Effintone is not a simple USB-C cable but houses a class-compliant48kHz audio interface for iOS, PC & Mac. It’s now on Kickstarter for just $20.
iPads or iPhones are a special case in music production. You either love or hate them. Unfortunately, the second is still often the case in 2020. It’s a shame when you consider what kind of excellent synthesizers, effects, etc. are now available for almost nothing in the AppStore. With the arrival of the AUv3 format, apps have become significantly more versatile and flexible. With a clear conscience, I can say that apps in 2020 are on the same level as most plugins. Eventide, FabFilter, Sugar Bytes … to name a few. To get a signal into the iOS device you need an audio interface that is class-compliant. Rather impractical for traveling or sitting on the couch with an iPad.
Effintone has probably developed the most practical and smallest audio interface for iPads, iPhones, PCs & Macs. It is integrated into a simple USB-C cable. One side a USB-C connector on the other a classic 6.3 mono jack. The developer sells it primarily as a guitar interface but also works with other instruments like synths with a mono output. However, the idea is not a new one. Alesis currently offers the GuitarLink cable with a classic USB connection, which gets rather negative reviews. Thanks to the USB-C connection, the Effintone cable should transmit better audio quality.
The product’s aim will be not music studios but rather at jams that may take place on the couch, outdoors, etc. According to the developer, you can expect a noise floor of about -90dB (A-weighted RMS value) and an over 80db SNR. The device captures signals with 16-bit depth at 44.1kHz or 48kHz. Furthermore, it also has a programmable gain amplifier that can be adjusted with standard USB signaling. So you can probably rely on your recording software to adjust the amplifier gain automatically, or provide you with an input capture level setting.
It is bus-powered, which means it doesn’t require additional power brick or so. The entire device is in the form of a single, 5-foot cable which is powered by the device you connect it to. Real-time monitoring is possible with very low latency says the developer. A downer is that the cable doesn’t feature an audio output which means real-time feedback monitoring is not supported. So you have to use Bluetooth headphones or a hub that includes a headphone output.
Effintone USB-C Guitar Interface cable is available now for pre-order for $20 USD and shipping starts in December 2020. I think it’s an interesting idea. However, you don’t know how well the whole thing works. You can only see it in the real test environment. It looks interesting and at $ 20 you can give it a try.
More information here: Kickstarter