The correct cables for connecting iPod to mixer

Thanks to Pete for this question about cabling…

Hi there Kenny.

I was just wondering if you can help me.

I read in one of your articles about putting an ipod through two channels and panning left to right.

I run through an ipod but only go in to one channel, as i use the small jack plug from the ipod in to large jack plug on the mixer channel.

Please could you let me know what sort of lead i would need to do this, and what difference it would make.



Hi Pete

Stereo is two channels of sound (left and right) and mono is one channel of sound.

If you want to hear both stereo sides of a recording, then both left and right channels need to be input in to your mixer.

Some single cable leads can carry a stereo signal but others are mono.

So it really depends whether the lead you are using to take the signal out of your iPod is a stereo lead AND whether the mixer slot where you’re plugging it in to is a single jack stereo input or a single jack mono input.

The most common type of cable and the one I’m guessing you are probably using is a stereo jack out of the iPod going to a mono jack in to the mixer…

If this is the case, then you are only hearing one side of your iPod’s stereo signal.

This is definitely a problem if your backing tracks are in stereo because there will, for sure, be some instruments on your backing tracks which are not sounding at all because that side of the stereo is not getting to your mixer.

But if your lead is a stereo out jack from the iPod to a stereo jack to the mixer AND the mixer has a stereo jack input, then it will be fine – you’ll hear both left and right sides of the stereo.

I kinda feel that your lead may be the former though, so it may be worth checking the type of cable you’re using and the type of input on your mixer.