I’m always happy to hear from anyone who wants to review a product / app or whatever. This review comes from GiuseppeL:
My thoughts on the PRS GuitarBud
The idea that I could take my electric guitar with me and record (almost) silently or practice at nighttime with full amp modelling using this GuitarBud thing, headphones and my iPhone really excited me. As soon as it was announced I had decided I wanted one and upon release I threw down a whopping £25 GBP (inc. Delivery) despite a lack of reviews or many real details. I trusted my previous experience with the PRS brand on a day’s wage and these are my thoughts after a few days:
1. Build Quality:
The actual kit is really well made, it doesn’t feel as though a stray tug could pull anything loose (the packaging on the other hand is really, really bad- it had me worried!)
The GuitarBud essentially consists of a jack-end to go into an instrument, a headphone input and finally the output to an iPhone. It’s all about the right length for the iPhone to sit on your knee with a bit of slack.
2. Actual Usage:
Here was my first issue, I had assumed the accompanying, advertised JamAmp app would actually come with it, either in the form of a redemption code or simply being free as it needs the wire to function anyway. It didn’t, it costs another £5.99 GBP! I cannot afford this and feel slightly betrayed as all of the promotional material lead me to believe it came with the amp modelling software. Bad start.
So I fire up FourTrack, plug in my Fender and a set of good headphones, *plink* … oh, I had also read on the packaging that the GuitarBud would let me ‘monitor’ in realtime. It doesn’t. Even without the amp modelling I had hoped I could hear the dry signal, I suppose that’s up to the software so I can’t really blame them but I knew then that there was no circuitry/preamp in the GuitarBud, which lead to my next issue: With no way to hear what I am playing, I often had the volume on my guitar too high or too low. It either clipped or was nearly inaudible. This isn’t too bad with a guitar but with my portable MicroKorg XL synth which makes no physical noise (something I planned to use lots with this) I have no way to monitor anything. Another thing was, with instruments like my synth that are already amplified, everything clipped I had to be jus a tiny fraction above zero for it not to clip. Definately not good so far.
3. Further Use:
Not willing to accept that I had wasted my money, I hacked together a solution that involved a digital effects pedal and a headphone splitter. It made the whole deal a whole lot less portable but meant I could pre-set the line level and monitor everything whilst recording directly.
I think it can be summed up in the fact that today I did a recording using both my Fender and my Kor with the iPhone, both were captured with the iPhone next to the amp. The GuitarBud is not worth it right now, maybe for a fiver but definately not twenty-five! Unless some good apps come out that let me play/monitor then I doubt that I will find any use for it.
Extra note: I did try a free effects app, it worked okay but there was a slliiight delay, I hear this doesn’t happen with the 3GS or iPod touch but my old 3G is not as fast. It wasn’t BAD though.