Sonoma Wireworks Guitar Jack (with FourTrack)
Out of all of the iPhone recording interfaces included in this roundup, the Sonoma Wireworks Guitar Jack is in a functional category of its own. The weighty gadget plugs directly into the data jack on the bottom portion of the iPhone—or iPod Touch—to provide the highest quality recorded sound (in stereo) and lowest latency possible. This attention to pristine audio quality comes at a price, however. Each one of the devices in this roundup falls into the price range of $20-$40, yet the Guitar Jack commands a hefty $200 price tag, making it more of a specialty item for the consumer who is really serious about capturing all of the tonal nuances available from the device.

Because the Guitar Jack doesn’t have to rely on the iPhone’s conventional headphone/mic input jack, it’s capable of commanding its software with more precision and features. The ¼” instrument input can be switched to either Hi-Z or Lo-Z modes, and also sports a pad feature for guitars with hotter output signals that would normally clip the device’s input, which kept clipping to a minimum.

The Guitar Jack is designed to work hand-in-hand with Sonoma’s FourTrack app, which is a fantastic piece of software in its own right. Four separate tracks can be recorded within the confines of the iPhone, giving the player on the run the ability to take a virtual scratchpad with them anywhere. Those of us who remember having to lug around an inexpensive four-track tape recorder will really appreciate this convenience, as we all know that inspiration can strike at a moment’s notice. That convenience, however, will cost you an additional $9.99 from the App Store.

The software really goes all out when it comes to features, such as providing mixdown and compression options. The Guitar Jack’s dual inputs (1/4” and 1/8”) mean that you can record both your guitar and vocals to separate tracks, taking full advantage of this software.

The biggest thing that this setup could benefit from, however, is providing some sort of amp modeling option built into Four Track. I really enjoyed using the piece after digging out my old Line 6 POD, laying down track after track and experimenting with some harmonization that had been kicking around in my head for a few weeks. Also, the Guitar Jack is not yet compatible with the iPad or iPhone 4, so if you have one of these devices, you’ll have to wait until the company’s compatible version is released. Regardless, the Guitar Jack was very impressive, and I had a blast using it.

MSRP: $199.99

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