Magazine article Guitar Player

Focusrite: iTrack Dock

Magazine article Guitar Player

Focusrite: iTrack Dock

Article excerpt

THE RECORDING-STUDIO-IN-A-GIG bag concept is one of the many awesome things that technology has given to musicians. Not only can you record anywhere and everywhere, but you can also work with virtually no hassles or impediments. The Focusrite iTrack Dock ($199 street), for example, provides an excellent, two-channel preamp for your iPad recording apps, and simply adding two microphones, a couple of mic stands, some cables, headphones, and a small tote bag presents a light and easy, one-trip carry-all operation to wherever you want to track. (Whenever someone produces a fully collapsible microphone stand, we'll have the near-perfect portable studio.) The not-so-secret side benefit of this on-the-go recording gear is that nothing has to be a demo anymore--everything is a master track. Capture your inspiration where it finds you, and either be happy tracking and mixing on the software you have on your iPad, or transfer your moments of brilliance to a more powerful DAW when the time comes. Creation is all around you.

The iTrack Dock follows much the same path as Focusrite's Scarlett series--which means all operations are dead simple and a manual almost becomes superfluous. The two Gain knobs retain the Scarlett's trippy "halo" signal LEDs (the circles beneath the knobs glow green for safe levels and red for overload), a Direct button sends your input signal right to the headphones (or the monitor output) to fight latency, 48V phantom power is included for condenser mics, the big monitor-volume knob is certainly hard to miss, and a USB/MIDI port allows MIDI controllers to join the party.

I happen to own an iPad mini, and it fits perfectly into the iTrack Dock housing. (The Dock also accommodates the iPad 4th Generation, iPad Air, and iPad mini with retina display.) The recording software for the test was Apple GarageBand for multitracking and Focusrite Tape for two-track projects. …

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