Plug Your Guitar into your iPhone and iPad with this DIY iRig

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No way would I ever plug in my Gibson SG Les Paul Custom into my iPhone 3G. Just no way. Now that I have the iPhone 4 and its increased processor speed, crystal clear pictures, and hardcore stage presence, I’ll reconsider.

Seriously though, playing an instrument through an iDevice is more of just a hobby or gimmick if you’re going to try and use it for modeling amps and effect pedals. What really convinced me to hook up a quarter inch jack to my phone was the Moog Filtatron App. Synthesizers are most certainly perfect for and acceptable to use in your music even if they’re coming from you Macbook or iPad. If they have the Moog name attatched to it then you’re just that much more legit.

If you have a box full of cables tucked away somewhere, you may have all that you need to construct your very own iRig. Even if you purchased all the cables from The Shack, you’ll probably come away with a cheaper version, and you’ll feel like MacGyver.

Here’s how I put together my own audio interface:

Ingredients:

• Yellow Red and White RCA Cable to 1/8’ Jack

• RCA female to 1/4’ male connector

• Stereo RCA female jacks to 1/8’ female

• Headphones

Procedure:

I started with this guy

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I have approximately four of these cables in my box-o-cables and putting one to use justifies me keeping the other three. This cable allows you to use the microphone input and left and right stereo outputs of your iPhone/iPad 1/8’ jack. The red and white RCA plugs will be the audio out to your headphones and the yellow RCA plug will be the audio input from your guitar.

I had to pick this adapter up from The Shack. $2.99 for this one:

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This goes on the yellow RCA plug and hooks directly into your musical instrument of choice (with a 1/4’ jack).

I got lucky with this cable. It came with my record player:

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This takes the left and right audio signal from the red and white RCA plugs and outputs it to your 1/8’ headphone jack.

The finished product looks like this:

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It’s like creating your own aural Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Megazord. If you don’t want to go through all of the hassel you can pick up an iRig for $39.99, though it’s on sale on Amazon for $29.99.


Related
  • Fred

    Where did you get the cables?

  • ASdasdasd123123

    Doesn’t work for me,…..
    No input..

  • Mark

    No workie for me either. Still uses built-in microphone.

  • Airblaze

    Same here “Still uses built-in microphone”.

  • Carson

    this isn’t working for me at all… :( now I am sad

  • Aapries

    great suggestion…didn’t work at all.

  • Bittorn

    there’s a schematic of an Irig with impedance matcher http://sgitornado.altervista.o

  • allls

    worked for me on ipod touch but red was input (to guitar) yellow and white out.
    but not working on iphone 3gs (but maybe it my iphone fail)
    and on my strat i must switch to 4 position (bridge+middle) – than prog see my guitar and than i can switch to any other position

  • Kelly G

    I think you’d have better luck with a mono 1/4″ to RCA adapter.  You’ll get some sound out of this, but the impedance is wrong; it’s expecting a low impedance microphone not a high impedance instrument.  Perhaps a simple high-to-low impedance device will fix it, but probably better to get a regular device unless you are just playing around.

  • Rottingmaw

    it works, but it sounds like theres an impedance issue.  also the red cable is the line in.

  • Ohright83

    Not work for me :( and i dont no why.

  • Iceman198

    I think you have to use the RED as your input….the iPhone’s input is swapped when a mic is plugged in.  make sense?  I am going to try and do a similar jerry-rig when I get home.  =)

  • SHRIDDY

    as eveyone has said before RED GOES TO GUITAR  ……YELLOW AND WHITE GO TO HEADPHONES………….DER DER DER!!!!!   DER

  • Paul Gilbert

    Thanks! Worked fine for me (red for guitar though, as several peeps have noted previously). NB If it sounds like there’s an impedance issue ie it’s distorted even on a clean sound, just set the input level manually instead of using the default automatic setting (click the jackplug icon on the instrument screen).

  • Mic Go Mac

    Note!  Not all 3 color cable adaptor are the same.
    My collection of cables… came with video cameras or other gadgets. I had to mark which came with which, cause they are NOT compatible with each other.
    e.g the Sony cam cable may not work with my video capture box, though they looked all the same.
    Check the pins with a multimeter you can see the difference of each.

    Get a few of these to try them out one by one. With luck one may work for you.

    Michael

  • nukh

    It also doesn’t work for me! :((( I heard that it doesn’t work because the original Irig contains an electric component which is missing in the DIY Irig, correct? please help how can i make the DIY Irig work?!?!

  • mikef2007

    This works great! I had enough spare parts and cables in my misc. cable box to make 2 of these. It doesn’t work very well with Garageband, but download Amplitube or Ampkit app and you will be jamming away in no time.

About the author

Tim CoxTim Cox is big time into coffee, craft beer, Super Street Fighter IV, and Apple products. He lives in Brooklyn with his loving wife and 5 beautiful kitties. He keeps track of the stuff he googles, gives advice on web marketing, and is pretty big on Twitter. He never updates his personal blog.

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Posted in How-To, iPad, iPhone, Music, Tips & Tricks | Tagged: , , , , , |