Audio fidelity with io dock or other sound cards

edited March 2013 in Equipment

Hey all,
I've been thru two gigs now on Loopy, and haven't been able to get to where I'm happy with the sound. I suspect that it's my use of the iRig as the I/O. Most specifically, I can't get any low end, especially on my beatboxing. I know I've read somewhere that the iOS devices have a hard high pass filter on audio. Am I running up against that? Or is it something else inherent to the iRig? With this in mind, I need to know, before I take the plunge, if the io dock or one of the other interfaces would solve this and give me full-range audio. Also, the whole cck/iRig setup is a bit wonky to be using at a paying gig...

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • edited March 2013

    Here is some 2010 info on the frequency responce of the headset mic input.

    http://blog.faberacoustical.com/2010/ios/ipad/ipad-audio-input-options/

    Any of the external sound card/interfaces (USB or 30pin) should be able to give you much better results than going through the headset jack, as they do the analog to digital conversion and pass on the digital audio. The iO Dock states a frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz (+/- 0.7 dB). They all seem to have their quicks, so you really should search the web for reviews/complaints about your choice once you narrow down the selection.

    Edit----- additional info

    Found this on iOS 6 removing the high pass filter.

    http://blog.faberacoustical.com/2012/ios/iphone/finally-ios-6-kills-the-filter-on-headset-and-mic-inputs/

    Are you running iOS 6?

  • Great info, Ganthofer. Since I already have a setup using the mic input, I am now wondering if there would be much audible difference between running an iPod Touch 4G using the mic input vs 30-pin interface? Can someone test this using typical guitar input?

  • Just so you guys know what's going on, there appears to be some sporadic high-pass stuff happening still on iOS 6 with certain iOS device/hardware combinations (the new iPod Touch with the iRig is one example), which can apparently be mitigated by using the "Measurement" iOS audio recording mode available to developers.

    I plan to look into using "Measurement" soon, just haven't gotten around to it yet. I don't think it's a problem with digital devices, though - just analog ones like the iRig.

  • I scrapped my iRig after 30 minutes because of what you just said. You're best bet is going to get a sound card that works, or something I will get in a little bit (which I hope works) is the Behringer Q802USB Mixer which is CC and has a USB out.

  • Thanks, fellas. I'm stuck with iOS 5.1.1 until I can upgrade this iPad 1, so it looks like I can start shopping for a better interface.
    One nag about the io dock (all of the big problems I've read about seem to be fixed); it would put the iPad in landscape, and then loop 1 is in the upper right... The loops don't realign the way I'd want them to. Since I'm a foot pedal user, my new #1 would need to be loop 10... I guess I'd get used to it.

  • I use 6 loops with my FCB. The picture below shows my setup for 1-6. It controls individual loops. The first time you press it it records, the next time it mutes, and then plays. Also you can stop recording by clicking in a different track and recording right away. Very cool.

  • @Jordan - I'm not pushing the iO Dock. It's what I have, but consider that it doesn't have USB connectivity ( there is a hack for the iO Dock to make USB possible). My current MIDI devices are old school(5 pin din) so it's not an issue for me (currently ;-). Only 2 audio channels.

    As for landscape mode, unless you're just setting it on a table/countertop there no reason you can't use it in portrait mode by rigging a holder for the dock. You could even get a sync cable extender ( haven't tried and not sure that all the connections are carried through) connect the 2 together. But at that point (unless you already have an iO Dock) I would recommend looking at other i/o interfaces that either connect directly to the dock connector or via CCK. And if you plan to upgrade from your iPad 1 to 4 (or higher ;-) eventually, an i/o interface with the dock connector will become useless, so the CCK route would probably be more cost effective over time.

    Just my 2cents

  • I've been really happy with the iO dock and like Ganthofer, I just need 5 pin midi.

  • stjambience. What generation iPad do you have?

  • Thanks again fellas. @ganthofer, thanks for awakening me to the fact that I can still rig the io dock to portrait. Might look a little funny, but that's alright.

  • Also, @ganthofer, do we know that that USB hack works? Like, does it accept USB midi? It didn't look like a super-difficult hack.

  • Hey Ben, it's a 2nd gen.

  • edited March 2013

    @Jordan - "we" don't know from personal experience that it works. If you haven't been to untergeek's website, there's more detailed information than the Video posted on the forum:

    http://www.untergeek.de/2013/01/tech-hack-alesis-io-dock-with-usb-hub/

    As for USB MIDI, yes. However, the restrictions/limitations are that the device must be Class Compliant and that it does not draw to much current. Untergeek discusses this on his webpage.

    And lastly, probably not a good solution if you have multiple USB devices ( more than 1 or 2 simple devices - no LEDs, displays, speakers) you want to connect. The current draw on the iO Dock power supply could in best case cause the unit to shut down ( if it has built in overload protection ) , worst case it could destroy the voltage regulator/wallwart/wiring due to over temperature.

    Edit -----
    It should be possible to do the hack and then connect a powered USB hub to it. In other words, do the hack just to get the USB connectivity, then an external powered USB hub to connect the devices and provide a bit of protection if the devices draw to much power.

  • After reading untergeek's. web page, I see that there's more to the hack than I realized. Soldering, finding the right connectors... Yeesh. Maybe a smart and enterprising user would want to make up some 'kits' with connectors and a known working USB hub ready to go, and sell them to us?

    BTW, I bought the io dock on eBay; waiting anxiously. $89 after shipping.

    Thanks for all the info.

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