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Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack (photos)

CNET's Donald Bell goes hands-on with the GuitarJack from Sonoma Wire Works, a pro audio recording accessory for the iPhone and iPod Touch, priced at $199.

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Donald Bell
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The GuitarJack from Sonoma Wire Works is a pro audio-recording accessory for the iPhone and iPod Touch priced at $199.
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Unlike some of the guitar-specific or mic-specific accessories we've tested in the past, GuitarJack distinguishes itself with a uniquely durable aluminum construction and the capability to accept both 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch inputs simultaneously.
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The left side of the GuitarJack includes a headphone output and stereo minijack input that can be adjusted to accept hi-z or low-z impedance for use with microphones or line level input. A metal emblem for Sonoma Wire Works is also here, but offers no function beyond looking pretty.
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A 1/4-inch input is located on the opposite edge, which can also be adjusted for high or low gain input. As the name implies, this input is intended primarily for use with guitar, but can also be adjusted for use with keyboards or microphones.
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The back of GuitarJack isn't much to look at, but does include some rubber pads to help keep the device stable while connected to your iPod Touch or iPhone.
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Connected to your iPhone or iPod Touch, the GuitarJack adds quite a bit of bulk, but it's a fair trade-off for the added recording functionality.
Strangely, it is not compatible with the iPhone 4, iPad, or fourth-gen iPod Touch, but works fine with older models.
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We gave the GuitarJack a test-drive using Sonoma Wire Works' outstanding FourTrack app ($9.99), a pair of Ultrasone HFI-2200 headphones for monitoring, a guitar cable, and my favorite axe--a Hallmark 60 Custom.
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack demo Listen now:
The preceding recording was whipped together in just a few minutes, so forgive the wandering tempo and sloppy playing. It's a rendition of "House of the Rising Sun," using two separately dubbed tracks for rhythm and lead guitar.
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The GuitarJack can be used with just about any recording application, but a few apps (such as FourTrack, shown here) include specific settings for fine-tuning the hardware.
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With the GuitarJack connected, the settings page for FourTrack includes options for Taylor EQ, and GuitarJack, along with further options for metronome, copy, paste, bounce, export, and others.
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By opening the GuitarJack setting within FourTrack, you'll find tabs and sliders for defining how the hardware handles incoming audio. The tabs cover recording using the 1/8-inch stereo input, 1/4-inch instrument/mic input, or both simultaneously. Sliders control input gain, while buttons are available to configure the incoming signal impedance, or set a gain pad.
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Once you're done with a recording using FourTrack and GuitarJack, you'll want to transfer the finished tracks to your computer. Multitrack recordings can be transferred as individual recordings, or mixed down within the app and transferred as a single file.
To transfer audio between your iPhone/Touch and you computer, FourTrack points you to a URL that allows you to transfer content through your computer's browser.

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