Urbanears Slussen Review
Overview: Urbanears has just come up with a new and exciting product called Slussen. The Slussen is a U-shaped mini-adapter that will allow users to connect the iphone to both external speakers and a set of headphones at the same time for a true DJ mixing experience all in the palm of your hand. Our very own resident DJ Kutmaster TeeOh puts it through its paces to see what it's all about. Check out his full written review after the jump.
At first glance the packaging is simple and attractive, yet hard to read. But don't let that stop you from picking one up and giving it a go. Compatible with the latest Apple mobile devices (ipad & iphone) this little tool comes in handy. Keep it on your key ring for those last minute "I need a DJ" or the "Oh sh*t my computer just fried itself" moments.
After struggling to read the small white lettering on the tangerine colored packaging, I opened it up and looky looky….here is a full color 4 part booklet that breaks down the adapter and the software, as well as a quick starter tutorial. The high quality printing shows the manufacturer really put time and effort into this product.
I finally got around to installing the free Slussen app found in the App Store and plugging in the adapter. The simple adapter features 2 ports. One for your headphones and one for your master output (speakers). Cueing up music on your mobile device is just like doing it on your full set up. Load deck and turn on the cue feature to preview in the headphones. The software is easy to use but beware accidentally hitting other nearby triggers and keep your screen clean. The program has great features like BPM, Sync, an Equalizer, "Kill All", crossfader, headphone crossfader, and scratch function. The graphic user interface (GUI) provides you with fairly good waveforms of your music, current time, as well as the song title. The touch sensitivity is pretty accurate though I did notice some lag on occasion but nothing show stopping.
I wasn't expecting very much from a mobile app let alone a "pocket dj" sort of configuration but as an international DJ that is a club, performance, and turntablist… this is definitely something I'd keep on my keys (thanks to the handy key ring attachment that doubles as the 3mm cover). The software isn't power hungry so you can rock off your battery for quite some time, provided you have enough music stored on your phone or ipad. If you are bored, on the move, at a friends house, or b-boying it up in the street this is a good rig to have. If you just need to keep something on back up during your gig this is also something worth checking out.
Now on to the meat and potatoes. How does it sound? I tested this on various speakers and genres. The music style did not matter and it's great because you can EQ as you go (if needed). The speakers didn't matter just make sure your device volume isn't peaking. If you have music that is peaked or the device is maxed on volume you may experience distortion, just like any other audio setup. The mixing is solid with no hiccups in it. Very smooth until you start maxing out the storage on your device, which I did to test the response so that is no direct fault of the product. Fader? It has a nice curve to it and it's visual indicator comes in handy. Scratching? Don't even think about it. Like many other touch apps this one is not a scratch hounds domain. Save it for the turntables. Overall the functions are cool and it has everything a DJ setup should.
For a small package, it packs some punch. Great for on-the-go or as a "Plan B". Stock your devices with some good tunes and get this so you can jam wherever you are. Good to see a company like URBANEARS who take the time to make a nice alternative to lugging around a supersized DJ rig.
Easy to use
Plasticky feel (don't let that fool you)
Possible accidental touches
Make sure your music isn't peaked, volume isn't maxed on the device, and you smile :)
Features & Specs
To unleash Slussen, plug the adapter into your iPhone, iPod or other iOS device and download the Slusen app. Connect your headphones and sound system into the adapter via the two 3.5mm jacks. Launch the app, and that’s it. Slussen’s pre-listening feature ensures that the tunes are always bumping, even while preparing the next track.
LOADING YOUR DECKS
Open a track by tapping the name field on top of each deck. Choose the track you would like to play in the drop down menu. Repeat the procedure on the other deck. The track will automatically start playing once loaded onto a deck. You can scroll through a track by sliding your finger along the waveform or by tapping the fast forward and rewind buttons.
MIXING TWO TRACKS
Once you’ve hit play on one of your decks, you can control whether the music is heard in your speakers or not. Slide the crossfader to the side on which you want to be heard. You are now ready to press play on the other deck. To make mixing easier, make sure you press the sync button so that the two decks are in perfect sync. Please note that the two tracks need to be fully analyzed before you can press the sync button. You know this is done when the waveform is fully visible. Once the two tracks are in sync you are ready to mix them.
USING THE EQUALIZER
Slussen’s powerful equalizer is accessible by tapping and holding the EQ button on the middle of each deck. Once that is done, you will be presented with four options. Slide your finger towards the option you would like to adjust. Slide clockwise to increase and counter clockwise to decrease. Similarly, you can adjust the other equalizers and the gain. Adjusting the equalizer is great way to make your mixing smoother.
PREVIEW NEXT TRACK THROUGH HEADPHONES
To pre-listen to a track you’d like to mix into your set, tap the headphone button and slide the headphone crossfader from side to side. If you don’t have the Slussen adapter plugged in, you won’t be able to use the pre-listening feature and you should change your settings in the settings menu.
Kill all – Kill the EQ effects on the respective side
125 BPM – increase the BPM of a track or change the pitch by tapping the BPM button
Sync button – press this button to make sure that two different tracks are played in perfect sync
Equalizer – press and hold the EQ button to adjust the equalizer or gain
Scratch function – press and move any of the decks while they are playing to scratch
Crossfader – slide from right to left to choose which side should be heard in your speakers
Headphone crossfader – lets you choose which deck you will hear in your headphones
Cue feature – cue instantly, or set a new cue-point by tapping the cue button
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