The new iRig BlueBoard wireless MIDI controller lets you control your music-making apps, or virtually any Core MIDI compatible app, wirelessly from the floor.
iRig BlueBoard works by wirelessly connecting to a dedicated iRig BlueBoard iOS and Mac app to translate Bluetooth signals into MIDI signals that your Core MIDI apps respond to. Download the universal iRig Blueboard iOS app for free from the App StoreSM or the Mac Version for free on your IK User Area. The new iRig BlueBoard app gives you the ability to customize and assign controls to the various pads on the iRig BlueBoard pedalboard. Here’s how it works...
The iRig BlueBoard hardware features four backlit soft-touch pads housed in a sturdy, stage-worthy chassis, two TRS expansion jacks for connecting additional MIDI controllers like expression pedals, and is powered by four standard AAA batteries.
iRig BlueBoard lets you do all kinds of switching, knob turning and on/off’ing wirelessly from the floor. Let’s say you’re playing guitar and using AmpliTube for iPad as your on-stage guitar tone generator and effects processor. With iRig BlueBoard, you can switch between your rhythm tones and lead tones with a simple “tap” on a pad with your foot. You can kick in a stompbox, boost your volume, add tremolo, adjust your delay time, increase your presence and lots more.
But iRig BlueBoard is not just for guitar players. Any musician that uses iOS music apps (or Mac music software) onstage will find lots of uses for it. Say you’re a keyboard player, and you’re using iLectric Piano or iGrand Piano as your live sound source. You can use iRig BlueBoard to send Program Changes to the app, allowing you to switch patches with your feet, while your hands are busy playing. Or you could send Control Change messages to adjust the speed of the rotating speaker effect in an organ patch in SampleTank.
If you’re a singer using VocaLive onstage, you could, for example, change from the Doubler to the Choir effect when the song gets to the chorus or turn up the delay level. With iRig BlueBoard, the possibilities are endless.
Since iRig BlueBoard uses Bluetooth LE (low energy) to communicate with your device, it needs to have those Bluetooth signals converted into MIDI messages that your apps can use... thus the iRig BlueBoard app.
The iRig BlueBoard app lets you configure your MIDI control settings and customize your pedalboard to play the way you want it to.This means you can use the iRig BlueBoard app to assign parameters in your music app to the pads and external controls like expression pedals and footswitches so you don’t have to stop what you’re playing and make an on-screen adjustment. Just let your feet do the switching for you.
iRig BlueBoard can operate two main ways: as a “Program Change” controller and as a “Control Change” controller. The difference between the two pertains to an extra data bit, but we don’t need to worry about that right now. What this really means is that you can use your iRig BlueBoard to simply switch between preset “patches”, or “setups” and navigate around inside your software rigs, or you can use iRig BlueBoard to control parameters like volume knobs, on/off switches, levers, pulleys and ropes. And there’s another thing — you can also use iRig BlueBoard to serve up a Program Change message while in Control Change mode, allowing you to customize the “switching” of presets while staying in control of your knobs and switches. So in summary, you can switch and control in one smooth operation.
At the most basic level, iRig BlueBoard can be used to send “Program Change” messages to your music apps. “Program Change” messages tell an app which presets to switch to when they’re sent — basically a traffic cop for your presets. Let’s say you are playing with AmpliTube for iPhone and set up a killer rhythm tone and saved it into the Favorite Slot 1. Then, you make some gain and volume adjustments and save it again into Favorite slot 2. When you’re playing, you can use iRig BlueBoard to switch from the first to the second without missing a note. “Start here… now go to there.” These messages allow you to browse your presets or sounds in your music apps like AmpliTube, SampleTank or iLectric Piano, or most other Core MIDI apps.
“Control Change” mode allows you to adjust things, turn things on and off, and basically rule the world of music control. For instance, in the above scenario, let’s say you’re in preset 1, and all you want to do is turn on the delay stompbox. A “Control Change” message is sent from the iRig BlueBoard saying to AmpliTube, “hey, turn on that delay unit… now.”
Control Change messages are also used to increment values or decrement values, depending upon your objective. With iRig BlueBoard, you can hook two external continuous controllers (like an expression pedal or a giant rotary knob!) and send continuous control messages to a virtual wah pedal, volume control, or any other rotary knob controller. Want to gradually increase the distortion as you go through your solo? It’s a breeze, and all wireless!
Aside from preset jumping, switching and control setting, iRig BlueBoard gives you a few more things you can do. With the iRig BlueBoard app, you can change the MIDI channel that iRig BlueBoard communicates on (handy if you use several MIDI control devices in your setup). You can also calibrate an external pedal or controller connected to your iRig BlueBoard. This feature is great for making sure your controller acts in the right range. It’s also great for troubleshooting faulty pedals and gear.
You can also set the “backlit” level brightness for your iRig BlueBoard from the app. This is handy if you’re playing on a dark stage and want to increase the intensity of the backlit pads.
More detailed information about programming and setup is available inside of the iRig BlueBoard Quick Start Guide. For more info on the iRig BlueBoard, click here.