IK Multimedia iRig Pro Vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: 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. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK.

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 Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. 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.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Everything The Product Sales Page Doesn't Tell You About The Soundcraft Signature 22MKT

I tested the Soundcraft Signature 22MKT for a couple of weeks. I know, not that long, but it's been a revelation every day.

I work with a local piece band and they've been able to lay down live recordings in one take, capturing everything onto separate tracks in the DAW.

The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously has been a game-changer in this respect.

Sound Quality and Support

Warm, Analog Sound

The sound quality is exactly what we were looking for. The mixer provides a broad, balanced frequency range, delivering that warm, analog sound.

Plus, the onboard effects buses allow for creative mixing. Not to mention, the support from Soundcraft has been exceptional, both before and after purchase.

Who Is The 22MKT For? Not Beginners

Difficult Setup and Poor Documentation

I always have to give the good, bad and the ugly… so here it is:

It's not all smooth sailing. Setting up the mixer with Windows was a nightmare, with no useful online resources.

The manual was no help either. It's a great board for those who know what they're doing and know their way around boards, but I can definitely see how for a beginner, it would be a steep and frustrating learning curve.

Early Impressions ✅

Impressive Functionality

In the early days of testing out the 22MTK, I was impressed with its routing capabilities, especially to outboard gear.

The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play is a huge plus. However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts is a bit puzzling.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

Some Quality Concerns

Unfortunately, I soon ran into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum. This was unexpected, especially considering the mixer hadn't seen much use.

While the mixer is generally sturdy, these issues do raise some concerns about its long-term reliability.

Perfect for Specific Needs

Ideal for Unique Applications

This mixer was perfect for running a mic through guitar pedals. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds. It's a solid choice for those needing a compact mixer with good functionality.

Soundcraft 12MTK: A Better Choice For Beginners

I know I have kind of shifted between the 12 and the 22 and thats because they are pretty much the same thing, you either need the extra channels (22MTK) or oyu don't (12MTK).

But the like its big bro, the Soundcraft 12MTK offers good sound quality and is fairly lightweight. The preamps are notable, as is the mid-range EQ. However, there are significant design flaws, like the problematic gain ratio and the lack of an on/off switch, which can be frustrating. It's a good mixer overall but be prepared for some quirks.

Head 2 Head: IK Multimedia iRig Pro or Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

IK Multimedia iRig Pro – A Pocket-Sized Powerhouse

A Portable Recording Maestro

This little audio interface punches above its weight in the world of portable recording equipment. The IK Multimedia iRig Pro is a compact device with a feature set that could make the big boys blush. It's as light as a feather but don't let its size fool you, this thing can handle a heavy workload.

Recording Quality – Crisp and Clean

Zero Latency and Seamless Integration

The iRig Pro handles your recordings like a seasoned pro, offering crystal clear sound and zero latency. It feels right at home with Logic, instantly recognized and easily integrated. Dialing in your levels is like taking candy from a baby, super easy and unbelievably satisfying.

Build Quality – Compact Yet Robust

Packed with Features for Maximum Compatibility

The build quality of the iRig Pro is sturdy as an oak tree; it's got MIDI in and out, XLR output, and can be powered by battery or USB. This versatility allows it to play nice with computers and mobile devices alike, making it an absolute all-star among music production equipment.

Standalone Mixer Functionality – Not Just A Pretty Face

No EQ Controls? No Problem!

Lacking EQ control on the surface might be seen as a downside but don't fret! The iRig Pro still delivers top-notch sound output when hooked up to external mic preamps or effect pedals. It's like having your own personal sound guy on speed dial. This feature alone makes it a worthy addition to any live performance setup.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK – A Beast in the Studio

Multi-track Recording Monster

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is an absolute behemoth among digital mixers. With the ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously, it's like having a full recording studio stuffed into one compact box. The only thing it's missing is a coffee machine!

Sound Quality – Warm and Inviting

Analog Sound with Digital Convenience

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK delivers that warm, analog sound that we all crave, but with the convenience of a digital interface. The onboard effects buses add another layer of creativity to your mix, making every track feel like a sonic masterpiece.

Setup and Documentation – A Bit of a Headache

Not for Beginners!

Getting this beast up and running can be more challenging than solving a Rubik's cube blindfolded. Without useful online resources and a manual that leaves much to be desired, beginners might find themselves feeling like they've bitten off more than they can chew.

The Verdict – A Clear Winner Emerges

A Battle of Titans Decided by Versatility

While both the IK Multimedia iRig Pro and the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK are titans in their respective fields, there can only be one winner in this clash of studio gear giants. With its versatility, compact size, and impressive feature set, the IK Multimedia iRig Pro takes the crown. Its ability to offer professional-grade recordings on-the-go and its compatibility with both computers and mobile devices make it the standout choice for today's modern musician. The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK might have more tracks, but when it comes to flexibility and ease of use, the iRig Pro simply can't be beat.