Gulp. This product has been sitting in my review queue for way too long. And, it is a good one: The Griffin GuitarConnect Pro. This $79.99 product lets you connect an electric guitar to an iPhone or iPad using a standard 1/4-inch guitar cable. Even better, it works great with GarageBand. So, GarageBand for iOS users don’t have to learn to use a new app. How does it compare to the iRig? Stay tuned.
GigaOm reported on the first music app from iPhone music creation app pioneer Smule.
It references an interview discussion I had with Smule CTO Ge Wang last year (December 2011) in which he said that Smule had not released Android apps because of the platform’s audio latency problems. However, as GigaOm’s article rightly notes: Smule started with Songify because the app doesn’t have the realtime audio needs that other Smule apps do. But she said that Smule has come up with a work-around for Android’s latency problem that will be deployed in Magic Piano.
If you want to use digital sheet music instead of paper, Steinway’s free iPad app provides a good solution.
I’m reviewing Griffin’s Guitar Connect Pro this weekend. One of the things I wanted to test was copying a multi-track recording from the iPad to a Mac by downloading the tracks via iTunes to try to clean up my sloppy playing by quantizing the guitar tracks. Having never done this previously, I learned that the already up-to-date Garageband for OS X needs a compatibility update in order to import the tracks from its iPad counterpart. Note that the informational screen that popped up on my Mac specifically mentions Garageband for iPad. I have not tried this with Garageband running on an iPhone (which is a Universal app).
Smule’s CTO & co-founder, Ge Wang, makes it look easy in the video embedded above. But, Smule’s new Magic Guitar, presents challenges even if you know how to play a real guitar.
I found I wanted to see actual guitar strings to give an indication of where fingers should rest while waiting for song notes to appear. The app is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch. It doesn’t scale for play on an iPad.
The app has achievements, badges and leaderboards to let you compete with friends if you like. Smule says that the app’s songbook offers a huge catalog of legendary artists including The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, KISS, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sublime, Credence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Styx, Poison, Bruno Mars, Train and more. The app is free and comes with a couple of free songs. In-app purchases of song packs range from $2.99 to $9.99.