Choosing an iOS Guitar Interface

Now we’re talking! Lightning connector, real, separate 1/4″ outputs, and separate physical gain controls where you need them. Microphone inputs, should you need them, USB MIDI of some sort and a claimed +10dBu out! Yes!

You give up a little in the way of convenience and portability in that you need to supply A/C to the Dock’s power supply, but on the plus side, this guy has pass thru power and charges your iPad while its docked!

I need to give one of these a real test and see if that need for a power supply is really any issue in real use.

iTrack Solo

This is a bit of a different beast, as it is also a Mac/Windows USB audio interfaces, as well as an iOS interface. With Focusrite, this means pretty mature, reliable, and confidence building ASIO drivers. Quite cool to be able to use the same device for your “real” DAW and your iGuitar duties.

While this device does have separate left right outputs, they are on [YUK!] RCA jacks. There also is a stereo Headphone out, thankfully on 1/4″.

If you are using this with an iPad, as with the iTrack Dock, you’ll need to power it. In this case it has a USB port for charging, might be able to use one of those portable power brick battery things. Unfortunately, if I am reading the manual correctly, this device will not pass through the power and charge your iPad.

Verdict: For my money, the iTrack Dock seems to be the best way to go from the Focusrite offerings. I’m swimming in multichannel ASIO audio interfaces, so the dual nature of the Solo isn’t really a seller for me, but for others it well could be. Pass thru power, a plethora of 1/4″ outputs, and pass thru charging tilt the scales way in the favor of the Dock

Griffin

GuitarConnect Cable

If you have to, I guess….Analog connection through your iDevice’s headphone jack, so no lighting only newer devices. You’d probably be better off with one of the analog iRigs.

GuitarConnect Pro

Like the Apogee stuff, there doesn’t seem to be any outputs on this thing, but it looks like it works with lightning, USB and 30 pin devices. I guess if you have an older device, this could be OK…Its not much cheaper than an iRig HD though, which seems (still working through an iRig issue with IK’s tech support) to be much better on paper, and definitely has some outputs. I wouldn’t recommend this product.

StudioConnect

Seems to be 30 pin only, what a bummer, as it has a full set of ins and outs including MIDI. According to an article at Premier Guitar, there’s supposed to be a lightning version of this, but that was 2013, and I see nothing about it at Griffin’s website

IK Multimedia

iRig 2

A newer incarnation of the device that seems to have started it all. Chances are the whole reason you are looking at any of this, comes from IK Multimedia’s early work. I was blown away back in the day at a NAMM show watching people walking around with an entire guitar amp and FX system on their phones! That was the kind of future tech that you could respond to the ever present question “come on man, where’s my flying car already?”. Unfortunately, for some reason, not all that much has changed since then for IK’s software, which had once led the pack, and still a KILLER contender on the desktop, just isn’t much on the iPad. If you are looking for Amplitube on the iDevices, look at Tonestack, it has its own issues and shortcomings, but its as close to Amplitube VST as you are going to get on the iOS system.

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