Positive Grid – maker of the Spark hybrid smart guitar amp – has now introduced a new guitar USB interface. Officially known as the RIFF, it is once again a combo device for musicians integrated with a broad range of software and emulation options that also works as a typical USB interface for Mac, PC, and iOS-based recording rigs. The sleek guitar pedal-looking interface is designed for use in the home studio and elsewhere with what appears to be a durable metal chassis. Head below for a closer look.
New Positive Grid RIFF guitar USB interface:
The RIFF guitar USB interface features a sizable backlit numeric display with an input/output meter alongside other important data based on your particular setup (input gain, three-color clipping indicator, more). The metal chassis, available in four different colorways, also houses a series of physical I/O options along with that giant control knob along the top that provides “instant, fingertip access to all functions,” according to Positive Grid.
Here are some of the specs and connectivity options at a glance:
- INPUT: 1/4 Inch Instrument Input
- OUTPUT: 1/4 Inch Stereo Line Output + 1/8 Inch Headphone Output
- SAMPLE RATE: 24-bit/96kHz High Resolution Audio
- DYNAMIC RANGE: Best-in-class stunning 114dB
- Input Gain
- Output Volume
- Direct Monitor Blend
- Tone Selector
It is designed for use with electric and acoustic guitars as well as bass guitars with three onboard preamp options and overdrive emulations “to easily add warmth, classic analog boost, or beefed-up” saturation to your guitar tone. That’s alongside a direct mode for “zero-latency practicing, jamming, and recording.”
Much like the aforementioned Spark hybrid smart guitar amp, it offers deep software integration including the included BIAS FX 2 amp and effects software along with a host of features and companion software for beginners and jamming:
- ToneCloud – online access to a library of 50,000+ guitar tones
- Guitar Match– allows users to virtually turn their own guitar into the style and sound of a legendary guitar
- Music Page – includes YouTube browse/search function; jam tracks to play along with; and a new Auto Chords function that displays chords for millions of songs in real time as the user is playing, then slows down the song’s tempo or loop a section for deeper practice
- Auto Gain – when activated within BIAS FX 2, will automatically adjust the gain
The new connected RIFF guitar USB interface is available now on Amazon for $129 shipped. However, Positive Grid is offering some notable price drops via its official website with configurations (you can purchase it with various software add-ons) starting from just $99 – a considerably competitive price range in the product category.
There are even more affordable audio interfaces out there just for getting your guitar plugged into your Mac and other DAW software, but RIFF has some compelling features here. The seemingly rugged metal chassis with choice of color (not something we see very often in the interface space) is certainly a couple of them, not to mention the host of amp and included tonal emulations Positive Grid is quite good at. The sleek-looking oversized display and auto gain function also seems like it could be quite convenient, at the very least, for quick jam sessions and the like, although I would have to experience it first hand to know for sure.
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