April 16, 2012
Review: iKlip Studio
Derek Walter For RedOrbit.com
The iKlip series of hardware has been among the best for transforming one´s iOS device into an enhanced music tool. Its latest product, the iKlip Studio, is another impressive addition that should get a serious look from those who want to take their garage band to the next level.
When partnered with some of the iKlip mobile applications, users can use an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to do some serious music making. While Apple´s Garage Band is a popular choice, the iKlip series of hardware and apps is geared toward musicians who are looking to have greater control and flexibility over what they create.
The stand is designed to grasp an iPad firmly while allowing it to be rotated or moved vertically. Also, the minimalist design means there is no problem connecting a charger or headphones (far too many accessories overlook this step).
The iKlip Studio does an excellent job of holding the iPad steady on any surface. Whether it is a table, granite countertop or a coffee table, it definitely locks into place. Most will probably use one of the higher settings for better visibility, yet the lower ones work well also if you are standing high above the iPad.
While DJ Rig offers plenty of options, it is certainly not for the faint of heart. Complete novices will need some time to get used to its wide amount of options before fully engaging in anything creative or productive.
For example, the iRig product information lists the following as part of its feature set:
• Tempo Sync
• Beat Match — for the first time, a DJ iOS app that can align songs´ beats
• Fast BPM detection, beat analysis and beat map saving
• 4 visual cue points per song (1 built-in plus 3 available as in app purchase)
• Automatic looping, create loops with beat-accurate tempo divisions
• Accurate scratching engine modeled on real deck behavior with CloneDeck technology for scratching with cut-to-the-beat
• X-Sync mode detects the BPM from external audio sources in real-time and automatically syncs the audio/tempo of internal decks to external devices (when used with iRig MIX)
• Effects deck with 12 effects: Delay, Flanger, Crush, Filter High Pass, Filter Low Pass, Filter Band Pass, Compressor, Wah, Phaser, Fuzz, Reverb, Stutter (6 built-in plus 6 available for in-app purchase)
• XY touch interface
• All effects are BPM-synched
• Multiple controls
• Extra filter available
• On-the-fly sampler machine
• 9 pads matrix with assignable pads
• 15 sound banks available (8 built-in plus 7 available for in-app purchase)
• Live sampling functionality
• Pitch control
Apps like synthesizers, beat-pads and other controllers can be played energetically on the multi-touch screen with no risk of the device moving or sliding. Its flexible orientation allows it to tilt its position from a very low-profile angle — ideal for use with apps like mixers, controllers or synthesizers — to near-vertical positioning for use as a reader for scores or tablatures or to place the iPad behind music keyboard controllers.
iKlip Studio is made of what the manufacturer describes as, “lightweight, shock-resistant thermoplastic that is durable and solid to reliably support the iPad.” The rubber foot-pads grip the surface in an effort to prevent any sliding.
One of the cleverest features is how it can quickly snap closed and then be transported within the case. While it won´t be convenient to handle it in this manner over the long term, it is much preferable to bulkier options that require adding and removing the iPad back and forth.
There are other alternatives for those who want something different or wish to expand their hardware options. The iKlip Mic is a handheld microphone that syncs up with an iPhone. By pairing it with the VocaLive app, users can then use it as a real-time processor suite. For those who also play an instrument while singing, there are several other apps that are worth checking out, such as AmpliTube for guitar players and iRig Recorder for audio recording and processing.
The original iKlip is still an option, as it mounts an iPad to a microphone stand. The purpose could be a simple as using it to have access to lyrics, notes, or using it with the previous combination of music-creating apps.
Those who are looking to explore the products in further details can visit the IK Multimedia web site at: ikmultimedia.com.