Drag your guitar into the digital age with iRig Acoustic Stage and Pro I/O

Perfect companions whether you’re strumming like Dylan or going ‘full metal’

Guitars? Digital? Pah. Computers ruined music.

Ah, you’re one of those types. But, yes, you’re right. We’re sure everyone was best served with rubbish microphones on stage, and also desperately trying to get ideas down to four-track cassette decks that would randomly eat tapes, taking with them your sole chance at rock superstardom.

Point. So what do these new iRig things do, then?

iRig Acoustic Stage is a tiny plectrum-shaped mic you clip to an acoustic guitar’s sound hole. Its lead connects to a pre-amp the size of a deck of cards, which lets you fiddle with tones and volume. There’s USB audio out, for connecting to a computer or iOS device, and AUX in to blend your existing pick-up system with iRig Acoustic Stage.

This means you can capture acoustic guitar in a home studio, without the result sounding like you were recording in a biscuit tin. And you can play live, without sitting infuriatingly still in the ‘sweet spot’ of your microphone set-up. Instead, you can rock out. Well, a bit. You’re still playing acoustic guitar, after all.

But what of electric guitarists? How can it help when I’m Hendrix, Page, Slash and Blackmore rolled into one?

It can’t. In fact, nothing can help if you’ve such delusions. But for the saner electric guitarist out there, iRig’s also hurled the iRig Pro I/O into the ring. It’s the latest take on the popular iRig Pro, which has you plug a guitar into one end, and output audio to a Mac, PC, or mobile device.

It’s plug-and-play, has its own headphone port for iPhone 7-owning guitarists still furiously headbutting the wall about Apple going Lightning-port-only, includes a flashy LED to show it’s working, a gain dial to avoid you deafening yourself, offers 48V phantom power, and can even charge a device if you plug in a power supply.

Is that all?

Actually, no. Rather than having you juggle a bunch of input devices, iRig Pro I/O is all about flexibility. It works with guitars, but also microphones, keyboards, and anything else you can connect to its combination Neutrik XLR and 1/4-inch input jack.

But you can’t have one, because you dissed computers and digital music earlier.

I’m sorry. I will listen to an entire Kraftwerk box-set as penance and ensure my next live set is a 40-minute guitar rendition of Computer Love.

Actually, you can’t have one anyway, because the iRig Pro I/O is still listed as ‘coming soon’ on the IK Multimedia website. (It’ll cost US$149 on release.) But you can grab an iRig Acoustic Stage right now for US$99. Right, you'd best get practising.

Ahem. I call this number for a guitar date/I don’t know what to do, I need electric, too…