One of the challenges of digital music production in the modern day is the fact that everything you’re recording may be digital, but the techniques you want to use can be… decidedly analog. Especially pedals. Which is where IK’s iRig Blueboard comes in.
It’s actually a fairly clever solution to an annoying problem for musicians: Playing music live when you’re using a computer, which even at its simplest is a far more complex control scheme than most musicians can use while playing, either if you want to get a live sound in the studio or up on stage. So iRig set up the simplest tool for musicians while playing; a set of pedals.
Pedal To The Metal
Essentially, the Blueboard puts four buttons at your feet, designed to wireless control music apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers. You can assign anything you want to these pedals; patches, presets, effects, and it can even be configured to control gain and other necessary factors if you want that at your fingertips, or rather the tips of your toes.
The main tradeoff, though, is that it’s powered by AAA batteries, so you may need to swap them out before every show to guarantee that the Blueboard works properly. You’ll also still need to cable your instrument directly to the computer in question to make the Blueboard useful.
So it’s not really for everybody. But, that said, it does solve a tricky problem for many musicians, and it helps that it’s both tiny and light. At 8.81 ounces and less than a foot long, it’s not going to take up a lot of room whether it lives on the floor of your studio or in a pocket of your gig bag. If you want a little more control, it won’t cost you a lot of money, either: IK sells the Blueboard for $100.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.