Alesis IO Dock Review

Here’s a in-depth review, via Sonic State’s Nick Batt, of the new Alesis IO Dock– a universal docking station for the iPad that connects it to microphones, instruments, professional speaker and PA systems, MIDI controllers, sound modules and video projectors.

The Alesis IO Dock retails for about $199, and adds two combination XLR and 1/4-inch inputs, each with its own gain control and switchable phantom power for condenser microphones.

See the Sonic Lab review page for more of their thoughts on the new device and our post on the Alesis IO Dock for full specifications.

If you’ve used the Alesis IO Dock yourself, what do you think of it?

6 thoughts on “Alesis IO Dock Review

  1. I have two of them.

    While I have not received my iPad 2 adapter yet, my iPad fits snugly at a great angle for use when standing at my modular. My iPad 2 fits pretty well, though it takes a little wiggling to get it "just so." Works well enough sitting at my desk. Am expecting my free adapter from Alesis soon.

    I had been considering the purchase of a new sequencer for my modular (a Dotcom), but since purchasing the ioDock, I have been running StepPolyArp via MIDI against my modular. It's not PERFECT (no CV, of course), but it's a pretty good tool to run while futzing around in the studio. Unfortunately, I can't run a simultaneous instance of Moog Filtatron to plug into the OTHER end of the synth.

    Have been running Spectrasonics Orb, SampleWiz, Sunrizer, and a few other things on the iPad 2, using the ioDock as my interface. Sound quality has been very good, and the availability of all the jacks has really made the iPad an easy solution to use some unusual noisemakers.

    Just setup a mic running against SampleWiz on my iPad 2 this weekend. Seemed to have plenty of gain, though I haven't tried a ribbon against it, nor really examined it closely in general.

    Overall, from a "just using it" perspective, it's a reasonably well-built plastic appliance, though it could be sturdier, particularly in the manner in which it retains the iPad. It provides a large number of connection options that are not easily found in other products. All the wires don't make it any more portable, but for an in-one-place solution, it works pretty well. It's a bit overpriced, but I'm not wildly unhappy about it. I would say it's a GREAT solution if it were priced at $120 or less.

  2. Does the IO Dock significantly improve the sound quality & not just add gain? My main issue with the iPad is the compressed nature of the sound even when taken out of the 30 pin connector rather than headphone jack.. Plenty of bass & treble reported but the midrange sounds noticeably canned in comparison with my other vsts/hardware synths. This is made all the more frustrating after the launch of the superb Animoog. At the moment I am getting conflicting info regarding outboard USB powered interfaces. If the IO can take their place – along with its connectivity options I would be very happy.

  3. Ah on watching again you do actually answer my question. (slap to side of own head) Sonicstate reviews are always very good: – thanks Nick 🙂

  4. Word of caution:

    There is an issue with ios5 and the io dock, sound crackles and eventual sound drop replaced by hiss. So, hold off on updating to ios 5 until a fix has been posted. Keep an eye on the Alesis forum for more info.

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