The latest step in this revolution is increased interest in maximum portability. Why chain yourself to your desk at home when music can be captured virtually anywhere?
Leading the trend Apogee has released JAM, and MiC: a guitar input and digital microphone, respectively, for iPad, iPhone and Mac. Before that the Duet and ONE made strides in the direction of increase simplicity and travel-friendliness.
When I first got into recording over a decade ago I was bamboozled into believing the more flexibility and features the gear had the better. Experience has taught me just the opposite is true.
Apogee’s choice to make drivers only for Apple operating systems is a plus rather than a minus. In practice company’s have big challenges in keeping up with driver updates, and more supported operating systems leads to software development efforts being spread too thin.
The Jam and MiC are incredibly specialized in their configuration and applications, taking this Zen-like product philosophy even further.
While I love the Duet and originally picked it up to strip down my setup, ironically I’ve found it’s often more than I need for on-the-fly recordings and overdubs. The ONE concept is fantastic but again if I plan on spending an afternoon on overdubs the built-in mic is a wasted feature.
What’s really great about owning both JAM and MiC is you can travel with only the tool you need to get the job done.
For me, the more I can minimize production concerns, the better the performances are. Having only the features you need at your fingertips and eliminating the ones you don’t helps achieve.
As multitudes of people carry an iPhone with them everywhere, the ability to pick up the JAM or MiC at the last minute is a groundbreaking possibility. In addition, the use of the touch screen on the iPad is amazing in a rehearsal situation while a guitar is strapped to your shoulder.
Finally next-gen devices can be used to produce professional-quality recordings. As this is just the beginning it will be fascinating to see where this leads Apogee and others.
Pictured: Apogee MiC with Zacuto Zgrip.