iRig and AmpliTube for iPhone (and iPad)

IK Multimedia has released a version of their AmpliTube for the iPhone. Coupled with the iRig, musicians can turn their iPhone (or iPod Touch) into a very capable practice amp complete with effects. You can pick up the iRig from Amazon for $40 and AmpliTube is available in the iPhone App Store.

I spent a bit of time with the free version of AmpliTube on my 1st gen iPhone and was utterly impressed. I only had two problems with getting it up and running. The iRig plugs into the iPhones headphone jack, and it was a but wide for the stupidly narrow iPhone jack. This was easily solved by cutting a small amount of the rubber off the plug. My first attempt to use the AmpliTube app failed somewhat. I could hear the guitar, through the headphones, but for some reason the effects were not doing anything. A quick reboot of the phone fixed that problem and it has worked trouble free since.

The iPhone version lets you connect up 3 simultaneous stompboxes (5 on the iPad), and amp, cabinet, and mic for a wide range of sounds. The full version in which you get 11 stompboxes, 5 amps, and two microphones for $20. I was pleased to see they had a chromatic tuner, metronome, and built-in mp3. I generally suck at tuning by ear, so the tuner helped a lot.

It took me a few seconds to get used to the interface, but once I understood it, making changes to the effects were quite simple. For each setup you have space for 3 pedals (5 for iPad) an amp/cabinet. You chain the effects together left to right, and can even repeat an effect if you wish.

Output from the iRig is suitable for head phones as well as line-in to a mixing board. Sound was very good and seemed to accurately reproduce the full rich sounds of the amp. You can purchase more stompboxes through the in-app store. Prices for the extra pedals were $2.99 but they occasionally have specials for $0.99. Amps are a bit pricier at $4.99. If you plan to buy more than a few it quickly becomes economical to purchase the full version for $19.99.

It appears to be a hit with quite a few rock starts as well. Richard Fortus of GNR and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambira both gave it rave reviews. Click through to see both videos.

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Christmas Light Hero

Check out our 2011 game too! Angry Birds...

What do you get when you mix a Christmas Light show with Guitar Hero? Christmas Light Hero! A real game you play with a wii wireless guitar controller. Optional TV screen is available if you get in trouble, but if you use the screen, you don't get your name in the high score list. Song is "Cliffs of Dover" by the incredible Eric Johnson.

Video of our follow up Christmas Light game is here: