IK multimedia offers a wide varied number of products. Amongst these, there are great tools for content creation such as vlogs and podcasts with your mobile device. I’ve received a few of them recently and took the time to try them out. They include: the iRig Mic Lav, iRig Mic Pre, iRig Video Creator Bundle and iRig Video Creator Bundle HD.
I recorded a short video using and describing these tools, so make sure to check it out to see the quality of the results.
IK Multimedia iRig content creation gear review
iRig Mic Lav
The first item I’ve received is a simple, but useful tool. The iRig Mic Lav is a lavalier microphone, a type of mic that is clipped on a subject’s clothing. These are really useful for recording the speech of a single person, while reducing the amount of background noise. This model is shipped with a foam windscreen to further minimize unwanted noise. Since it doesn’t have a gain control, you need to make sure you’re mic placement is adequate to avoid clipping the signal going to the video/recording app.
It has a 66” wire, which is a bit limited depending on what you are doing. For my purposes, it was a bit short. I was trying to keep my framing which was hard to do at that short distance. My body’s movements could drop my phone at any moment. Also, the wire has a 1/8th of an inch connector, so iPhone users will need to have their lighting adapter handy. Thankfully, IK Multimedia thought of including an extra headphone jack so you can monitor your sound and adjust the mic placement before an important take.
iRig Mic Pre
The iRig Mic Pre is a preamplifier ideal for mobile recordings. If you’re interested in using external microphones with your mobile device, this is the perfect tool to make it work. It will take the XLR output of your mic and transfer it to your smartphone. It has a handy gain control to avoid distortion all while feeding a healthy signal to your recording app. Also, it features a phantom power switch so you can connect a condenser microphone if you so wish. Again, it has a 1/8th of an inch jack, so iPhone users, make sure you bring your adapters along. It requires power in the form of a 9V battery. One is included in the box.
While this is a slightly niche piece of gear, I could see this as a very important part of a few content creators’ kits. This enables you to use quality mics in the studio or at home and take them out when you want to do some outdoor filming with great audio.
iRig Video Creator Bundle
The iRig Video Creator Bundle has tremendous value for anyone starting any kind of content creation with a smart phone. It includes three different accessories to help you get going. First of all, it has the iRig Mic Lav for audio. This, as we previously discussed, a good way of avoiding surrounding sound, such as traffic and neighbourhood noise.
Next, the bundle features the iKlip Grip Pro, a multi-function stand. It is a telescopic stand that will hold your smart phone, camera or Go Pro (with the appropriate Go Pro specific mounts). Thanks to an expandable mount, any phone will fit, even with the case. If you take it off, the standard UNC threads will accommodate regular cameras and other accessories. You can collapse the tripod legs to turn it into a hand grip, to use as a selfie stick. That’s a very comfortable setting for vlogging anywhere, anyplace. You also get a Bluetooth remote to activate and stop recordings. I personally use an older version of this product and it served me very well for multiple years, so I highly recommend it.
The last bundled accessory is a really important part of high-quality video content; a 6” ring light. While smartphone cameras are great and produce high quality images, they have small sensors that require a lot of light to generate the best result. If you have insufficient illumination, you might have a grainy result and autofocus problems, none of which are fun. The ring light will compensate from any lack of light and diffuse the lighting equally on the subject’s face. You have multiple intensity options to match your needs and even various colour temperatures depending on your preferences. It screws on top of the expandable mount of the iKlip Grip, for very easy filming. It’s powered by an attached USB cable, so you’ll need to have an adapter or USB plug nearby.
iRig Video Creator Bundle HD
The iRig Video Creator Bundle HD has some similarities with the regular bundle. It includes the same useful iKlip Grip Pro. The ring light is bigger, with a 10” diameter. This is noticeably larger and provides even more light. I think it’s worth it, because you’ll be able to work in conditions that are even darker. The same intensity and temperature controls are available.
The big difference is the presence of the iRig Mic HD2, which is a digital handheld style microphone. It comes with a mic clip for mounting on universal stands and a little tripod, for desktop use. It has several advantages over the iRig Mic Lav, including a gain control and indicator. This is quite important, as it prevents any audio problems due to clipping (as long as you set it correctly). The handheld style also enables some more flexibility in your content creation, letting you conduct interviews, for example. Since its digital, you’ll be able to connect it to various devices such as a computer or mobile device. Included cables are USB, USB-C and, thankfully, lightning for the iPhone users.
If you’re serious about the quality of your content, any of these products will enhance the result of your hard work. The lavalier and preamp are great tools to take your production out of the studio and explore outdoor possibilities. I also really like what the bundles bring to the table. If you’re just starting out, you’ll have access to quality equipment that really makes a difference in the final result.