Griffin StudioConnect review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.