Fender has joined the likes of IK Multimedia and Apogee in the iOS musical interface market with the release of the Slide. The guitar-making giant promises audiophile-pleasing sonic output, independent control over volume and mix and is bundling a complimentary version of IK Multimedia's AmpliTube effects and amp modeling suite and a full version of the Rock Prodigy learning app with the device.
Fender has moved away from the now familiar rectangular stick form factor of competitors like the iRig HD and Apogee's JAM, and instead wrapped its Slide interface in a curvy stomp-like shell with a prominent volume control to the top, and a separate and smaller mix wheel cutting into its sloped side. The latter is used to increase the dry signal to help alleviate latency problems.
The device is designed to be used with recording, performing or tutorial software running on iOS smart devices, such as the iPad, or PC/Mac computers. It features analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, Dynamic Range Expansion circuitry to help accurately capture performance nuances, and offers up to 24-bit/48 kHz audio resolution.
Users plug an instrument cable into the 0.25-in jack at one end of the Slide, and connect to whatever's running the music creation or learning software at the other with one of the supplied iOS or USB cables. The interface gets its power from the device it's connected to. Headphone monitoring (or onward connection to a powered amp) is possible courtesy of the included 3.5 mm audio output jack.
The Slide, which was first announced at the Winter NAMM back in January is available now from a small number of authorized Fender dealers (more widespread availability is scheduled for the end of this month) for a suggested retail price of US$149.99.
The video below shows the Slide in action.
Product page: Fender Slide