Digital modeling of amps and effects has come a long way over the past decade and IK Multimedia has been at the forefront of innovation. In fact, their technology has been so good that many manufacturers and artists have allowed them to license their legendary gear for modeling. Fender, Orange, Mesa Boogie, Fulltone, T-Rex, Seymour Duncan, Wampler, Slash, Dimebag Darrell, and Jimi Hendrix are just a few examples.
While I have been a fan of AmpliTube (amp & effects modeling software) for years and use it regularly in my studio, I haven’t found an effective way to use it in a live setting. A few years back, I reviewed the original iRig Stomp, which was a step in the right direction but not quite what I was looking for. Then, IK Multimedia released the iRig Stomp I/O and everything changed.
Studio work – The iRig Stomp I/O nails it.
Live work – The iRig Stomp I/O nails it.
Controlling midi devices – you guessed it, the iRig Stomp I/O nails it.
Oh, and did I mention, the iRig Stomp I/O isn’t just for guitar or bass, it also works great for vocal effects with IK Multimedia’s VocaLive and Mic Room software (both included).
At this point, if you’re not familiar with the iRig Stomp I/O, you’re probably asking yourself, “So, what exactly is it?” The answer to that isn’t quite as straightforward as it is for other pieces of gear. As explained above, the iRig Stomp I/O serves several purposes depending on your needs. The unit can be hooked up to a whole variety of devices including Mac/PC, iOS, or used standalone.
When attached to a Mac/PC (which is what I used for most of my demo time), the iRig Stomp I/O can be used to control IK Multimedia software like AmpliTube or it can be used as a recording interface that works with most popular DAWs (Ableton Lite is included if you need a DAW). The unit works great for recording guitar direct or for recording vocals. The input jack is a ¼” /XLR combo with mic and line options and phantom power.
The iRig Stomp I/O has stereo outputs that can be used to run your signal to a PA or to your guitar amp. If you’re using it live, it functions much like other multi-effects processors but requires an attached iPad or iPhone running AmpliTube or VocaLive depending on your needs. The top of the board features 4 foot-switches and an expression pedal and is extremely easy to use once you have your amp/effect presents setup on your iOS device. You can also easily add external pedals and switches through the back of the unit.
Finally, the iRig Stomp I/O can be used as a standalone midi controller. This option doesn’t require you to use a Mac/PC or iOS device. All you need is a device that can be controlled by midi and a couple of midi cables and you’re ready to go!
As with all of my reviews, I like to give a good/not-so-good list to help you make an educated buying decision, so here we go!
Already using IK Multimedia products? Even better – By this review, it’s probably pretty clear that I love the iRig Stomp I/O, but most of that is contingent on the fact that I’m already using a ton of IK Multimedia software. This device is exactly what someone like me needs to expand my uses of software I’m already familiar with.
Endless possibilities – The iRig Stomp I/O gives you access to tons of effects and amps in a convenient, easy to use, durable interface.
Use it EVERYWHERE (literally) – As mentioned above, the iRig Stomp I/O is incredibly versatile. Whether you’re a studio musician, live musician, or both, you’ll find numerous use scenarios for this device.
Digital add-ons – The included software is great! If you’re not already using IK Multimedia’s software, this is a great time to get started. The iRig Stomp I/O includes AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, several T-RackS processors, Mic Room, and Ableton Live Lite for Mac/PC and AmpliTube, VocaLive, and Mic Room for iOS.
Prepare to open your pocketbook – While the iRig Stomp I/O includes a ton of software and functionality right out of the box, in order to really customize your rig, you’ll probably need to purchase more amps, effects, processors, etc. from the Amplitube Custom Shop. Most effects range from $5 to $25 and amps range from $5 to $35. Packs are available where you get better pricing for purchasing all items from a specific brand. More than anything, this is a warning that you’re probably going to spend more than the purchase price of the unit, so be prepared.
How durable is your iPad? – In order to use effects, amps, etc. you have to have an external device, be it a computer or iOS device. While the iRig Stomp I/O has a built-in stand for your iPad or iPhone, I’m still a bit hesitant to stomp my feet down that close to a several hundred dollar
Where’s the Android love? – It’s pretty well known around here than I’m an Android fanboy. In fact, my review of the iRig UA is in the top 10 most popular articles ever featured on Live2Play… but even that wasn’t enough to convince IK Multimedia to make the iRig Stomp I/O compatible with Android.
In conclusion, the iRig Stomp I/O is an awesome device for musicians who are already using IK Multimedia software in really any application. It’s also a perfect device if you’re new to modeling but are looking for a device that is incredibly flexible and has a library that is continually growing.
The street price for the iRig Stomp I/O is $299 and can be purchased through all your major online retailers or directly from IK Multimedia.
I think that about covers it. Now I’m off to have more fun with the iRig Stomp I/O.
Check out the iRig Stomp I/O in action!