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The best gifts to get for music producers in 2020

The best gifts to get for music producers in 2020

Disclosure: Audio Hertz is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Like it or not, the holidays are upon us again. Where did the time go? Oh yeah, I remember; they were spent locked in my apartment, gripped with fear and crippling anxiety. Well, hopefully, the holiday season will be the start of something new and better. For one thing, we know we are close to the end of the year, and it couldn’t come any sooner. Regardless of how you’ll be spending the holiday season, it’s always a good idea to show the people you love that you’re thinking of them.

Is one of your loved ones a music producer? Do you need to buy them a gift? There’s good news! I’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will take all of the thinking out of it. Everything on this list is guaranteed to make any recording musician, audio engineer, or music producer excited. You can’t miss!

Here’s my list of the best gifts to get for music producers in 2020!

Improve their room

DIY Skyline Diffuser Kit

Do It Yourself Skyline Sound Diffuser
Improve their studio’s acoustics with this diffuser!

I’m sure if you were to ask most people what the best gift was, it would never be something that the recipient has to spend time building… but these wooden diffusers are extremely easy to put together as there are included instructions, and everything comes pre-cut. If you want to be an even better gift-giver, you can build it for them! Diffusers of this quality will typically go for up to 3-4 times the cost of just one of these kits.

Cable Wrangler

Cable Wrangler Cable Organizer

Studios can get messy! Anything that will help me organize my space, so I don’t have to worry about cleaning up as often is something I’m extremely interested in. I found this nifty cable hanger randomly and thought it was a great way to easily store cables. I currently go with some cheap cup hooks, but this design is pretty genius and makes a great gift for any musician. We all have a ton of cables lying around our room. It’s part of the job.

Gator Frameworks Wall Mountable Cable Hanger and Organizer

Gator Frameworks Wall Mountable Cable Hanger and Organizer

Recording studios have cables. Lots and lots of cables. It’s more difficult than it should be to store them easily. This wall-mountable cable hanger solves that age-old problem by making it easy to hang and retrieve your most used cables of all sizes.

Neewer NW-6 Vocal Booth Microphone Isolation Shield

Neewer NW-6 Vocal Booth Microphone Isolation Shield

There’s no replacement for treating a room properly, but these portable reflection filters definitely help and are great to have around any studio. These things make it easy to set up and record quality sounding vocal tracks anywhere you want. With a good reflection filter, you can be confident that your tracks will definitely be useable when it comes time for mixing. I also like these when I record vocals without headphones, as they do a great job of blocking out the sound from the speakers. They are well worth it for the price, and any producer with a home studio would benefit and appreciate having one of these around.

Poster from Analog Prints Analog Audio Music Production Poster Analog Audio Music Production Poster

Scott Iulianelli has been making some absolutely killer analog inspired art merch for the last few years. His work never ceases to amaze me, and I would buy it all if I could. You can’t go wrong with anything in his store.

Music wall art from Gliss Prints

Music synth wall art from Gliss Prints

This classy, sleek synth poster would look great on the wall of any studio or music room.

Recording and On-Air Lightbox Signs

Recording Lightbox
RCA Style Recording Lightbox

You really only see them in old movies and television shows, but I’ve always wanted one of these to hang in my room. This is the perfect accent for any home studio, and it’s something most wouldn’t buy for themselves, which makes it a great gift.

Handcrafted Guitar Amp Wall Mounted Key Holder by Droplight Ind.

Handcrafted Guitar Amp Wall Mounted Key Holder by Droplight Ind.

A musician’s solution to the classic dilemma that is misplacing your keys. These are handmade in the good ol’ USA and include 1/4″ plug keychains. Plug in your keys when you get home and unplug them when you’re ready to head out. The cherry on top is that the jewel light really works when you turn it on.

Improve their workflow

External Hard Drive

You can never have enough hard drives. Give the gift of more storage space this year. The Samsung T5 and the WD My Passport are solid-state or SSDs. Solid-state drives are more reliable and have much faster read and write speeds than your standard hard drives. These are best used as work drives to save projects and sample libraries. The 5TB WD Elements is a standard hard drive, which, although it has slower read and write speeds, is more affordable and a better option for long term storage.

Samsung 1TB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive

Samsung Solid State Drive T5

WD 1TB My Passport SSD External Portable Drive

Western Digital 1TB My Passport Solid State Drive External Portable Hard Drive

WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

Western Digital 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

Backblaze Cloud Storage

Back Blaze Cloud Backup Solution

This is one I included on my list last year, and it will probably be on my gift guide every year for the rest of entirety. If you couldn’t tell from my emphasis on hard drives, backing up files is important for all audio engineers and producers. Unlike painters that have to store large canvas, as musicians, our art lives in the digital realm, and services like Backblaze make it easy to preserve our most valuable creations.

$5 a month for unlimited cloud storage! $5 lets you back up as many files as they can throw at it. The desktop application allows you to seamlessly back up your drives as well as set up an upload schedule. Whoever gets this will never lose another session again!

Shortcut keyboard covers for their DAW of choice

KBCovers Shortcut keyboard covers for DAW

Shortcuts or hotkeys are a combination of keys on a keyboard that perform a task on a computer or, more specifically for musicians, a digital audio workstation. Using hotkeys speeds up workflow drastically. Someone that is well versed in the hotkeys of their DAW of choice looks like a magician while they are mixing or editing, easily jumping from different tasks where it might take two or three times as long if they had used the mouse to do the same task. The only hard part about hotkeys is remembering them. It’s like learning another language. These keyboard covers put the hotkeys right in front of you. Not only is it a convenient reference tool, but it also teaches you hotkeys you might not have known before. If you’re buying this for someone, make sure you know what DAW they use and what type of computer they have.

Elgato Stream Deck – Live Content Creation Controller with 15 Customizable LCD Keys

Elgato Stream Deck Live Content Creation Controller

The Stream Deck is the future! Originally developed for streamers and content creators, the Stream Deck can be utilized to map tasks in applications to buttons. You can make your own shortcuts in your DAW of choice and map them to the 16 configurable LCD buttons. You can even put custom graphics or text on each of the buttons. The possibilities are endless with this thing. You have to see it to believe it. Check out this demonstration video below.

Protect their gear

Cases and dust covers. We hate to buy them, but we all need them, which means they make a great gift.

Analog cases

Analog case for UAD Apollo Twin


Decksaver Dust Cover for Audio Gear

Kaces Stretchy Keyboard Dust Cover

Keyboard Synth Dust Cover

Take them to school

How Music Works? By David Byrne

How Music Works by David Byrne

David Byrne is a musical Yoda. In his book “How Music Works,” Bryne elegantly explains how music is shaped by our surroundings. He also gets into the beginning of recording technology and the profound impact it has had on the world we live in. If you’re looking to open up a musician’s mind and have them look at their art form in a new exciting way, this book is the perfect gift.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owinski

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owinski

My favorite book on mixing. It’s one of the only books I will go back to over and over again. Even after reading it multiple times, I’ll still pick up something new. Books make great gifts, and this is one every mixing engineer should keep on their shelf.

Mix with the Masters Subscription

Mix with the Masters

This might be the most valuable resource for any recording musician, music producer, or audio engineer. These well-made tutorial videos allow you to work right alongside some of the greatest minds in the industry.

Tools of the trade

Leatherman Multitool

Leatherman Multitool

Everyone needs a Leatherman. And by everyone, I mean every single person that exists in the world. Receiving your first Leatherman is a right of passage that all audio engineers need to experience. Trust me, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience; imagine walking around with a single tool that could do as much as 13 individual tools. Can you imagine the power you would wield? No, you didn’t just become Superman; you’re only holding a Leatherman. You can even store it in the included sheath and attach it to your belt, like it’s Excalibur.

Ibanez MTZ11 Quick Access Multi Tool

Ibanez MTZ11 Quick Access Multi Tool

This guitar multi-tool has everything you need to adjust guitars. Great for having around the studio in case any guitars need some fine-tuning.

D’Addario All-In-1 Restringing Tool

D’Addario All-In-1 Restringing Tool

Stringing a guitar is annoying. This tool makes it less annoying.

DeoxIT 5% Spray Contact Cleaner, 5 oz.

DeoxIT Spray Electronic Contact Cleaner 5 oz.

This spray can be found in just about every studio around the world. A little spritz of this stuff helps protect, lubricate, and improve the conductivity of electronics.  It also helps reduce intermittent connections, arcing, and RFI, as well as wear and abrasion. Not the sexiest gift but definitely something useful that anyone with a lot of gear could use.

myVolts Hot Tip

myVolts Hot Tip

This cool little gadget tells you if your AC adapters are working properly. Simply plug in a synth or guitar pedal power adapter to the hot tip, and it will light up if it is receiving the correct amount of power to the device. If you have a lot of AC adapters, you know that they don’t always last forever, the hot tip allows you to quickly check if an adapter is working properly.

Improve their productions

Radial EXTC-SA Guitar Effects Interface

Radial EXTC-SA Guitar Effects Interface

This guitar effects router allows you to use any guitar pedal as a piece of outboard gear. That means with this little orange guy, it’s possible to send anything you want out of your DAW to your favorite delay, distortion, or any other guitar pedal you may have lying around. Start putting those pedals to use on more than just a guitar!

Radial Tank Driver Reverb Interface

Radial Tank Driver Reverb Interface

This 500 series module lets you use the reverb tank on a guitar amp as a piece of outboard gear. Use the Tank Driver to send anything to a guitar amps reverb tank, and record it back into a DAW for a truly authentic-sounding spring reverb. Pretty nifty.

Korg Monotron Delay

Korg Monotron Delay

This badass palm-sized, battery-operated synth is a real workhorse. The synth is made up of a ribbon keyboard controller, 5 knobs, and a single switch. The simplicity makes it easy to get started, but the unit’s more advanced capabilities are truly remarkable. The included delay and original MS-20 filter put it over the top. I also love that it has an aux input, so you can use the filter on any source external source. It’s an incredible value and insanely fun little go-anywhere synth.

Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Headphone Guitar Amp

Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Headphone Guitar Amp
Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Headphone Guitar Amp

This little battery-operated amp sounds better than you probably think. Connect the amPlug to the input of your guitar and use the headphone output to hear that sweet vox tone. With this thing, practicing at night will no longer be a problem.

Jammy G MIDI Guitar & Controller

Jammy G MIDI Guitar & Controller

The Jammy G might have the worst name ever, but it is a great idea and extremely well done. This digital midi guitar can be used to control any software instrument or device in a DAW. The guitar has 15 frets with sensors that track finger position, string muting, and bends. The built-in USB port allows you to connect it to ur computer easily. But the best part about this thing is that it has nearly zero latency, which makes playing it much more seamless.

It’s definitely not a replacement for a guitar as the feel of the sensors takes getting used to, but once you do, it’s hours of fun and a legitimate production tool. It’s a new world being able to play my synths and software instruments like a guitar. As a composition tool, the Jammy G gives me a fresh approach to writing chord progressions and melodies. I’ll often find myself creating things I wouldn’t have been able to if I was using a standard keyboard or using my mouse to click in notes on the piano roll.

Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track Portable Recorder

Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track Portable Recorder

This 4-track portable recorder makes it easy to record anywhere on the go. Capture any sound you want quickly and easily. The built-in Stereo X/Y condenser microphones sound remarkably good, and there are also analog XLR/TRS mic and line inputs.

Can’t miss industry standards

Everyone needs two of each of these. The Shure SM57 and 58 dynamic microphones are staples of recording. Every recording musician would be happy to have more of them! The Sony 7506s are the classic closed-back over-ear headphones with a pronounced mid-range. They can be found in just about every recording and broadcast studio around the world. The Radial Pro DI is a little green box that does its job and does it well, whether you’re using it to DI a bass guitar or a synth; there’s nothing I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting through this bad boy.

Shure SM57

Shure SM57

Shure SM58

Shure SM58

Sony MDR7506 Headphones

Sony MDR7506 Headphones

Radial Pro DI Passive Direct Box

Radial Pro DI Passive Direct Box

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10 things you need for your recording studio that will make life easier

10 things you need for your recording studio that will make life easier

Disclosure: Audio Hertz is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Dry Erase White Board

It’s a lot harder to procrastinate your to-do list when it’s staring you in the face every day. When you wake up, there it is; when you change your clothes, there it is; when you go to sleep, there it is. These boards make it easy to write out lists or draw things to help plan projects or visualize techniques or concepts. Sometimes words are confusing, and it’s easier to draw a picture. Dry erase markers make it easy to add and change things as you go, and the scented ones smell good. I like to use whiteboards to track the progress of projects. It usually will take multiple sessions to complete projects. Adding a list of things I’ve done and things I still need to do makes it easy to stay productive and complete tasks.

Velcro Cable Ties

No cable shall be left untied! That is the vow I make every single day I step foot into the studio. It is my duty as a qualified, experienced audio engineer to wrap my cables properly and make sure they are tied!

But seriously, make sure your cables are tied! Velcro cable ties help you organize and manage cables, which makes things look cleaner. Managing your cable clutter keeps your studio looking a little less messy. I’m not a massive fan of having an immaculate studio, but I emphasize cable management, as I’m a firm believer that a poorly run cable is an unhappy cable. Look up ways to neatly organize and manage your cables in your studio so you don’t have to look at a big rat’s nest on the ground all the time; you’ll thank me later.

Wrap your cables and velcro them together for optimal storage and transportation. No more tangled wires!

Label maker

You get a label! And you get a label! Everything gets a label! I’m the Oprah Winfrey of labeling things. I love knowing exactly what is in a box when I look at it. You’d be surprised how much time it saves when you’re looking at something and can tell what it is right away. Labeling can save seconds or even minutes, and those can add up. I also like to label any switches or buttons. For instance, I have a passive speaker switcher from Coleman Audio, so I label each button with the corresponding speaker. Now anyone that comes into my studio knows what button engages which pair of speakers. Labeling everything is especially necessary if other engineers or producers are going to be using your studio.

Another beneficial way of using the label maker is to label the ends of cables. Labeling both ends allows you to know where each cable goes quickly, regardless of which side you look at. This is extremely useful when making long runs, where it can get confusing fast.

Console Labeling Tape

You might think this looks like regular old masking tape but go and try and use masking tape to label your gear. Good labeling tape is thick enough to write on with a sharpie and isn’t completely translucent; it also doesn’t leave a residue when you take it off.

I use labeling tape for obvious uses, such as temporarily labeling a mixing console, switches, cables, and other gear. I also use it to write passive-aggressive notes around the studio, such as “HANDS OFF” or “DID YOU PUT IT BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT?”

Gaffer Tape

I don’t know what I did before I found gaffer tape. If you’ve worked in Live Sound, Theatre or Film, you’re likely already familiar with the magic that is gaffer tape. I literally will use the stuff for everything. If anything needs holding in place, I grab the gaff tape. Gaff tape is like duct tape, except it’s way better. The main difference is gaff tape is made with cloth instead of vinyl, and the adhesive comes off easier and leaves little to no residue. One of the most common uses of gaff tape is to adhere cables to the floor so they’re not tripping hazards. I recently had some blinds on my bedroom window that didn’t want to close all the way– a little gaffer tape and that problem was solved quickly and easily, albeit maybe not the most attractive.

Sharpie Permanent Markers Fine Point

Because you can never have enough sharpies! Sure, you can label things with your new label maker, but you’ll also need to mark things on the fly that are temporary. After applying artist tape to the console, I use sharpies to label each channel.  I also use Sharpies to label the end of cables. You can see I like to label things. Labeling helps you stay organized, and being organized saves you time and helps you work more efficiently.

Small Foldable Table

Control rooms and recording studios can get weird. You never know when you might have twelve percussion instruments, a vintage tape delay, and three laptops that you need to put somewhere. Foldable tables and chairs of all sizes are lifesavers when it comes to times like these. It also prevents accidents when someone decides to put something expensive on a window ledge, and it falls as soon as the drummer hits the kick drum.

Clip-on light

Because everyone needs light! I like to keep my studio somewhat dark and vibey, and clip-on lights allow me to easily grant my clients the ability to illuminate whatever they want at the drop of a hat. Throw one on a music stand, desk, pedalboard, amp, or synth. Whatever needs illuminating, one of these babies has got you covered!

1 to 4 Outlet Power Splitter

We’ve all been there– you have two pieces of gear that need power and only one outlet. Do you play the ol’ ‘let me unplug the one I don’t use as often now, and then when I need it, I’ll figure it out’ game? Just kick the problem down the road to the future you? No! No, you don’t!

With one of these 1 to 4 outlet power splitters, you can turn a single outlet into 4. It also helps when you have a couple of fat wall warts (fat wall wart shaming is allowed) that need extra space that your surge protector, power conditioner, or UPS doesn’t have. They also make these 1 to 2 or 1 to 1. I like to have a few of these lying around, so I never have to worry about fat wall warts spoiling the party.

Alexa Smart Plugs Wifi Remote Outlets

Turn anything on or off from your smartphone using an app. You can control these devices when you’re not at home or put them on a schedule or timer.

I’ve found a lot of uses for these. I have one connected to a fan in the live room, and now when someone forgets to turn it off, I can do it from my phone. Instead of asking one of my clients or an intern to go into the live room to turn it off before we start recording, I can open an app on my phone and tap a button. It’s incredibly convenient, and I’ve found other one-off uses for these as well that have made them a handy tool to have around the studio.

Indoor Smart Home Camera

I don’t think many people know this, but indoor security cameras are incredibly cheap and work pretty damn well. If you have people at your studio, especially if your studio is in your house, it’s not a bad idea to get a few of these so you can monitor what’s going on remotely. This one even has a motion detector, so you can set to start recording when it detects movement, and it will then immediately upload it to a cloud storage service. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t dealt with many thieves or dishonest clients. Still, it’s always good to plan for the worst, and a camera is an excellent way to ensure your studio and possessions’ safety if anything does happen.

12 in 1 Cable Tester

Maybe it’s the cable? I’ve probably heard that a million times in my career. Spoiler alert! It’s usually not the cable, but at least a cable tester will give you a quick and easy way to find out if it is. These are also especially vital if you make your own cables and check to ensure everything is wired correctly. I’ve wired a few XLR cables backward in my day. The cool part about this tester is it does 12 different types of connections commonly found around a recording studio. This device can test for other types of connections: USB, RCA, Speakon, Banana plugs, DIN, RJ45, and more.


Microphones can be heavy. I like to have sandbags around to help weigh down any stands that may seem a little less stable than I’d like. A few sandbags on the bottom of a stand will help ensure your stands stay where you want them, so you don’t go slamming the original Neumann U47 on the floor of your studio.


Backblaze Cloud Storage

Backup your files, back up those files, and then back up those files. I used to be really careless when it came to storing old projects and files. It turns out those files meant a lot to me and having them in just one place wasn’t a good idea. There is nothing worse than losing a project or session. You’ll never get it back.

It would be best if you always had everything important backed up at least three times, with one of those backups being in a different location than the other two. If any of your data is only in one place, you’re at risk of losing it. It’s essential to have not only local backups of your files but also off-site or cloud backups. If there is ever a fire or natural disaster and the location where your drives are stored is damaged, you won’t be able to retrieve your files, no matter how many copies you have. This is why having a cloud storage service like Backblaze is so crucial if you’re serious about keeping your data forever.

Backblaze is a cloud backup service that automatically backups every one of your drives for only $5 a month. If you ever lose a hard drive or a file, you can download it or have them send you a hard drive with the same files on it. I’ve lost some of my old music that I wish I still had. I will never make that mistake again. With Backblaze, I’m guaranteed to have my files no matter what happens.

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Posted on Leave a comment

The best gifts to get for music producers in 2019

The best gifts to get for music producers in 2019

Disclosure: Audio Hertz is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

NEW! The best gifts to get for music producers in 2020

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us… or the most annoying time of the year, depending on your holiday spirit. Regardless of how you feel about the holidays, most of us still need to succumb to the gift-giving traditions passed down by our great ancestors. I mean, what better way is there to show someone that you love them than spending money on them?

Finding gifts for your loved ones can be a horribly daunting task. The truth is the best gifts aren’t the most expensive. It’s the thought that counts! The perfect gift is something the recipient needs and can use, with bonus points added if they normally wouldn’t buy it for themselves. The purpose of giving a gift is to show the person that we care about them.

If one of your loved ones is an audio engineer or music producer, the good news is that I’ve put together this comprehensive guide that will take all of the thinking out of it. These are all gifts that every single recording musician would be glad to receive this holiday season! You can’t miss!

I separated this list into different categories based on how they would improve the recipient’s life, and I tried to keep the cost below $100 with some exceptions.

Here is my list of the best gifts to get for music producers in 2019.

Improve their room

Hipster lamps

These cool Edison bulb lamps aren’t just for hip coffee shops. Spice up any studio with a few of these and help give the room a more rustic industrial look that’s sure to impress anyone from Brooklyn.

Color changing LED light strips

These LED lights have become a staple in studios around the world because they are an extremely cheap and easy way to add interesting accent lighting to any room. These come as adhesive strips, making it easy to run along the studio’s edges and corners. They also include a remote, so you have the ability to change colors based on your mood.

Color changing light ball

It’s an 8 inch LED ball. Buy a few and spread them around your room for those futuristic vibes.

Decorative string lights

Wood trim panels for their favorite pieces of gear

What’s sexier than an analog synthesizer with wood trim panels? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Aromatherapy essential oils diffuser

Spending long amounts of time locked in a studio can make the air smell a little funky. With an essential oil diffuser, they can start recording with the sweet scent of peppermint and eucalyptus wafting in the air.

Improve their health

Air Purifier

Like I said, a recording studio can get funky! Make sure the air their breathing is so fresh and so clean.

Better chair

The desk chair is the heart of the studio. We spend the majority of our time sitting on it! I see many engineers posting pictures using expensive pieces of outboard gear while they sit on a hand me down desk chair that’s falling apart. The MARKUS from Ikea isn’t cheap, but with a 10-year warranty, it should last those long nights and obese clients.


Protect their ears with a pair of these Eargasm earplugs for musicians.

Improve their workflow

Backblaze subscription

$5 a month for unlimited cloud storage! That’s right! $5 for one computer and as many files as they can throw at it. The desktop application automatically backs up their drives and stores them in the cloud. They’ll never lose another session.

Sonarworks Reference 4

I can’t say enough good things about Sonarworks Reference 4. It’s an absolute game-changer, and I honestly wouldn’t be able to work without it. For $300, you can make a drastic improvement to the monitoring situation of any studio. This gift will make you a hero to any music producer.

Shortcut keyboard covers for their DAW of choice

Shortcuts are a pain in the ass to learn, but these keyboard covers from make it a lot easier. They have covers for every DAW and MacBook keyboard style; just make sure you buy the correct one.

Improve their productions

Teenage Engineering PO-33 KO

This little calculator looking device is really a super-powerful sampler that includes a built-in microphone with sound quality that’s good enough to use in your productions. These are really fun to play with but are also legitimate musical instruments to create with.


Invented in 1967, this stylus-based analog synth is a fun time for the whole family! Okay… Maybe not for the whole family, but they definitely are a fun, cheap toy that can actually be used as a real instrument.

Korg Volca FM

Considered to be the portable version of the famous Yamaha DX7, you can really get some tasty synth sounds with this thing. The Volca series has a bunch of exciting synthesizers, but for me, the FM is the standout and something that every studio could benefit from having around.

Subscription to Splice

This subscription service gives you monthly credits that allow you to download samples. The desktop application makes it easy to search for new samples to download and drag and drop on to your sessions.

Take them to school

Subscription to Mix With The Masters

Mix With The Masters is such an incredibly valuable resource for engineers and producers of all skill levels. For the first time, we get to sit in with the industry leaders and see how they think and the techniques they use to create the songs we know and love.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

This is the only book on mixing anyone needs and the only one I would recommend gifting. Bobby Owinski nails it.

For more gift ideas, check out 20 unique things for your recording studio on Etsy.