iRig BlueTurn Review

irig_blueturn_34_rightIK Multimedia has an ever expanding selection of hardware and software music products for musicians using computers and mobile devices.

The iRig BlueTurn is the latest addition to the extensive IK Multimedia product list. The iRig BlueTurn is a page-turning pedalboard foot controller, currently retailing at $/€69.99. It is an ideal accessory for their iKlip Stage application (and other compatible applications), for easy scrolling through guitar tabs, sheet music or lyrics. It could also be used for creating a teleprompter, for controlling slide presentations, giving a speech, media control and more. It works with compatible Apps on PC, Mac, iOS or Android devices.

There are three main components to an existing iKlip system:

  1. An iPad, iPad Mini or iPhone (It also works with Android devices and Macs)
  2. An iKlip mount
  3. The iKlip Stage app

iklip_stage_main_image_718x450The iKlip, iKlip 2, or other iKlip devices, are intended to hold your iPad, iPad Mini or iPhone device. Some are stand alone, while others attach to microphone stands or other mounts.

The iKlip Stage app manages set lists. It allows you to import pdf files and arrange them within set lists.

The concept behind the iRig BlueTurn is pretty straight forward. It allows you to changes iKlip Stage pages (set list items) or change the set lists themselves.

It’s a wireless system with a maximum operating range of 30 feet or 10 metres. Instead of using the lighting connector it connects to your iPad, iPad Mini or iPhone using Bluetooth.

The iRig BlueTurn has 3 operational modes, selected during power up.

  1. Mode 1 is Arrow Up and Arrow Down for iOS and Android Apps
  2. Mode 2 is page Up and page Down for scrolling document applications like MS Word,Powerpoint, Acrobat etc on Mac or PC.
  3. Mode 3 sets up the iRig BlueTurn as Arrow Left and Arrow Right direction controller.

bt-stage-useAccessing modes is well documented, but the description of modes is a little lacking. A fuller description of what the modes are and why you would want each mode would be very welcome. As it stands the limits and benefits of each mode are left for the user to discover.

Set up was simple and straightforward, as was product registration. The iRig BlueTurn unit is small and light, but solidly built, making it an easy addition to your gig bag. It is powered using 2 AAA batteries.

The two buttons on the foot controller are back-lit to allow for easy operation in low light environments. The buttons are also silent, which makes the controller perfect for use in a recording studio.

I would have liked it if the mode could have been switched on the fly. In fact it wouldn’t necessarily need an extra switch to offer this feature.

Secondly, it would have been ideal if the iRig BlueTurn could connect to the BlueBoard App, for exmple as a Mini-BlueBoard. Hopefully IK Multimedia will consider this as a future improvement. I understand, it is intended as a page turner, but it is a footswitch, after all. In an age of interoperability, flexibility and re-use this would seem a reasonable approach.

Verdict

irig_blueturn_lifestyle_classicIn conclusion, the iRig BlueTurn is useful little unit. It is perfect for use in the studio, or for use on stage by performing musicians. No more rustling pages in the recording studio, or struggling to read a poorly lit set list on stage.

For contemporary musicians it could be used for lyrics or song sheets, but it has great potential for any musicians using sheet music. Combined with the larger screen of an iPad Pro, an iKlip and the iKlip Stage App finally there is a viable replacement for sheet music on a music stand.

A simple idea, but the iRig BlueTurn has been designed with an eye for detail, and the devil is in the detail, they say. It would have been easy to implement a simple remote page turner, but here IK Multimedia have shown that they intuitively understand the specific needs of music users.

Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family.”
Eric Clapton