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Apogee has built a super solid reputation as one of the best A/D D/A converter manufacturers (for those unaware, A stands for Analog and D for Digital, and converters are one of the main reasons why your home recordings will never sound very good). So this year at NAMM we were a little surprised to see Apogee staff showcasing a… pedal controller for guitarists! This baby is called GiO and it’s a complete guitar interface for Apple’s new Logic Studio 9, MainStage 2 and GarageBand ’09. Combining effects control, recording functions and the sound quality Apogee is renowned for, GiO allows guitar players to control recording functions, preset changes and plug-ins like Amp Designer and Pedalboard, along with new Playback and Loopback features in MainStage.

A couple of details make this interface stand out from the pack: It features foot switches with led lights that change color according to the triggered plug in (which is a very useful way to visualize which virtual effects you are toying with in your chain), and it lets you access all the most important DAW functions without the need of touching the keyboard or the mouse at all – even record, loop, punch in, forward, rewind, etc etc.