Recording - April 2016 - 58

There are two USB Micro-B ports on
the unit, one on the back for your
DAW and one on the side for a power
passthrough if you want to charge
your iGizmo while you record. The
StudioJack Mini comes with heavy-duty
Lightning and USB-A cables, plus an
OTG cable if you want to use it with
an Android device (Sonoma recommends Lollipop or newer Android OS).
The StudioJack Mini can record at
16 or 24 bits, 44.1 or 48 kHz. It's
class-compliant and doesn't need any
drivers, but if you'd like a low-latency
ASIO driver for Windows, Sonoma is
happy to provide one upon request.
By the way, Sonoma Wire Works has
finally solved the problem of unreliable
cable connections that hindered its earliest designs. The rear-edge USB port is
surrounded by a set of triangular holes,
and the Lightning and USB-A cables end
in a right-angle plug surrounded by corresponding triangular plastic pegs.
When the plug is inserted firmly, the
resulting connection is rock-solid, and
you basically never have to worry about
unplugging the cable unless you want to
move the interface from your iPad to
your laptop. Well done!
The StudioJack Mini doesn't provide
48V phantom power, but it does provide 3.3V power for electret condenser
mics. Of course it works fine with
dynamics and should work with passive
ribbons as well, although I didn't get a
chance to test this. Sonoma Wire Works
claims that both inputs can provide up
to 60 dB of gain, and I had no trouble
getting good clean signals into my iPad
with even my most finicky dynamic
mics. On stereo line-level signals, the
interface works seamlessly.
The spec sheet doesn't list the input
impedance of the Hi-Z jack. Sonoma
claims it offers a "warm, mojo-infused
tone" that's optimized for guitars; in
my recording tests, I found it to be
quite pleasant on my Schecter solidbody, adding a touch of midrange heft
that isn't there on a totally clean guitar
input. If you're very picky about guitar
inputs messing with your tone, you'll
want to try before you buy, but I found
the sound to be very pleasing and
inspiringly non-sterile, taking well to
compression and other effects.
58

RECORDING April 2016

The sound of the StudioJack Mini's mic/line input, by contrast, is impeccably clean.
There's no coloration or weirdness; it just lays down audio into your recording apps
with clarity and effectively zero noise unless you really crank the gain to the outer limits. If you want coloration, it's easy enough to add it yourself.
Because it's class-compliant, the StudioJack Mini doesn't favor any one app over
another. Sonoma Wire Works makes some great options for the beginning recordist,
like FourTrack and StudioTrack, and naturally it sounds great through Sonoma's
GuitarTone effects app. But it also sounds great feeding recording apps like Auria and
guitar effects apps like BIAS FX and AmpliTube.
I found the StudioJack Mini to be incredibly easy to set up and use, portable, reliable, and great-sounding. If you like the idea of a solid stereo audio interface that
plays well with computers and iOS devices alike and weighs practically nothing,
you'll find the StudioJack Mini suits the bill perfectly.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO and iRig Mic Studio
$199.99 and $179.99; www.ikmultimedia.com

IK Multimedia was at the forefront of
mobile-friendly music hardware and software soon after the introduction of the
iPhone and iPad, and it offers a wide
range of mics, audio interfaces, MIDI
interfaces, and controllers for just about
every taste. Recently IK Multimedia has
doubled down by creating a working
ecosystem for music recording on
Android, but its presence in the iOS
music world is still pre-eminent.
The latest mobile recording devices from
IK are the iRig Acoustic for acoustic guitar,
the iRig Pro DUO audio/MIDI interface,
and the iRig Mic Studio microphone/
headphone amp. We'll be looking at the
iRig Acoustic in a forthcoming issue, but
for now we'll focus on the other two.
The iRig Pro DUO is intended to be a
full-featured audio/MIDI interface for
mobile devices and computers, and it
offers a fair number of connections and
features that are missing on other mobile interfaces. It's housed in a lightweight plastic
enclosure that's about the size of a stack of three or four smartphones. The top of the
enclosure has four multicolor LEDs and two flush-mounted Gain pots. I wish more interfaces were designed this way... there's nothing to get caught or damaged when you
put the iRig Pro DUO away in a pocket or laptop bag!
The bottom of the unit has two Neutrik Combo jacks, with balanced XLR for microphones
and unbalanced 1/4" TS for instruments. The instrument inputs have a hefty 1 MΩ impedance so they don't mess with the sound of your guitar or bass, and the mic preamps have
globally switchable 48V phantom power and 48 dB of available gain. They don't have
much of a sound of their own, leaning toward clean clarity; regardless of whether or not
you'll be further processing your recorded tracks, this is a good safe choice.
The left side of the box has a pair of balanced 1/4" TRS
line outputs with their own volume thumbwheel, and the
48V phantom power switch. The right side has a minijack
and thumbwheel for headphones, and a Direct Monitor
switch for zero-latency monitoring while recording. Along
the top edge are two minijacks for the included MIDI In
and Out ports (yes, you can do MIDI over a stereo miniplug-two of the five pins are grounded to the shield), a
plug for an optional 9V DC power supply (like you'd use
with guitar stompboxes), and a 7-pin mini-DIN plug for
the computer connection cable. It comes with three
cables: USB-A for computers, Lightning for iOS devices,
and OTG for Android tablets and smartphones. The bottom is where you install the two AA batteries, which the
iRig Pro DUO requires for use with iOS and Android
devices (it can be bus-powered on most Macs and PCs).
With phantom power on, a pair of alkaline batteries will
drain in as little as 45 minutes of recording time-invest
in that power supply!


http://www.ikmultimedia.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - April 2016

Contents
Recording - April 2016 - Intro
Recording - April 2016 - Cover1
Recording - April 2016 - Cover2
Recording - April 2016 - 1
Recording - April 2016 - 2
Recording - April 2016 - 3
Recording - April 2016 - 4
Recording - April 2016 - 5
Recording - April 2016 - Contents
Recording - April 2016 - 7
Recording - April 2016 - 8
Recording - April 2016 - 9
Recording - April 2016 - 10
Recording - April 2016 - 11
Recording - April 2016 - 12
Recording - April 2016 - 13
Recording - April 2016 - 14
Recording - April 2016 - 15
Recording - April 2016 - 16
Recording - April 2016 - 17
Recording - April 2016 - 18
Recording - April 2016 - 19
Recording - April 2016 - 20
Recording - April 2016 - 21
Recording - April 2016 - 22
Recording - April 2016 - 23
Recording - April 2016 - 24
Recording - April 2016 - 25
Recording - April 2016 - 26
Recording - April 2016 - 27
Recording - April 2016 - 28
Recording - April 2016 - 29
Recording - April 2016 - 30
Recording - April 2016 - 31
Recording - April 2016 - 32
Recording - April 2016 - 33
Recording - April 2016 - 34
Recording - April 2016 - 35
Recording - April 2016 - 36
Recording - April 2016 - 37
Recording - April 2016 - 38
Recording - April 2016 - 39
Recording - April 2016 - 40
Recording - April 2016 - 41
Recording - April 2016 - 42
Recording - April 2016 - 43
Recording - April 2016 - 44
Recording - April 2016 - 45
Recording - April 2016 - 46
Recording - April 2016 - 47
Recording - April 2016 - 48
Recording - April 2016 - 49
Recording - April 2016 - 50
Recording - April 2016 - 51
Recording - April 2016 - 52
Recording - April 2016 - 53
Recording - April 2016 - 54
Recording - April 2016 - 55
Recording - April 2016 - 56
Recording - April 2016 - 57
Recording - April 2016 - 58
Recording - April 2016 - 59
Recording - April 2016 - 60
Recording - April 2016 - 61
Recording - April 2016 - 62
Recording - April 2016 - 63
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Recording - April 2016 - 70
Recording - April 2016 - 71
Recording - April 2016 - 72
Recording - April 2016 - Cover3
Recording - April 2016 - Cover4
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