6 must-have iPhone and iPad accessories for musicians [Reviews]

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The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
The iPhone and iPad are great companions on and off the stage with the help of these amazing accessories.
Photo: Austin Prock/Unsplash

Best List: Gear that will take your adventures over the top

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WaterField Designs' Bolt briefcase is not for hoarders who want to carry every infernal gadget with them everywhere they go. Like the impossibly thin new MacBook, it's stripped down to the essentials — and the essentials are stylish, sturdy and compelling.


The $249 Bolt will surprise you with its slimness. It comes in two sizes — the small one I tested holds up to a 13-inch MacBook Air (the larger model holds up to a 17-inch laptop). After sliding in an 11-inch Air, an iPad and an envelope full of documents, the Bolt was fairly full; there was barely room to toss in a pair of headphones. 


But that's the point of the Bolt. It's designed for carting around your must-have gear in a sleek, pleasing package. The brown waxed canvas bag looked good out of the gate (and even better after a few trips gave it more character). The chocolate leather accents, including a thick bottom that's perfect for keeping grime at bay, seem like they will only look better over time.


The craftsmanship employed by the San Francisco bag maker is evident from the first zip of the Bolt's hefty, waterproof zipper or the first flip of the

WaterField Designs' Bolt briefcase is not for hoarders who want to carry every infernal gadget with them everywhere they go. Like the impossibly thin new MacBook, it's stripped down to the essentials — and the essentials are stylish, sturdy and compelling.

The $249 Bolt will surprise you with its slimness. It comes in two sizes — the small one I tested holds up to a 13-inch MacBook Air (the larger model holds up to a 17-inch laptop). After sliding in an 11-inch Air, an iPad and an envelope full of documents, the Bolt was fairly full; there was barely room to toss in a pair of headphones.

But that's the point of the Bolt. It's designed for carting around your must-have gear in a sleek, pleasing package. The brown waxed canvas bag looked good out of the gate (and even better after a few trips gave it more character). The chocolate leather accents, including a thick bottom that's perfect for keeping grime at bay, seem like they will only look better over time.

The craftsmanship employed by the San Francisco bag maker is evident from the first zip of the Bolt's hefty, waterproof zipper or the first flip of the "snaps" that close the front pockets. (They're not really snaps: They look like snaps, but in reality they're magnets that effectively hold the pockets shut but are 1,000 times easier to work than your typical closure.)

A leather-faced pad on the removable shoulder strap boasts a grippy, rubberized back that keeps the Bolt from sliding around. And speaking of not sliding around, the simple pass-through on the back of the Bolt is perfect for sliding the petite bag over the handle of a piece of carry-on luggage.

If you go from a backpack to a Bolt, you will undoubtedly miss all that extra space for cramming in jackets, water bottles and half-eaten sandwiches. But, like a decluttered house, the Bolt's wonderful minimalism will grow on you. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: WaterField Designs

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac


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Best List: Heart-pumping, dart-thumping gear (and a blinkin’ Apple book)

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If you play darts, you know it's all about the doubles and triples. Landing your pointy projectile in those choice slivers of bristle board real estate make all the difference when you are playing to win.


The Bandit Plus ProTrainer ($65 from A-ZDarts.com) can help. On this fiendish and well-constructed training tool, the double and treble beds are just half the size of a regulation steel-tip dartboard. Practicing with this demanding mistress is the darting equivalent of running in ankle weights or sliding a doughnut on your bat while taking a few cuts in the on-deck circle. Spend some quality time with the ProTrainer at home, and those precious moneymaker slots will look gigantic when you step up to the oche during your next pub match. — Lewis Wallace


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you play darts, you know it's all about the doubles and triples. Landing your pointy projectile in those choice slivers of bristle board real estate make all the difference when you are playing to win.

The Bandit Plus ProTrainer ($65 from A-ZDarts.com) can help. On this fiendish and well-constructed training tool, the double and treble beds are just half the size of a regulation steel-tip dartboard. Practicing with this demanding mistress is the darting equivalent of running in ankle weights or sliding a doughnut on your bat while taking a few cuts in the on-deck circle. Spend some quality time with the ProTrainer at home, and those precious moneymaker slots will look gigantic when you step up to the oche during your next pub match. — Lewis Wallace

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac


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IKlip Studio iPad Stand Is Sturdy Enough For Rock Stars

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Sturdy, cheap (-ish) and flexible. There's a lot to like about the iKlip
Sturdy, cheap (-ish) and flexible. There's a lot to like about the iKlip

You know, I used to think custom iPad stands were kind of a dumb idea, especially as the Smart Cover is already a stand. But I watch movies and TV shows in bed with The Lady, using an iPad and JamBox balanced on one of those breakfast tray/table things. And after one too many iPad tumbles, I’m ready for a sturdier stand.

And the iKlip looks as good as any.

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

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iRig-large.jpg

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: