To take full advantage of Vulse's interactive features, you'll need a way to temporarily affix your device to your instrument. If it's a guitar, bass, or another instrument (keytar, anyone?) with enough flat space to adhere your phone, then it's as simple as getting one of the micro-suction cases below.
All micro-suction cases work the same way – they have a back covered in microscopic suction cups which stick to smooth, flat surfaces. They stick very securely until you pull them off, and don't leave residue or affect your instrument's finish at all.
Note: Before buying anything, ensure there's space on your instrument by putting your phone flush against it. If at least ~60% of the phone's back is touching a flat surface, then a case should work. Otherwise, (maybe the surface is curved or crowded by small screws), skip to the next section.
Our Recommended Case
Every micro-suction case we've tried works about the same, but there are two common problems: the headphone / charging holes can be too small to fit most cables through, and the suction back often clogs up with lint over time. The MEGAVERSE case is the only case that solves both of these problems, by having large port holes and (great-looking) removable backplates to keep the back clean while it's not sticking to something.
Thanks to the great backplates, the MEGAVERSE case is really the only micro-suction case that is suitable to keep your phone in 24/7. That's what I do, and it's great for a lot of things: taking group photos, watching movies on airplanes, and of course, being ready to use Vulse without needing to switch cases.
(There's also a version of this with useful backplates like a wallet, mirror, and bottle opener. It'll work exactly the same for Vulse, but get it if you're interested in the extra utility: Buy on Amazon.)
How To Use Your Case
Whether you're using the MEGAVERSE case above, or one of the cheaper options below, attaching it will be the same. These directions are for a guitar, bass, or similar stringed instrument, but they should translate easily if you're using something else:
- Choose a location
Ideally, you will have room for it below the strings, on the pickguard if you have one. As you can see from the demo video, this spot is great for reaching it quickly while playing, and even synchronizing it with your strumming. The next best spot is between the bridge and the strap button – this is where Muse's guitarist famously mounts his effect controller.
- Orient your phone
If your phone will be horizontal, face the bottom lightning port away from the guitar's neck. This may seem "upside-down" with Vulse open, but it's to ensure you can read everything normally while playing. Similarly, if your phone will be vertical, it should be most readable with the bottom port facing up.
- Remove the case's backplate, if attached, to expose the suction surface.
- Press your phone firmly onto the guitar. Without letting go, give it a moderate tug to test the suction. It should feel secure. If it does, you can let go. If not, you may need to press harder, or clean the case if it looks clogged with lint (this won't be a problem if the case is brand new).
A Cheaper Case
With the MEGAVERSE's case recent price drop, it's the best value by far and we would recommend it over any alternative. But if you're set on a budget option, this Cloudgo case is good for the price. The port holes are decently sized, but it doesn't come with backplates like the MEGAVERSE case, so save the plastic film that it comes with, so you can cover the back while you're not using it.
Other cases we tried:
- Goat Case: Sticks fine but the port holes are too small. I had to cut away part of the bottom of mine to get my iRig to fit.
- Mansion Case: Basically identical to the Cloudgo case, but currently costs a little bit more. Out of the two, just get whichever is cheapest currently.
A common problem is that a guitar / bass will have a pickguard with many small screws that keep a phone case from sitting flush against it. In this case, we recommend:
- A regular, smooth, inexpensive phone case like this JETech case. If you already have a case like this, it should work, just avoid soft materials like leather.
- A small micro-suction pad like the Anti-Gravity Space, or a sheet like this Sewell AirStick which you can cut to shape, and stack if you need the extra thickness to clear the screws.
There are also many other options. When prototyping Vulse, we just used a few pieces of Velcro tape. We'll also be testing out this gooseneck clamp mount soon to see if it's a viable option. Or you can try putting your phone somewhere other than the instrument, like on your belt or in an armband.
And here are some options that look very promising but aren't released yet:
- JamStack: An all-in-one option that is a phone mount, a cable, and an amp for output!
- Tenikle: A flexible tripod with suction cups. This one could be good for instruments without a large flat surface.