Entries in Alesis (6)
Next up in our brief look at iPad announcements from this year's Winter NAMM, are a couple of announcements from Alesis.
DM Dock and Dock Pro Kit
We have seen a few innovations in the field of iPad use for drummers, but Alesis have made a serious attempt to capture the attention of drummers who want to have the iPad at the heart of their sound.
Featuring a healthy 13 x 1/4 inch trigger inputs, the DM (Drum Module) Dock is like a souped-up iO Dock for standalone use with your existing electronic pads/kits or frame mounted as an integrated part of the Dock Pro Kit.
There are also the usual MIDI connections and a footswitch port so you can change kits on-the-fly using compatible apps. These apps also allow a quick change of sound sets using drag and drop so the possibilities are pretty much endless given the amount of downloadable sound sets that are out there.
We originally saw the iO Mix being demonstrated at MusikMesse last year but it has featured again at NAMM and because it reminds us so much of our original Fostex tape based 4-track recorder we wanted to give it a mention.
Touted as the world's first iPad dedicated multi-channel mixer/recording interface, the iO Mix enables input of mics, instruments and other audio via 4 x combo XLR/standard 1/4" jacks. As you would hope, each channel has individual trim, gain and pan controls (just like your old 4-track) and even some EQ control.
Importantly for us it also features a guitar DI input so that you don't need a seperate amp, useful for on-the-go mobile recording.
Like the DM Dock above, the iO Mix will charge your iPad when docked and fully encloses it inside the unit so it is nice and snug, but also up to a little knocking about in the (bedroom) studio.
We found a quick demo of the iO Mix at NAMM 2013 on YouTube, from Netherlands based audio suppliers Bax, so thanks to them for sharing this video, check it out below.
As before, if you have any comments or want to let us know what you are looking forward to seeing, we would love to see them below.
It is probably very wrong to get so excited about an iPad accessory before we have even seen it, but we felt the same way about the iO Dock from Alesis and their new AmpDock, designed specifically for guitar and bass players, has got us in a stupor again.
Basically a slightly cut down version of their iO Dock, Alesis have made the AmpDock more robust for live use. AmpDock features an enclosing cover on the fourth side so that you iPad isn't exposed on the top edge, as it was on the iO Dock.
There's also a handy little kickstand on the back to angle the AmpDock when it is sat on top of your amp and to allow clearance of the amp's handle. If you have ever tried balancing your iPad on top of your amp you'll know how useful and reassuring this feature will be.
But the main thing that got us excited was the inclusion of a pedalboard controller in the $299 price!
This is a great boon and means that, for the iPad-owning musician, AmpDock is ready to rock (or not, depending on your guitar style) out of the box without any further expenditure.
More details and specs below, after the teaser video from Alesis:
AmpDock Key Features
- The first professional guitar processor to use your iPad or iPad 2 for signal processing
- Works with GarageBand, AmpliTube, JamUp, and virtually any audio or CoreMIDI app
- Includes a rugged pedalboard controller with program, effect, bypass, volume and continuous controls
- Guitar Input 1 and switchable Mic/Line/Guitar Input 2; professional outputs, and MIDI jacks
- Kickstand allows for stable positioning on top of guitar amps
- Hinged door completely encloses and secures your iPad
- Mountable to a mic stand using the Alesis Module Mount (sold separately)
- 1/4" high-impedance guitar input and combo input for microphone, second guitar, or another instrument
- 1/4" outputs with Guitar/Line impedance switch
- Stereo auxiliary outputs for connection to external effects
- Two assignable endless knobs to control parameters in compatible apps
- Analog Input 1, Input 2, Main, and Headphone volume controls
- MIDI input and outputs and USB MIDI jack for use with other controllers and MIDI software or hardware
- (1) - High Impedance Guitar Input
- (1) - XLR/ 1/4" Combo Jack for switchable for Guitar, Line Level, and Phantom Power
- (2) - 1/4" unbalanced Auxiliary Outputs
- (2) - 1/4" balanced Outputs (1) - 1/4" Stereo Headphone Output
- Ground Lift Switch
- Class Compliant USB 1.1 and 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O
- True Bypass
What is it?
StudioConnect compared to the iO Dock
Initially it looks like the StudioConnect is moving in on the iO Dock's territory, and it is, a little bit. But if anything, the StudioConnect is a cut down version and seems aimed more at the consumer level audience rather than Alesis' Pro-musician aspirations with their iO Dock.
Although it doesn't offer the outer case protection of the iO Dock, or quite the same range of in/outs that the Alesis' device does, Griffin's StudioConnect is nearly $50 cheaper on the RRP. The street price will be the key thing of course, because we have seen the iO Dock for only $159.99 on Amazon.
What's missing on the StudioConnect may be the clincher for the more ambitious musician: XLR inputs, extra unbalanced and balanced ¼" inputs, phantom mic power and USB.
In addition, the iO Dock has video out (although we are not sure how much that is being used) and another ¼" input for a footswitch or controller.
How good the StudioConnect sounds remains to be seen and we will be closely watching the reviews when they come out later this year, but for the more casual musician, or those who don't need all the extra inputs, the StudioConnect's lower price tag could attract a lot of attention.
The StudioConnect is scheduled for release in 'Spring' this year, but until then, here's the specs from Griffin's press release. We have included the iO Dock's specs below so you can make a comparison:
Audio In and Out
- Audio In – Complete with its own gain control. Plug in your instrument through a mono 1/4" jack or plug a mixer into StudioConnect’s stereo 3.5mm jack.
- Audio Out – Left and right line-‐level RCA plugs. Also a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with its own volume knob helps monitor what's going in and out.
MIDI in and out is equally straightforward:
- MIDI In – Connect your MIDI controller through a standard 5-‐pin DIN MIDI-‐in port.
- MIDI Out – A second 5-‐pin DIN connector accepts a sequencer, sound module or other MIDI gear, allowing your iPad and favorite MIDI apps to act as a MIDI controller.
Alesis iO Dock Specs:
- 2 x XLR-1/4" Balanced TRS
- Individual gain controls
- Phantom power, switchable
- Guitar (high-impedance) switch on Input 2
- Balanced XLR Mic
- Max -45 dBV
- Min -3 dBV
- Balanced 1/4“ TRS Mic/Line
- Max -27 dBV
- Min +16 dBV
- Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Mic/Lin
- Max -27 dBV
- Min +16 dBV
- Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Guitar
- Max -38 dBV
- Min +4.5 dBV
- 2 x 1/4" Balanced TRS Main
- 1/4" TRS Headphone
- Individual level controls
- RCA Composite (requires compatible apps)
- MIDI In (DIN)
- MIDI Out (DIN)
- USB MIDI
- 1/4" Footswitch (function assigned by apps)
What do you think? Does Griffin's StudioConnect tempt you? Or are you willing to spend a bit more for Alesis' iO Dock? Let us know in the comments.
Suffice to say we are desperate to get our grubby little mitts on this one. If only!
The Alesis iO Dock has been promised for what seems like a very long time. Finally seeing it in action we have to say it looks really awesome and could solve a lot of the headaches around connecting devices to our iPads. It is nice to see it being used with GarageBand too.
We were not fortunate enough to go to NAMM this year but we have been watching closely the iPad related announcements from there and we have mentioned a few of them over the last week, hopefully you saw those.
Now, a week later, lots of videos have been appearing on YouTube featuring these products and tantalising us further, so we thought we would pull a few of them together to distract you from your Friday. Enjoy!
Not the only keyboard with iPad dock at NAMM interestingly, but we included this SynthStation49 one because he also demonstrates the new version of the SynthStation app that is out soon which looks very nice.
There are not enough superlatives to describe how excited we are about the Alesis StudioDock!
Nothing really new in this video but it recaps all the main features of the new AmpliTube Fender version and gives us a quick look at the 8 track recorder, we are thinking about getting hold of a Strat-type of guitar just to test it, we did see a Tele copy in a secondhand shop down the road...
iRig Mic & VocaLive app
A live demo of the new iRig Mic which we hope to see soon and voice effects from the VocaLive app. The Choir effect looks like it might be useful and the Morph effect will let us do our Darth Vader impressions and scare the kids. Nice:
Just a few videos from NAMM 2011, there are loads on YouTube if you want to see more. We know it is going to be an exciting year for iPad and Audio and we can't wait to see how it all pans out.
Enter the StudioDock from Alesis which is sat waiting for Apple approval, announced yesterday at NAMM. Here are a few product shots to whet your appetite showing the iPad docked and in place, with views of the multitude of interfaces included.
The StudioDock includes a power supply so it will charge your iPad whilst it is docked which is useful, but it is the shear range of connection options within the dock that impresses us and our brains are now spinning with all the things we could do with this thing including stuff we hadn't considered before with the video out.
There has been no announcement at the time of publishing this post about pricing though, we have scoured the Internet looking for any resellers offering pre-orders but we haven't found anything yet.
We are guessing it is going to be fairly pricey as it is aimed at the professional level but we would love to get our hands on one and run it through its paces.
- The world’s first pro audio dock for iPad
- Connect microphones and instruments including guitar, studio monitors, PA speakers, headphones, and MIDI controllers
- Universal device works with virtually every audio and MIDI app in the App Store; Core MIDI compliant
- Perform, craft, create and play back music in virtually any conceivable manner or location
- Video output for connection to TVs and projectors
- Inputs: two combo XLR-1/4" for use with audio gear, instruments, and computer audio
- Input channel gain controls and switchable phantom power for use with condenser microphones
- Guitar-direct switch for use with amplifier- and effects-modeling app
- Outputs: pair 1/4" and 1/4" headphone with separate volume controls
- Control: MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB MIDI, and assignable 1/4-inch footswitch input