How to plug your guitar into your iPhone and rock out

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guitar iPhone setup
This is all you need to make some awesome noise.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Short of learning air guitar, hooking a guitar up to your iPhone is just about the easiest way to get started playing music. But it’s not just for practice, or goofing around at home. You can record and edit serious music with an iOS device, and even produce whole records.

But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Today, we’re just going to hook things up and rock out.

How to record guitar with an iPhone or iPad

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You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
Photo: Lee Peterson/The App Factor

Smart keyboard will teach you how to play piano

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Learning piano was never this much fun.
Learning piano was never this much fun.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: The ONE Light smart keyboard

Who doesn’t want to play piano? Learning to tickle the ivories must be right up there with writing the great American novel: Many of us have a hankering to become more musical.

The fantastic $299 ONE Light smart keyboard is the way to go if you want a piano that will show you how to play without hiring a teacher.

Drive your guitar to new places with this mighty Moog effects pedal

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Moog's MF Drive packs a lot of sonic punch in a small package.
Moog's MF Drive packs a lot of sonic punch in a small package.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: MF Drive guitar pedal by Moog

The magic of what Moog has done with this analog stompbox isn’t completely evident until you plug an expression pedal into it.

Certainly the drive tones are exceptional and the controls provide a myriad of useable and inspirational tones, but the expression pedal unlocks Moog’s industry-leading love of sonic experimentation.

UE Boom 2 brings the jams anywhere, anytime

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With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: UE Boom 2 by Ultimate Ears

We loved the original UE Boom and the new 2.0 version is even better. The UE Boom 2 is stain-resistant, stylish, shock-resistant and completely waterproof. We’re not sure who is trying to listen to their tunes underwater, but if that’s your jam … you are good to go.

Lust List: Go-to gear for life’s little challenges

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Each month, Lust List rounds up the gear that makes it so we can't feel our faces. This time around we're loving hot music machines, cool photo accessories and more.

S1-A Bicycle Jersey by Search and State

Earlier this summer, Search and State released its version of the ugly-ass Hawaiian shirt in the form of a bicycle jersey. I stared at it for weeks wondering if I could pull off the look while riding in the Oakland hills. While I contemplated my fashion boldness, Search and State apparently sold every last one of those jerseys. I decided I need to get my hands on one of the company's tamer garments to see what the Midtown Manhattan manufacturers have going on.

What they are doing is making beautiful bicycle attire in the heart of what was once New York's garment center. The $140 S1-A bicycle jersey is impeccably sewn and has an understated appearance even the most fashion-challenged can deal with. Nice choice on the zipper, too. — Jim Merithew

Buy from: Search and State

Each month, Lust List rounds up the gear that makes it so we can't feel our faces. This time around we're loving hot music machines, cool photo accessories and more.

S1-A Bicycle Jersey by Search and State

Earlier this summer, Search and State released its version of the ugly-ass Hawaiian shirt in the form of a bicycle jersey. I stared at it for weeks wondering if I could pull off the look while riding in the Oakland hills. While I contemplated my fashion boldness, Search and State apparently sold every last one of those jerseys. I decided I need to get my hands on one of the company's tamer garments to see what the Midtown Manhattan manufacturers have going on.

What they are doing is making beautiful bicycle attire in the heart of what was once New York's garment center. The $140 S1-A bicycle jersey is impeccably sewn and has an understated appearance even the most fashion-challenged can deal with. Nice choice on the zipper, too. — Jim Merithew

Buy from: Search and State


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

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Lust List: Killer gear for iPhone lovers, bike riders and ax wielders

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lust_list_bolstr_bag001-780x520

I want extra pockets without having to wear goofy cargo pants. So while perusing one of my favorite guy websites, Everyday Carry, I came across a little bag made by Koyono called the bolstr bag.

It's perfect for tooling around Chicago, allowing me to discreetly store a phone, iPad mini, notebook and point-and-shoot camera. Plus, its slim design and asymmetrical shape look way cooler than knee-level flapped pockets on either leg.

The bolstr small carry bag comes in a variety of colors and left- or right-side orientations (as a lefty, I appreciate this design consideration). — David Pierini

Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac


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For those about to rock, this universal mic clip is essential kit

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iKlip XPand for iPhone, iPad. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
Two models of iKlip XPand will hold iPhones, iPads or most other mobile devices. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you use your iPad or iPhone (or both!) onstage when you perform, you know how hard it can be to find a good place to put them. Putting your iPad on a flimsy music stand just won’t cut it, and leaving your iPhone on the floor near your guitar pedals is just asking for a stomped-on smartphone.

The solution, for me, has always been iKlip iPad stands, which connect right to my mic stand. The new versions, including a sweet new iPhone mount, keep my iPad and iPhone safe from all musician-based harm, and always at the right height and angle to get at my lyric sheets, set lists and guitar effects.

Lust List: Gear so great we can’t stop talking about it

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If you don't have a dedicated roadie or one of those robotic tuning guitars, there's no easier way to tune your ax than with a Snark. Just squeeze the thumb-size mount and slide your headstock between the rubberized grips. Then press the little button on the front of the Snark's colorful LCD readout, pluck a string and get your instrument ready to play.


Lightweight and accurate, the Snark SN-2 All Instrument Tuner works with acoustic or electric guitars and basses, mandolins, banjos, whatever. It's perfect for situations like in-studio radio shows, where you don't want to drag around a stompbox tuner or a large amp that might have one built-in tuner. It also boasts pitch calibration, which lets you tune to something besides A-440, and a metronome that I can't complain about because I've never used it. The Snark SN-2 is a great buy at $39 list (and a steal at Amazon's price of $12.99). — Lewis Wallace


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you don't have a dedicated roadie or one of those robotic tuning guitars, there's no easier way to tune your ax than with a Snark. Just squeeze the thumb-size mount and slide your headstock between the rubberized grips. Then press the little button on the front of the Snark's colorful LCD readout, pluck a string and get your instrument ready to play.

Lightweight and accurate, the Snark SN-2 All Instrument Tuner works with acoustic or electric guitars and basses, mandolins, banjos, whatever. It's perfect for situations like in-studio radio shows, where you don't want to drag around a stompbox tuner or a large amp that might have one built-in tuner. It also boasts pitch calibration, which lets you tune to something besides A-440, and a metronome that I can't complain about because I've never used it. The Snark SN-2 is a great buy at $39 list (and a steal at Amazon's price of $12.99). — Lewis Wallace

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac


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Mega-pedal serves up soaring vocal harmonies, impressive guitar effects

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been playing music for coming up on 30 years now, and I’ve tried a ton of music gear. These days, I run a fairly bare-bones setup, with a smaller amp for those close venues, a couple of dual-effect pedals (Visual Sounds’ Route 66 and H2O), and a Boss VE-20 vocal harmony box to thicken up the background vocals in my disco band.

I’ve always had a thing for multi-effect boxes, though, running through my share of a few complicated ones that never quite gave me what I needed in terms of both effects sounds and onstage ease-of-use.

When I heard about TC-Helicon’s new VoiceLive 3 mega-stomp box, with a huge range of guitar effects and amplifier modeling, an amazing vocal-harmony processing system and a stage-quality looping feature, well, I had to try it out.