Whilst a lone iPad can be all you need for making music on the move, an iOS interface can really open the door for your creativity. Here we present 16 top interfaces to suit all budgets…
IK iRig 2
iRig 2 builds upon the success of its predecessor by introducing essential new features – such as adjustable input gain, cross-platform compatibility and a 1/4-inch amplifier output.
We say: “One of the most cost effective ways of recording your guitar to your mobile devices. A great little interface that does the job well.”
plugKEY essentially turns your iPad or iPhone into a standalone sound module by disabling the audio which then routes through its own output.
We say: “Easy to use, simple concept, no delays, and great audio. plugKEY really is a great way to welcome your iOS device to your studio world.
Presonus AudioBox range
Price From £74
The AudioBox iOne and iTwo have iOS connectivity and one and two preamps respectively, 24-bit/96kHz recording and a bundle of software.
We say: “Great and compact interfaces with a super build quality.”
Apogee JAM 96k
Designed specifically for interfacing your guitar to your iOS environment, this is barely larger than a cigarette lighter. Just a couple of connectors and plug ’n’ play operation.
We say: “Apogee JAM 96k is a fantastic device. It doesn’t do all that much, but what it does, it does in style.”
Shure MVi MOTIV
Connects a pro XLR mic or 6.3mm instrument output to a computer or mobile device. Features include five DSP preset modes for EQ, compression, limiter settings, gain control and mute, plus volume and phantom power.
We say: “Elegant and simple mic interface. Compact and cheap, too.”
Yamaha AG series
Price £113 to £130
Again, not dedicated iOS, but compact USB interfaces that can go iOS with a Camera Connection Kit. You also get proper mixing with them, too.
We say: “The Yamaha AG Series might look simple, but both units pack quite a punch in terms of features. A great route into audio for a variety of users.”
We’re including a select few USB interfaces that are compact and mobile and will work with iOS devices via a Camera Connection Kit. This one features quality preamps for great recording results.
We say: “The iD4 is a simple and useful tool, which could also make an ideal second interface when working on the move.”
Focusrite iTrack One Pre
iTrack One Pre features a joint mic/line input and the unit draws enough power from your iOS device to make using condenser mics possible.
We say: “Because you can use those pro mics combined with a quality Focusrite preamp, makes this one of the best mobile devices.”
Focusrite iTrack Dock
One of the early iOS interfaces that we looked at here at MusicTech, the iTrack Dock features a couple of preamps and two mic/line ins and monitor outs.
We say: “Despite a few niggles, the iTrack Dock is a genuinely good solution to taking your iPad noodles into your studio environment, and should bring your iOS and studio lives closer together.”
A full-featured iPhone/iPad/Mac/PC audio interface featuring direct connection to iPhone and iPad via the Lightning Connector, dual microphone preamps, MIDI In and Out and balanced stereo outputs.
We say: “A well spec’d interface, with a host of connections for the cash.”
IK iRig Pro Duo
A very mobile interface that features two proper 1/4-inch mic/line inputs, two balanced 1/4-inch outs, plus anmini headphone socket and dials for pan and volume.
We say: “A great, compact interface with a much bigger set of features and connectivity than you might expect, given both the price and size.”
Alesis IO Dock II
One of the earliest interfaces we looked at for the iPad, with two connectors supplied to handle both 30-pin and Lightning connections.
We say: “IO Dock II is competitively priced and it’s certainly a clever way to expand your iPad into a more rounded audio-and-MIDI recording environment.”
Sports a good selection of ports that make it suitable for a range of applications. The UR44 also has four Class-A D-PRE preamps and top-flight converters operating
at up to 192kHz/24-bit.
We say: “If your I/O needs are modest but you still want pro-level features, the UR44 is an excellent choice.”
A great interface for marrying the worlds of iOS and your desktop studio.
We say: “A must-have for any musician or engineer who wants to integrate their iPad and a great first interface to link all your studio gear. An excellent innovation.”
RME Babyface Pro
Type USB, FireWire and iOS
The Babyface Pro is out-and-out aimed at the mobile community. It can be used with or without a computer, and iPad connectivity extends its practical use even further.
We say: “The Babyface Pro is a fine unit. It’s not the cheapest interface around, but it screams quality and you just feel you can trust it to go pretty much anywhere with you.”
RME Fireface UCX
Type USB, FireWire and iOS
An expensive option for many iOS musicians, we admit, and one of the few interfaces that we’ve not tested. But this is one of RME’s most flexible interfaces and has been recommended by our chums at Gear4Music as a great professional iOS option.
We say: “We’ll review it soon!”