Mobile musicians in the know are likely familiar with IK Multimedia’s iRig KEYS mobile keyboard already. Today, IK Multimedia has two announcements. The first is that the iRig KEYS mobile MIDI keyboard is gaining Lightning cable support, which is fantastic news indeed. But even more exciting is the announcement of IK Multimedia’s even better mobile MIDI keyboard for iOS: the iRig KEYS PRO.
If you’re looking to buy a gift this year for a musician, your iPhone and iPad options have never been better. Digital input adapters for connecting instruments like guitars and the like to iOS devices are now much easier to find, but this year also brought us other musical accessories. And thanks to Apple’s Core MIDI in iOS 7, many of these accessories are able to interact with just about any musical app on the App Store (as long as they support Core MIDI). Let’s cut to the chase, here are my favorite iPhone and iPad accessories for musicians released this year.
There is a plethora of digital audio interfaces available now to connect your guitar to your iPhone to use with all sorts of wonderful audio apps, but there aren’t a lot of accessories that allow you to easily change settings or presets inside of those apps. It shouldn’t be this way. Good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way any longer. IK Multimedia’s iRig BlueBoard is a Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard that makes using your iOS device as an effects processor easier than ever.
The Quartet is Apogee’s top-of-the-line iOS compatible audio interface. It has an impressive four input channels, eight outputs, two OLED screens, and audio quality second to none. This one accessory has the ability to almost singlehandedly transform your iPad into a professional audio workstation. Of course, these kinds of features don’t come cheap. The Apogee Quartet retails at $1,395. Is it worth the hefty price tag?
If you’re in the market for a new case for your iPhone 5 or 5s, you’re probably having a hard time choosing. There are so many options out there that you can easily find yourself wanting one of everything. One style of case keeps the metallic quality of the iPhone 5 and 5s while protecting your expensive device. The Element Case Solace is just such a case. It combines polycarbonate with aircraft grade aluminum to make it strong and light, but that aluminum will cost you a pretty penny. Is it worth it?
This week on the Free Apps Roundup, MEGA comes with 50GB of space you can use any way you’d like. Or maybe you’d rather play a game, like Galaxy on Fire – Alliances. It’s the first multiplayer game in the Galaxy on Fire universe. And if you somehow haven’t played the original Infinity Blade just yet, it’s free today. That’s right, you can play one of the first games that really showed just how good gaming on an iPhone could look.
If you’ve ever wanted to change the color of light in a room with ease, you’ll be happy to read about the Lumen TL800, the first Bluetooth smart bulb to market. It’s an LED lightbulb that’s controllable via an app with Bluetooth 4.0. The TL800 can display sixteen million colors with its dimmable RGBW LED and auto change colors and brightness in various modes, including one that alerts you to phone calls. Sound enticing?
Similar to the Apogee ONE, the Apogee Duet for iPad and Mac a two channel audio interface with a large multifunction button and a sleek design. Unlike the ONE, it has an OLED display for even more visual feedback and control, and a single USB MIDI connection. But the biggest difference is the audio quality. It’s hard to believe, but the Duet’s audio quality is even better than the ONE, which is exactly what justifies the price point of $649 on this audio interface.
The Apogee ONE is a portable audio interface with built-in microphone. Unlike other portable audio interfaces, the Apogee ONE has two inputs in addition to the built-in microphone. Plus, it has a very slick design and, most importantly, audio quality second to none amongst portable audio interfaces. Thanks to a recent product update, it now comes with a Lightning adapter cable, making it compatible with nearly all of your iOS devices. But does all of this justify the steep entry price of $349?
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: While I don’t typically have much respect for ninjas you can identify visually, Clumsy Ninja is another story. ON/OFF is one of my new favorite puzzle games on the App Store. Apple continues to update their apps to iOS 7, and has now released an iPad version of the Apple Store app. Plus, there are plenty more apps to download this week, not least of which is the app that can measure your heart rate just by looking at your face!
The iPhone is an amazing device. It can make phone calls, send emails, take pictures, play games and more. But it can’t do everything, at least, not without a little help. For instance, it can’t function as a laser pointer. That is, it can’t be a laser pointer without the iPin laser. It’s an accessory that, when combined with the iPin app, hopes to transform your iPhone into a professional wireless presentation controller complete with laser pointer.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup, apps are being updated for iOS 7. One of these apps is Mint, the personal finance app. If new apps are what you’re looking for then you’ll be happy to see GT Racing 2. And if you’re lucky enough to get a PS4, you’ll definitely want to download the PlayStation App so you never have to be disconnected from the PlayStation experience.