It doesn’t get much drier than cable reviews, does it folks? Nonetheless, without them none of the music would happen – and if you’re an iOS DJs, 1/8″ leads are essential as soon as you start using DJ and producer software.
So IK Multimedia has come out with the iLine Mobile Music Cable kit, a boxed set of six cables, all with an 1/8″ jack on one end, and all kinds of different goodies on the other, designed to help iOS producers and DJs cover all eventualities. The company has even thrown in a nylon slip case, so you can carry your cables around as a chef carries his knives. But are they worth the asking price?
Well, the answer to that is going to depend on how many of them you think you’re likely to use. They’re undoubtedly all nice cables; colour coded, gold-plated, decent thickness, nice materials in the plugs and sockets. But if only one cable interests you – well, you don’t need me to point it out. So let’s take a look at what you get, so you can make your own mind up:
- Mono Output Adapter – This is a short 1/4″ mono to 1/8″ bridged stereo cable. Would be good for recording microphones, guitar amp outputs and so on as a dual stereo channel in a DAW on an iPad, or feeding a mic through DJ software, for instance
- Input Output Extension – Simple one this; it makes the lead between your headphones or input device 60cm longer. If you’re setting up gear in a place where you need things to be that little bit further apart, it’s obviously going to be a good one to have. It carries the extra iDevice mic signal too, so if you have a headset or headphones with a mic on them, it will work with that fine
- Stereo Aux Cable – This is the one you’d use to plug your iDevice ion to your car stereo, for instance, or maybe the “Aux” on a Bluetooth or computer speaker system, being two 1/8″ stereo jacks and a generous 1.5m cable
- Headphone/speaker splitter – Note: Not a DJ splitter (or “mono” splitter) this simply turns one headphones output into two, the classic “share some headphones on a plane” cable. Useful if you’re working with someone else on a piece of music in an iDevice DAW, or doing some private one-on, one-off mixing with a fellow DJ on a train or something like that!
- RCA output adaptor – The most useful cable for iOS DJs here, this is the classic red/black RCA pairing on one end and an 1/8″ jack on the other. Use it to add your iDevice as an extra source into the back of a DJ mixer, to plug it into many type of of powered speaker, to your hi-fi… The Y part is about half-way down the 1.5m cable, so you can “split” the channels to send one to each of two separate powered monitors if you have them pretty close together
- Mono output splitter – 1/8″ jack stereo to two 1/4″ mono female jacks. Not, again, a DJ splitter – plug a set of headphones into either of the mono sockets, and the music will only be present on one channel. That’s because “proper” DJ splitter cables bridge the channels into pseudo-stereo (so you hear the music in both ears or from both speakers even though it’s mono). This cable is best for feeding the two halves of a signal into two channels on a mixing console – and at a push, DJ software that has external mixer mode and a splitter function could theoretically use this
For DJs, the addition of a proper DJ mono/pseudo-stereo splitter would have made this kit more useful. However, as it is there are lots of leads here that you could potentially find use for as you start taking DJing, producing and generally messing around with music on your iOS device more seriously.
Best thing to do is check the price of the full set in your territory, price up individual leads of a comparable quality that you’d honestly use if thou weren’t buying them all as a set, and see whether it’s cheaper to do it this way. The bonus of course is that you’d get some less common leads that you could keep in your bag “just in case”…
- Good quality cables
- Some useful, hard to find combinations
- Carry bag keeps them neat
We don’t like:
- At least one glaring omission for iOS DJs
- You probably will never use some of them
What do you think?
Are there cables in this lot you’ve been hunting for? Would you put a cable kit like this to good use? Or is it still best just to buy what you need, when you need it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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