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Griffin StudioConnect review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £130
inc VAT

This dock turns an iPad into a fun tool for sketching out musical ideas and even recording simple demos


At the front of the StudioConnect is a 3.5mm headphone port which you can use to monitor your recording even if you don’t have a pair of speakers plugged in. A large illuminated silver dial above it controls the headphone port’s output volume but not that of the phono outputs. There’s also a gain control that adjusts the recording volume for sources connected to the analogue TRS input, so you can record quieter sources at higher gain levels to increase their recorded volume or reduce the input level of louder instruments to make sure they aren’t recorded with unwanted distortion.

Griffin StudioConnect

The downside of making music on an iPad is that most iOS music composition apps don’t make it easy to export your work to other formats. If you’re already a Mac user, you can export iOS GarageBand recordings to MacOS (but not vice versa), but there’s no standard way of exporting MIDI tracks. You can export entire compositions, though, either by sharing them to social media such as your Facebook account, or connecting your iPad to a PC and exporting the entire GarageBand track in either AAC or Apple Lossless format via iTunes.

The StudioConnect isn’t a replacement for a professional audio production setup – particularly given that the iPad can’t handle simultaneous recording from multiple inputs, even if one is MIDI and the other is analogue. However, we did find it useful for sketching out musical ideas that we wanted to develop later on. It’s fun to use, thanks to the availability of some great composition apps, and well worth getting if you’re a musician who already works with Apple devices and has both MIDI controllers and an iPad. However, if you’re looking to get into making digital music, you should start with a real computer at the heart of your set-up, as the iPad simply can’t match the power and versatility of a PC with a decent sound card and Digital Audio Workstation software.

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