Great music gadgets and gifts for musicians
It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to gifts. However, finding music gadgets for the musician in your life can be an absolute nightmare, especially if they’re the type of geeky musician who likes the weird and wonderful! So today, we’re going to make it easy by showing you some of the best gadget gifts for musicians that they will actually use.
1. Line 6 Relay G10T Wireless Guitar Transmitter
If the guitarist in your life is A. constantly leaving guitar leads all over the place and B. uses a Line 6 Spider V 60, 120 or 240, then this is the techie gift you need. The Line 6 Relay G10T Wireless Guitar Transmitter has been designed by the experts at Line 6 to provide guitarists with an alternative to guitar leads. It’s a wireless transmitter that perfectly relays the sound coming from your guitar into the compatible amplifiers giving you the freedom to run around the stage (or the house) playing guitar wherever you like. After you’ve charged it by plugging it into the Line 6 Spider V 60, 120 or 240 amplifier jack, you get up to 8 hours of battery life! The Cable Tone technology means there’s no pops or cracks when you plug it in too. Say goodbye to tripping over guitar leads on stage.
2. Planet Waves PW-HTK-01 Humiditrak
As the colder weather starts to roll in, the temperature and humidity levels will begin to affect your guitars. It’s just a fact that constantly changing temperatures between hot and cold, dry and damp will affect your instrument, often causing damage that can be extremely costly to repair – we even wrote a blog on safe humidity and temperature levels for your guitar a little while ago. The Planet Waves PW-HTK-o1 Humiditrak is essentially a little alert system that monitors the humidity and temperature levels your guitar is being exposed to and sends an alert to your phone when it gets too hot, too cold, too damp or too dry. For those who value their guitars, this is a brilliant piece of kit that can tell you when your guitar is in danger of becoming damaged due to adverse temperatures. It will even tell you if the case has been dropped – perfect for those who travel with their guitar. For a small price, you can save thousands in repairs. Highly recommended.
3. Numark Party Mix 2-Channel DJ Controller
Whether you’re a budding DJ or just want something to really get your party started, the Numark Party Mix 2-Channel DJ Controller is the perfect gadget for musicians and music lovers of all levels. This nifty little DJ controller is a beginner friendly option that can be used to connect to your laptop and mix all your tracks easily with the DJ software provided. Plenty of control, a great mixing section, a crossfader and loads of flashing lights on the pads that can be used for triggering samplers and loops – a great gift for the techie musician.
4. Teenage Engineering PO-14 Pocket Operator
The Pocket Operator series of synthesizers from Teenage Engineering, including this Teenage Engineering PO-14, have been designed for use by music lovers of all kinds and is above all, heaps of fun to use. This programmable bass synth can fit in your pocket, has a unique animated LCD display (which is great fun to watch) and is a seriously powerful synth capable of creating complex basslines. With 16 punch-in effects such as delay, filters, stutter and bit-crusher as well as a built-in 16-step sequencer, music creation is super easy, and a lot of fun.
5. Korg Volca FM Synthesizer
While we’re on the subject of synthesizers, we have to bring up one of the greatest releases of 2016, the Korg Volca FM Synthesizer. This tiny yet powerful piece of kit from the geniuses at Korg offers the user a true FM synthesis creation tool as well as Volca-style 16-step sequencing for instant music creation. For fans of 80s style synth music, this is ideal, providing a small, highly portable yet extremely powerful music making tool that can connect to your favourite DAW or MIDI controller. Who said making music couldn’t be budget friendly?
6. IK Multimedia iRig Pre XLR Microphone Interface
The muse can strike at any point, so being able to record on the fly is essential, but being able to record high quality vocals anywhere at any time is not always easy – until now. The iRig series of recording equipment has revolutionised the recording process, offering musicians the ability to craft high quality recordings in any environment via iPhone/iPod touch/iPad/Android. This IK Multimedia iRig Pre XLR Microphone Interface allows the user to connect their favourite microphone to the unit and record vocals, guitars – anything! It’s a high-quality microphone preamp that provides phantom power to 48+ that fits in your pocket. Recording just became a lot easier! It’s definitely worth checking out the IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface For iOS And Android if you know someone who plays guitar too.
7. Aston Halo Reflection Filter
Here’s another one for the fans of home recording. The Aston Halo Reflection Filter is a brilliantly designed piece of kit that minimises any reflection or outside noise, focusing your voice to achieve a clearer signal. It’s essentially a recording booth in one easy to move around product. Aston, famed for their great microphones developed and patented a PET felt, which soaks up any unwanted exterior sounds to make sure the microphone captures your voice and nothing else. The ‘easy-mount’ hardware system ensures you can mount almost any microphone too. A great companion for your condenser mic that is also environmentally friendly thanks to the fact it has been crafted using 70% recycled materials. The Rycote Custom Shockmount is really great at getting the best out of your Aston Origin Cardioid Condenser Microphone, but when all three options are used in the same recording setting, you’re on to a winning combination!
8. Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs
Considering the safe audible pressure level for our ears is 80dB and the average drum kit played at full velocity can kick out around 120dB, it’s no wonder that musicians who gig or play at loud volumes regularly will eventually suffer some form of noise induced hearing loss. Tinnitus is a debilitating condition that can really affect the way you enjoy music, and is quite common amongst musicians who don’t look after their hearing. Of course, the stigma around earplugs is that they destroy all the good parts of the music – leaving you with a muffled mess to listen to. Well, with the Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs this is NOT the case. The Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs let your hearing breathe and prevent that ‘blocked in’ feeling that most earplugs will cause, allowing the full frequency range of the music to get through, just at a lower and safer volume. They’re also the winners of the Red Dot awards for innovative ability – so you’re in good hand, or ears! A great gift that will help reduce the risk of noise induced hearing loss for the musician in your life.
9. Akai LPD8 Laptop Pad Controller
If you know someone who like to produce their own music, this is definitely a great gift idea. The Akai LPD8 Laptop Pad Controller is a USB-MIDI controller for all kinds of music creators that measures a mere 13 inches across, and weighs less than a pound. It’s a scaled down version of the Akai Professional’s MPC line of music production stations that provides the control over your software and stops you having to use a mouse or keyboard – both of which can be cumbersome and unreactive when you need them most. The 8 orange, velocity sensitive pads are great for programming rhythmic or melodic parts and the 8 assignable Q-Link knobs are easily assigned to almost any parameters you wish giving you the hands on, responsive control you need in a portable package.
View a complete range of musical instruments, music gadgets and music gifts over at the Dawsons website.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.