The GuitarJack can be used with just about any recording application, but a few apps (such as FourTrack and Recorder) include specific settings for fine-tuning the hardware. By opening the GuitarJack setting within the FourTrack recording app, you'll find tabs and sliders for defining how the hardware handles incoming audio. The tabs cover recording using the 1/8-inch stereo input, 1/4-inch instrument/mic input, or both simultaneously. Sliders control input gain, and buttons are available to configure the incoming signal impedance, or set a gain pad.
Methods for saving and exporting recordings off your iPhone or iPod will vary from app to app. In the case of FourTrack, transferring recordings back to a Mac or PC requires a cumbersome method of wirelessly transferring files over a local Internet connection through a Web browser. It was a sobering reminder that the iPhone's creators had intended their device to be a smartphone--not a mobile-recording studio.
We gave the GuitarJack a test-drive using Sonoma Wire Works' outstanding FourTrack app ($9.99), a pair of Ultrasone HFI-2200 headphones for monitoring, a guitar cable, and a Hallmark 60 Custom electric guitar.
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack demo Listen now:
The preceding recording was whipped together in just a few minutes, so forgive the wandering tempo and sloppy playing. It's a rendition of "House of the Rising Sun," using two separately dubbed tracks for rhythm and lead guitar.
The GuitarJack is a well-made product, but it isn't for everyone. If you're looking for a powerful, portable, future-proof mobile audio recorder, a standalone product like the Zoom H4n is the way to go. But if you happen to be in that slim percentage of people who are committed to their older iPhone or iPod Touch, and need a way to capture studio-quality direct recordings from your guitar, the GuitarJack is a one-of-a-kind solution that delivers on its promises.