IK Multimedia just announced the new iRig BlueBoard, a MIDI pedalboard that lets you control music apps wirelessly with your feet, via Bluetooth. If you use music-making apps on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, the BlueBoard can profoundly change the way that you interact with your device. Its wireless connectivity also makes it compatible as a MIDI controller for Macintosh computers that support Bluetooth 4.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy.
Here’s a scenario that illuminates how useful the BlueBoard will be: say you’ve got a guitar plugged into an iRig, the iRig plugged into an iPhone, and the AmpliTube guitar app running on the iPhone. You can use the new BlueBoard to turn the virtual effects pedals on and off, without taking your hands off the guitar. In one fell swoop, the new BlueBoard makes the virtual guitar effects found in apps controllable with your feet, the way they were meant to be. You can also change presets, and even control the virtual Wah-Wah pedal with a separately available expression pedal (two 1/4" expansion jacks make this possible).
The hands-free capabilities that the BlueBoard provides isn’t just beneficial to guitarists. It’s compatible with all Core MIDI apps, such as Apple’s Garageband. Vocalists who use the iRig Mic will be able to control the VocalLive app wirelessly with their feet, keyboard players who use the iRig KEYS will be able to control the iGrand Piano app, and the fact that the BlueBoard sends out standard MIDI commands means that its potential use cases are prolific. The BlueBoard comes with a dedicated application that runs in the background of your iOS device or Mac, which translates its Bluetooth messages into MIDI notes. IK Multimedia has more dedicated companion apps in the works, which will further extend its functionality.
The BlueBoard runs on four AA batteries. Each of its four footswitches are backlit, so you can easily see what state the switches are in on a dimly lit stage. It’s compact enough to slip into a common laptop bag, and built tough to survive being stepped on constantly. It has a range of 32.8 feet (10 meters), so you’re not forced to keep your device or computer right next to your setup.
The IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard will be available in second quarter of 2013.
|Device||Bluetooth wireless MIDI pedalboard|
|Pads||4 x backlit soft-touch rubber pads|
|Jacks||2 x 1/4" TRS pedal inputs|
|Messages||Send program, bank and other MIDI messages|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)|
|Range||32.8 feet (10 meters)|
|Compatibility||iOS Devices (iOS 5.1 or later required): iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad mini
Computers: Any Apple Macintosh from June 2012 and on that supports Bluetooth 4.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy
|Power||4 x AAA batteries|
|Dimensions||10.82 x 3.62 x 0.98" (275 x 92 x 25mm)|
|Weight||8.81 oz (250 g)|