Since the dawn of digital DJing, established and aspiring artists have used the same trick to negate the need for a standalone audio interface. A trick that involves using the stereo output from the headphones socket on a laptop to feed the signal to both the speaker and a headphone, paving the way for ‘real’ dual-output DJing.
It’s a surprisingly simple yet effective hack that works. The stereo sound put out through the headphone socket is split in two – half being channelled to the speaker, and the other half going to your headphones. The trade-off (of course) is the fact that both of these subsequent audio signals are mono, but this isn’t exactly the end of the world for something so simple and convenient.
Plus, it’s fairly standard for DJs to run their rigs in mono anyway, so you’re not really losing anything at all.
But there’s apparently a fair amount of untapped potential in this initiative, which a team of innovators has set about exploiting fully.
The Firefly DJ Cable
“Connect your tablet or smartphone with a DJ app to any speaker or analog sound system quickly and conveniently. If you use an extensive system with many cables, this cable will save your life if your system goes down. The intention in designing this Swiss-army style cable is specifically for the mobile DJ to use on any occasion free from connecting to a mixer. It works with every DJ app that splits out the left and right channels to use with headphones for pre-cueing music. The headphone jack is TRRS giving access to your earbud microphone. The same headphone harness has a separate dedicated jack for a TRS microphone. End to end, the Firefly DJ Cable is 426cm – more than 14 feet long. It is an unbalanced signal because it’s not a long enough cable to require it and because of the multiple features it offers.” – Firefly DJ
As they explain quite eloquently themselves, the Firefly DJ Cable is designed to be the “Swiss Army Knife” of DJ cables. Currently under development as part of a Kickstarter project, the Firefly DJ Cable is designed to connect a standard 3.5mm audio output jack to pretty much anything else you can think of.
What this means is that by taking the Firefly DJ Cable along for the ride, you could DJ directly from your laptop, your tablet or your smartphone (no separate control required), enjoy full headphone cue monitoring and still be able to plug in a microphone. All from one pocket-sized cable.
“The Firefly DJ cable dedicates each channel for its own use. One of the stereo signals connects directly to a speaker or any sound system with no need for extra adapters or cables. There is an independent input jack for headphones using the other stereo signal. Another jack on the headphone harness allows unique access to the microphone permitting multiple mic scenarios. One option is to plug a microphone into the separate input jack. Another is to use the microphone on your smartphone earbuds. A third option is to share the microphone channel using both jacks with multiple microphones.” – Firefly DJ
Perhaps the most surprising thing of all about the Firefly DJ Cable is how these guys still have quite a way to go to reach their target on Kickstarter. They’re accepting contributions starting from around $50.00, which given the convenience and versatility is really next to nothing.
We strongly suggest heading over to their official Kickstarter page and checking it out for yourself, where you’ll find full details on everything this little marvel can do.