Focusrite iTrack Dock is a Serious Lightning iPad Accessory for Recording Music

The iPad could change recording. But first, you have to change the iPad. Docks once reached fever-like proportions in hardware manufacture. Among those, one stood out: I’ve seen the Alesis iO Dock see iPads get more serious studio use, thanks to convenient access to audio and MIDI. (And that, in turn, is something you often don’t get when connecting hardware directly.) Then, Apple switched connectors to the new Lightning Connector – and the hardware world fell silent. Now, Focusrite steps in to fill the void. (We’ll see if Alesis is doing the same.) And if many docks are dubious purchases, …

Okay, it's not as compact, but you can at least get input working with Apple's now-shipping Lightning adapter for 30-pin accessories and Sonoma's excellent GuitarJack.

Lightning Audio: Sonoma’s GuitarJack Meets New iPads, iPhones, Via Adapter [Gallery]

Apple’s mobile hardware offers some serious audio performance and a whole mess of apps to take advantage of it. But what it doesn’t have is the ability to connect inputs and get high-quality sound. Basic mics will work via the built-in jack, but if you want really good sound and more flexibility, you need to connect external hardware. Previous accessories worked with the Apple Dock Connector. I expect we’ll shortly see new hardware with the Lightning Connector built in – the whole thing seems like an opportunity for third-party vendors to sell more accessories. But in the meantime, here’s the …