Those folks at IK Multimedia have figured out how to trigger my impulse buy urge and they did it again with the iRig Acoustic Stage. The iRig Acoustic is a sound-hole mounted MEMS mic that plugs into a smartphone. The Stage version comes with an MEMS mic and a preamp/mixer. This Stage preamp offers tone control, anti-feedback, and the ability to mix an external source.
I had thought the the mic provided in the Stage package was the same as the original iRig Acoustic, but that appears to be incorrect. The Stage version of the mic has a somewhat unusual plug, a 2.5mm tip-sleeve plug that makes the Stage preamp a mandatory part of the chain because this plug doesn’t fit into the usual 3.5mm mini-jack. The only path to connect to a smartphone and is a micro USB connector. Because of this connecting to an IOS device will require a Camera Connection kit.
There are a lot of features to be explored with this system, but I started out by doing some raw comparisons between the iRig Acoustic Stage and various other pickups in various guitars, along with a miked track of each guitar for comparison. Ideally I would have figured out some way to match audio levels for each system, but I didn’t come up with any brainstorm solutions, so I just aimed for decent tracking levels and then did a bit of matching in post production. There are now standard loudness measuring systems in use for broadcasting and my Edius NLE includes a tool for checking loudness. I adjusted each track to get the measured levels into the ballpark. With the widely different frequency spectrum of the different tracks their are still some glaring subjective differences.
I shot a video while I cut the comparison tracks. Each clip includes the audio from the Zoom XY mic module for the acoustic sound, the iRig by itself, and the pickup I’ve installed in each guitar. The three instruments are a Martin OM-18GE with a K&K Pure Western Mini bridgeplate transducer, a Wingert Model E with an older B-Band AST soundboard transducer, and a Yamamoto OMY with a Baggs Lyric internal mic.
I never recommend listening to a YouTube clip to critically evaluate audio, so here are the tracks in uncompressed form for you to download and compare. I’ve applied no EQ or effects except for a bit of level matching in post:
As usual, these are uncompressed 16/44.1 WAV files, so they won’t stream very well, I recommend that you download the files to compare them.
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at 11:00 am and is filed under Comparisons, Guitar, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.