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Griffin StudioConnect for iPad Review

The iPad has always provided the perfect platform for the more creative applications out there, which is why Griffin StudioConnect is suited to it so ideally. If you have musical ambitions and want to bring the studio into your iPad then this accessory may be the one for you.

StudioConnect comes in the form of a big, chunky stand that props your iPad up in front of you. With this you can record audio and MIDI data straight into your iPad , although you will also need to download a separate app, such as GarageBand, to use in conjunction with it.

The StudioConnect is a large plastic dock that is compatible with any iOS device but intended primarily for the iPad, which sits comfortably into it, while a rubber covering on the dock insert holds it securely in place. With the iPad in place you can then either connect headphones or speakers to the dock for audio.

Take a look at the back and you will see input and output ports for connecting MIDI devices, an extra port for external speakers and a quarter-inch mono plug that allows you to connect a guitar or another instrument for recording directly into it. A nice little touch is the ability to switch easily between headphones and speakers hen both are plugged in, while the dock also provides power to the iPad.

While the lack of a USB port means it is a bit of a hassle connecting a keyboard, the good news is that when you do have everything plugged in and ready to go, it sounds great. In fact if you have a more simple approach in mind to recording music, you can get some good results with just a guitar and a microphone, provided you have the right app installed and all the necessary plugs and adaptors. This is where the StudioConnect falls down however, as it provides little else than the ability to record admittedly good sounds, and it relies too heavily on the user downloading and purchasing other equipment to use with it. It is a good accessory used in conjunction with others but offers very little on its own. But what little it can do, it does very well.

The StudioConnect is a reliable, effective way to record audio into your iPad for further studio engineering, although it is aimed more at the amateur musician. What you can do with the audio depends entirely on the quality of software you have installed and it would have been nice if Griffin had integrated some more advanced software into the product to get you started and the lack of a USB port adds some unnecessary restrictions. As it is the StudioConnect is a fun way to play around with your recordings and you can still create some decent demos with it, but if you want to take a more professional route with your music production, you would be advised to look elsewhere.

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