It’s that time of the year again when we all go into a shopping frenzy trying to find the perfect Christmas gifts for our friends and family. Maybe you love Christmas and get right into the spirit of it, or maybe you would rather swallow a battery than endure the perils of Christmas shopping in department stores. However, if you’re fortunate enough to have a friend or family member that is dabbling in music production at least you’ve got an excuse to pop into your local music store. We thought we’d help out and put together some great ideas to help stuff those stockings.
Korg Nano MIDI controllers
Absolute winner right here. Compact and lightweight MIDI controllers. Perfect for anyone making tunes in their bedroom or on the go, Very easy on the hip pocket too.
AKG k141 MkII Headphones
Some of the comfiest and best sounding studio headphones on the market. They also feature a professional detatchable mini-XLR cord, so even if they fall victim to the dreaded ‘oh-crap-I-tried-to-walk-away-from-my-desk-with-my-headphones-on’, the cord can just be replaced and they’re back in action.
Komplete Audio 6
The Komplete Audio 6 is a fantastic audio interface and comes bundled with the Komplete Elements software, featuring over 1000 sounds and effects, plus Cubase LE for and Traktor LE 2 for DJing. This is a no brainer for anyone needing an audio interface with a great bonus software package. Plus, it’s on sale at the moment.
Tascam Track Pack 2×2
OK, in the box you get a model US-2×2 interface, USB cable, TH-02 headphones, TM-80 condenser mic with a desktop stand and shock-mount and a mic lead, and download codes for both Sonar LE and Ableton Live 9 Lite DAWS (yup, they give you two of them)
Korg Monologue Synthesiser
Coming in at under $400 – the monologue is a monophonic miracle of a synthesiser. An absolute must for anyone wanting to get into synths or a lovely addition to anyone’s synth collection, plus It’s even got preset’s made by Aphex Twin, yep – APHEX TWIN!
Arturia KeyLab Essentials
With so many keyboard controllers on the market, it can be hard to choose which one is the right fit. The KeyLab essentials is a feature rich controller keyboard with more buttons and dials you can poke a stick at, but best of all is that it comes bundled with Arturia’s Analog Lab which features 5000 preset sounds from their legendary V Collection software synth library + Ableton Live Lite. Best value for money controller on the market hands down.
One of the greatest software studio’s in a box ever. The new Live 10 Live 10 comes in three editions: Intro, Standard and Suite. They share common features, but Standard and Suite have additional features, instruments, Packs, and effects
Korg Kaoss DJ
Because, who doesn’t want to be a DJ right? This is one of the smallest and most portable DJ controllers going around, throw it in your backpack and away you go. You get Serato DJ Intro software, but most impressive is the built in Koass Pad directly in the centre of the controller which has 120 different FX. Even if you discover your DJ skills are trash – the Kaoss Pad works as a standalone FX unit so you can still have some crazy fun with it.
Native Instruments Maschine MK3
The hardware/software hybrid package has become a mainstay in many prolific producers’ studios around the world and a go-to for electronic beat and music production. MK3 is very fresh on the market and it’s the most impressive Maschine yet with an absolute mountain of included sounds and an in-built audio interface. Recommended
Tascam DR-05 MK2 Recorder
A portable recorder might seem like a weird gift, but for a budding producer these are a one way ticket to making a unique sample library. Be prepared for finding your gift-reciever in the kitchen recording the sounds of utensils tapping the dish rack, or out in the street recording soundscapes.
Korg Kross 2 Synthesiser Workstation
Workstation, pffft more like Funstation (dad joke). Kross 2 comes in 61 or 88 key versions and is packed with tons of sounds, from Pianos and organs to synths pads and drums. It also features a step sequencer inherited from Korg’s classic Electribe groovebox, allowing you to easily sequence melodies and rhythm patterns on the fly.
Is it a cop-out? Maybe, but no one knows what bit of gear they’re obsessing over that week better than they do, so we think this is a hobby where you can safely gift a voucher without fear of it going to waste. Plus, you can buy to your budget and you still get to support local business. Win win.