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Plugging Into the Palm of Your Hand: iPhone & iPod Guitar Interface Roundup

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Plugging Into the Palm of Your Hand: iPhone & iPod Guitar Interface Roundup


Griffin Technology GuitarConnect (with iShred)
The first thing that I noticed about Griffin’s GuitarConnect cable is how robust the product’s construction was. The thick, six-foot cable featurs its own ¼” male plug, coupled with a separate 1/8” headphone jack to monitor the guitar’s signal. I really liked how sturdy the jack’s rubber seals feel to the touch—it seems like a really tough, reliable piece of gear. Even though the cable is much sturdier than, say what you’d find in a beginner’s pack, I wasn’t too keen on the fact that I had to use Griffin’s male plug for my guitar. If the plug fails or breaks, the entire cable is worthless—there’s no option for using another standard ¼” instrument cable.

GuitarConnect is designed to work with iShred, an app developed by Frontier Design. There are two versions, a basic free one and a fully unlocked edition for $4.99. The app is capable of running eight effects in different combinations, such as overdrive, fuzz, and delay. The amp has modes for clean and overdriven, which can be selected by a virtual slider switch on the top of the screen. I think it’s pretty cool how a lot of app developers who are making apps like this lay out the amplifier and effects as if you’re looking at them on your bedroom or studio floor, making the whole thing a very visual experience. The iShred app does this very well, giving a satisfying—and familiar—click when tapping on the footswitch of each pedal. The effects are decent, but I wish that some sort of equalizer or tone control had been programmed into the amp. The high end was very, very dull, and it was almost impossible to dial in a really cutting, bright tone out of the app. One bright spot is that I didn’t experience any nasty digital clipping with the cable, even with other apps, such as Sonoma’s FourTrack recording software. The cable’s solid build—combined with a low noise floor—made it easy and enjoyable to use.

MSRP: $29.99
griffintechnology.com

In this roundup:
Peterson iStroboSoft Adapter Cable (with iStroboSoft)
Griffin Technology GuitarConnect (with iShred)
IK Multimedia iRig (with Amplitube)
Sonoma Wireworks Guitar Jack (with FourTrack)
Peavey AmpKit LINK (with AmpKit)
PRS Cables GuitarBud Cable

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