It’s small, weighs next to nothing and claims that even beginners will be able to become a mix master
Budding DJ lurking in there somewhere? Then this tiny mixer enables you to create a traditional DJ configuration with an i0S-based twist. Instead of plugging two turntables into the mixer, the iRig MIX provides two mini-jack inputs for two iOS devices (or one iOS device and another audio source such as an MP3 or CD player, or one iOS device alone). Two RCA outputs enable you to connect the mixer to a PA system or speakers.
On paper, the iRig MIX has everything you need for a successful jock session: cue output, crossfader and master volume control plus channel-specific volume faders, gain knobs and EQ controls (treble and bass). IK’s DJ Rig app provides the method of loading tracks, nudging speeds and whacking out effects.
The iRig MIX has another trick up its sleeve, too: an additional third input in the shape of an auxiliary 1/4-inch guitar/ instrument/microphone jack. This signal can be processed by an iOS app (such as IK efforts AmpliTube and VocaLive), meaning that the unit caters for solo musicians who use an iOS app when performing, as well as DJs.
We tried IK’s ‘headline’ configuration of two iOS devices first, plugging an iPhone and an iPad into the two channels using the included 3.5mm mini-jack leads. From the off, this worked with no problems, with the audio signal bright and clear. We missed the Mid knobs found on full-size mixers, though; these are used frequently to cut out clashing frequencies, when mixing. One more control gone frustratingly MIA is the Cue/Master Mix knob, which blends the cue and master outputs to taste. We had another issue with the cue system, too – it consistently played both channel outputs even if we only had one turned on, making it difficult to hear exactly what we were doing. Lastly, the metering LEDs were far too insensitive, rarely flickering above the very first green band and not providing us with detailed enough feedback on signal levels.
Despite these fairly minor issues, we were able to pull off a satisfying and surprisingly immersive DJ session with the unit, in this two-device configuration. Next, we substituted the iPhone for a fifth-generation iPod. The iRig MIX (in conjunction with the DJ Rig app) features an innovative X-Sync mode that can beat-match tunes from an external audio source with those on your iOS device. This mode did what it promised, although it never “completely” nailed the tempo, forcing us to make manual speed adjustments. Although the iRig MIX promises to enable even the earliest of beginners to perform impressive transitions using X-Sync mode, we’d have to say that, in this regard, it doesn’t entirely work.
Our final test was to plug in an electro-acoustic guitar. Sadly, the sound had a lot of background hum, making it unsuitable for purpose. Setting the signal up for processing with AmpliTube was far from trouble-free, either – it took us several attempts before we worked out what was causing the ear-splitting feedback. The guitar channel has no EQ knobs, so in this test, the iRig MIX served as simply an under-featured amp.
The iRig MIX is a mixed bag, then. It does the job well enough, and although the pro jock is never going to be satisfied with such a setup, the hobbyist would find it an accessibly cheap and satisfying route into DJing. For solo instrument performance, however, we fail to see the point – especially given the poor sound.