What do you get a home recording fanatic, musician, or audio professional for Christmas? Well, you could always buy them an AC/DC t-shirt or a piano tie. But if you really want to make them happy, read on! Here are 20 gift ideas for every budget - ranging from $5 to $500.
We put the list in descending order of price. Just keep reading until you can find something you can afford. And you can share the Christmas cheer with us. Using the affiliate links below won't cost you any extra, and we'll receive a small percentage of what you spend - even if you buy something that's not on our list.
And speaking of things that aren't on our list, are you hoping for something we haven't covered here? Let us know your dream gifts in the comment section below.
1. Native Instruments Komplete 8
Cost: $499 (Amazon affiliate link)
Komplete includes NI's popular Massive synth that we cover regularly on Audiotuts+. Whatever audio software your friend uses, Massive is a great addition. Though at this price, you'll want to subtly check that they don't already own it.
2. Propellerhead Reason
Cost: $375 (Amazon affiliate link)
The ever-popular Reason is another audio app that plays nicely with any audio software your friend is already using. It allows you to add a virtually unlimited number of sounds to your canvas. Check out our Reason tuts here.
3. Apple iPad Mini
Cost: from $329
The iPad mini is an incredibly portable way for a musician to make music on the go, capture ideas, get organized, and keep in touch. The iPad Mini is the least expensive way of getting onboard. If your friend prefers Android, consider the Nexus 7 instead.
4. One Year's Tuts+ Premium Membership
Tuts+ Premium Membership gives you access to all of our premium content, and not just audio tutorials. Watch Dave Bode take you through how to arrange and produce music, view Jonah Guelzo's quality videos on audio in the video world, learn from information taken from Bobby Owsinski's popular audio books, and explore hundreds of other premium audio tutorials.
5. Toontrack Superior Drummer
Cost: $179 (Amazon affiliate link)
Superior Drummer allows you to create realistic sounding rhythm tracks. It comes with a vast library of drum and cymbal samples, and works together with most digital audio workstation software.
6. Studio Series Vocal Booth Home
Cost: $170 (Amazon affiliate link)
A vocal booth helps you to record perfect vocals at home or in the studio, and helps block out exterior noise such as air con and traffic. It mounts to any microphone stand
7. Focusrite iTrack Solo USB Audio Interface
Cost: $160 (Amazon affiliate link)
Everyone interested in audio needs a good computer interface. Here's one to look at. Besides being compact, relatively inexpensive, and compatible with Mac or Windows, it can also serve as an audio interface for your iPad. If you make a lot of music on the go, it's a must-have.
8. Gobbler Online Backup Annual Plan
Cost: $150 for 120 GB (plans from $40 to $300)
An online backup service designed for audio. It allows you to back up your current projects as you create them, as well as collaborate with other musicians. It integrates seamlessly with all DAWs.
Cost: €139 (ex VAT)
Sylenth1 is a great sounding and flexible VSTi synthesizer. We've covered it several times recently: Use Ableton’s Arpeggiator to Create a Progressive Trance Lead Sequence, How to Recreate the Hot Chip ‘Flutes’ Stab in Logic Pro Using Sylenth 1
Cost: 99€ / $129
Effectrix is the ultimate effects tweaking tool. Check out our recent tutorial on it.
11. IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R155 Monitor Stands
Cost: $100 (Amazon affiliate link)
I love these monitor stands. They look great, lift your speakers to ear level, and significantly improve their sound. They'd make a great gift.
12. Akai Pro MPK Mini Keyboard Controller
Cost: $79 (Amazon affiliate link)
There's a bunch or portable music keyboards around these days. Here's one I'd love to get for Christmas. Besides two octaves of unweighted keys, it adds an impressive array of buttons, knobs and pads.
13. Colored Audio Leads
Cost: up to $70
We've posted a number of tuts (like this one) that talk about how to be more productive in the studio. One recommendation is to color code your cables. Here are a few options listed on Amazon (affiliate links):
Seismic Audio - SAGC10R-BRPGYO-- 10 Foot (6 Pack) TS 1/4" to 1/4" Right Angle TS Guitar Cables Colored $40
GLS Audio 25ft Mic Cable Cords - XLR Male to XLR Female Colored Cables - 25' Balanced Mike Cord - 6 PACK $70
Belkin Colored Velcro Cable Ties (8 Inch) $3
14. REAPER DAW
Here's an affordable digital audio workstation without compromise. Unless you're making over $20,000 a year with the software, you only need the less expensive discounted license priced above. We're fans of REAPER here at Audiotuts+. Learn about it in Dave Bode's awesome Premium tuts, or in our regular tutorials here.
15. Auria for iPad
And speaking of making music on the go with your iPad, you'll need an app for that. There are a bunch of them available, but Auria has the most features. It's expensive for an iPad app, but compared to Pro Tools, it's a steal!
16. Alfred's Teach Yourself to Play Ukulele, Complete Starter Pack
Cost: $40 (Amazon affiliate link)
Ukuleles seem to be making a comeback. Here's everything you need to learn how to play one - including a real ukulele. Think of it as the guitar you can take everywhere.
17. Brother PT1290 Home and Office Labeler
Cost: $34 (Amzaon affiliate link)
There's a lot to keep track of in a home studio. Since I bought myself a labeler, things have gone more smoothly. Leads, power bricks and inputs are easier to identify once they are labeled. And that's just the start. This would make a great gift for someone who doesn't have one.
18. The Home Recording Handbook: Use What You've Got to Make Great Music (Book & CD)
Here's a book written this year that deserves a place on your shelf. "Author Dave Hunter shows you how to make pro-sounding recordings without pro budgets. Packed with tips and techniques born out of years of recording experience, supported by specially recorded audio tracks on the accompanying CD, this is an essential volume for the working musician."
19. iTunes Gift Card
Cost: $20 - 100)
You can pick these up in many stores or online. They're a great gift, because they give your friend choice - music, apps, movies, books - as long as they have an Apple device or use iTunes.
20. Spotify Gift Card / e-Card
Cost: You decide
Spotify is a popular music streaming service. There's a free version (with ads) available on the desktop, but you need to pay a subscription to listen on your mobile device. A Spotify gift card would make an awesome present.