Personally, the most interesting part of the announcement of the new iPad on March 2 was GarageBand for iPad. Sure, the cool-looking drum kit and dynamic piano are worth a passing mention but my weapon of choice is the guitar. But rather than tap onto the touchscreen's virtual instrument I would prefer to plug in my own. The new JAM input from Apogee will allow me to do just that.

While GarageBand for iPad includes some clever wizardry that will help even non-players to sound good, the chance to play through vintage amps and stompboxes without breaking my back – and my bank account – carrying in huge rigs through the front gates is what appeals to me. Apogee has developed a studio quality input for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Mac that features PureDIGITAL technology to help reproduce my instrument's unique tone on a virtual rack within the app.

"JAM is the first high-quality interface that makes a digital connection to your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and the only one that also works on your Mac," said Apogee Co-founder and CEO Betty Bennett. "You will immediately notice the difference between the sound quality of JAM and other similar products because its converters are designed by the same team of engineers responsible for our award-winning, high-end professional interfaces."

With JAM, there's configuration-free plug-and-play functionality for either electric guitar or bass, with a 0.25-inch jack input at one end and a locking output at the other that connects directly to the iDevice's dock connector or a Mac's USB port. There's also studio quality instrument preamp with up to 40 dB of gain, 44.1 kHz/24-bit analog-to-digital conversion and an Auto Soft Limit for optimal input level. An included gain control knob offers manual level adjustment and a multicolor LED allows for at-a-glance input level monitoring.

JAM by Apogee is available this month for US$99.

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