It wouldn't be a CES without accessory mavens Griffin launching a small armada of products. This year, the company is launching a revised version of the StudioConnect that's compatible with Apple's Lightning connector. It'll go on sale in the Spring, and 4th Generation iPad and iPad Mini owners will have to stump up $150. It's also pushing out MicConnect (similar to MIDIConnect), an XLR-to-3.5mm connector that lets you hook studio-level microphones into mobile devices and can even supply phantom power. While it's not due to make it onto store shelves until June, it will only cost $40, which might soften the blow for impatient musos everywhere.
Update: We've just spent some time with both of Griffin's new peripherals and we were quite impressed (although not completely surprised) at how light they felt in our hands. That being said, we weren't so fond of how much of a fingerprint magnet the StudioConnect was, however it's nothing a cleaning cloth (or a shirt) can't easily fix -- otherwise the main change in the new revision is the obvious inclusion of that Lightning connector, which in itself may make the upgrade all worthwhile. The MicConnect, on the other hand, didn't appear to suffer from any of these nitpicky issues, and its materials felt solid enough that potential users won't be worrying about it breaking in their backpack, messenger bag or, heck, even pockets -- yes, it's that small. Want to see for yourself? Then be sure to gawk at our hands-on galleries after the jump.
Griffin StudioConnect hands-on
Griffin MicConnect hands-on
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Edgar Alvarez and Alexis Santos contributed to this report.
Griffin Introduces StudioConnect with Lightning, Industry's First Music Creation Accessory with Lightning Connector
Musicians can create and edit music on-the-go with Griffin's lineup of music accessories for iOS and Mac OS X
Las Vegas, NV - January 6, 2013 - Griffin Technology, one of the world's foremost creators of innovations for everyday life, is rolling out new music accessories for iOS, including the StudioConnect with Lightning, DJ Connect, Mic Stand Mount and MicConnect at CES.
"GarageBand has given musicians of all talents the ability to create studio quality music at a fraction of the cost of a recording studio," says Ethan Opelt, Line Manager of Griffin's Audio category. "With our lineup of music accessories, artists can easily connect their instruments to a digital audio interface and create on the go."
Leading the lineup is StudioConnect with Lightning, Griffin's popular all-in-one audio interface for music creation on the iPad, now compatible with the new iPad (4th generation) and iPad mini. StudioConnect provides connectivity for guitars, stereo audio, MIDI-In and MIDI-Out as well as a Lightning charging dock in one compact device. It also features line-level RCA stereo output and stereo headphone output with separate volume control. With StudioConnect, digital music-making has never been easier, combining both audio and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) recording into one convenient accessory.
With StudioConnect the audio in and out is simple:
Audio In – Plug instrument in through a mono 1/4" jack or plug a mixer into StudioConnect's stereo 1/8" (3.5mm) jack.
Audio Out – Left and right line-level RCA plugs. The 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo headphone jack, with its dedicated volume knob, helps monitor what's going in and out.
MIDI in and out is equally straightforward:
MIDI In – Connect a MIDI controller through a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI-in port.
A second 5-pin DIN connector accepts a sequencer, patch bay or other MIDI gear,
allowing the iPad and MIDI apps to act as a MIDI controller.
Lastly, Griffin introduces MicConnect a microphone interface for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Intuitive to use, simply connect a mic to the XLR input on the MicConnect and plug the 1/8" (3.5mm) audio cable into an iOS device's headphone jack and launch GarageBand or other compatible apps to get rocking. MicConnect's phantom power feature even accommodates studio microphones for high-quality recordings. Not only compatible with microphones, MicConnect also makes it possible to record amplifiers, acoustic instruments, and more right into GarageBand. MicConnect retails for $39.99 and will be available in June 2013.
Griffin's music-making accessories will be showcased at Griffin's booth at CES 2013 in Las Vegas. Visitors can stop by LVCC Booth #5212 in North Hall, for a full demo.