An age-old trick in digital DJing is to use the stereo output from a laptop headphones socket to provide both a headphones and a speaker output for DJing, meaning “real” DJing is possible without a separate audio interface.
The trick works by having your DJ software send the master output down one channel of the stereo pair, and the headphones mix down the other. Yes, the resultant audio is in mono, but it’s a small price to pay for a convenient and simple way to laptop (or tablet) DJ, especially as running DJ gear in mono is pretty standard anyway.
DJ splitter on steroids
Now, a Kickstarter aims to help DJs using phones, tablets and laptops who want to use this “trick” to go much further.
Described by the makers as a “Swiss Army knife” of audio cables, the 14ft-long Firefly DJ Cable is designed to connect the 3.5 mm jack of a mobile device or laptop to any sound system, coming with XLR, 1/4″ TRS, 3.5″ minijack and RCA connectors, as well as extra inputs for a (supplied) condenser mic and that all-important headphones monitoring.
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It means that you could DJ from a phone, tablet or laptop alone, no controller, and still plug in a mic, while getting headphone cue monitoring, and interfacing with any amplified speaker, no matter what its input.
We’d like to see some way of giving dual mono output on the RCA and TRS plugs (maybe optional adapters?) as an addition, but as it is, this is still a pretty useful idea.