A few days ago, I received a package from IK Multimedia and once I opened it, I felt I had gotten just a little bit cooler. What immediately caught my eye was the iRig™ MIX that I had been drooling over but did not yet have in my possession – I fancy myself an aspiring DJ of sorts so this thing just screamed to be tested. However, since I’ve never done a DJ gig professionally, I decided to call in some back up.
The “back up” is a good friend of mine and on-air personality at Air 1, Jeremy Burgess (twitter: @air1jb). He’s been around sound equipment more than just about anyone else I know, he works with a DJ service and he's run his own DJ business in the past. So, he was the guy to call for an expert unbiased opinion.
The test set up was basically 2 inputs – an iPhone 4s and an iPad2 plugged in to the iRig MIX. These were all plugged in to my home stereo via RCA cables. The RCA outputs made it very easy to connect. We also plugged in some headphones to test out the cue features. The software, running on both the iPhone and the iPad was of course the DJ Rig app and the iPad was resting on the iKlip Studio (all by IK Multimedia). The only connectors I had to supply were the RCA cables and the head phones. [revised 5/25/12] The kit did come with an RCA to 3.5mm cable but I needed RCA to RCA. Everything else came in the box.
I purposely did not give Jeremy any upfront training on the software or the iRig so I could get a feel on how easy the hardware and software would be to figure out but I did queue up a couple of songs to get him started.
Jeremy easily figured out how to get the songs going on the A deck on each of the inputs and then he asked about loading other songs. A couple taps later we had other songs loaded on the B decks of iPhone and iPad (total of 4) and we were ready to go.
I sat back (really I was pacing) while he checked out the iRig™ MIX and waited for a few minutes before I asked him how he liked it or what commentary he might add.
Here are the main points from our subsequent conversation:
- He thought if you were really trying to DJ an event, the iPhone may be a little too small. 2 iPads would be best
- He thought the tension on the bottom slider was appropriate but admitted that he didn’t to a lot of scratching
- He thought the DJ “FX” on the software were a great value (at approx 4.99, depending on how you purchase) and that equivalents could be found for hundreds more
- He was also impressed with the value of the iRig™ MIX (at $99, it’s accessible for most)
- He commented that many DJs are really looking for portability so the iRig is a good fit
We then sat down and I demoed some of the more advanced features of the DJ Rig app (the pads and the cues) and he continued to be impressed with the value. The iRig™ MIX itself was easy to understand and he mentioned that with 2 iPads, the iRig™ MIX and a good sound system, you could create a decent DJ set up.
As for me, I plan to continue to experiment more and try to make up some quick mixes. If they are good enough, I'll be sure to share.