2020 hasn’t been an easy year for artists. Musicians have had to find ways to keep creating, collaborating and practicing – and they need tools to do so. Here’s our 10 best gifts for musicians to keep up their creative energies.
The Soundbrenner Core is the first smartwatch for musicians. With a sleek interface, the Core features a silent, vibrating metronome (so nobody has to listen to that infuriating click again), a magnetic contact tuner, a decibel meter and alarm that warns you when things get too loud, as well as smart notifications for calls and texts. It’s the ultimate tool for musicians – all on your wrist.
As tablets become more popular for reading sheet music, consider amping up that convenience with a STOMP Bluetooth page turner. With this foot-switch, keep your hands free to play your instrument, instead of stressing out about the 0.5 seconds you have to turn the page. You can also program this pedal to control your DAW or trigger backing tracks. A perfect gift for any gigging musician.
A collection of lead sheets for jazz standards, the Real Book is a must-have for jazz musicians, which is why it’s on our list of best gifts for musicians. Its name comes from earlier “fake books”, i.e. unlicensed anthologies that circulated among musicians, black-market style. Now published under Hal Leonard, the Real Book ensures that royalties are paid to the composers who created these masterpieces – and that musicians get through their gigs with this on hand.
Living with or next to a drummer is…loud. But thankfully, you can get a set of mutes for acoustic drum kits from Evans. You still get the feel of an acoustic drum kit, so there’s no need to worry about comprising on your practice – it’s just at a volume that’s more pleasant for neighbors.
With home recordings on the rise this year, acoustic treatment for our rooms has become a bigger priority. These sound-dampening foam panels from Auralex come in a pack of 24, which make it easy to spot-treat your home studios. These Wedgies are 2″ inch thick and have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.75, which means they absorb 75% of sound. Auralex also has 3″ and 4″ panels with higher NRCs for greater reduction of echo and reverb.
For any creative spirit out there, this compact keyboard and pad controller from Akai comes bundled with professional production software and virtual instruments for immediate music creation. Featuring eight assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing and plug-ins, a four-way thumbstick, eight velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads, a built-in arpeggiator and more, this ultra-compact instrument certainly packs a punch.
Know someone who’s starting to record their own music in 2020? Compatible with all major DAWs, the Scarlett 2i2 Recording Bundle has everything you need to record music: a state-of-the-art USB audio interface with 2 upgraded pro quality preamps, 2 mics and 2 instrument inputs, a large-diaphragm condenser microphone, a mic cable, and a pair of closed-back headphones. You also get a killer software bundle that includes Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First.
(For a more budget-friendly option for solo musicians, check out the Scarlett Solo Studio Bundle.)
For more acoustically-minded instrumentalists who can’t be bothered with a grand recording setup (hint: classical musicians), the TASCAM DR-05X is a choice gift. With built-in dual omnidirectional condenser microphones for stereo recording, you can expect great audio quality with this portable recorder. This also serves as an audio interface with your Mac or PC so you can record directly into your computer for tasks on your DAW or podcasting.
Whether you want to fix up your recordings or produce your own music, a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an essential tool for the modern musician. A DAW is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files, and while there are free ones out there, a premium DAW will be able to offer a much greater range of capabilities. There are many DAWs out there to suit different purposes, so check out our guide to find a best fit. It’s one of the best gifts for musicians looking to level up their creativity.
For a pair of in-ear monitoring earphones that won’t break the bank, look to the Shure SE215-CL. Shure has a reputation for delivering high-quality sound, and this entry-level IEM is no exception. With its award-winning sound and long-lasting comfort, these earphones block up to 37 dB of outside noise and is designed to withstand the rigors of onstage performance. These earphones come in wireless and wired versions with detachable cables and multiple color options.
Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to help musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.
Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!
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