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IK Multimedia BlueBoard Review

ik multimedia blueboard review

TL;DR:

IK Multimedia BlueBoard Review. The BlueBoard is an aluminium housed smart BlueTooth 4.0 low energy compliant wireless MIDI controller for Amplitube. It works on your Mac and iOS iPhone iPod and iPad and provides multiple virtual banks.


Review Preface:

Ever since their creation, iDevices, such as the iPad and iPhone, has inspired engineers the world over to create peripherals that take advantage of their power and convince. In the audio world it is without a doubt that IK Multimedia have been at the forefront of developing technology of this kind. So far they have proved to humble musicians, engineers, and producers that capturing raw ideas on demand doesn’t require a degree or even several years of intimate experience with complex technology.


By far the most successful product of its kind is the iRig. However, IK Multimedia has understood that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout 2013 we have seen the introduction of devices that once upon a time would have only been a dream, but late this year IK Multimedia released the innovative BlueBoard. For all you guitarists out there, this is a serious piece of kit that you will instantly fall in love with.


What Does It Do?

The BlueBoard is an impressive MIDI control device that allows users to remotely change the various preset effect banks particularly well within the AmpliTube App, but it also works with other MIDI enabled software including GarageBand to change many other parameters. In total this enables you to have up to cycle between 127 separate banks, and like the name suggests, it connects to your iDevice via super low-energy Bluetooth 4.0, so you will need to make sure that you have an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or 2010 Mac or above for this unit to work.


Build Quality:

The iRig is constructed from aluminium upper, and a plastic base shell. On the rear of the unit you will find a battery compartment that demands four AAA batteries, with an on/off switch. We have found that the unit will survive many hours of use, but we do recommend that you change batteries prior to important occasions. For this reason we would have appreciated a mains power adapter, although this is a minor grievance due to the low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 technology.


On the top of the unit there are four soft-touch long-lasting silicon pads that are labelled with A through to D. You can adjust the brightness of these pads to prolong battery life, or adjust to taste and they feel very strong and durable despite their texture on the fingers. These pads are of a very high quality and are likely to survive many foot taps. On the right-hand side of the BlueBoard you will locate two ¼” jack inputs that allow variable input pedals to adjust certain settings. The construction of this device is sound and I have no doubt it can handle a fair beating. However, if IK made an all metal version then this would lead to a more durable product that can be used anywhere.


In Use:

The iRig BlueBoard is a fantastic device. To use it you do need to download the App which secures a connection to the device, and enables the transmission of MIDI data across various Apps. To connect you simply switch the BlueBoard on, open the BlueBoard App (available on the App Store), and tap the mid-screen icon to pair. Once this is process completed you will experience a connection that rarely experiences dropouts. In fact we never experienced any of these issues over the many weeks we tested it. This process does, however, need to be performed again when the unit is powered down and back on, but it is such a painless and speedy process that it won’t bother you in the slightest. Likewise, the transmission of data to and from the BlueBoard is instantaneous so you will never experience lag when quickly switching sounds in a live environment and there is a great saftey feature that means if you forget to switch the BlueBoard, it will automatically turn the LED’s off to prolongue battery life once the applications are exited; which can save a lot of grief.


Review Conclusion:

IK Multimedia just keeps on innovating, and they certainly came up trumps with the BlueBoard. It is a simple design that is intuitive and well made. Coupled with a strongly coded control App, this dynamic duo make for an exceptionally refreshing and powerful tool that is highly versatile. We would have liked to see a full metal enclosure, and/or a mains power adaptor. The addition of these items would make for an unbeatable product. Either way the BlueBoard is still a brilliant piece of kit that we highly recommend. With this said The Pro Audio Web Blog awards the IK Multimedia BlueBoard with a four-and-a-half star rating.


Edd Harris & Chris Pavey

Edd Harris & Chris Pavey - 6th December 2013

US RRP: $109.99 | UK RRP: £77.00

Editors Rating:

Four and a Half Star Award
IK Multimedia BlueBoard
4.5/5 stars
IK Multimedia BlueBoard Review. The BlueBoard is an aluminium housed smart BlueTooth 4.0 low energy compliant wireless MIDI controller for Amplitube. It works on your Mac and iOS iPhone iPod and iPad and provides multiple virtual banks.