Apogee Jam – Studio quality guitar input for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac

I am not anti-PC by any means, but I did switch to Mac last year. One of the compelling reasons for me is the music creation tool, Garage Band, that is only available for the Mac. Since buying my MacBook Pro, I have used garage band a lot to tinker with melodies, mostly to get what is in my head “down” so I can recall it later.

When writing music, the guitar is my weapon of choice, but is also one of the least Mac-friendly instruments. Typically, guitar connectivity comes at a hefty price.

But, over the past year we’ve seen a few affordable products come out that address the issue of guitar connectivity for the Apple’s eco-system. Unfortunately, they are typically for iOS devices – not the Mac. However, one of the most recent products, the Apogee Jam bridges this gap too.

I wish I had one to review, but since I just poured a lot of my resources into camera equipment, I’ll have to wait. But, I have done a fair bit of research into the device, and I’ll share some of what I’ve learned here.

One of the biggest “wins” for the Apogee Jam is price – it’s only $99. If you’ve done any shopping for music gear, you’ll agree that $99 is quite affordable.

Another big “win” for the Apogee Jam is the fact that it works on both Macs and iOS devices. I don’t mean there are separate versions of the device. When you buy one, you can use the one you bought on both types of devices. In the box are cables to connect to both. Awesome!

It also has gain control right on the device. That’s a big boon. Some devices only allow you to adjust gain at the console level – meaning on the Mac or iOS device. That’s not always convenient while playing. Having a gain control on the device gves you the ability to bring this control closer to the instrument.

The device is also smart. It’s not a passive connection hardware. It does some pretty good processing on its own so that the signal that reaches your Mac or iOS device is a good one. That keeps you from having to manually fiddle with the signal at the console.

I’ll be getting an Apogee Jam for my Mac as soon as I can convince my treasurer (my bride) to let loose of $99!

Have you tried one yet?

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