Provides: iOS integrated DJ mixing
Developer: IK Multimedia
Minimum Requirements: 1+ iOS devices
Using an iOS devices as a music source for DJs is not a new idea, but there are a growing number of apps and hardware units that make it an ever better idea. The latest steps forward come from IK Multimedia with their iRig MIX mixer and companion iOS app, DJ Rig. The iRig MIX allows you to mix two audio sources together, DJ style, complete with faders, EQ controls and even an instrument input. In fact, the iRig iMix runs double duty as an instrument input or audio mixer for many of IK Multimedia’s iOS apps. It’s a useful piece of hardware for DJs and musicians alike.
The iRig MIX is basically the big brother to the original iRig, but instead of having a guitar input this guy has three audio inputs that can be used in various setups. You can use it simply as a guitar input to Amplitube for iOS, but it really shines as the centerpiece between two iOS devices running DJ Rig.
DJ Rig is IK Multimedia’s DJ app for iOS. It has pretty much all the standard features you’re looking for in a DJ app—adjustable EQ, adjustable playback speed, beat matching, scratching, looping etc.—but it also has some other features you might not have expected: adjustable effects, sound pads and more. The iRig MIX allows you to take full advantage of what this app has to offer. Thanks to the circuitry in the iRig MIX, you can sync up beats between two iOS devices attached to the MIX. That’s a pretty sweet feature and a huge plus for the MIX. But DJ Rig is a pretty useful app all on its own. You can do a whole lot with just a single iOS device running DJ Rig since it has its own virtual mixer that can handle two decks.
But sometimes you just can’t beat having real faders and knobs. In that case, you’ll need an iRig MIX. The MIX has all of the standards for a DJ mixer: gain, EQ, and volume for each deck, along with a crossfader. There’s a standard headphone input for each deck, an extra instrument input, an RCA output and a headphone output. Then there are the unique controls, like the X-Sync switch and the Input selector. The X-Sync switch allows you to control the ability to cross sync between iOS devices. This is the switch that makes it easy to keep the beat between songs, between devices. The Input selector allows you to apply all controls to either two devices or a single device hooked into one side. The latter assumes you’re okay with mono audio, since it can only do so much with its cable limitations.
All of the switches, knobs and faders feel pretty decent. The case isn’t made of metal, so I wouldn’t be too hard on it, but it’s definitely a solid piece of equipment.
There are only a couple of potential issues I see with the iRig MIX. First, it’s an analog device. You won’t get the absolute best audio quality possible with this setup. That’s not to say the audio quality here is bad—for most of us, it’s really not that big of a deal or likely not even noticeable—but it’s worth mentioning since the iRig MIX doesn’t connect to your iOS device digitally. That said, it is more versatile in that you can plug just about any standard audio source into its audio inputs, and it’s likely not nearly as expensive as if it were digital. You win some, you lose some.
But my bigger issue with this device is that there’s no battery compartment. While you can power the iRig MIX via batteries, by default, it gets power from the included AC adapter. On one end of that AC adapter is a micro USB connector. If you happen to have or are willing to buy another USB cable to connect to a USB battery, you can power the iRig MIX via batteries. I just think that’s unnecessarily complicated. For a device that’s meant to be portable, it would have been really nice to have a built in battery or battery compartment. The power supply even could have been a USB AC adapter with the proper cable. Thankfully, neither one of the problems is a show stopper. You can still be mobile, you just need a USB battery an the proper cable if you want to do that.
Overall, the iRig MIX is a great piece of hardware for DJs and musicians alike. You can mix audio on a single iOS device with hardware controls, mix between two iOS devices or even use it as an instrument input for apps such as Amplitube. I love that the iRig MIX is such a versatile device. You can download the free version of DJ Rig now or pay $4.99 for the full version.
You can get the iRig MIX now for $99.99.
Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Mix