It’s a bit pricey, but Griffin’s new StudioConnect will appeal to many musicians who want to use their iPad as a compact recording studio. See all iPad accessory reviews.

Shaped rather like the Whomobile from the old ‘70s Doctor Who, the StudioConnect acts as a stand and docking station for the iPad, giving you a good view of the screen and allowing you to keep it charged at the same time. It’s made out of plastic, but is quite sturdy and there are non-slip grips on the base of the unit to keep it stable. Visit Elgato Tivizen review.

On the front of the unit there’s a single headphone socket and volume control. That will come in handy, as it allows you to leave your headphones plugged into the StudioConnect and then just slip them on whenever you’re ready to sit down and start jamming.

However, the serious stuff is going on around the back of the unit. There’s an additional stereo output – also with its own volume control – so that you can hook up a set of external speakers. A ¼-inch mono plug allows you to plug in a guitar or other instrument, and there’s a standard 3.5mm input connector as well.

Griffin StudioConnect review

You also get MIDI input and output for connecting MIDI devices. That’s useful, but a lot of music accessories – particularly keyboards such as my trusty M-Audio KeyStation – now tend to use USB rather than a MIDI interface, and there’s no easy way to plug a USB instrument into the StudioConnect. There’s no pre-amp for microphone input either, which might put some people off.

Griffin StudioConnect

Griffin StudioConnect: Specs

  • Audio in: 1/4" mono, 3.5 mm stereo, Gain control
  • Audio out: Line-level stereo R and L RCA, Front-panel 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with volume control
  • MIDI in: 5-pin DIN
  • MIDI out: 5-pin DIN
  • For iPad and other iOS devices: 30-pin Apple dock connector with integral cable
  • Charging: 10 watts (5 volts DC @ 2.1 amps)
  • Audio in: 1/4" mono, 3.5 mm stereo, Gain control
  • Audio out: Line-level stereo R and L RCA, Front-panel 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with volume control
  • MIDI in: 5-pin DIN
  • MIDI out: 5-pin DIN
  • For iPad and other iOS devices: 30-pin Apple dock connector with integral cable
  • Charging: 10 watts (5 volts DC @ 2.1 amps)

OUR VERDICT

It’s not the complete recording system that it could be, but the StudioConnect does provide multiple audio inputs and outputs for musical instruments and makes the iPad a genuine alternative to using a laptop or desktop computer for amateur recording sessions.

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