Reviews from the Road: The Gibson Memory Cable

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A premium instrument cable that captures those inspired moments on the fly

By Bradley Weinholtz

There are countless times when in the midst of practice session a magical musical riff appears out of nowhere. Sometimes I’m able to recall it later, and once in a blue moon I have a recorder handy to capture the moment. More often though, those rockin’ riffs fade away into the night never to be heard from again. The engineers at Gibson and Tascam must have had me along with every other aspiring songwriter in mind when they came up with the Gibson Memory Cable. The concept is simple: build a premium instrument cable and integrate an intuitive and compact digital recorder for on-the-fly capture of performances and those fleeting moments of inspiration

The Gibson Memory Cable looks and performs like any premium cable, but upon closer examination you’ll find a super-compact TASCAM recording module built into the instrument end. It records up to 13 hours of CD-quality, 44.1 kHz/16-bit uncompressed WAV files onto the included 4GB MicroSD card. When you’re finished recording, pop the card into any desktop or laptop computer with a card reader (or a standalone card reader) and extract the WAV files for playback or editing.

Gibson Memory Cable

The Gibson Memory Cable incorporates a TASCAM recorder that automatically captures every note you play with uncompressed CD-quality sound.

Since WAV files work with just about every audio recording, mixing, and sequencing hardware or software application that is compatible with PCs, Macs, iOS, or Android devices, your recordings can be saved or edited any way you like. I effortlessly imported my files directly into Audacity where they were ready for any kind of tweaking I might desire.

The Gibson Memory Cable is very easy to use. There are three recording modes. A manual start/stop button lets you control what’s captured. Or if you prefer, set it on continuous recording to “let the tape roll.” There’s also a signal-activated mode that automatically records when a sound is transmitted into the unit, eliminating “dead air.” The recorder runs on a standard or rechargeable AA battery delivering about eight hours of recording time. An LR44 battery with an approximate one-year life is used to power the internal memory. (The instrument cable function works regardless of the battery status.)

Since the cable accepts any line-level input, it’s not just for guitarists. You can use it with basses, electric keyboards, drum machines—or just about anything else with a ¼” output jack.

You can also use this handy cable to record your project or band by connecting it to your mixer output. Or create a quick mixdown of your project from any interface. I actually used the latter application when a computer stack error caused by low RAM reared its ugly head. I used the Memory Cable to quickly grab a WAV mixdown to finish a video project.

Gibson became a majority stockholder of TEAC (parent company of TASCAM) last year, and the Memory Cable is the first of what should be some very interesting collaborations between the two companies.

There’s no longer any need to keep your laptop or standalone recorder on hand to capture rehearsals, practice sessions, or back-porch jams. With a Memory Cable you’ll never lose an inspired moment again.

Features & Specs

  • Premium, 16-foot cable
  • Stores over 13 hours of audio with 4GB MicroSD card (included)
  • Continuous or auto recording (records only when you’re playing)
  • Handles guitar, bass, drum machines, synthesizers, etc. and line-level signals
  • Uncompressed recording—CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit fidelity
  • Mac/Windows/iOS/Android compatible WAV file format
  • Ultra-simple user interface, with included reference card
  • Insulated ends minimize the chance of shocks
  • Transfer files directly from MicroSD card to computer using a card reader, or even insert the MicroSD in a compatible smartphone and access the phone via USB
  • Recording technology from TASCAM, the undisputed leader in hand-held portable recorders
  • Uses AA main battery (standard or rechargeable, approximate 8-hour battery life) and LR44 battery for Real Time Clock functions (approximate 1-year battery life)
  • Premium quality, low-capacitance cable
  • Competitive pricing with non-recording premium cables

Explore the complete selection of Gibson products at Musician’s Friend.

For more information about the Memory Cable or other Gibson or TASCAM products, call a Musician’s Friend Gear Head at (800) 449-9128 for expert, friendly advice.


# Chris 2014-06-04 10:46
I'd like to see it with a micro-USB port. Micro-SD cards have a habit of getting lost.
# Denzil 2014-06-04 03:21
I would like to know the price & if available in the UK
# Hardy Kefes 2014-06-01 05:47
I'd like to see the cable with stereo / balanced in/output.
# Demzil 2014-06-04 03:17
I would like to know the price & if available in the UK!
# Eddie 2014-06-07 19:53
$99.00 U.S. plus tax and shipping...
# bilkees6 2014-05-31 22:02
bassman 2...because they want you to buy a new cable each time
# Gerry V. 2014-05-31 14:21
I read another article/review on this device...I think that it will retail for only $99.00. Not bad for what all it can do. I'm thinking of getting one...of course I don't usually play my elec/acoustic via an amp...but I would have to to use this tool.
# Bill 2014-05-31 12:35
So what does it sound like when recording an electric guitar that hasn't gone through any processing yet? No pedals, no amp....I'll bet it sounds really impressive! ;)
# Other Bill 2014-06-01 09:34
Its not as much for recording as it is for recalling things you've written... I'm sure its very helpful for those who can't write out notation or at least tabs with the rhythm underneath ;)
# Bassman 2014-05-31 12:24
what if this was just a short cable with male on one end and female on the other end and then it could sit atop the amp or someplace less abusive? dunno, just the engineer in me thinking outside the bun.
# howeeye 2014-06-01 12:20
that's a great idea dude so simple but that's the way it should have been made what's chance of anything breaking or going wrong and it could be cheaper because there was less cable
# bassman2 2014-05-31 13:21
You obviously are a good engineer. Why did they not think about it?
# Jeff Gardner 2014-05-31 10:16
well,that was so informative what could one possibly need to know before purchasing one of these? I don't know,maybe the one thing the article doesn't mention...THE could someone enlighten me please?
# Damian B. 2014-05-31 10:25
I looked on Musicians Friend and it is $99.99.
# Wes 2014-05-31 10:22
It is
# Musician826 2014-05-31 10:08
Fabulous idea. However, judging by the photo's, the cable itself and the jacks appear as though (mickey mouse) they may not be of very high quality. Moulded jacks are usually not indicative of high quality and the cable looks so small and plastic would probably disintegrate if it was used outside of the living room. Needs to be a road warrior. Just an observation. Every picture tells a story, so I've heard.

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