Mobile Music Making: Line 6 Mobile In

June 4, 2013

 Mobile in is a compact ios interface for guitar or stereo line in, but its “secret weapon” is the free Mobile Pod app.
TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ONWARD— which means that, sometimes, you can pick up older but still relevant gear for cheap. Consider Line 6’s Mobile In ($49 street). Although the device was released in 2011, and has the original Apple iThingy 30-pin connector, it can work with Lightning-compatible iPad/iPhone devices via a Lightning-to-30-pin adapter. (Note: A cable adapter costs more than a “block” adapter, but gives a more flexible setup and takes weight off the iOS device’s connector. However even with devices that mate directly with a connector, an extension cable generally provides a more secure connection.) The guitar input and stereo line input both use mini jacks, although you can’t use the two inputs simultaneously.

Because audio goes in digitally (up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution), sound quality isn’t restricted by the iOS device’s analog front end. This also eliminates the feedback issues that sometimes plague analog devices when using high-gain amp models. And speaking of amp models, you can download the free Mobile POD app (which is excellent, but works only with Mobile In). It features 32 amps, 16 cabinets, 16 stompbox effects, and a tuner. You can also connect to a library of more than 10,000 tones, and use Mobile In as an interface for other Core Audio apps.

One ding: the iOS device’s headphone out is the only output, but as a righteous sounding headphone practice amp or general-purpose effects processor with a suitable audio adapter (an iPad works best for this application due to the screen size), Mobile In represents serious value.

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