Gear Review: Get Your RIFF on with Positive Grid

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

If you are seeking to keep your sound quality at its best, then an instrument interface is a must purchase. All of us have recorded directly into our phones, tablets, and PCs and the sound quality is usually less than stellar and certainly not good enough for a demo. 

Positive Grid recently released the RIFF, and it is designed to be the sole piece of gear between your guitar and its recording destination. The connectivity on the RIFF includes a ¼” output, which can send your signal to powered speakers, a mixer or amplifier, a headphone output, and USB port output to send your music signal to your smart device or computer. The only input is a ¼” for plugging in the instrument of your choice. The metal chassis of the RIFF is constructed very solid and is half the thickness of your typical guitar effects pedal.  The digital screen on the top of the device is small but powerful and includes input volume, input gain, output volume, Tone DSP, and value display. There are also three indicator lights below the LED screen that reflect clipping, direct, and tone. Underneath the lights is a large easy to navigate Control knob for changing modes. Two different output cables are provided with the RIFF one for smartphones and the other for computers. It has no latency issues provides 24bit/96k high-res sound for MAC/PC and iOS devices. 

If you have used other Positive Grid devices, then you are aware of their BIAS FX 2 software library and it is included with the RIFF.  The library gives you access to 50,000 different sounds at your virtual fingertips for recording and playback. You could spend hours just going through the massive selection of virtual pedals, amplifiers, and other effects that are loaded into the BIAS FX 2 software for your use.

Besides effects and sound tweakers the library also has features like chord display of songs you would like to learn and the ability to slow down songs to learn the solos, chords, and nuances. All of this is within the virtual world on your computer or smartphone. Right now the RIFF is on sale for $99, but I’m not certain how long that price will exist? You truly receive a lot of bang for your dollar with the RIFF just in all of the features with the interface. Once you add the BIAS FX 2 software package it is a great bundle.  I’m also a fan of the smaller size compared to other interfaces so that the RIFF can easily fit into your guitar gig bag or computer bag for easy transport.  If you are in the market for a multi-feature compact guitar interface this is the one. 

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