions to get the most out of it.

Anti-feedback works, I tried it, but anti-feedback has tone consequences, it attenuates the freqs who are causing it!
Phase button is a much better option most of the times and this one is a welcome option.

Booli
01-26-2017, 05:02 AM
Anti-feedback works, I tried it, but anti-feedback has tone consequences, it attenuates the freqs who are causing it!
Phase button is a much better option most of the times and this one is a welcome option.

If you change your position to the speaker, and have it in FRONT of you pointing AWAY, you will reduce or eliminate feedback. Feedback is made stronger if you are facing the front of the speaker or speaker is behind you.

Also, if you are too close to the speaker you will have feedback. 6 ft (or 2m) away is a good starting minimum distance.

braguesa
01-26-2017, 06:16 AM
If you change your position to the speaker, and have it in FRONT of you pointing AWAY, you will reduce or eliminate feedback. Feedback is made stronger if you are facing the front of the speaker or speaker is behind you.

Also, if you are too close to the speaker you will have feedback. 6 ft (or 2m) away is a good starting minimum distance.

I know what feedback is, believe me. 😀
This mic is omnidirectional and good to a studio or low gain session, when you're on a live situation with lots os audio pressure, it's another world!

Booli
01-26-2017, 06:58 AM
I know what feedback is, believe me. 
This mic is omnidirectional and good to a studio or low gain session, when you're on a live situation with lots os audio pressure, it's another world!

With 35+ yrs experience as an audio engineer, both in the studio and live situations including running FOH (Front Of House), as well as being in many bands during this time, I can tell you that there are numerous ways to mitigate feedback, but it is up to you whether or not to use these methods.

MANY groups in the folk music world use a SINGLE omnidirectional phantom-powered condenser mic on stage in high gain stage environments, and the trick is the mic placement vs. the speaker or amplifier.

You need to understand how sound waves travel and interact with each other, otherwise you will always be drowned in a sea of feedback. It is a matter of physics and acoustics. Wikipedia can help you to learn a lot. :)

braguesa
01-26-2017, 08:40 AM
With 35+ yrs experience as an audio engineer, both in the studio and live situations including running FOH (Front Of House), as well as being in many bands during this time, I can tell you that there are numerous ways to mitigate feedback, but it is up to you whether or not to use these methods.

MANY groups in the folk music world use a SINGLE omnidirectional phantom-powered condenser mic on stage in high gain stage environments, and the trick is the mic placement vs. the speaker or amplifier.

You need to understand how sound waves travel and interact with each other, otherwise you will always be drowned in a sea of feedback. It is a matter of physics and acoustics. Wikipedia can help you to learn a lot. :)

I've no such experience, but I've seen guys with lots of problems with the omnidirectional pattern, I prefer cardiod or even hypercardioid ones. Has a player, mainly classical guitar, we study for achieving the cleanest sound possible, with minimum fretting noise and so. Piezos with good eq and processing can help you getting that sound, mics have some disadvantages like background noise, feedback and moving limitations. Piezos on the other hand, has the "quack" effect that you can get around it with some processing like fishman aura spectrum DI, Acoustic Magicstomp, bodillizer vst, etc.
Miking acoustic on a pop-rock band is a nightmare, you has a technician know that better than me, that fader always under control. :D
With piezo it's easyer to apply aux effects to your sound too, with any effects pedal.
Its just a question of pros n cons. Live I go always piezo.

Booli
01-26-2017, 09:30 AM
I've no such experience, but I've seen guys with lots of problems with the omnidirectional pattern, I prefer cardiod or even hypercardioid ones. Has a player, mainly classical guitar, we study for achieving the cleanest sound possible, with minimum fretting noise and so. Piezos with good eq and processing can help you getting that sound, mics have some disadvantages like background noise, feedback and moving limitations. Piezos on the other hand, has the "quack" effect that you can get around it with some processing like fishman aura spectrum DI, Acoustic Magicstomp, bodillizer vst, etc.
Miking acoustic on a pop-rock band is a nightmare, you has a technician know that better than me, that fader always under control. :D
With piezo it's easyer to apply aux effects to your sound too, with any effects pedal.
Its just a question of pros n cons. Live I go always piezo.

I agree with most of what you said, and especially about cardioid and hypercardioid being preferred for live situations.

Also the 'quack' of piezo is caused by what is known as an 'impedance mismatch' which I have seen discussed extensively here on UU in the past in some 285 threads, many of which I have explained this in painfully granular details, both from a players perspective as well as a sound engineer perspective.

As you mentioned these preamps (fishman aura spectrum DI, Acoustic Magicstomp) and others like the LR Baggs Para-DI and Venue-DI and the Behringer ADI-21, they all fix the impedance mismatch which fixes the quack, and are necessary if you are using ANY kind of ceramic piezo or PZT or PVDF film piezo pickup.

Full details of how and why this works are beyond the scope of this thread, but I encourage you to search and read those threads as per this link: click here (https://www.google.com/#q=allintitle:%22mic%22+site:forum.ukuleleundergro und.com) or this link: click here (https://www.google.com/#q=%22impedance%22+site:forum.ukuleleunderground.c om)

Hope this helps. :)

braguesa
01-26-2017, 09:51 AM
I agree with most of what you said, and especially about cardioid and hypercardioid being preferred for live situations.

Also the 'quack' of piezo is caused by what is known as an 'impedance mismatch' which I have seen discussed extensively here on UU in the past in some 285 threads, many of which I have explained this in painfully granular details, both from a players perspective as well as a sound engineer perspective.

As you mentioned these preamps (fishman aura spectrum DI, Acoustic Magicstomp) and others like the LR Baggs Para-DI and Venue-DI and the Behringer ADI-21, they all fix the impedance mismatch which fixes the quack, and are necessary if you are using ANY kind of ceramic piezo or PZT or PVDF film piezo pickup.

Full details of how and why this works are beyond the scope of this thread, but I encourage you to search and read those threads as per this link: click here (https://www.google.com/#q=allintitle:%22mic%22+site:forum.ukuleleundergro und.com) or this link: click here (https://www.google.com/#q=%22impedance%22+site:forum.ukuleleunderground.c om)

Hope this helps. :)

Impedance is a passive piezo pickup issue, indeed, but active circuits resolve that. The processors I said go a step further processing the signal giving a more "airy" sound effect. For passive piezo pickups a very high input impedance is needed on preamps, or you lose top and button freq range. Flor pedals usually have a 1 Mohm impedance that is good for magnetic pickups bur not for piezos. Normally it is a 10 Mohm input preamp impedance for good results.

Booli
01-26-2017, 09:55 AM
Impedance is a passive piezo pickup issue, indeed, but active circuits resolve that. The processors I said go a step further processing the signal giving a more "airy" sound effect. For passive piezo pickups a very high input impedance is needed on preamps, or you lose top and button freq range. Flor pedals usually have a 1 Mohm impedance that is good for magnetic pickups bur not for piezos. Normally it is a 10 Mohm input preamp impedance for good results.

Yes, exactly this information is discussed in the threads I linked above.

Thanks for such a perfect summary of the info. We are on the same page brother. :) :rock:

braguesa
01-26-2017, 10:23 AM
Yes, exactly this information is discussed in the threads I linked above.

Thanks for such a perfect summary of the info. We are on the same page brother. :) :rock:

You know, the shortest path between two points is a straight line, so summarizing is a good approach...
Just joking, I like audio hardware/software related stuff and it's not a so linear thing to achieve good results.
The only thing iRig Acoustic Stage makes me sad of is that it cannot be used on my portuguese cavaquinho as the string action is very, very low! Maybe I'll try some "tuning" for it.
:D

Booli
01-26-2017, 11:39 AM
You know, the shortest path between two points is a straight line, so summarizing is a good approach...
Just joking, I like audio hardware/software related stuff and it's not a so linear thing to achieve good results.
The only thing iRig Acoustic Stage makes me sad of is that it cannot be used on my portuguese cavaquinho as the string action is very, very low! Maybe I'll try some "tuning" for it.
:D

Why not? Hack and Mod AWAY! That's what I do to make things work lots of the time.

There's the hacker credo: "If you cannot OPEN it, you do not OWN it."

ETA: sometimes, like in worst-case-scenario, the use of a HAMMER is required LOL

Jomasino
01-26-2017, 12:33 PM
Interesting conversation, guys.
I just want to add my 2 cents, which does NOT come from a technical perspective at all.
Sound is a matter of taste of course.
But, to me, the ugliness of the piezo sound does not only come from the quack. It comes from the "plasticy" tone, the "artificial" timbre, the "lifeless" body of it. All guitars sound almost the same, with piezo. You "lose" the guitar, its uniqueness. I really NEVER heard a piezo sound that I liked. It can be more or less bad but, to me, no matter how you process it, there's no way to get that "wood" feel and the "air" that you get with a microphone. The only tool that comes closer to me is the Fishman Aura, which I own. It's a vast improvement over piezo, but it requires a good fitting "image" (as Fishman calls it) of your guitar / instrument. I have several guitars and ukes, and I can only use the Aura with good results with just 1 guitar, because I found a fitting "image" for it. So, Aura is quite good, the piezo sound is actually replaced by something closer to a real acoustic sound, but it's far from ideal and not versatile (unless you wanna spend a LOT of money and send all your instruments to Fishman in order to create an "image" for each of them).
I've tried the BodyRez recently. It's very effective, in a way. And I was tempted to buy it. But even the BodyRez does not get rid of the "piezo" signature sound. It just makes it more tolerable, so to speak, but nothing to do with a good acoustic sound, in my opinion.
That's why I am so excited by the iRig. It is quite different from anything else I've tried, including the Aura. It seems to perform a little better with certain instruments, but in a much more consistent (and simple) way than the Aura.
But, as I said, it's really a matter of taste. I remember listening to Eric Clapton using for a live show an acoustic guitar sound that, to me, was just horrifying - as plastic and fake as it could get. And that was Clapton!!! So, I'm probably totally wrong :)

braguesa
01-26-2017, 01:22 PM
Interesting conversation, guys.
I just want to add my 2 cents, which does NOT come from a technical perspective at all.
Sound is a matter of taste of course.
But, to me, the ugliness of the piezo sound does not only come from the quack. It comes from the "plasticy" tone, the "artificial" timbre, the "lifeless" body of it. All guitars sound almost the same, with piezo. You "lose" the guitar, its uniqueness. I really NEVER heard a piezo sound that I liked. It can be more or less bad but, to me, no matter how you process it, there's no way to get that "wood" feel and the "air" that you get with a microphone. The only tool that comes closer to me is the Fishman Aura, which I own. It's a vast improvement over piezo, but it requires a good fitting "image" (as Fishman calls it) of your guitar / instrument. I have several guitars and ukes, and I can only use the Aura with good results with just 1 guitar, because I found a fitting "image" for it. So, Aura is quite good, the piezo sound is actually replaced by something closer to a real acoustic sound, but it's far from ideal and not versatile (unless you wanna spend a LOT of money and send all your instruments to Fishman in order to create an "image" for each of them).
I've tried the BodyRez recently. It's very effective, in a way. And I was tempted to buy it. But even the BodyRez does not get rid of the "piezo" signature sound. It just makes it more tolerable, so to speak, but nothing to do with a good acoustic sound, in my opinion.
That's why I am so excited by the iRig. It is quite different from anything else I've tried, including the Aura. It seems to perform a little better with certain instruments, but in a much more consistent (and simple) way than the Aura.
But, as I said, it's really a matter of taste. I remember listening to Eric Clapton using for a live show an acoustic guitar sound that, to me, was just horrifying - as plastic and fake as it could get. And that was Clapton!!! So, I'm probably totally wrong :)

It's all relative, you can have a good acousitc tone, as a good electro one. Playing with a piezo requires a different playing approach, it has different attack and dynamics. Pop/rock players prefer the middle freq taste of piezos as it cuts through the mix, but when alone, that sound is anything but ear candy!
I confess that sometimes it pleases me more a plastic sound, it just works better.
It should be known that contact and undersadlle piezos are two different sounds, the first has more body ressonance and less "ducky" plastic sound. Clapton is not so acoustic, neither Bryan May, Bryan Adams... Their acoustic tone seems like plug'n'play.

Dan Gleibitz
01-26-2017, 01:38 PM
The only thing iRig Acoustic Stage makes me sad of is that it cannot be used on my portuguese cavaquinho as the string action is very, very low! Maybe I'll try some "tuning" for it.:D

The clip part of the iRig Acoustic can easily and (fairly) non-destructively be removed from the microphone, which makes it easier place elsewhere. I improved the sound of mine by making a mount that clips to the upper soundhole brace.

braguesa
01-26-2017, 01:49 PM
The clip part of the iRig Acoustic can easily and (fairly) non-destructively be removed from the microphone, which makes it easier place elsewhere. I improved the sound of mine by making a mount that clips to the upper soundhole brace.

How do you do that?

Dan Gleibitz
01-26-2017, 02:05 PM
I removed the clip as part of an effort to find out how it worked, so didn't document it well. The cable is just pressed into the soft rubber of the clip and the microphone sits inside its own shell.

https://i.imgur.com/hR3rpRw.jpg

Edit: void your warranty at your own risk!

braguesa
01-26-2017, 02:47 PM
I removed the clip as part of an effort to find out how it worked, so didn't document it well. The cable is just pressed into the soft rubber of the clip and the microphone sits inside its own shell.

https://i.imgur.com/hR3rpRw.jpg

Edit: void your warranty at your own risk!

Thanks for your help.

braguesa
01-26-2017, 03:27 PM
97335

Voided, no stress.

Booli
01-26-2017, 10:40 PM
I removed the clip as part of an effort to find out how it worked...
Edit: void your warranty at your own risk!


...Voided, no stress.

Ha Ha! That was quick!

HACKERS UNITE! :rock:

Booli
01-27-2017, 10:20 AM
This is a very VERY preliminary demo of the audio that comes out of the iRig Acoustic Stage via the USB connection.

This is a simple sound test recording.

Concert Fluke Ukulele, GCEA, Aquila CarbonBlack strings.

No effects, no EQ, no normalization or compression, this is the raw audio.

Recording into Audacity on MacOS X via native USB on preamp.

MacOS X System Prefs set input volume to 25%, any more than that and there is audible distortion.

Playback of Audacity on Xubuntu Linux, and screen capture (of both audio and video) via Kazaam showing decibel waveform scale, clipping (or lack thereof) and frequency response.

I was strumming pretty hard here and surprised there was no distortion. However there was some 'clicking' in the recording. This is the RAW, unprocessed audio.


https://youtu.be/Iyh0lDbJ98E
https://youtu.be/Iyh0lDbJ98E

More to follow in the coming days...

good_uke_boy
01-27-2017, 10:33 AM
So if you are not getting any sound over USB into your computer or Phone/Tablet where you USB cable is attached, just try another cable.

Thanks for sharing this point. I switched to a data-capable micro-USB cable and -- it worked.

DownUpDave
01-27-2017, 11:57 AM
It sounds really good Booli. Just like a uke through a mic, no booming, no artifical sound, quite natural.

good_uke_boy
01-27-2017, 12:22 PM
It sounds really good Booli. Just like a uke through a mic, no booming, no artifical sound, quite natural.

I've got reactions to the one I just received, but I'm waiting for Booli's review before sharing those. He's got way more expertise and experience and cred...

Booli
01-27-2017, 01:19 PM
It sounds really good Booli. Just like a uke through a mic, no booming, no artifical sound, quite natural.


I've got reactions to the one I just received, but I'm waiting for Booli's review before sharing those. He's got way more expertise and experience and cred...

Well, I will say that I was not happy with the way it picked up the sound of the concert Fluke, as the sound of the recording is pretty far and away from the sound I hear in the air with my ears, and quite different from when using other mics.

Also, there is a sort of warbling or audible artifacts that sound like what is known as 'comb filtering' which has to do with phase cancellation and standing waves, which I will not get into right now, but it is an undesirable effect in recording and can be fixed with software, but it's a PITA process and it also changes the sound of the recording in an even worse way most of the time because you lose frequencies.

Until I make test recordings with a handful of other instruments, my temporary conclusion from this first recording si that the concert Fluke and the iRig Acoustic Stage are not a good fit in their respective defaults, as the strengths of each seem to be in conflict.

There was also a subtle clicking sound in the recording that is more noticeable if you put headphones on, but if you are listening on the speaker in your phone, tablet or laptop, you will not hear any of that which I have detailed here because those tiny speakers cannot reproduced a defined enough sound, mainly because they are so small...the clicking is NOT from my fingernails hitting the soundboard, it is an electronically added sound.

anyway...I hope to make some more recordings over the next couple of days with other instruments, and in comparison to the iPad's built-in mic, as well as one of the studio condenser mics that I have....

braguesa
01-27-2017, 03:13 PM
Well, I will say that I was not happy with the way it picked up the sound of the concert Fluke, as the sound of the recording is pretty far and away from the sound I hear in the air with my ears, and quite different from when using other mics.

Also, there is a sort of warbling or audible artifacts that sound like what is known as 'comb filtering' which has to do with phase cancellation and standing waves, which I will not get into right now, but it is an undesirable effect in recording and can be fixed with software, but it's a PITA process and it also changes the sound of the recording in an even worse way most of the time because you lose frequencies.

Until I make test recordings with a handful of other instruments, my temporary conclusion from this first recording si that the concert Fluke and the iRig Acoustic Stage are not a good fit in their respective defaults, as the strengths of each seem to be in conflict.

There was also a subtle clicking sound in the recording that is more noticeable if you put headphones on, but if you are listening on the speaker in your phone, tablet or laptop, you will not hear any of that which I have detailed here because those tiny speakers cannot reproduced a defined enough sound, mainly because they are so small...the clicking is NOT from my fingernails hitting the soundboard, it is an electronically added sound.

anyway...I hope to make some more recordings over the next couple of days with other instruments, and in comparison to the iPad's built-in mic, as well as one of the studio condenser mics that I have....

Those seem like audio buffer underuns clicks, didn't test mine via USB yet. I repeat, sound is a matter of taste and I think we got used to listening to a somehow fake sound created by the technological interpretation itself. It's a bit like when we recorded our voice the first few times, we did not believe it was ours! A guitarrist ears his own sound way different than his audience, he tends to hear a more close, round sound.
I think this pickup has a good interpretation of the natural sound, but maybe I'm being too philosophical.

Jomasino
01-27-2017, 10:26 PM
Thank you SO much for the audio sample, very interesting.
I thought the sound was pretty natural, but it's hard to judge without knowing how the uke sounds like in real life.
Also, I would suggest not to record so hot, in nowadays 32 float bit DAW environments it serves no purpose to record this loud - of course this was just a test, so maybe you had a reason to do it, but I was wondering if recording at borderline distortion levels, which you wouldn't do in normal recording sessions, would alter somehow the result.
Also, in order to evaluate the usefulness of the iRig, to me - as I stated before - the real comparison is not with condenser microphones in front of the instruments. Of course those will sound somewhat better (if this was not the case, the iRig would be literally a miracle ...). The real comparison is with on board pickups, like piezo or other "on-instrument" methods. Because that's what the iRig aims at replacing. In all my tests, if I compare the iRig with all my onboard pickups I have, even the good ones, well, the iRig wins hands down. I am still gonna use my condenser or ribbon mics for studio recording - provided I dont have environment noise problems (which is a good reason for using the iRig even in the studio). But for live situations .. as I said, iRig wins big.
And, as always, it's a matter of taste.

DownUpDave
01-28-2017, 03:40 AM
Booli......all the technical stuff aside I still say your sample had a nice acoustic ukulele sound. I am not familiar with the way your fluke naturally sounds but the sound I listened to on your recording was pleasing to my ears. It had NO harsh tones sometimes produced with an under saddle pick up. This is what I am after from the iRig and I agree with braguesa and Jomasino about the suitability to plug into an amp and play live on stage. I am not looking to record with this, at least that would not be it's main purpose.

Booli
01-28-2017, 04:11 AM
Thanks braguesa, Jomasino and Dave for your replies about the recording I posted.

I should add, that yes I will in fact also make comparison recordings with ukes that have pickups installed.

Currently installed in different ukes, I have the Mi-Si undersaddle with active preamp, as well as several different passive surface transducers (with which I ALWAYS use an external TUBE preamp).

It's going to take some time, but I will offer the recordings. I want to be clear, that when I said about the sound in the air or the sound from condenser mics, this is how I would rate the audio fidelity, since both undersaddle and surface piezo pickups ALL compromise the sound, and neither of those, even if made from the best parts can ever reproduce the sound in the air.

This is science fact, since microphones respond to sound waves in the air, and the piezo crystals that are inside piezo pickups respond to pressure force and vibration and NOT sound waves in the air, so with an undersaddle you get more strings than wood, and with a surface transducer your get more wood and 'touch noise' than specifically strings, and whether using a mic, or ANY piezo, there are always some level of feedback concern.

The least offensive is with the undersdaddle pickup since it is completely isolated from the open air, but can still feedback if gain is too high or you are too close to a speaker.

Please keep in mind that this experience and expertise from which I am speaking is not from just messing about in my bedroom (like many folks who post on the guitar forums and have little to no real-world experience), nor just being a player on the stage, but also from being a paid sound engineer in various forms in both live and studio settings for over 35+ yrs as well as having a lifelong passion and hobbies for electronics, music, computers and audio since I was a small child, so my thoughts here are not isolated to a single application of the the iRig Acoustic Stage, but instead to MANY different applications.

Having said the above, I am thankful that we can discuss this exciting new piece of gear and I encourage you to keep sharing your thoughts here, as everyone's voice is important, and all are equal.

More sound tests will be coming...stay tuned!

Booli
01-28-2017, 04:15 AM
Those seem like audio buffer underuns clicks,...

Well this would be a first. I have 4 other USB audio interfaces, 2 USB mics, and 2 other FireWire audio interfaces and all running at either 48kHz or 96kHz natively, and not yet had any evidence of such a problem.

When I make future recordings, I will see if this issue is persistent, and/or evident on Linux and my iPad.

Thanks for the suggestion as to the cause of the clicking sound.

Farp
01-28-2017, 08:01 AM
Thanks, all, for a great discussion. I was struggling with the decision as to what pickup I was going to use for my own-built baritone. I hated to have to go to an under-saddle, but that had been my choice to date until this new development and ensuing discussion. Even with the questions and concerns expressed, I will now go with the iRig; but I have one question.

How do you think the iRig will perform through an amp while adding chorus, reverb, etc. (just for my personal enjoyment)?

Thanks,
Farp

Booli
01-28-2017, 08:08 AM
...How do you think the iRig will perform through an amp while adding chorus, reverb, etc. (just for my personal enjoyment)?

Methinks it will 'work' as normal and as expected, however orientation and proximity of your uke and amplifier will need to be adjusted to mitigate feedback, especially moreso with effects to prevent a howling and oscillating mess.

If you want to sit 3 ft away from the amp, and FACING it (which is bad news if you want to protect your hearing, from the feedback), likely you are going to be dealing with feedback, but you will have to find a position other than that where there is no feedback, but it is not a new problem and dealt with by live performers every day, but the main thing is, there is no single perfect answer regarding how to fix YOUR feedback issues, until you try it yourself.

Hope this helps :)

Farp
01-28-2017, 10:28 AM
Thanks, Booli. We are fortunate to have you on the board.

good_uke_boy
01-29-2017, 05:28 AM
Quick sample recorded with the iRig Acoustic Stage through micro-USB output.
https://soundcloud.com/user-706114832/irig-sample

Booli
01-29-2017, 07:49 AM
Quick sample recorded with the iRig Acoustic Stage through micro-USB output.
https://soundcloud.com/user-706114832/irig-sample

Sounds great brother! I plan to try on my other ukes besides the Fluke when I get time and will also share other samples.

What is that song you are playing?

good_uke_boy
01-29-2017, 08:34 AM
Sounds great brother! I plan to try on my other ukes besides the Fluke when I get time and will also share other samples.

What is that song you are playing?

Hey, thanks. I'm playing a truly poor imitation of Corey Fujimoto's arrangement of Chet Atkins' "Smokey Mountain Lullaby":
https://youtu.be/2ToldjXqN08

The sheet music is here:
http://www.theukulelereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/transcribed_corey_smokey.pdf

It's one of my absolute favorite instrumentals for the ukulele. Just wish I could play it better!

DownUpDave
01-29-2017, 08:57 AM
Quick sample recorded with the iRig Acoustic Stage through micro-USB output.
https://soundcloud.com/user-706114832/irig-sample

Good job and thanks very much for posting the sound sample. I like it, sounds very much like an acoustic ukulele. Just as it should

Jomasino
01-29-2017, 10:17 AM
Wow.
This sounds very, very, VERY natural.
The timbre, the dynamics, the transients ... it all sounds really, really good.
I have a really hard time to imagine someone being able to tell that this is NOT a good quality condenser mic well positioned in front of the uke.

braguesa
01-29-2017, 02:35 PM
Well this would be a first. I have 4 other USB audio interfaces, 2 USB mics, and 2 other FireWire audio interfaces and all running at either 48kHz or 96kHz natively, and not yet had any evidence of such a problem.

When I make future recordings, I will see if this issue is persistent, and/or evident on Linux and my iPad.

Thanks for the suggestion as to the cause of the clicking sound.

Booli, something came to my mind related to your recording clicks, have you ever had electrical interference like someone turns on a lamp and...?
:)

Booli
01-30-2017, 02:06 AM
Booli, something came to my mind related to your recording clicks, have you ever had electrical interference like someone turns on a lamp and...?
:)
Thanks for the suggestion. Since my 'computer room' and 'music room' are one and the same, I have server-grade power conditioning and battery-backup UPS units on every outlet in the room (which are on 3 different MAINS power circuit-breaker circuits), and the server rack that holds most of the equipment also has power distribution that further smooths out the electricity to pure-sine wave.

All of these also have EMI/RFI filtering built-in.

In the past I once had a problem with cheap CFL fluorescent light bulb, which as being cheap had poor shielding, and it took me ages to pinpoint the cause via process-of-elimination, and I have those clip-on ferrite filters on both ends of almost every single (of more than 100 different) cables for all of power, audio, and data.

So I am no stranger to the problems you are mentioning, and sometimes still get interference (sometimes ground loop hum), but I have not tested recording with the new iRig via USB yet on another device...

I will report back once I can, and I will also be going through all the wiring in the next week so hopefully will find any gremlins if they exist.

The only way really to do more, is to wallpaper the room with chicken-wire and make a Faraday Cage. but I will be moving soon, so that might have to be in the next home.

braguesa
01-30-2017, 02:24 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. Since my 'computer room' and 'music room' are one and the same, I have server-grade power conditioning and battery-backup UPS units on every outlet in the room (which are on 3 different MAINS power circuit-breaker circuits), and the server rack that holds most of the equipment also has power distribution that further smooths out the electricity to pure-sine wave.

All of these also have EMI/RFI filtering built-in.

In the past I once had a problem with cheap CFL fluorescent light bulb, which as being cheap had poor shielding, and it took me ages to pinpoint the cause via process-of-elimination, and I have those clip-on ferrite filters on both ends of almost every single (of more than 100 different) cables for all of power, audio, and data.

So I am no stranger to the problems you are mentioning, and sometimes still get interference (sometimes ground loop hum), but I have not tested recording with the new iRig via USB yet on another device...

I will report back once I can, and I will also be going through all the wiring in the next week so hopefully will find any gremlins if they exist.

The only way really to do more, is to wallpaper the room with chicken-wire and make a Faraday Cage. but I will be moving soon, so that might have to be in the next home.

Thanks for your help, I began having this kind of interference since a few weeks ago...

Booli
01-30-2017, 03:11 AM
Thanks for your help, I began having this kind of interference since a few weeks ago...

Fluorescent as well as LED bulbs can put out EMI and/or RFI, especially if of the cheaper kind and not made well with proper capacitors, and proper shielding to prevent 'leaks' which can manifest in audio gear.

In many cases, for me, the source of 'noise' is usually in the lighting, and you wont see it in daylight, but then at night when the lights are on it's all bzzz and hum at the fundamental 50/60 hz frequency and also sometimes harmonic frequencies like 100/120 hz, 200/240 hz etc...

Also, if using a piezo with a twisted-wire pair, instead of a shielded wire like a mini-coax, the piezo itself acts like an antenna and will pick up RF like a radio and inject that 'noise' into your audio.

CAT5 ethernet cable is not good for audio use LOL - (don't ask me how I know)

braguesa
01-30-2017, 03:15 AM
Fluorescent as well as LED bulbs can put out EMI and/or RFI, especially if of the cheaper kind and not made well with proper capacitors, and proper shielding to prevent 'leaks' which can manifest in audio gear.

In many cases, for me, the source of 'noise' is usually in the lighting, and you wont see it in daylight, but then at night when the lights are on it's all bzzz and hum at the fundamental 50/60 hz frequency and also sometimes harmonic frequencies like 100/120 hz, 200/240 hz etc...

Also, if using a piezo with a twisted-wire pair, instead of a shielded wire like a mini-coax, the piezo itself acts like an antenna and will pick up RF like a radio and inject that 'noise' into your audio.

CAT5 ethernet cable is not good for audio use LOL - (don't ask me how I know)

Waw, you're the man, thanks again.

Croaky Keith
01-30-2017, 04:32 AM
CAT5 ethernet cable is not good for audio use LOL - (don't ask me how I know)

:wtf: I would'nt even have tried - but at least now you know! :smileybounce:

Booli
01-30-2017, 04:48 AM
:wtf: I would'nt even have tried - but at least now you know! :smileybounce:

Yea, solid (not stranded) 28 AWG twisted-pair wires might be ok for data transmission, but the solid wire is not good for the constant flexing when used for audio (like as a guitar cable), and will break, eventually. Stranded wire is better as it will withstand flexing without losing continuity. Guitar cables are a stranded wire core with a braided 'shield' that also acts as a ground wire.

Also, for anything longer than about 1ft, wire of such a thin gauge actually will DEGRADE an audio signal due to the inherent resistance of the wire, that's why most speaker wire is no thinner than 18AWG and often recommended to be 16AWG or even 14AWG.

If you recall Ohm's Law, the simplified version is like with water pipes, a fatter pipe lets more water flow, as in a fatter wire lets more electrons flow, more electrons = more SIGNAL and less 'noise', and also for a thicker shield or ground wire to help reject interference.

braguesa
01-30-2017, 05:14 AM
The clip part of the iRig Acoustic can easily and (fairly) non-destructively be removed from the microphone, which makes it easier place elsewhere. I improved the sound of mine by making a mount that clips to the upper soundhole brace.

I wonder how you mounted this, I'd like to try on my cavaquinho.

Dan Gleibitz
02-02-2017, 12:22 PM
I wonder how you mounted this, I'd like to try on my cavaquinho.

Sorry, I hadn't seen your post. My prototype was just the pickup temporarily glued to a clothes peg. I sanded a bit off the end of the peg to get a better grip on the brace. Now that I know I'm happy with the sound I'll 3d print a more permanent solution. I'm experimenting with other MEMS microphones first though - there's one in iPhone earbuds (I've had good results with one of these and heavy distortion from another) and one in the cable for Beats wireless headphones (not yet tested).

JesterBlod
02-03-2017, 08:14 AM
I have had this for a couple of days, I bought it to record straight into my Mac - thought it was working fine but now I am getting static. Or interference, or something. It starts only when there is a sound to record, it builds up for a few seconds then disappears for 20-30 seconds, then comes back again. It is driving me nuts. What am I doing wrong?! I have tried recording into iMovie, into GarageBand and using a simple free webcam app - same problem. The weird thing is that if i set it to metal strings it doesn't happen at all! I have tried resetting the calibration (not that I had calibrated it anyway). HELP!

braguesa
02-06-2017, 07:37 AM
I was testing my set and made this little demo with two different pickups:
https://youtu.be/WE9VEW34jvw
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yaq-UcApKs

DownUpDave
02-06-2017, 01:28 PM
I was testing my set and made this little demo with two different pickups:
https://youtu.be/WE9VEW34jvw
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yaq-UcApKs


If I am understanding this correct first test was between a under saddle pick up and the old original iRig acoustic, is that correct

The second test has the new iRig Acoustic stage. First sound bite is set on steel string and second sound bite is set on nylon.

If I have this correct the new iRig acoustic Stage is SOOOOO much better sounding than the old iRig acoustic, which I do own. Please ease my mind and confirm my statements above. If this is the case I want one even worse than before.

braguesa
02-06-2017, 02:00 PM
If I am understanding this correct first test was between a under saddle pick up and the old original iRig acoustic, is that correct

The second test has the new iRig Acoustic stage. First sound bite is set on steel string and second sound bite is set on nylon.

If I have this correct the new iRig acoustic Stage is SOOOOO much better sounding than the old iRig acoustic, which I do own. Please ease my mind and confirm my statements above. If this is the case I want one even worse than before.

Yes, that's correct.

Booli
02-06-2017, 04:47 PM
If I am understanding this correct first test was between a under saddle pick up and the old original iRig acoustic, is that correct

The second test has the new iRig Acoustic stage. First sound bite is set on steel string and second sound bite is set on nylon.

If I have this correct the new iRig acoustic Stage is SOOOOO much better sounding than the old iRig acoustic, which I do own. Please ease my mind and confirm my statements above. If this is the case I want one even worse than before.

Also, the original iRig Acoustic seems to have some distortion in the recording here, which I've also experienced myself and found difficult to tame within a single recording that has both strumming parts (loud) and finterstyle parts (softer) since this mic runs pretty hot. The new iRig Acoustic Stage did not have this problem at all in my very limited testing.

Yes, you can set your recording level lower, and then use compression and normalization in software after the fact to mitigate these issues, but 99% of the time the rule of 'garbage in = garbage out' applies, especially with audio recording/amplification, and mics/pickups.

My recording methods are to get as clean of a natural recording as possible and not have to 'fix it in post' since that can lead to a huge time investment to tweak the sound, and the results are often sub-optimal.

Having said the above - these recordings shared by brother braguesa are very good to show the difference of the old iRig Acoustic vs. the newer and much improved version with the included preamp/USB interface.

Thanks to brother braguesa for creating and sharing these audio demos. Many folks will benefit from hearing them. :)

I have not had time to make any recordings yet myself, but plan to, in the near future...

braguesa
02-08-2017, 08:20 AM
This cheap clip mic arrived today and I gave it a first try:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PMCpMzEn4k

And an older irig acoustic test:
https://youtu.be/nos4xBxBAFs

flailingfingers
02-10-2017, 09:04 AM
Can find an outlet for the Acoustic Stage...suggestions? Heard it was now available but I've tried Amazon and B&H. ?????

good_uke_boy
02-10-2017, 09:21 AM
Can find an outlet for the Acoustic Stage...suggestions? Heard it was now available but I've tried Amazon and B&H. ?????

I got mine direct from:
http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigacousticstage/

photoshooter
02-10-2017, 09:29 AM
I got mine direct from IKM as well.

flailingfingers
02-10-2017, 01:29 PM
Thanks guys.

Booli
02-11-2017, 03:48 AM
@Dave - What about Cosmo Music in Canada? Or Amazon Canada? Dont either of them have it yet?

ETA: apparently Cosmo is not stocking it yet

https://cosmomusic.ca/catalogsearch/result/?q=Irig+acoustic+stage

nor is AMZN.ca

https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/152-4142495-2043434?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Irig+acoustic+stage

most other USA dealers dont have it yet and both Sweetwater and Guitarded Center show it can be pre-ordered but will not ship until April, so until then, it seems buying direct from IKMM is the only way unless you want to wait...

Farp
02-18-2017, 01:44 PM
The iRig Acoustic Stage is already available at the 'bay for 85 quid plus a couple for shipping. It won't be long before the Farpster springs.

JesterBlod
02-28-2017, 11:00 AM
I ended up sending my Irig back to the vendor (Dawsons Music UK) as I could not get away from dreadful interference. Not sure if it was just my unit, my set up, or just me but I couldn't get on with it. I bought a Shure USB mic as a replacement. Dawsons were brilliant, and I love my new mic :-)

SailingUke
02-28-2017, 07:35 PM
I returned mine as well. When I used the "Cancel Feedback" it took out all the tone from the uke.
I'll just keep my Baggs DI. I liked the idea on a one button feedback notch, but not the end result.
I must say the mic was really great, but all my gigging instruments already have pickups.

DownUpDave
03-04-2017, 01:38 AM
The iRig Acoustic Stage is already available at the 'bay for 85 quid plus a couple for shipping. It won't be long before the Farpster springs.

Thanks for the heads up. I wanted to get one from a Canadian retailer but they were telling me not until May, not acceptable. Tried to order one from IKM direct but they quoted $45.00 for shipping......on a $99.00 items and it is the size of a deck of cards, really not acceptable.

Farb, I checked ebay as you suggested and I have ordered one, $99.00 all in shipped to my door......yahoo. Thanks for that :shaka:brother

Farp
04-03-2017, 12:59 PM
I found enough cash for one myself, Dave. It should be here in a couple of days. I hope it's as good as the reviews--we'll see soon.

Farp
04-05-2017, 10:36 AM
Well, I received my iRig Acoustic Stage yesterday, opening it, but not trying it until this morning. When I started plugging things together, I noticed a problem--the volume knob was flush with the housing, not proud a third to half an inch like the photos in the ads. Adjusting the volume would be a headache, even though the unit performed well. So...I went through the hassles of returning it. The company from which I purchased it sent me a return label and I ordered another one that should be here in a couple of days.

Playing with the unit briefly was fun. Hearing my ukulele through the amp with reverb and a little chorus added made me want to play more. The sound was excellent. I look forward to getting my replacement unit.

YarraJoe
04-09-2017, 08:54 PM
Not got mine yet, but think the volume and mix knobs push to pop out, adjust and then push to pop back in.

Farp
04-10-2017, 01:30 PM
Not got mine yet, but think the volume and mix knobs push to pop out, adjust and then push to pop back in.

YarraJoe--I just unboxed the new one, and you're right, it's a pop-up knob. I wonder why the company didn't know that when I called them. Oh, well, live and learn...
Thanks.

andy2353
01-08-2018, 04:31 PM
I have been enjoying playing with the iRig acoustic plugged into my little 10w amp. I also thought I could plug the iRig directly into my iphone 7 and use it to mic a video, but it doesn't appear to be picking up anything. Any ideas?

andy2353
01-11-2018, 04:50 AM
I have been enjoying playing with the iRig acoustic plugged into my little 10w amp. I also thought I could plug the iRig directly into my iphone 7 and use it to mic a video, but it doesn't appear to be picking up anything. Any ideas?

Bump to my question:
Has anyone had success connecting the iRig Acoustic Stage to an iphone via lightning? Maybe I'm using the wrong connector. I bought a cheap female USB to micro USB. I then connected my iphone's lightning to USB cable to that. Perhaps I need the official Apple camera adapter dongle?

Booli
01-11-2018, 11:32 AM
Bump to my question:
Has anyone had success connecting the iRig Acoustic Stage to an iphone via lightning? Maybe I'm using the wrong connector. I bought a cheap female USB to micro USB. I then connected my iphone's lightning to USB cable to that. Perhaps I need the official Apple camera adapter dongle?

Some steps involved to answer your question:

1. You need either the 'official' Apple Lightning-to-USB camera adapter cable ($29) from Apple (click here (https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD821AM/A/lightning-to-usb-camera-adapter)) OR if a 3rd-party dongle, it needs to read 'MFI Certified' in it's description or specs, otherwise it does not have the chip in it for it to pass thru all connections

2. The USB-to-microUSB cable that you use to connect the above in #1 to the iRig Acoustic Stage's preamp, MUST be one that has all 4 wires inside doing full passthru as some USB cables are power-only and as such only carry 5v DC and no data signals at all. Data signals are required for this to work. There are MANY cheap USB cables that are power only, and the only way to know is either by testing the ones you have or buying ones that conform to this spec. Amazon (Amazon Basics brand) and Monoprice <-(click here) (http://www.monoprice.com) cables have never let me down in this regard.

3. Once you have everything connected as per above, your app that you wish to record the sound, must be allowed to use the microphone, which could be disabled for this app, and most apps that need microphone will ASK permission on first start.

3a. To verify this, go in to your System Preferences in iOS, and on the left column, select PRIVACY, and then on the right side area tap MICROPHONE and see if your app is there, if it is there, makes sure to allow by tapping the slider button such that it goes from left-to-right, and color changes from grey-to-blue.

3b. If the App is NOT listed in the PRIVACY/MICROPHONE settings, you will have to make sure everything is connected properly AND the iRig preamp POWERED ON, and THEN launch your app and see if it asks permissions, and then ALLOW for microphone. This will be for EVERY app that you want to use the mic, or ANY mic on iOS, whether it be Camera, Garageband, JamUP Pro, ToneStack, or anything else, you will need to enable access to the microphone.

3c. If you are not asked to enable access, you can first launch the app, and then remove, and then re-insert the lightning connector and this should prompt iOS to ask you if you wish to allow permission. You HAVE TO say yes if you want the mic to work. This is standard for all iOS since iOS 8.x versions.

Please verify the above procedure and report back if you need further help on this, and either I myself or another helpful UU person will respond with additional efforts.

Hope this helps! :)

andy2353
01-11-2018, 03:52 PM
Booli,

Thank you for taking the time to type out this thorough answer. I'll report back when I get the appropriate cables.

Andy

Booli
01-11-2018, 04:22 PM
Booli,

Thank you for taking the time to type out this thorough answer. I'll report back when I get the appropriate cables.

Andy

No worries brother. I am glad to help.

Yes, please do report back with the result and/or any issues with which you might need further assistance and I will do my best to help you towards a solution. :)