Okay, it's not as compact, but you can at least get input working with Apple's now-shipping Lightning adapter for 30-pin accessories and Sonoma's excellent GuitarJack.

Lightning Audio: Sonoma’s GuitarJack Meets New iPads, iPhones, Via Adapter [Gallery]

Apple’s mobile hardware offers some serious audio performance and a whole mess of apps to take advantage of it. But what it doesn’t have is the ability to connect inputs and get high-quality sound. Basic mics will work via the built-in jack, but if you want really good sound and more flexibility, you need to connect external hardware. Previous accessories worked with the Apple Dock Connector. I expect we’ll shortly see new hardware with the Lightning Connector built in – the whole thing seems like an opportunity for third-party vendors to sell more accessories. But in the meantime, here’s the …

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The Linn Tools That Never Were: Roger Linn Shares Shelved Designs [Gallery]

Designer Roger Linn is beloved by producers for drum machines like the MPC, beloved by guitarists for AdrenaLinn, and now newly respected for the Tempest with Dave Smith. But for anyone who imagines design is a direct line from idea to product, it’s not. Whether Roger Linn or Apple, the process leaves the way littered with discarded creations. Of course, that doesn’t mean these are bad ideas. Now that we live in a world of DIY, some intrepid musical souls will make products for an audience of one. And where designs are discarded, ideas often survive. Roger Linn writes CDM …

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MOTU's revamped interface now comes with themes, like this lovely black version. And it runs on Windows, not just Mac. DP8, SONAR X2 each tune these mature DAWs; here's a look at what they have to offer. Image courtesy MOTU.

Two DAWs Ship: SONAR X2, MOTU DP8 – As DP8 Invades Windows, Too

Two DAWs, announced earlier this year, are now shipping this week. One is Cakewalk’s SONAR X2 for Windows, which extends the new user interface overhaul – loved by some, despised by others – unveiled in X1. But PC stalwart Cakewalk has new competition on the Windows platform. MOTU’s DP8, apart from being a fairly significant overhaul for Mac users, also marks the arrival of that DAW on Windows. The timing is interesting, too, as there have been long gaps in the release cycle for two other DAWs – Apple Logic and Ableton Live – that are widely expected to be …

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How St. Vincent Plays Live, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ [Video Behind-the-Scenes]

At the end of the day, what motivates extra technical preparation is the same thing that drives musicians to practice scales or work long hours in the studio: that extra discipline can pay off in real freedom of expression. So, it’s moving to hear St. Vincent talk about musicality as the end point for onstage computer-based coordination. In the behind-the-scenes video, you can see how the band combines Ableton Live, a loaded rack of instruments in Propellerhead Reason (presumably running via ReWire into Live), and a whole big mess of pedals. Interestingly, MIDI triggers for those pedals helped focus on …

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gTar, Digital Guitar that Scales from Easy Mode Up; Now Does Ableton Control, Too

Music games like Guitar Hero introduced the notion of musical instruments that scale digitally to the masses. By the time Harmonix introduced the latest version of Rock Band, complete with MIDI controllers, you are able to go from something that’s a toy to simply playing the instrument in a conventional way. The idea of scalability isn’t even new in instrument design – from capos to an instrument like the Autoharp to the very invention of frets, instrument builders have always designed instruments in ways to make them easier to play. In a digital/software realm, though, the plasticity of an instrument …

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Analog-Digital Marriage: iPad Meets Guitar and Keys, MIDI Meets CV, Putting Music-Making Together

It’s good to get out of your studio now and then, as Chris Stack does here, hauling a few instruments (including the Minimoog) our for a live gig. Photo courtesy the artist. It’s a collision between a twenty-first century tablet and some of the most iconic analog instruments ever produced. It’s MIDI and digital meeting up with control voltage and analog. It’s our friend Chris Stack, endeavoring to find the path that allows him to take the best pieces of his studio and put them together, pushing all that gear to its limits and finding a sum that exceeds the …

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From a Wide Palette of Sound, Christopher Willits’ Remix Project, Sample by Sample

Christopher Willits playing live at San Francisco’s Public Works in October of this year. Photo courtesy the artist. Sound and light artist, guitarist, Max patcher, and all-around sonically-fascinating guy Christopher Willits has opened up his “Tiger Flower Circle Sun” record on Ghostly to remixing. Halfway through the project, we talk to Chris about what’s going on – and what the results so far sound like. And we share, from earlier this fall, a composition in which you can recharge. The project begins not with stems, but with samples, the raw materials on which the album was based. Christopher walks CDM …

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Meet the Little-Known DIY Music Pioneer of the Czech Republic, Standa Filip

From behind the long-gone, so-called “iron curtain,” nearly-lost musical innovation is beginning to become available. But perhaps more than any geo-political change, the power of an Internet-based community hungry to share knowledge is making national borders that once isolated information melt away. Earlier this week, I shared reflections I wrote up for Amsterdam’s STEIM on the significant of DIY Music. But one group of artists, the Standuino team from Brno, Czech Republic, really exemplified that spirit. First off, their hardware is utterly brilliant and eminently practical, an Arduino-based platform on which they’ve made it easy to create and modify designs, …

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GR55FX

Roland’s GR-55 Guitar Synth Powers Unlocked with TouchOSC and iPad, and on Mac-Windows-Linux

Roland’s GR-55 guitar synth is one powerful accessory for guitarists – maybe a little too powerful. With its various modeling, effects, and synthesis powers hidden in layers of menus, navigating all those sonic capabilities can be a chore. Enter one user from the GR-55’s dedicated community of guitar synthesists. Marc Benigni used TouchOSC control software for the iPad and set up a template that makes all of that functionality touchable, direct, and accessible. But wait — there’s more! There’s also a dedicated, free and open source editor for Mac, Windows, and Linux. (There’s even a fresh Lion build for Mac …

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Moogerfooger Cluster Flux Analog FX: Hands-on with Moog’s Chief Engineer; Sound Samples

There’s a new analog Moog effect in town. So who better to tell us about it and get us some hands-on time than Moog Music’s Chief Engineer? Moog’s next Moogerfooger, the Cluster Flux or “MF-108M” if you want to sound more serious, promises to be a versatile analog effect processor. It’s a flanger / chorus / vibrato unit with loads of modulation, meaning you can either go the classic chorus/flange route or go further out with your sound sculpting. Mono in, stereo out, all-analog signal path, coming soon at US$599 list (street should be lower). That’s the unit. But I …

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