Apogee Electronics Jam ($99 street) apogeedigital.com
Apple Inc. GarageBand app ($4.99), apple.com
Pros: Jam offers clean sound and a gain control.
GarageBand is genius.
cons: Jam is too light and not very sturdy.
Apogee’s US-made Jam certainly makes
the company’s entry into the smartphone
field a competent one. The lightweight
plastic housing is highly portable, but it’s
not rugged, and I would hesitate before
tossing this into my gig bag, frankly.
(Perhaps a small, sturdy case would help?)
The Jam connects to your iPhone or iPad
via an included 30-pin cable, which is
good for sonic fidelity, though it actually
makes it harder to keep things in place.
Without grips or a direct con-
nection to your device, it’s hard
to keep the Jam in a stable posi-
tion, because the weight of your
guitar cable alone can pull your
iPhone and Jam off the table and
onto the floor. Some kind of grip or clip
system would be nice, and presumably the
included Velcro is meant to remedy this,
but how—by attaching the Jam to your
iOS device? Not going to happen!
It doesn’t have its own headphone jack,
however, so you’ll have to use your device’s
instead. To use the Jam as a 1-channel input
device to a Mac, you use the included USB
cable and choose “Jam” as your input device
in GarageBand, Logic, or another DAW,