During the holidaze, it's easy to get overwhelmed, and sometimes we forget to get a gift for that someone special. If that someone is a musician, then we've got a list of great gift ideas that won't break the bank and will guarantee to put a smile on their face.
For hundreds of years, musicians have used a mechanical musical chronometer, or a metronome, to keep tempo during practice and performances. Any musician will find a metronome invaluable.
The Korg KDM-3 is a digital metronome with a natural pyinkado wood front panel and a classic look that resembles a miniature mechanical metronome. Great to help improve your rhythm and make your instrument practice consistent, it features eight metronome sounds (including cowbell, rim-shot, voice, and a mechanical metronome sound) and a sealed speaker enclosure.
If you play a stringed instrument, such as guitar, bass, violin, mandolin, or cello, then you'll need to make sure your instrument is in tune.
The Snark ST-8 Super Tight Clip-On All Instrument Tuner features a high-sensitivity sensor and full-color display that rotates 360°. Simply clip it to your instrument with the stay-put clip and you're in business. The ST-8 features a tap tempo metronome and can be calibrated from 415 to 466 Hz. The ST-8 offers an extended frequency range and is compatible with all instruments.
MIDI Keyboard Controller
MIDI controllers provide hands-on control over music-making software and virtual instruments. Simply connect the device via USB and you're ready to play. While MIDI controllers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the keyboard format is the most popular.
The Native Instruments KOMPLETE KONTROL A25 is a smart, streamlined 25-key keyboard controller with a semi-weighted keybed for natural playing action. The control panel offers eight touch-sensitive control knobs, pitch and modulation wheels, and a four-directional push encoder for fast single-handed sound browsing and project navigation. The A25 can be used with all software-based instruments, but really shines when using the extended integration found in Native Instruments KOMPLETE 10, 11, 12, and 13 software packages. It ships with a collection of KOMPLETE instruments and effects, as well as MASCHINE Essentials.
Portable Desktop Synthesizer
Musicians from all walks of life enjoy the process of sonic explorations. What better way to create new and interesting sounds than with a cutting-edge portable synthesizer, especially if you are on the go.
The Elektron Model:Cycles is an affordable, compact, lightweight 6-track FM-based groovebox that's simple to use and fun to play. The unit ships with a ton of professionally designed percussive and melodic presets for creating varied compositions. Step-record or record in real time using the six onboard velocity-sensitive pads. What's more, the Model:Cycles offers parameter locks, which allow any sound-shaping function to be sequenced to any point on the sequencer, resulting in powerful effects that are accurately timed.
MPE Control Surface
The latest craze in sound control is MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), which provides multidimensional control over sound. This relatively new technology offers musicians new and interesting ways to interact with sound-making devices.
The EXPRESSIVE E Touché SE is designed to add expressiveness to your software synthesizers and plug-ins. The controller's reactive interface can be played by swiping your fingers lightly across its surface. Its advanced mechanism allows you to play in four completely independent dimensions: two by pressing the skin up and down, and two by sliding the skin left and right, giving you dynamic control over your sound with simple and intuitive gestures.
No musician should be without a good, quality microphone. Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are the standard for recording in the studio or on location. They are highly sensitive and can capture the most delicate sounds. They're great for vocals and instruments alike.
The RØDE NT1-A Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone is a 1" cardioid condenser microphone with a self-noise level of 5 dB-A, making it a great choice for a vocal microphone, as well as for recording guitars and percussion instruments. A studio-grade pop shield and shockmount is included, along with a 20' microphone cable, a dust cover, and an instructional DVD with recording tips.
Studio monitors are a great gift for a musician working at home or in a project studio environment. Unlike bookshelf speakers that flatter the sound of music by hyping the bass and treble, studio monitors are purposefully designed to be flat, helping musicians and sound engineers make informed choices when mixing, allowing the music to be translated to any playback system.
The JBL 306P MkII is a powered reference monitor that provides high-detail, precise imaging, a wide sweet spot, and a remarkable dynamic range to enhance the mix capabilities of any modern studio workspace. It is magnetically shielded, so you can place it near your computer monitor and other electronics without adverse side effects.
An audio interface is an integral part of a musician's arsenal when recording and mixing from home or on the go. The device connects to a computer via USB and allows you to record and play back professional-quality audio. The device also allows you to monitor what you are playing while recording.
The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is a solid, affordable solution for singers, musicians, podcasters, and producers. The device provides two XLR-1/4" inputs with Class-A microphone preamps with 48V phantom power for working with condenser microphones. The inputs are also compatible with dynamic mics, line-level instruments like keyboards, and Hi-Z inputs from electric guitar and bass. Simple to set up and use, the AudioBox USB 96 is compatible with Mac and Windows and includes Studio One Artist DAW and other software titles.
Musicians are often plagued with technical issues, especially during live performances. A cable tester allows you to test a variety of cables, ensuring they are working properly. There's nothing more frustrating than having audio issues, especially when onstage.
The Kopul CBT-12 is a professional-quality cable tester that allows you to test the continuity of a wide variety of cables from a single device. Quickly identify connectivity and ground issues, making troubleshooting audio fast and effortless. The tester works with speakON, XLR, RCA, DIN, ¼", USB, RJ45, and banana plugs.
B&H Gift Card
If you aren't music savvy, but still want to offer something for the musician in your life, a gift card is a great way to show your appreciation.
The B&H Gift Card can be acquired in a variety of ways and is available in various amounts. You can select a physical card or use an electronic version. There's even a way to design your own cards to make them personal!
This wraps up our last-minute gift guide for musicians. I hope you find the perfect gift for your perfect someone. Check out everything B&H has to offer from the website, or come on down to the B&H SuperStore.
Did we miss anything on our list? What's your favorite must-have gift for musicians? Leave a comment below. Happy Holidaze!
The best thing on this page is the link to the website! (Just hadda sayit!) And is the link to the superstore a special monorail that goes directly into the store (maybe a conveyor belt?!;) Hey, you know - you go to B&H! God Bless!
(OK, I realize maybe it's if someone copies and pastes the article into an email...)