iRig Mic Studio - Review

The iRig Mic Studio is another IK Multimedia triumph - a beautifully-engineered, super compact, high quality USB condenser microphone that’s great to use.

iRig Mic Studio - pic Kitmonsters

Professional USB condenser microphone

The iRig Mic Studio is the latest in IK Multimedia’s line of mics, and is a professional USB condenser microphone, designed to work with iOS and Android devices, MAC and PC.

It’s an amazingly compact and portable large-diaphragm microphone that lets you record pretty much anywhere. It packs a 1” diameter condenser capsule into an ultra-compact enclosure and is aimed at anyone wanting to make high-quality recordings, from musicians, to vocalists, home producers, podcasters, broadcasters, voice-over artists and more.

At just 45mm diameter and 117mm long, it fits easily in a bag or pocket, and the tripod table top stand that comes with it, folds up. It can also be used with a full size mic stand - the Mic Studio’s mount fits on both. The mic has a low noise preamp and high-quality A/D-D/A converter for high-definition 24 bit - 44.1/48kHz sound.

iRig Mic Studio - pic Kitmonsters

Great sound and controls

Our team tried it out for spoken word on a radio jingle, as well as recording vocals for a song, and were mightily impressed with the sound - clear, sharp and resonant, with plenty of the promised warmth and bass.

The status LED is a great feature - it changes colour, telling you when it is connected and on standby, when it is active, has low signal, a good signal or the signal is too high - red for danger! There is a gain control on the mic itself.

You plug the headphones into the back for direct stereo monitoring, and you can adjust the sound level from another control on the mic.

The closer you get to the mic, the more warmth and bass you’ll get, and IK recommend that for a “big” vocal sound with maximum presence, you should get the vocalist within one to three inches of the microphone head.

iRig Mic Studio - pic Kitmonsters

Instrument recording

IK Multimedia say the design also makes the mic ideal for recording acoustic instruments or electric instruments in a studio, including piano, drums, and wind instruments, or using it for podcasts or radio.

The mic has a cardioid (unidirectional) pickup pattern which means it primarily picks up sounds arriving in front of the microphone as opposed to from the sides or behind. This minimizes the risk of feedback.

For recording an acoustic guitar they advise placing the mic so that it’s facing the neck where it joins the body for a balanced sound with sparkling high end, or in front of the sound hole to capture a blend of low end, and trying out different positions.

With an electric guitar they suggest starting by positioning the mic 6” to 8” from the grill cloth, with the capsule centred on the dome of the speaker, for the brightest sound. The tone becomes warmer as you move the microphone from the centre towards the edge of the speaker.

iRig Mic Studio - pic Kitmonsters

App and software compatability

You can use the iRig Mic Studio with IK Multimedia apps such as VocaLive, EZ Voice or iRig Recorder, or other audio processing apps and software. We tried it out with iRig Recorder, Ableton Live 9 and GarageBand, and got great results.

It is compatible with a wide range of apps and software such as Cubasis, ProStudio Vocal FX, MultiTrack DAW, Logic Pro X app, and iOS Voice Memo.

The Mic Studio comes in black or silver, and with three cables - Micro-USB to USB, Micro-USB to Lightning, and USB OTG, plus a table top stand, and a velvet pouch. If you have an older model of iPhone, iPod or iPad then a micro-USB to 30-pin cable is available separately.