The Apogee Jam is one of the most impressive and intuitive devices I’ve used in an ever-expanding market of guitar interfaces for iOS. The reason for its immense popularity is its simplistic style, compact size and high quality. This is mostly down to its onboard PureDIGITAL audio technology that produces unparalleled dynamics and detail for a device of this stature. Taking into consideration its compatibility with iPad, iPhone and Macs it could be an ideal versatile solution for recording or practicing on the go.
The Apogee Jam itself is a small USB audio interface, which in all honesty is nothing special on its own. It comes equipped with a standard 30 pin connector that connects to an iPad or iPhone, and a ¼” jack input for guitars. A clever little feature is the single LED indicator that glows either red, green or blue to show you whether its online, ready to rock or the input is too high. The Preamp is capable of reaching 40dB of gain and has a soft-limit feature that ensures that the input level is optimised. All of the devices have plug in and play operation so it’s quick and straightforward to get going.
In terms of Software, Apogee, and myself, recommend that you use the Jam with GarageBand, in app or desktop form. It would have been cool to see Apogee have a go at designing an app that was integrated just for the Jam but GarageBand does the job well. An alternative would be AmpKit software, which works just as well but I definitely preferred GarageBand, it was about as efficient and intuitive as you could make mobile professional editing. Where the alternatives predominantly fall down is the lack of Mac compatibility, which in today’s recording environment is crucial.
There is very little to complain about the Apogee Jam, perhaps the option for compatible software is limited and it is a bit pricey but for arguably the best on the go recording solution you can buy it is understandable. I would recommend you experiment with the free versions of AmpKit and AmpliTube before you commit to something but the Apogee Jam is much simpler and you get better results. Watch this video for a full list of its capabilities but again, if you can, try before you buy.