Guitar Interfaces
  • What would you say is the best guitar interface to use?

    I've got an iRig that suited me just me fine as I only used it for practicing. Now that Audiobus has stolen all my spare time and probably ruined my girlfriends life I need to upgrade.

    When I record with the iRig my audio bleeds onto the other tracks and its driving me crazy

  • I'm only a novice when it comes to hardware (I'm a software guy!), but you'll find all analog devices like the iRig that plug into the headphone port suffer from those bleedthrough issues.

    One popular digital device is the Apogee Jam, which plugs into the dock port.

  • Yeah I think I may invest in Apogee. I actually knew about the bleed before I bought the iRig but I didn't mind too much as it was for practice and recording ideas but now with the sounds on JamUp being so good, the doors opened by Audibus and the quality of all my other apps its time for a change

  • The peavey ampkit out performs its price. Definitely not as nice as dock connected interface but much better than the irig.

  • Apogee jam is by far the best for professional recordings imo You will see a vast improvement in sound quality if upgrading from irig

  • I've heard the griffin cable is much better than the iRig too. How is the crosstalk with the Peavey? I'm wondering if a headphone amplifier might be a workaround. Maybe not have as much bleed if I set my device really low and pump up the amp on my phones.

    I've been reading up on Apogee Jam and watched some videos of it in action and it does seem very good. I think I'll write a letter to Santa

  • The bleed isn't bad at all on the Peavey. It requires a battery which drives some sort of active circuitry magic to keep the crosstalk down. Might work similar to balanced audio where they're using the battery to flip the polarity of one of the signals to cancel the other out. Not sure but it works pretty well. I don't do a lot of high gain amp modelling though so...

  • Any interface that uses the headphone jack is gonna cause crosstalk problems, just depends on that degree. We've discussed these interfaces at length on Talkbass, and the general consensus is that the Jam is amazing, and the Art Dual USB Pre also works well (with the CCK). But the Jam is the way to go, and will be attached to my iPhone very soon.

  • I've always used an iPhone but I have the iPad mini now too. Am I right in thinking you can connect USB audio interfaces with the CCK?

  • Just discovered this the other day. iPad 2 + Apple CCK + Rocksmith cable works with Jamup and Amplitube, so presuming it'll work with other apps as well. Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you!

  • I just bought an apogee jam, and its fantastic

  • I've had the irig, the AmpLink (Peavey) , and I graduated to the Apogee Jam because of the same reasons mentioned previously. The irig was garbage to me ad I replaced it with the AmpLink after about two weeks. Eventually I realized that the bleed was killing me so I upgraded to the Jam. It's a huge leap in quality going from AmpLink to the Jam.

  • In general all of the devices that plug in to the iPhone headphone socket will give you poor isolation that will result in bleed across. I have the peavy amp link and even though it's "active" you are still limited by the iPhone headphone socket isolation which was never really designed for this purpose. If you have an iPad then get a CCK and any class complient USB audio interface will give you far superior isolation. I have the tascam iU2 which I find works ok on an iPhone 4s with the dock connector and is problem free using the USB on an iPad. The build quality isn't the best but you do get a dedicated guitar input which should provide better impedance matching than most of the line level inputs ( if you have effects pedals in your chain that are buffered then this becomes less important) I have had issues with the iU2 running GarageBand but it will work. Not something you would want to depend on for a paying gig though certainly good enough for home recording.

    Bottom line is if you want to play at anything louder than bedroom levels then avoid anything plugging into the headphone port as the physical limitations of all I devices will treat your audience to a symphony of feedback!

  • Well everything I know about has been said. Ampkit was updated today to support Ampkit Link HD, so that is something to look forward to.

  • I'm going to sticky this, since there's good info in here...

  • Wait, AmpKit Link HD? How'd I miss that one?!?

  • It's not out yet @RipTopaz but the latest update said in the update details that they added support for Ampkit Link HD. "Coming soon" I think it said.

  • Will the jam work through the cck? I'm going to pick one up and was wondering if the cck would work with it and my ipad mini or if I need to pick up the 30 pin to lightning adapter.

  • The Apogee Jam has a direct cable for the 30pin dock connector, I think you'll need the lightning adaptor.

  • Good point, may need a "digital audio in" for that to work

  • I'm using the Alesis IO Dock and it works great with my iPad 4. Although not a real portable option it's great for working while watching football or laying by the pool lol. I have even integrated into my Sonar recording rig in my studio for transferring backing tracks and song ideas. Also great for live gigs as well. Just got the AB along with jam up. I'll post later to let you all know how we'll that works in studio.

    Happy Holidays everyone !!!!!

  • @guitarplayer1: Have you noticed any added latency with the ioDock? A friend of mine has been using it with Audiobus and reported some weirdness...

  • Another rec for the Apogee Jam. I got the iRig initally but gave up after the Jam came out.

    The Apogee One will work, too, via the CCK, but only with a powered USB hub. The Apogee One includes a high quality condenser mic in the device + a very nice D/A converter.

  • The line6 mobile in works well. Have mine connected with a connection lead to avoid strain on the phone.
    The mobile pod that you download for free has some superb sounds. When line6 sort the audiobus/ACP function on the pod app it will be a superb tool.

  • Interested in the potential io dock issues with Audiobus.

    So, in a cage match, who would win, the apogee jam or the io dock? I know they do different things and the io dock has more features and potential, but is the apogee going to sound better for guitar than the io dock?

  • There's another alternative worth considering, which is where I eventually ended up. The Zoom B3 (bass) and G3 (guitar) are digital multi-effects pedals which do quite well as stand-alone all-in-one pedals. And they both have a class-compliant USB 2.0 interface, so you can connect to the iPad through the CCK and the pedal will show up as a stereo USB input. Works great in JamUp Pro, AmpliTube, MultitrackDAW, Auria, etc. Footprint is about the same size as an Alesis ioDock -- same top-down area as an iPad, 1.5-2" thick -- cost is a bit more ($200 vs. $170 for Alesis). But not a bad package if it can replace some other pedals for you and it plays well with the iPad.

    I started with an iRig and did not like it at all -- very noisy. I use the Zoom B3 for my bass all the time and recently have been noodling with it through Audiobus, which is great.

  • @JohnInBoston - is your G3/B3 reliable for extended periods of time as an audio io? My G3 shows up and will work for a few minutes but then crashes. Also worth noting that it requires a powered USB hub to function.

  • @CJ_Stout - I have both and for me the Apogee Jam has better soundquality than the io-dock. The dock has nice connectionpossibilities though, and charges my iPad in the meanwhile...

  • The io-dock doesn't work that well with Audiobus for the moment...

  • @Ringleader - I haven't had trouble with my B3 for long periods, but I also haven't put a ton of hours on this configuration. I don't recall any crashes or disconnects.

    It's fair comment that the B3/G3 configuration has to go through a powered hub, which is an annoyance. I have to run my MIDI keyboard through a hub as well, and fortunately one hub can handle and power both. I tend to chalk the need for a hub up to a failing of the iPad design, since both devices will happily hang off a laptop USB port without additional power. Makes the whole "mobile music" thing tough when you have to plug things in, but most of the time I'm in my basement studio, so it's not a big deal.

  • Vibes, very cool, thanks. I knew somebody out there would have both. Hell, I will likely end up with both at some point too, but I gotta start somewhere and a hundo for the jam is not unreasonable. I hope there will be a new incarnation of the io dock. The io mixer thing appears unimpressive thus far. Thanks, glad to be here!

  • There's also the Alesis io4. It's between $110 and $150 depending on where you look.

    Been using it for a couple of months now and it's been very good to me. Not a single issue with the iPad (haven't tried it with my computer) and the sound is good. Shit, the sound is pretty great for that much I/O at that price! Being a single purpose device from a pedigree like Apogee I suspect the Jam sounds a little better as a guitar DI. I've never heard the jam so I have no idea. For me the difference was the extra stuff like 4 inputs, MIDI I/O, xlr inputs with phantom power, monitoring, stereo recording, inserts... If you need that stuff, I'd consider it.

    I run it like this: guitar cable into input 1, mic cable into input 2 and stereo send from a mixer into 3/4 for everything else. I send the io4's outs to the mixer since the mixer drives my monitors. Plus, a man has to have access to his space echo at all times!

    The unit feels pretty cheaply made but mine just sits on my guitar amp. With 4 inputs I don't really need to fiddle with it much other than turning it on so I'm hoping it will live a reasonably long life.

  • Just as an FYI. Walmart has the Rocksmith game with cable for $20-$30 bux. I was amazed by how clean it sounds. Of course it is no Apogee, but if you already have a CCK, for the money, you really cannot beat it.

    Way better than the Peavey or the god awful iRig.

  • I've been using a DIY passive box made with a 1/4" to RCA digital camcorder cable which has a potentiometer knob you can use to fine tune the noise you're getting from the input. Sometimes you'll get electrical interference if the iOS device is charging. This produced a much cleaner input signal than the I/O dock. Here's a link to the circuit which is very simple to build with very inexpensive components you can get from Radio Shack. Works really well to feed input from other devices too.

    If you're running out to a mixer or speakers, you'll need to first run your guitar through a mono pre-amp and then into the DIY box and have the headphone output on the DIY box go to your mixer or computer's external sound card inputs so you don't have the output signal going back the wrong way.

    If you want a DIY box that uses the 30 pin connector like the Apogee Jam, there's a company that sells a breakout for the 30 pin connector so you can then solder your wires to it to make your own connections.

    Info on 30 pin connections

    Here's a DIY I/O dock

    You can also find information about the new lightening connector but if you build your 30 pin box connector correctly, it may be possible to use the Apple lightning 30 pin adapter.

  • Nerd. Win. That is so sweet.

  • Hi

    IMHO The Sonuus I2M USB interface is the best solution for Guitar to CCK to iPad

    It's probably more expensive than others at £100 but the big difference is you get mono midi too!!!

    Plus you can hook up to a PC and customise the Gain and Midi parameters.

    It works nicely with JamUp and is lovely with Sunrizer

    Take a look at my vid on YouTube using it with a Tele and GarageBand - google Batninja


  • Has anybody used the Behringer UCG102 guitar to USB interface with success?

    I have an ipad 4, and would have to use it with CCK lightning interface.

  • I have a Guitar jack 2. Anyone know if it and the Sonoma wireworks software will work with audiobus?

  • The Yamaha Audiogram6 USB powered mixer works with JamUp and other iOS guitar apps via the camera connection kit with a powered USB hub. The foot print for the mixer is smaller than the iPad. You may need to reconnect or restart your iPad if you're not getting sound to establish the connection. You can also use USB midi devices plugged into your midi hub. The mixer also has analog compression for the first two inputs which can be any combination of instrument/mic and mono/stereo. MT DAW recognizes the multiple outputs too. You can mix audio on the Yamaha and output it to speakers. It's relatively small and light weight plus it has XLR inputs for mics and phantom power. Plus it will work with your desktop DAW. Haven't tried using the mixer while connected to both the iPad and desktop yet.

  • please, anyone has tested both tascam iu2 and apogee jam, who could say if the tascam has as good audio quality as the apoogee jam?

    i will buy one of them next week.


  • I use tascam iu2 with iphone 4s ios 6 I play guitar and sign so I can connect both inputs at the same time The audio quality is the same as any standard USB audio interface in the $100 region (44khz/16bit) but the build quality has a lot to improve on (especially the ubersilly dock connector cable which is not unplugable!) It has MIDI and offers phono out and digital out.

    When using apogee you get a much better build quality but I think the sound quality should be the same (I only heard it in online recordings so I might be wrong here, but the tech-sepcs seem the same). You will not have 2 inputs 2 outputs and no MIDI - for me that is a deal breaker, but for some it might not be so. On top of that apogee does not offer an output so this is taken by your ios device internal speaker or you will need to use the headphone output, which again for some is not the preferred way to connect their gear to say mixer/PA system or guitar amps etc...

    Almost forgot to mention tascam will allow for your ios device to be charged, where as the apogee wont... hope this helps :)

  • hey toni, it helps a lot, thanks!! i think i will get one, as the price is so good now. although i read about a lot of people having problems to make it work and returning it to shop. mmmmmm...

    i know the build quality is like a toy. it's a shame we don't have yet no enterprise building pro interfaces for iosdevices... we would buy them!!

    i also knew about this one:

    but it's too expensive, and batteries only last for 3 hours. although it looks very robust.

    thanks one more time.


  • If your serious about the quality of your guitar tracks on IOS I recommend the Apogee Jam. The fact that it does not require a powered hub is icing on the cake. I have tested with my PRS, Taylor and Nylon Acoustic with K&K and the sound is clean and nuanced.

  • I'm holding out for this Roland interface, which comes out in a couple of weeks:

  • @ssante, i care about the quality, ofcourse. but i have my instrument + voice + midi... and i need to charge the idevice sometimes. apogge jam semms made more to work on the fly, but not for for giging.

    @tonifranco, can you please confirm if the battery levels go empty if use it during 2-3 hours? is the tascam iu2 battery consumption very demanding?

    @davarm, i wish i could use the cck with my ipod touch.


  • The Roland interface is class compliant and battery powered so you can use it with the CCK without problems ;-)

  • @dvarm, @gamuso, @chapalo: The Roland Interface does look like a fine multipurpose interface. If and when you buy this I would be very interested in your appraisal especially for the Stereo inputs.

  • @gamuso

    Dunno as I usually just plug the iPhone in at any battery stage and start charging when required or charge from the start when using on stage. I can check for you next time but I'm away for a week... Roland duo seems like a neat solution for iPad, yet I do like me über portable solution with a looper/sound module in my pocket. If only audiobus supported separating of channels to different apps I'd add vocal fx on top of that :))) one day lol

  • I just purchased the focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I highly recommend its excellent build and sound quality. The two inputs can be XLR or instruments. It has phantom power switch. Headphone monitoring (with switch for zero latency direct monitoring). When recording guitar, the signal it produces has plenty of headroom with no noise or hiss. Very clean signal.

    Only downside: a powered USB hub is required for CCK use. But really, for the Pre-amps and phantom power, it is worth it.

    If you just need one phantom powered input ( plus one instrument), the iTrack Solo is another Focusrite option that works with iPad without the powered hub and comes with a direct cable so no CCK is needed.

  • I dont think anyone mentioned one of the best things about the apogee. It isn't only crosstalk that it prevents. It also all but eliminates 60 cycle hum, which is way better than a noise gate if your pickups are single coil. I got the iRig first and the hum was so bad with any fuzz or distortion effect that it was completely useless to me. On that note, if anyone wants an iRig that was used maybe four times, all you have to do is pay for shipping and I'll send it to you. If you have humbuckers it might be fine for you.

  • @ gamuso

    Hi, Back home now. I did an extensive jam last night for about 2-2.5 hours. Used iPhone 4S fully charged, plugged ium2 without USB powering and run loopy and garage band simultaneously. I had plugged in my fcb1010 and pcr m50 into midi and guitar and mic on audio l&r. Battery was at 86% when I finished, so I don't think that's an issue. Where was it reported anyway? Can't find anything about it...