Finding the right audio or music gift items for your loved ones can be difficult, so we assembled these selections for a rocking holiday. Priced from under $2 to priceless, check out our Top 25 stocking stuffers for the discerning musician on your list—or just for you. All prices listed are MSRP—street prices may be lower. Happy shopping!
Cosmovox iPhone Theremin ($1.99)
Inspired by the Theremin, Cosmovox uses the built-in accelerometer of your iPhone or iPod touch to control a synthesizer. As you rotate your iPhone, the synth pitch changes, performing in more than 45 different musical scales—major/minor, Balinese gamelan, pentatonic, microtonal scales and many others. Invest two bucks and impress your friends! CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
iDrum for the iPhone ($4.99-$5.99)
The easy, fun and portable way to lay down some cool beats, simply by tapping the touchscreen on your iPhone or iPod touch, this low-cost app includes a killer library of samples and beats. Or use the free iDrum Ringtone Sync app (PC or Mac) to make iPhone ringtones. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
Guitar Hero Carabiner ($15)
Guitar Hero now comes to you in a portable, pocket-size version with three levels of difficulty and five volume levels and a whammy button to hit on long notes to score more points. Its 10 riffs from Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II include "Smoke on the Water," "Cherry Pie," "Jessica" and more. For info, visit www.basicfun.com/hotproduct/
Sennheiser Mic Skins ($29.95 and up)
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling! These days, everyone wants to personalize their possessions to make an individual statement. Sennheiser Mic Skins are the perfect way to do this, fitting snugly over the body of any evolution wireless G2 handheld. With nine different options, there's a perfect Sennheiser Mic Skin for anyone's style.
For more info, visit www.sennheiserusa.com
Interactive Drum Kit/Graphic EQ/WiFi Detector Shirts ($29.99)
These guys define the coolness of geekdom, with T-shirts that have onboard electronics with functional built-in drum pads, graphic EQs and WiFi signal-strength meters. They really work! CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For info, click here.
Korg DS-10 Synth Card ($39)
Transform your Nintendo DS into an amazing production tool with this low-cost marvel. Not only useful and fun, but this gives you a legitimate excuse to write off that Nintendo system as a business expense. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For info, visit www.aqi.co.jp/product/ds10/en/index.html
Emile Berliner Gramophone Kit ($40)
It's hardly an exact reproduction of Berliner's original gramophone, but this fun kit can cut/play back recordings using old CDs as a medium—not optically, but by etching grooves into the plastic. Great use for "coaster" discs from bad CD burns or if you have old CD-ROMs lying around—or just CDs of bad music you need to "repurpose."
For info, click here.
Sonic Impact Stick-On Speaker SoundPad ($49/pair)
These NXT-designed stick-on transducers convert and transfer sound to most high-density/thin-walled surfaces you put them on. Converts bookcases, thin tables, door panels, etc. into permanent stereo speakers. Connect them like any conventional speaker to your existing amp or stereo. For info, visit www.si5.com/products.php?pID=4024.
Planet Waves CTM Chordmaster/Tuner/Metronome ($64.99)
This has it all: chromatic tuner, digital metronome and chord library with backlit LCD screen featring 7,000 variations and even has a "lefty mode" that shows chords for left-handed players. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For info, visit www.planetwaves.com/ptoolsdetails.aspx?ID=1.
Bugbrand Postcardweevil08 ($69)
This ultra-cool synth is in a package the size of a deck of cards, but don't let the size fool ya! It's one mini monster with three ring-modulated oscillators, power starvation, body contacts, line out and mini-amp (with mini-speaker). CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For info, visit www.analoguehaven.com/bugbrand/postcardweevil08.
Blue Mikey ($79.99)
Mikey puts two Blue condenser mic capsules into a plug-in recording device that transforms your iPod 4G, 5G, 6G, iPod Nano 2G, 3G or iPod Classic into a pocket stereo recorder. Features such as user-selectable gain settings and a unique positional head make recording a snap.
For info, visit www.bluemic.com.
Devi Ever Boutique Fuzz Boxes ($95)
Tired of "sounds-like-everyone-else" guitar effects? Devi Ever offers two dozen or so outre stomp boxes, with names like Bit Mangler, Cherry Pop, Dream Mangler Destructo Noctavia, Eye of God, God Zilla, Karaoke Party, Shoe Gazer and Year of the Rat—all at a kickin' $95 smackers a pop.
For info, visit www.analoguehaven.com/devieverusa/95dollarpedals/.
Bleep Labs Thingamagoop ($120)
There aren't enough beeping, zapping, anthropomorphic synthesizers in the world, so Bleep Labs created Thingamagoop, the coolest, strangest, most affordable analog synth we've ever seen. If you want a synth to make your studio friends envious, this one's for you. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For info, visit www.bleeplabs.com/thingamagoop/.
Quality headphones with Koss elements, comfy liquid-filled cushions and an onboard digital metronome module with volume/speed controls and a click line out jack for sending to other players make this a studio must-have—every drummer's dream! For info, visit www.bigbangdist.com/metrophones.htm.
Novation Nocturn ($199)
This intelligent, compact 9.4x5.4-inch unit puts fast control of your plug-ins at your fingertips. With eight touch-sensitive rotary encoders, eight assignable buttons, the Novation Speed Dial and Automap Universal 2.0 mapping technology, this is the ideal complement for any DAW.
For info, visit www.novationmusic.com/products/midi_control/nocturn/.
CEntrance AxePort Pro ($199.95)
Direct recording of guitar/bass tracks into your laptop or studio rig couldn't be easier with this pocket-sized USB direct box that brings new meaning to "plug-and-play." This PC/Mac compatible unit features 24/96 resolution and zero latency headphone monitoring with wet/dry mix control. Easy! For more info, visit www.centrance.com/products/ap/.
Line 6 BackTrack + Mic ($209)
This "Inspiration Capture" recorder is an audio sketchpad for recording direct guitar or miked signals—but with a difference. It's capable of capturing up to 24 hours of audio, so while you're rehearsing, playing or noodling around, BackTrack is capturing all your riffs, creations and great ideas as WAV files to 2GB of Flash memory. We like the deluxe version with 1/4-inch input or built-in mic options—great for electric or acoustic stuff! CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. For more info, visit www.line6.com/backtrack/backtrack.html.
Shure SH55 "Elvis" Mic ($284.84)
This modern reissue of the Shure's 1939 Unidyne classic is updated with a modern dynamic capsule and XLR output jack, but its timeless styling just makes singing more fun. Check out the spec sheet of the original at our Vintage Mics page (www.mixguides.com/microphones/vintage_products), then pick one or several for gifts people will really remember. For more info, visit
Numark TTi Turntable ($449)
You know that huge vinyl album collection you haven't listened to in years? Transfer it to iPod the easy way with the TTi turntable. Featuring a Universal Dock for iPod, USB audio interface, metal platter and pitch control, it also comes with PC/Mac EZ Vinyl Converter software to clean up pops and clicks, and transfer your spins straight into your iPod.
For more info, visit www.numark.com/tti.
Akai MPD32 Pad Controller ($499)
Using a USB cable to Mac or PC applications/virtual instruments—such as Ableton Live, Reason, GarageBand, etc—MPD32 has 16 genuine MPC pads for full expressive control, with MPC Note Repeat, swing/gate time parameters, tap tempo control and master clocking of MIDI sequencers. Add in assignable faders, switches and rotary knobs and this is a must-have production monster. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
For more info, visit www.akaipro.com/mpd32
Alesis USB Drum Kit ($799)
The drum set combines Alesis' Trigger|iO trigger-to-MIDI interface with high-end drum pads, Surge cymbals and all drumrack hardware. With a simple USB connection to your PC or Mac, access the included FXpansion BFD Lite or other progams for great sounds.
For more info and video demo, visit www.alesis.com/usbprodrumkit.
Ocean Way Drums ($995/$1,995)
Easily one of the best drum libraries ever, with 40 or 120 GB of individual drum hits, all with multiple mikings and room positions at 24-bit, 48kHz (standard) or 96kHz (deluxe platinum edition) resolution. The stellar mics, drums, performances and rooms make this shine, and users can mix it themselves or select premixed kits from acclaimed engineer Allen Sides. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
For more info, visit www.oceanwaydrums.net.
Vox AC30 H2 Guitar Amp ($2,599)
Tone says it all in this handwired (!) special edition 50th anniversary reissue of the guitar amp that forged the British invasion—then and now. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
For more info, visit www.voxamps.com/us/heritagecollection/ac30h2/.
Moog Guitar Paul Vo Edition ($6,495)
Leave it up to the genius and legacy of Bob Moog to create an electronic guitar that merges synthesis and guitar technique into a highly-playable and most remarkable instrument fitting of the Moog name. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
For more info, visit www.moogmusic.com.
AND FOR THE UNDECIDED
Do all your shopping in one stop! Snag copies of Stephen St. Croix's Life in the Fast Lane ($29.95); Classic Tracks ($24.95) and dozens of books, tutorials and DVDs on audio and music production. Best of all, enter promo code MMX8 on your order (of $99.95 or more) and get free shipping!! Or go cyber at www.mysheetmusic.net and instantly download from 40,000 available sheet music titles—all customizable in your key!
For more info, visit www.mixbooks.com.