The iPad wants a place in your recording rig - and to make recording friendlier. Photo courtesy Focusrite.

The iPad wants a place in your recording rig – and to make recording friendlier. Photo courtesy Focusrite.

The iPad could change recording. But first, you have to change the iPad.

Docks once reached fever-like proportions in hardware manufacture. Among those, one stood out: I’ve seen the Alesis iO Dock see iPads get more serious studio use, thanks to convenient access to audio and MIDI. (And that, in turn, is something you often don’t get when connecting hardware directly.)

Then, Apple switched connectors to the new Lightning Connector – and the hardware world fell silent.

Now, Focusrite steps in to fill the void. (We’ll see if Alesis is doing the same.)

And if many docks are dubious purchases, the Focusrite piece promises a stunning amount of functionality. The iTrack Dock does things that you can’t when you simply plug in accessories to your iPad. It can charge and connect and power at the same time (rather than sapping your battery as you work). It can do I/O, including – remarkably – even USB. (That perhaps makes more sense than just MIDI DIN ports, since it would work with both USB MIDI- and, via an additional interface, MIDI DIN-equipped hardware.)

Features:

  • Dual Focusrite mic pres, 24-bit 96kHz operation and 105 dB+ dynamic range
  • Two balanced line inputs, one instrument input, two mic inputs
  • Independent stereo monitor and headphone outs, with zero-latency monitoring for recording
  • Dedicated gain controls with colored feedback.
  • USB

Naturally, it also couples with Focusrite’s own Tape app for recording.

iTrack_Dock_3_Mini_&_Air

iTrack_Dock_2_Rear-2

Cost: MSRP: US$249.99 / $199.99 street. (No European pricing available yet)
Coming early this year.

Oddly, this could make the iPad more desirable – as a kind of simple, distraction-free recording device that can even top a computer.

  • Mutis Mayfield

    Similar to behringer is202 or iconnectivity series…

    • PaulK

      IS202 only works with older (30 pin connection) iPads

  • RichardL

    This one looks kind of interesting too. But they say available in Fall. And it’s unclear what kind of power requirements and charging ability it will have. (I do hope they hire the engineers to build it soon.)
    http://store.griffintechnology.com/studioconnect-hd

  • Graham Metcalfe

    The connector looks intriguing the way it slides up and down to accommodate different iPads. I wonder if you could get away with attaching the Lightning to 30-pin adapter there without it being too unstable.

  • wuruwuru

    A similar range of features to the Apogee Duo. The Duo has the advantage of simultaneous metering for all inputs and outputs and switchable gain on both inputs.

  • Aethelred the Unsteady

    A Midi port would be nice?

    • Mikey Proietti

      It has a usb midi port on the back. You should be able to get a midi port hub for more than one midi device actually. Most midi devices today support usb midi anyway.

  • mmelnick

    Multitrack software would be nice too

  • heinrichz

    could it be something similar like the drumsynths in Maschine 2 ? Modeling with a few simple controls.

  • heinrichz

    previous post meant to be for Roland drums..

  • DBM

    Still think the Midi+4 is the best solution ….. If it is ever released

  • Freeks

    It’s bit too big, expensive and uses wall wart. There is not much situations where you would carry it instead of laptop. Why would one replace laptop with iPad?

    I mean i use iPad apps all the time and on stage i control ableton with it. It’s great for that. But would i ever record vocals with it? Why would i.

    Lighting version of IOdock would be nice. And if dock is so big the why not add 8 rotaries for tweaking?

  • papernoise

    then Apple will change connectors again, and this will be obsolete like the rest. I like that they added a “real” USB connector here though. The B-type connector on the Alesis dock is really pointless…

  • http://www.mikedavidsonrecording.com/ Jerry Rogars

    @Jerry For Recording any kind of audio music some equipments and instruments are must have things to record a quality music audio. Above equipments seems like amazing to record magnificent audio music.

  • enparticular

    The thing is, you can actually do this right now with a focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (or 2i4 – and you have midi ports!)
    you only need a powered usb hub, plug both things into it, and it works great. and it’s cheaper. also, you can use any ipad, without worrying about ipad mini, air, or older ipads.

  • Jakub Maggi Malášek

    Omg i NEED this for my Rig !!! Thats is, what i still looking for !

    • Jakub Maggi Malášek

      When its will be Avaible in stores?