The iRig plugs into your pod / pad / phone via the 1/8" jack -- it includes the requisite pass-through jack for monitoring system audio as well. It looks just like any number of Shure knockoffs on the market and feels nice and weighty in the hand. There's also a three-position gain control switch on the body. It feels like a little bit of a joke, though: if we had to name each of the three positions they'd be "almost off," "Big Muff," and "this one goes to 13." And, just for fun, the three settings were backwards on our unit. Also for fun, if you turn it up all the way, you can hear your neighbor's cordless phone conversations.
Which brings us to the first point about the iRig: it doesn't sound good. Remember Your First Sony? Yeah, it's like that. So don't plan on cutting your Rumours of the 22nd century on this thing or anything like that.
But. But! Remember Your First Sony? It was really super-awesome and you probably still pull the tapes out when it's too late at a party to laugh at your 3,000 charming renditions of "Baby Beluga." This is where iRig's paired software comes handily into play: it's called Vocalive, and while its mind-crushingly cheesy title screen might have you LOLing all the way to the Top of the Pops, the quick-and-dirty nature of it lends a Tascam 4-track feel that we haven't really dealt with elsewhere in iLand (except for, oh, the official app).
As soon as the app opens you're free to start setting up your own personal wall of sound: your industry-standard chorus, delay, distortion, compression, and pitch shift homeboys are all here. The increasingly ubiquitous "pitch fix" is also along for the ride, and while it's not quite I Am T-Pain, it's enough to keep you entertained for at least a couple jams' worth of kind of staying in key.
The C60 cassette-inflected recording interface works just as you'd expect it to, but for a price: one track is free, and you can unlock three more for a $4.99 in-app purchase). Swiping between FX, panning, and insert sections is intuitive and feels just like home to us. You can import songs from your library and assign them to tracks in the recorder, which is just what we did here: