Focusrite Intros iTrack Dock – A Studio Quality iPad Recording Interface

focusrite-itrack

At the 2014 NAMM Show, Focusrite is introducing the iTrack Dock – a new iPad dock that they describe as a ‘comprehensive studio-quality Lightning iPad recording interface’.

The iTrack Dock offers dual Focusrite microphone preamps, two line inputs and an instrument DI, independent stereo monitor and headphone outputs, and a USB port for class-compliant MIDI instruments and controllers. The iTrack Dock is designed to offer everything needed to record, monitor and control music on a Lightning iPad. It even charges and powers the iPad at the same time.

Here’s the official iTrack Dock intro video:

Features:

  • Dock, charge and record music with the new generation of iPads – iPad(4th Gen) / iPad Air / iPad mini / iPad mini with retina display
  • Focusrite A-D/D-A conversion with over 105dB dynamic range, operating at up to 24bit, 96kHz sample rates.
  • Two Focusrite mic pres, as featured in the Scarlett range of USB audio interfaces, include 48V Phantom power for use with condenser microphones. iTrack Dock also features Focusrite’s unique “Gain Halos” – a ring of light around the input gain control – to easily set the input gain: green for healthy signal, red if it’s too hot.
  • Dedicated maximum headroom guitar DI: iTrack Dock provides a guitar input with plenty of clean, clear headroom to capture both quiet and loud guitars with stunning clarity.
  • USB MIDI port connects and powers a MIDI controller: USB MIDI port for class compliant MIDI controller connectivity (MIDI + power)
  • Works with any Core Audio app: From GarageBand to Cubasis, Auria and beyond, iTrack Dock expands the functionality of any Core Audio application – and with its built-in Core Audio driver there’s no setup required.
  • Over 105dB dynamic range: Balanced main monitor outputs plus a stereo headphone output, with more than enough power for headphones and powered monitor speakers.
  • Latency-free direct monitoring: iTrack Dock’s direct monitoring sends your input signal straight to the headphone and main monitor.
  • Stereo line inputs: Connect synths, drum machines, CD players and more with balanced stereo line in.
  • Versatile recording app included: Includes the Tape by Focusrite app for iPad, which offers recording, mastering and sharing

The iTrack Dock is priced at US $249.99 MSRP / $199.99 street. See the Focusrite site for more info.


26 thoughts on “Focusrite Intros iTrack Dock – A Studio Quality iPad Recording Interface

  1. Hell. Yeah.

    I’ve used Focusrite for decades (currently using a Liquid 56 as my sound module/DAW interface), they make really solid gear. My Alesis I/O dock has been sitting useless since I got rid of my 30-pin iPad.

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    • This looks nice but my Alesis IO dock is still working perfectly with my 4th Gen iPad and Apples short 30 pin to lightning adaptor

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      • I should also mention that when I bought the iPad 4 I also purchased Apples own cover. This cover is extremely hard to put on and remove and it’s not something that I would want to do to have it slide into an iPad dock, So with this cover on I just simply sit my iPad 4 on top of Alesis dock and make the connection with the 30 pin to lightning adapter. As I said earlier this works perfectly, I also have the functionality of the standard MIDI in an out port on the Alesis dock as well which is quite handy if need be.

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  2. The frequency that Apple changes form factor and connector type makes any Dock audio interface a very stupid piece of engineering and ultimately a waste of money (when Apple introduces the next generation iPad with different shape and connector). Nothing simpler and smarter than a wire between iPad and interface.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 11

    • Oh please, yes Apple has changed the form factor of the iPad but the iPhone/iPad connector has changed exactly once in 8 years, and the newer connector is a MUCH better design. Should they really stick with a bigger, bulkier and less efficient design forever?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

      • You totally missed the point because the shape can also make it so it no longer fits, and the shape has changed for every iPad model. I am very much for continual improvements in design and technology of a product, which is exactly why a costly accessory that relies on a connector type and/or shape is a waste of money. Just look at how many people have to trash their iphone/iPad covers every time they upgrade.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        • The design of the Focusrite dock takes this into account. If you watch the intro video they specifically talk about how this works with ANY lightning-adapter iPad version (4, Mini, Air). This is done by allowing the plug in the dock to slide up and down to match the placement of the port in the iPad.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • They used the dock connector for almost a decade. I think lightning (form factor) will be around for quite a while. (not to say there wont ever be a USB3 based ‘Lightning 2′ or anything)

      That said, Focusrite did something very smart here. They didn’t go for a slot type iPad holder. It can accommodate iPads of different sizes without a shim or sled.

      So while I see your point about K.I.S.S., I think this purchase would serve someone for a great number of years before rendered obsolete.

      -From, an Alesis IO Dock owner who has basically just welded his iPad2 into it permanently… and is looking for something to slap his iPad Air into….that also does USB Midi (!!!!)

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      • Every single Dock audio interface for the iPad, including the Mackie mixers, all have shims and inserts for different iPad models, and many users who have to ‘rig’ up connector adapters with their iPads, now hanging off the end of the dock because it no longer fits properly. Its just a big joke and very unprofessional.

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  3. Kudos on the features and form factor. MAJOR points lost for the tape deck skeuomorph. Can we please stop emulating 30 year old forms of recording?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Ooops. Just noticed in the video (at 0:56) that there seems to be a little red shim for use with the thinner iPads. The point I was trying to make though is that even if they released a (rumored) larger iPad, it would still fit in the dock, specifically because it never truly goes INTO it, unlike the Alesis IO Dock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • There is no way the connector will line up, so it does not matter if the sides are open to allow a larger iPad. Focusrite makes some of the best interfaces for the money, which is why they really did something stupid this time and I hope nobody spends their money on this junk. Just use a CCK with their many USB audio interfaces for a much better solution.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

      • “Better solution”… Define “better”.

        What you proposed is what I’m already using… a jerry-rigged chain of adaptors, cables, boxes and external power supplies. “Versatile” might have been the word you were looking for. This thing basically gives you a very nice portastudio for not that much money.

        Also, if you don’t want one, don’t buy one. Pretty simple.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

        • What you define as ‘portastudio’ is exactly what FocusRite is targeting, that is, very uneducated and unexperienced ‘pro-audio’ enthusiasts. Good luck.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

      • The lightning connector slides to accommodate for the mini and larger iPads. I contend that the slider should be fine for the next few generations of iPads.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • It is similar, except for one major FAIL in my opinion. No MIDI I/O. Yes you can connect a MIDI keyboard or controller to it, but what if I want to use it with iOS instruments and connect it to my computer? Alesis I/O Dock, Berhinger iStudio (if it’s ever released) and the Griffin Technology products all have it. I think Focusrite made a huge mistake omitting that option.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • I have the 30-pin iStudio (which is a nice device actually) but like the Alesis IO Dock it doesn’t support USB host mode so you can’t connect a USB MIDI keyboard to it directly, unfortunately.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Frankly, I think this thing is really cool. It can accept line level in, has a lot of straightforward features and really highlights simplicity. Ableton is great, but possibly more software than I need at the moment. As I drift away from recording “in the box”, this device starts to look much more appealing. Especially since I already own a compatible ipad. I’ll be keeping an eye on this, while also looking into apps like Auria.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. I was so happy to see this…perfect design…
    And then no midi.
    Man what a studip decision.
    So between this and io dock not having sysex are there any alternatives to controlling external synths?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Behringer iStudio, Griffin StudioConnect/HD, iConnectMIDI2+ (and 4+ if it ever comes out), etc..

      If all you need is 5-pin MIDI, I like the iRig MIDI since it has a power input for charging the iPad while you play.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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