Gibson splices together guitar cable and recorder
By Paul Ridden
April 23, 2014
Have you ever stumbled across a great-sounding riff while noodling away in the bedroom, only to find that by the time you've broken out your digital recording gear, you can't remember a note? The Memory Cable from Gibson Brands gets around such problems by merging a premium instrument cable with a digital audio recorder.
At first glance, the Gibson Brands Memory Cable may look like pretty much any 16 ft (5 m) long instrument cable – until you notice the slight bulge at one end. This is a compact solid state recorder designed by engineers from Tascam. It features studio quality analog-to-digital conversion, and is capable of recording uncompressed WAV audio files at 44.1 kHz/16-bit resolution.
Gibson says that the recorder is a breeze to operate. Players just need to plug the high-end, low capacitance cable into a guitar, bass, keyboard or drum machine output and press the button front and center. The device will capture every note you pick until you shut it off, or there's a mode to just record when you're playing to save storage space. The jack at the other end of the cable doesn't even need to be plugged into an amp for the recorder to work.
If your fingers find the muse, and you create something magical, you can press the same button to close the current file and start recording a new one. Then you can just skip to the end of time-stamped, saved files to analyze your moments of inspired glory on your computer or laptop (the device doesn't play files back itself).
Users can get up to 8 hours from a standard (or rechargeable) AA-type battery, but the device also has a small LR44 battery to keep the internal clock ticking for about a year. The cable still sends your instrument signal to an amp even if there's no juice left in either of the batteries, though the recorder won't be able to capture moments of musical marvel in such cases. The Memory Cable can also be plugged into a mixer bus output to capture band rehearsals for subsequent note-by-note nitpicks, and is described as a perfect re-amping solution.
About 10 - 13 hours of material can be captured to the included 4 GB microSD card, and when the card gets full, the device starts recording over the oldest files (so make sure you've offloaded your killer riffs onto a laptop or computer before starting a marathon practice session).
The Gibson Memory Cable comes with a microSD-to-SD adapter and will be available in the US from May 15 for US$99.
Product page: Gibson Memory Cable