When I reviewed the OPC Musician's Computer in March 2012, I also got the opportunity to sample a full-featured version of IK Multimedia's equally impressive AmpliTube 3 guitar effects and amp simulation suite. I did note, however, that one downside was having to activate virtual pedals and tweak settings via the mouse (or in the case of iOS versions, by touching the virtual controls on the screen). The latest addition to the company's iRig family puts parameter control at your feet, in a wireless pedalboard called the BlueBoard.
IK Multimedia's iRig BlueBoard allows guitarists, vocalists and keyboard players wireless control of Core-MIDI-compatible music-making apps running on an iPhone (4s or later), iPad 4, iPod touch (5th gen) or Mac (models from June 2012). The pedalboard has four backlit pads up top, which can each be assigned controls to switch between presets and banks, tweak parameters or change patches on the fly. Expression, volume or wah pedals can also be connected to the two 0.25-in jacks on the side of the device for control of onscreen dials and knobs.
Wireless signals from the box on the floor are sent to the musician's Apple device via Bluetooth 4.0/LE, and then translated to MIDI by a dedicated app running in the background before being routed to music-making software such as AmpliTube, VocaLive or GarageBand.
The iRig BlueBoard MIDI pedalboard is powered by four AAA-sized batteries, has a wireless range of 33 ft (10 m), and at 10.82 x 3.62 x 0.98 in (275 x 92 x 25 mm) and 8.81 oz (250 g), won't add too much bulk or weight to your gig bag.
Of course, your instrument or microphone will still need to be cabled up to the device running the digital effects or recording apps (via an interface like IK Multimedia's iRig Pro or HD, for example).
First introduced at NAMM in January, the iRig BlueBoard is shipping now for US$99.99.
The video below shows the BlueBoard in action, and runs through much of its functionality.
Product page: iRig BlueBoard