Positive Grid RIFF Guitar Audio Interface for Mac and iOS

Today we’re diving into our review of the Positive Grid RIFF guitar audio interface. Positive Grid is best known for its intelligent smart guitar amp products which offer instrumentalists a wonderful practice and recording setup tightly integrated with the brand’s wealth of high-tech jam-along and tone emulation software. The new RIFF interface packs much of that integration into a small audio interface for Mac, Windows, and iOS musicians at an even more affordable price. We’ve featured the recently unveiled guitar USB interface at launch, along with a nice introductory price offer, but now it’s time to take a closer look in our Positive Grid RIFF review as part of the latest entry in the Tested with 9to5Toys series.

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Positive Grid RIFF Guitar Audio Interface System Review

The Positive Grid RIFF guitar audio interface comes in a small box that looks almost like a guitar pedal with micro-USB to Lightning or USB-A connections for your Mac, Windows machine or iOS device. It is, for all intents and purposes, a standard USB audio interface aimed directly at guitarists with three onboard preamp tones, input and output controls, a stereo headphone jack, and tight integration with the Positive amp. Grid and FX emulation software (as well as all major DAWs).

Turn your computer or mobile into an all-in-one guitar effects powerhouse. An intuitive and fully customizable virtual electric, bass or acoustic guitar for Mac, PC and iOS, BIAS FX 2 works as a standalone guitar effects processing application. Inject new tones and creativity into your playing, practicing, and jamming – no need for another guitar software or DAW. Amps, studio effects, pedals – they’re all here!

The pedal-sized enclosure features a sturdy metal chassis (available in four color options) with a striking one-button control scheme. A push of the top-mounted knob takes you through the various hardware-controllable parameters it has – input gain, output volume, preamp tone options and direct monitoring – while turning the knob adjusts levels and selections for each. It’s a simple, easy-to-use setup that doesn’t get in the way of what you’re really here for and requires little to no learning curve for even the least tech-savvy guitarist.

The relatively large screen with which these settings and adjustments are displayed is another noticeable touch here – it’s a particularly modern and easy-on-the-eyes LCD solution that makes things easy to read in dimly lit and poor recording rooms. mood, etc. .

But a bit like the most expensive Positive Mains Connected Guitar Amp Solutions, the overall value of the RIFF is directly tied to the company’s software it’s designed for – it’ll work like a typical audio interface without it, but things get a lot more interesting and, frankly, more fun with the BIAS FX2 suite here. . Not only do we have access to Positive Grid’s jamming technology which provides a wealth of songs and the chords to learn them in a simple and intuitive setup, but also a sizable collection of amps and sound effect units. exceptional as well as a series of presets. for each – adding significantly to your tonal possibilities every step of the way.

Every purchase of the RIFF guitar audio interface includes a free copy of the BIAS FX LE version software, but you have the choice of upgrading at checkout (or after the fact) to the BIAS FX2 Standard or BIAS FX2 platform Elite as well – both including the ante in terms of number of amps, effects and presets, plus the addition of native app recording, deeper Guitar Match options (automatic model emulation classic guitar pickups and electronics), MIDI support, and BIAS Pedal Stomp Modeling software (the ability to customize your pedal down to the internal electronics, etc.). As of this writing, updated versions will run you an additional version $59 and $179respectively (up to 50% off).

Here is an overview of the data sheet:

  • Interface with pure sound designed by guitarists
  • 24-bit/96kHz Hi-Res Audio
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Automatically adjust input levels
  • Three legendary preamp emulations
  • Play songs and jam with chords
  • Get over 50,000 tones
  • Ready for Mac, iOS and Windows

9to5Toys review:

As an audio interface, RIFF is a basic but well-built metal solution with an I/O layout geared directly towards guitarists and bass players – a single mono input and output, a data connection to your computer/smartphone and one stereo 1/8- inch headphone jack. It feels like it’s on the sturdiest and toughest side of anything in its price range – it can definitely take more beatings than anything with a hard plastic shell – and looks even better than most with its large screen and single button, almost Apogee-like, control system.

But RIFF, like its smart amp brethren, is far more valuable and feature-rich than that when you factor in the included BIAS FX2 software, let alone upgraded versions of it. It can also be used as a native application or as a plug-in in your DAW of choice. These guitar effects and amps sound as good as or better than other options I’ve tried on the market, and easily rival Apple’s built-in Amp Designer and Pedalboard plug-ins for Logic Pro. There are plenty of presets to play with and customize (depending on which version you choose of course, but the free starter set can be quite extensive when you include all the customization options).

The BIAS Pedal Stomp modeling software is the highlight for me here. Although this must be purchased separately and/or is only included with the BIAS FX2 Elite platform, it’s a great way for sound design tinkerers to really dive into the internals of their pedal. It effectively allows people to create their own distortion, delay or modulation effect down to the battery power source, clipping circuits, preamp signal bias, and much more which can then be controlled and exported to your BIAS FX2 rig in the form of a typical three-knob pedal emulation. It’s a ton of fun, especially creative, and really lets you customize your own pedal library.

If you’re looking for an interface that can also handle your XLR condenser mics, then RIFF is clearly not for you, but for guitarists and bassists looking to achieve great sounds and a way to easily integrate those sounds into a recording platform, It certainly is. Add the auto-tune and jam system, and Positive Grid has clearly made a compelling option for guitarists here that won’t break the bank while still providing a way to dive even deeper with ongoing software enhancements arriving regularly. based. It’s available on full Amazon $130 MSRP right now, but you can currently mark for $99 directly on the Positive Grid website with the aforementioned software upgrades as well.

Buy Positive Grid RIFF guitar audio interface


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