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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
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.
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.
It’s an 8 inch LED ball. Buy a few and spread them around your room for those futuristic vibes.
What’s sexier than an analog synthesizer with wood trim panels? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
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
Like I said, a recording studio can get funky! Make sure the air their breathing is so fresh and so clean.
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
$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.
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.
Shortcuts are a pain in the ass to learn, but these keyboard covers from KBCovers.com 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
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.
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.
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
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.
This is the only book on mixing anyone needs and the only one I would recommend gifting. Bobby Owinski nails it.