iRig Mix - Party Rock Is In The House Tonight!

2/8/2013 10:31:25 AM

IK Multimedia is establishing itself as one of the most prolific developers of iOS apps and accessories for musicians, and its latest offering is the iRig Mix, a compact mixer for all recent Apple devices. There are no specialized connectors, so it’s actually a fairly conventional mixer, albeit one with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve.

IK Multimedia is establishing itself as one of the most prolific developers of iOS apps and accessories for musicians, and its latest offering is the iRig Mix

The box itself is very lightweight, and although this makes it supremely portable, the plastic casing doesn’t feel quite as strong as it might. Place it on a flat surface, however, and the sticky feet anchor it nicely, so slipping around during performances shouldn’t be a problem. The front panel has two sets of controls, each with gain, bass and treble, a cue button for previewing sound before it’s sent to the main outputs, and a fader. At the bottom, a cross fader lets you move between the two channels. Power comes through a micro USB port, and there are basic four-segment LED level meters to give you an idea of how loud your signal is. The rear panel houses two mini jack ports, one for each channel, and Phono outputs for connecting to powered speakers or an amplifier. All the relevant cables are supplied, but they’re pretty standard, so serious DJs might want to use their own. On the bottom edge is a headphone output with independent level control and a Viin jack input for a guitar or mix, also with a gain knob.

That’s really rather a lot of functionality to pack into such a small box, and the iRig Mix makes good use of it, giving you various different ways to use the hardware. At its most basic, you can connect one iOS device, pop the mixer into split input mode and control each of the two stereo channels with the dials and faders. The second mode involves mixing between two devices, either both iOS or one iOS and another device such as a CD player. Here, you would connect both inputs and put the mixer into dual input mode, with each track playing in a separate channel.

If you’re using IK’s free DJ Rig app for iPhone or iPod touch (there’s no native iPad version at present), you can take advantage of the X-Sync system. Enable this in the app and flip the switch on the mixer, and it allows the app to read the signal from the second device and tempo sync itself. This takes a bit of figuring out, but does work, although it’s best with very rhythmic music, preferably electronic. One minor issue we had was that switching to X-Sync mode on the hardware seemed to introduce some hiss into the signal, although this wasn’t too intrusive.

iRig MIX is a mobile mixer from IK Multimedia that works great alongside their new DJ Rig App

iRig MIX is a mobile mixer from IK Multimedia that works great alongside their new DJ Rig App

The third mode is rather nifty. It enables you to plug in a guitar or mic signal and have it fed through to your iOS device for processing using IK’s VocaLive or AmpliTube apps (available in free versions for all iOS devices) and then returned to the mixer - all this while feeding in a second signal from another device. So it would be easy to j am along to a song, for example, using vocal or guitar effects in real time. This could conceivably be used for solo performances, even if most venues have their own hardware in place.

iRig Mix is a remarkably portable and capable device that you can imagine someone whipping out at an impromptu party along with a couple of iPods or iPhones. It’s also a useful general mixer, since it accepts any audio input. D J Rig is a great little app, too, and ties together nicely with the hardware. As an inexpensive way to D J anywhere, the Mix is well worth taking for a spin.


§  Price: $94.5

§  From:

§  Needs: iPhone 3GS or newer, or third or fourth-generation iPod touch, or any iPad

§  Pro: Incredibly portable * Faders feel authentic - Flexible to use * Works as a micro PA mixer * Ties in well with IK’s apps

§  Con: Case could feel more sturdy * Slight noise in some modes


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