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Apogee Jam vs. iRig - anyone tried both?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Ozzel, May 5, 2011.

  1. I'm wondering how these two products compare in combination with iphone, ipad, or mac to practice and record bass. The Apogee Jam is so new that I cannot find enough written about it here or elsewhere online to make an informed decision. I'm not so worried about cost, although one is half the price of the other. I'm more concerned with sound quality, ease of use, durability, compatible apps, etc...

    So if you've tried them both and/or own one or the other, please reply with your thoughts. Thanks!
  2. Color me interested, too. I've been trying to find an answer on this, but haven't had much luck. I was told by one "Genius" that the Apogee is much better because it has a level control. This makes sense, but the same fellow told me that the iRig wouldn't work on the iPad...even though it states right on the packaging that it does.

    So, apologies for piggybacking on your thread, but I too would love to hear from fellow bassists on this.
  3. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    no comparison... apogee all the way. i have a A. Duet and an iRig I still drag the Duet around and never use the iRig. iRig was a waste of my money.
  4. IK Obi

    IK Obi

    Apr 4, 2011
    The only downside to the Apogee is that it can only be used with GarageBand for iPad so far and also uses the dock so you can not charge/sync and play at the same time while you can with the iRig.
  5. ghostcat


    Jul 21, 2011
    I joined this forum just to post this.

    In case people didn't know, IK Obi works for iRig's makers, IK Multimedia (he mentions it in this forum), and in his enthusiasm for his own product, he didn't properly research the competition. The Jam also has a USB connector and works fine with a computer as well as an iPhone/iPad. On a computer, it works with (at least) GarageBand, Logic, and MainStage, and on iOS, I haven't checked all the apps, but it works with the amp apps I've tried so far with the exception of the IK Multimedia iOS apps.

    IK Obi is correct in that it does take up the dock connector, so you are running off the iPad/iPhone batteries and cannot charge at the same time.

    As for quality, I haven't tried the iRig, but the Jam sounds fantastic, and I would imagine that a pure digital input would sound superior to an analog input. I've heard some people say that it's not quite as good as Apogee's Duet or Ensemble, but I think it's good enough for recording.
  6. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    + Cheap
    + Works in almost any application
    + Works with almost every iOS device
    + Works with modern Macs, too
    - Doesn't work in older Macs (roughly pre-2010)
    - Noisy
    - Disables internal speaker on iOS devices
    - Causes nasty feedback if headphone volume is too high

    + Superior sound quality
    + USB connection for all Macs (Windows too if somebody could make a driver)
    + Adjustable input level
    - No support for other iOS devices than iPhone 4 and iPad
    - Takes up the dock connector
    - A bit pricey for a single-purpose peripheral

    ...I'd still go for the JAM. It's significantly higher quality in terms of both construction and sound quality and works with any Mac using the USB cable.
  7. kester


    Mar 9, 2011
    I did not know the irig Could work with my Mac! Couldn't find any apps that support the jam on an iPhone and iPod touch.
  8. I have tried both. IK Obi's points are correct. Nevertheless the signal from the Jam is cleaner which is what led me to try it. The iRig is a bit more solid in construction; the Jam feels plasticky for the price. I'm playing with the Jam now exclusively.

    I do wish Amplitube would accept CoreAudio signals so I could use the Jam with it.
  9. FunkyMcNasty


    Dec 4, 2010
    I am looking into the same stuff right now and I am finding that Apogee has better built-in pre's than most anything at that price point. I am about to pull the trigger on either an apogee one or duet.
  10. kester


    Mar 9, 2011
    I'm using a duet 2 right now as my rig, it sounds good! Never had a problem with loss of frequencies or noise.
  11. There is a third interface that probably falls between the iRig
    and the Jam. It is the Peavey Ampkit.

    The Ampkit uses batteries. I have read that, by doing this,
    they can avoid feedback problems associated when using
    high gain on the iRig. And it doesn't tie up the dock
    connector so you can stay plugged in and play for a long,
    long time.

    I own and have used both the iRig and the Ampkit. They're
    both pretty cool. I can't say that feedback had really been
    a problem for me with the iRig. I like the simplicity of the
    iRig but I usually reach for the Ampkit.

    I can't say that I have a strong opinion on any of these
    interfaces but you do owe it to yourself to get one of them.
    Making music with these and an iPad is very, very cool.

    Amplitube iRig - $29
    Peavey Ampkit - $29
    Apogee Jam - $99
  12. grabejud


    Oct 2, 2011
    i cant help but post a reply on my opinion about apogee. Knowing that line6 is also coming up with their mobilein i still went for apogee jam with its additional 40 db of gain else if you can fork out more, then the alesis i/o dock is the way to go.

    I use my apogee jam mainly on my electric/acoustic yamaha with passive pickups. The extra 40db of gain helps alot for the intended instrument, which means mics like sm58 works. And its way cleaner in terms of audio clarity as its a real 24bit 44.1kHz usb analog to digital converter. Only issues is, some apps like amplitude wont work as mentioned above.

    so far, these apps work great with jam:
    sonoma studio track
    AMps and Cabs
    (and more to come)

    and it works with win7 64bit as an audio usb mic in.

    to sum up with, my ipad has now become an AIO recording device.
  13. IK Obi

    IK Obi

    Apr 4, 2011
    Ozzle, what did you end up getting?
  14. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I just traded my iRig for the Jam and I'm impressed with the improved sound quality and gain. The Gk app was rather hissy with the iRig, but is really clear now with the Jam. Too bad I bought the iRig Amplitube app, it isn't compatible. It seemed more geared to guitarists anyway, and was noisy.

    The GK app has a "trainer" feature built in where you can play with your iTunes, and change tempo and pitch to a certain extent, as well as looping. Looks like a one stop shop. Latency is still a problem for me, but might not bother others.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  16. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Hmmm. That lexicon looks cool, but it also looks bulky. Any idea on the price? I could find it, clicking around the site.
  17. BoyaFromNagoya


    Aug 26, 2008
    Hey LM....
    About this latency you've mentioned...
    Is it for GK app or the apoogee?
    I was thinking about getting an apogee until i read your comment.
    Have anyone experienced any annoying latency issues on any of these devices.
  18. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    My guess is it's just a part of playing through a phone. The Jam is much better than the iRig though.
  19. IIIBossonsIII


    Nov 17, 2011
    I'm using a peavy amp link with my iPad it's great the quality is awesome but I've never tried the others so I can't compare them
  20. A.Kovacev


    Jul 19, 2009
    ghostcat is right, but I would also like to see some bass amp sounds on garageband for the ipad.