IK Multimedia iRig Pro Vs. Midas MR18: Head To Head Comparison – READ BEFORE YOU BUY!!

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: IK Multimedia iRig Pro vs. Midas MR18.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both IK Multimedia iRig Pro and Midas MR18. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

Unboxing and First Impressions

The IK Multimedia Quattro I/O is a compact yet feature-rich audio interface that stands out in its class. It's impressively lightweight and efficient, making it a versatile choice for musicians and audio engineers alike. When I first unpacked it, its intuitive control surface, reminiscent of other IK Multimedia devices, immediately struck a chord with me.

Recording and Input Quality

Crystal Clear Recordings with Zero Lag

My initial tests involved recording simple tracks into Logic using a microphone and guitar direct line. The input levels were a breeze to set, resulting in crystal clear recordings with no noticeable lag. The device was instantly recognized by Logic, offering seamless integration. The onboard phantom power efficiently powered my condenser mic, though it required some fine-tuning to achieve the perfect level.

Build and Connectivity

Sturdy Design with Versatile Connection Options

The build quality of the Quattro I/O feels durable, and its provision of MIDI in and out, high-end XLR output, and a variety of power options (battery or USB) add to its versatility. Its compatibility with computers and mobile devices is a significant advantage, making it a great choice for both studio and mobile use. The inclusion of all necessary cables and a tripod attachment is a thoughtful addition, enhancing its usability in live settings.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

Limited EQ Controls, but Stellar Sound Output

As a standalone mixer, the Quattro I/O performs admirably. While it lacks EQ controls on the surface, the quality of sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals is outstanding. This capability makes it a valuable tool for live performances.

Portability and Power Efficiency

Battery Life and Mobile Device Compatibility

The device's portability is enhanced by its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices. While I haven't fully tested the battery life limits, its performance in this mode has been reliable. The quick response from IK Multimedia support regarding a missing serial number/registration card was impressive and speaks volumes about their customer service.

Pros and Cons

Deep Feature Set with Room for Improvement

Pros: The Quattro I/O excels in its compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport. Its deep feature set, including excellent mic pres, flexible input/output options, and compatibility across devices, sets it apart. Its functionality as a standalone mixer and inclusion of 48-volt phantom power are also noteworthy.
Cons: Despite its many strengths, there are some limitations, particularly for specific uses such as DJ'ing streaming, as some users have reported issues with sound quality and device freezing. Additionally, some users have found difficulties in processing effects on iPads.

Midas MR18

After thoroughly testing the Midas MR18 for a few months, I'm ready to spill all the details – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. This mixer is a powerhouse in a compact package, perfect for both live sound and recording. Here's the full breakdown for anyone eyeing this mixer.

Sound Quality and Performance

Right off the bat, the sound quality is top-notch. The MR18 delivers a pristine audio experience with impressively low latency. Whether you're mixing live or laying down tracks in a studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound are remarkable. Plus, the variety of outputs offers immense flexibility, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups.

Build and Connectivity

The mixer is built tough with Neutrik connectors, ensuring robust and reliable connections. This is a big plus for anyone who's had to deal with flimsy ports in the past. The MR18's ease of configuration is another high point. It offers numerous signal routing options, catering to both planned and spontaneous audio needs. The price-to-quality ratio is exceptional, putting it ahead of competitors like the X-Air 18, especially with its superior Midas converters.

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly, not overly complicated like some gear designed with tech whizzes in mind. There's a wealth of online resources and user communities, which is a godsend for troubleshooting and getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs and outputs, offering ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

Challenges and Considerations

However, it's not all smooth sailing. While the MR18 is user-friendly, there's still a learning curve, especially if you're not used to digital mixers. It might take a bit of time to fully grasp all the features and make the most out of this mixer.

Also, while it works great as an audio interface, those who are looking for more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities a bit limited. It's more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Final Verdict

All in all, the Midas MR18 is a solid investment. It's especially great for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. The sound quality is exceptional, and the flexibility in routing and connectivity is a major win. Just be ready to spend some time getting to know this mixer inside out. For its price point, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember, while it excels in many areas, it might not be the perfect fit for those needing advanced studio integration.

Head 2 Head: IK Multimedia iRig Pro or Midas MR18

Unboxing and First Impressions

Well, well, well! Look what we have here. The IK Multimedia iRig Pro, a compact audio interface that screams “take me anywhere.” It's lightweight, efficient and packed with features. The control surface is user-friendly, and if you've ever had the pleasure of using IK Multimedia's gear before, it'll feel like catching up with an old friend.

Recording and Input Quality

I put it through its paces by recording tracks using a microphone and guitar direct line into Logic. What a breeze! The iRig Pro delivered crystal clear recordings with zero lag – yes, you heard me right. No noticeable lag! Plus, the device was instantly recognized by Logic for effortless integration. And let's not forget about the onboard phantom power – perfect for powering my condenser mic.

Build and Connectivity

The sturdiness of this portable gear is impressive. With MIDI in/out, XLR output, and various power options (battery or USB), the iRig Pro offers versatility in spades. It plays nicely with computers and mobile devices making it ideal for both studio recording and mobile use.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

But wait! There's more! As a standalone mixer, it holds its own admirably – even though EQ controls are notably missing from the surface. But don't let that deter you; the sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals is simply stellar.

Portability and Power Efficiency

As portable gear goes, being able to run on battery power gives this audio interface an extra edge – especially for those impromptu jam sessions or outdoor gigs. And kudos to IK Multimedia’s customer service team; they were quick to respond when I had an issue with a missing serial number/registration card.

Now, Let's Talk Midas MR18

After spending some quality time with the Midas MR18, I can confidently say that this digital mixer is a force to be reckoned with. It's compact but don't let its size fool you – it's got the power and features to rival its larger counterparts.

Sound Quality and Performance

The sound quality is simply top-notch. The MR18 delivers pristine audio with impressively low latency – whether you're mixing live sound or recording in the studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound will blow you away.

Build and Connectivity

This music production gear is solidly built with robust Neutrik connectors – no more fretting over flimsy ports. The Midas MR18 offers numerous signal routing options for both planned and spontaneous audio needs – versatility at its finest!

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly. What's more, there are plenty of online resources available for troubleshooting or getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs/outputs offering ample connectivity for most situations. However, while it's user-friendly, there's a learning curve if you're new to digital mixers. Also, those seeking more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities limited.

The Final Showdown: IK Multimedia iRig Pro vs Midas MR18

Both pieces of recording equipment have their strengths: iRig Pro scores high on portability and ease of use while the Midas MR18 stands out for its superior sound quality and versatility. But we can only have one winner! And so, by a hair’s breadth, the crown goes to…Midas MR18! Why, you ask? While the iRig Pro is a fantastic piece of kit, the MR18 edges it out with its superior sound quality and exceptional flexibility in routing and connectivity. It's an ideal choice for live sound mixing and straightforward recording needs. But remember, it comes with a learning curve, so be prepared to spend some time getting acquainted. Trust me; it'll be worth it!