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A wide range of products is becoming available, whose components enable you to tap into the power of an iPod in ways you may not have realized were possible. Integrating your iPod seamlessly with a sound system for live performance, presentations, and weddings has never been easier. In situations where multiple people share the same sound system, new rack-mountable iPod docks make it easy for everyone to get their music playing, a lifesaver for aerobic studios, theaters, rehearsal spaces, bars and restaurants.
Some of the products listed below will enable you to create professional-quality recordings directly into your iPod. Others will enable you to DJ like a pro with thousands of songs at your fingertips.
All of the products featured in this article do not come with iPods.
The Numark Fit-For-Sound rack-mountable player is an excellent choice for integrating an iPod into the sound system of a gym or a restaurant. It has large and easy-to-use controls that make its operation intuitive for everyone. Each member of a gym or restaurant staff who owns an iPod can quickly and easily interchange their music player in the sound system. It comes with an infrared remote control that's handy for when you've stepped away from the unit. This system includes MixMeister software, a program that enables you to create professional mixes on your computer, and then download them into your iPod. A great tool for making custom workout and bar-room music mixes.
The Raxxess iRDS is another docking station that allows you to integrate an iPod seamlessly into a rack of equipment. The docking tray opens and closes and makes for a visually clean appearance, and it's available with one or two docks. To play songs from the iPod you simply use the controls on the iPod itself. The unit outputs analog audio from the iPod to connect to a sound system, but it also gives you the option of connecting to a computer via FireWire or USB. It includes interchangeable plates to make it compatible with most iPod models, from the iPhone to the nano. The inconspicuous design and high-speed FireWire connectivity are really what sets the iRDS apart.
The iMultiMix 8 USB and the iMultiMix 16 USB from Alesis are flexible audio mixers with some groundbreaking capabilities. In operation they are not much different from traditional analog mixers with the standard microphone inputs and preamps, guitar/line inputs, stereo channels, Aux sends and returns. What's new is an integrated universal dock for iPods featuring dedicated controls for navigation and operation. You can record the mix from the board directly into the iPod, and then transfer the files through USB to a computer. They also act as USB audio interfaces and include Cubase LE recording software for Mac and PC. An onboard effects processor features 100 high-quality 28bit effects. They're a great way for musicians and presenters to record their rehearsals and live shows, or for anyone who wants to play backing tracks as accompaniment.
The Alesis iMultiMix 9R is a 9-channel, rack-mounted mixer with an integrated iPod dock without recording or USB capabilities. This is an excellent solution for mobile DJ's, installations for houses of worship, bars and restaurants, fitness centers, and anyone who needs a compact mixer with an integrated dock for incorporating an iPod into their sound system.
The Alesis MultiPort acts as a recording interface for iPods, with XLR microphone inputs and line-level inputs. It provides phantom power for condenser microphones, enabling you to create professional-sounding recordings directly into your iPod Classic, iPod Video, and 2nd- or 3rd-generation iPod nano. It also has the ability to act as a USB interface for a computer, meaning you can plug microphones into it and record directly into the hard drive of your computer.
The Numark TTi is a vinyl turntable with an integrated iPod dock. For those looking to digitize their record collection, the process couldn't get any more cut and dry than this. It enables you to record your vinyl directly into a 5th-generation iPod video or a 2nd-generation iPod nano. It also acts as a USB turntable, so you can plug the unit directly into your computer and capture your vinyl onto your computer's hard drive. Software for recording onto the computer is included. The TTi also acts as a standard record player, so if you have albums you haven't listened to in a long time, you can plug it into your stereo system and enjoy them again.
For more information on how-to digitize vinyl records, check out this B&H Educational Guide.
The Alesis TransActive Mobile is a fully-portable, battery-powered PA system that was built to travel. It features a retractable handle and wheels to make it easier to get around. Its battery lasts up to 12 hours on a single recharge. A battery power level indicator is included so it won't be a surprise when you run out of juice. It features inputs for microphones, instruments, and CD players, as well as featuring a universal dock for iPods. It's an ideal tool for musicians, presenters, or for anyone who needs to have their voice and iPod heard when a power source isn't available.
The Gemini iTrax is a DJ mixer with docks for two separate iPods. This model is designed so you can navigate the libraries of songs using the controls on the iPods themselves. You can connect other devices like CD players and vinyl turntables, as well as a microphone. It features EQ, a crossfader, LED meters, and channel faders. There's an RCA composite video output on the back to connect a projector or a TV for video-enabled iPods, and a USB connection so you can update the libraries of either iPod.
The iDJ from Numark is a DJ mixer that's loaded with impressive features. There are two docks for iPods (compatible with 3rd-generation iPods, and basically any iPod with a bottom connector). The blue backlit controls match your iPod handsomely and make navigation easier with dedicated buttons for song searches. It features traditional DJ tools like EQ, crossfader, a microphone input, and inputs for both CD players and vinyl turntables. The iDJ has an S-Video output, so you can feed video or photo playback from a video-enabled iPod to another source, such as a projector. You can also connect it to a computer through USB and load music directly into your iPod.
The Gator DJ-I-Go Bag is a handy carrying case for Numark's iDJ, or other similarly-sized DJ controllers. It has a roomy exterior pocket for computer and audio cables. The interior is padded to protect your controller. It features dedicated pockets for two iPods, a padded shoulder strap, a buckling lid, and a carrying handle.
The Numark iDJ2 is a powerful iPod DJ mixer. Among its many features, the most notable may be its ability to play back more than one song from a single iPod. In addition to that, you can scratch the digital files on your iPod as you would scratch vinyl records. You're not limited to the thousands of songs on your iPod either. You can connect additional iPods, flash drives, external hard drives, CD players and vinyl turntables to the iDJ2. Manage your files and the machine's operation with its full-color display and friendly user interface.
If you're serious about DJ'ing, then it's likely you'll want to get out of the house and get people on the dance floor. The Numark iDJ2 Road Case is a sturdy case designed specifically for the iDJ2. It protects all of the buttons, knobs, and faders in a snug layer of form-fitted foam, with a tough outer shell made of steel, wood, aluminum, and plastic. A USB keyboard and sliding tray are included, as well as storage space for cables and hard drives. The iDJ2 and iPod are not included.
The Cortex dMIX-300 is a full-featured iPod DJ mixer for 3rd-generation iPods and any other USB storage devices (hard drives, flash memory, optical drives, and personal music players). Its large jog wheels allow you to search for songs easily, pitch bend, and scratch your digital files just like you can with vinyl turntables. This system features extensive database creation and management functionality. Due to Apple limitations, the dMIX-300 is not compatible with iPod touch, iPhone, or Mac-formatted Classics.
The iCDX is an iPod-compatible CD DJ deck from Numark. It features a USB2.0 port on the back which allows you to plug in an iPod or other mass storage devices like flash drives and hard drives. The songs in the iPod must be stored in playlists, and they must be the MP3 file format. The iPod must support docking (4th-generation and on). The optical drive on the iCDX also reads DVD data. It features onboard effects, it enables you to scratch, and has keylock and sampling. What's also impressive is that it can act as a computer controller for popular DJ software like Serato Scratch Live and Cue.
Should you have any further questions, we encourage you to contact us on the phone, online, or in person at our SuperStore in New York City. 1-800-947-9923