The iRig pads are a portable 16 pad MIDI controller compatible with Windows, Mac and lightning equipped iPods, iPads and, of course, iPhones.
What does it do?
The 16 backlit pads allow producers and podcasters to assign beats, loops and effects as does the additional dials and sliders on the unit. Imagine being able to sample instruments, drums, loops and MIDI loops from a device no bigger than an iPad, all while connecting it with your choice of USB or lightning cable. iPad, iPhone and iPod users have a wealth of programs that are compatible with iRig pads and the crew at IK Multimedia have made setup a breeze plus they provide a solid crop of apps to get the ball rolling. The addition of a pedal input rounds out a versatile piece of equipment for production and DJ-ing on the go. Podcasters will like this device because it functions as a perfect hardware soundboard, which is how we are using it here at RW.
What's wrong with it?
If you are a podcaster looking to implement this into your workflow there is a bit of learning curve, but not one that makes the usage of the device either unbearable or cumbersome. Reading the manual and playing with the device will make you moderately proficient fast, but when in doubt there is always YouTube.
Why do you/don't you need it?
If you are looking for a mobile toolkit to use alongside your iPad or iPhone you won't find a more capable or more portable solution that works with an array of programs including Garageband and Ableton Live.
As a podcaster and content creator, I searched high and low for a solution that would give me quick push-button access to sound effects and segment transitions without being at the mercy of various desktop apps which could crash or not work as effectively while doing a live broadcast.