We're sceptical of all of the cheap gadgets out there that claim to turn the iPad into a portable studio capable of "professional" recordings. If you've ever used professional gear you know those claims are misleading at best. But this little interface looks like it could be a winner.
The Focusrite iTrack Solo is a two-channel interface similar to what lots of people already use with their computers — in fact it works with your computer as well, it's just also compatible with your iPad. It's got a standard quarter-inch input for plugging in a guitar (or a keyboard, electric violin, etc) and an XLR input for a microphone that uses the same pre-amp used in Focusrite's much more expensive interfaces. Each channel has its own gain control and there's a big volume dial so you can adjust the level in your headphones. Just plug the interface into your iPad (or computer) and use your favourite app or software to track your recordings. Simple, easy, effective.
There's really nothing revolutionary about the product except that it's been reconfigured to work with your iPad in addition to your computer. The simple two-channel USB interface is the bedroom musician's weapon of choice. It's simple and easy to use, but powerful enough to get the job done. And now for $US200 you can buy that same funcitonality for your iPad as well. The Focusrite iTrack Solo will be available next month. [Focusrite]