It’s the festive season, and we know you’re struggling to find the right gift for your music produced loved one. Well, we’re here to help you out with our favourite five gifts that’ll their Christmas all the more special.

But maybe you’re here for yourself? Looking for a new piece of gear to treat yourself to? We wouldn’t;t blame you. After all, it’s Christmas!

Nektar SE25 25 Key MIDI Keyboard – $49.99

It weighs 0.88 pounds. It’s portable. It’s less than $50. Have you bought it yet?

Nektar controllers work seamlessly with ANY major DAW, and this is no exception. This music recording gadget has 25 velocity-sensitive keys and is one of the lightest keyboards on the market. The layout of the keyboard is simplistic, which is perfect for newcomers. It’s easy to get stuck in and not get lost!

The SE25 is powered by a micro USB type B cable and one also comes included in the box. It’s packed full of controls: pitch bend, modulation, sustain & pan! Everything you need to create an engaging composition… that’s not even mentioning the 3 velocity curves.

The durability of the keyboard will also surprise you; most mini keyboards are fragile, but the SE25 is built to be durable. Unlike other budget keyboards, the feel of the keys may surprise you, especially, if you’re familiar with mini keyboards.

The bonus feature that we couldn’t mention is the free version of Bitwig! One of the newest DAW’s on the market, the modulation possibilities in this software are off the charts.

Weighted Desktop Cord Holder and Cable Organiser – $37.25

We know you’re going crazy over cables, it’s time to tidy up. We’re in the business of cables, so we need to manage our workstation and keep our unused cables in one, neat, place so that we can manoeuvre in the most efficient way possible. This cable holder will not move when you lay it down – and it comes in seven colours!

The above image doesn’t tell the full story – you can also fit your XLR’s & 1/4″ TRS cables in this stylish, tidy, holder.

Sennheiser HD 206 – $28.65

At a very affordable price point of $40, the Sennheiser HD 206 are closed-back headphones pack with amazing value.

One slight disadvantage is the frequency response of 21Hz – 18kHz – the high end isn’t fully reproduced. However, if your music operates more in the mids and bass regions then this won’t be a problem. The bass response is as crisp as though it was a turkey that has just been taken out of the oven – much crisper than many headphones you’ll find for the same price.

A fully balanced sound reproduction is the norm with Sennheiser. This pair of extremely durable headphones won’t let you down anytime soon. You can say goodbye to unwanted noise with the power of the noise-cancelling ear cups that the 206 bring to the table.

On the flip side, if you’re not a fan of long cables… we’ve got some bad news. A 3-meter straight long cable is prone to tangling itself, as many of us have experienced. If this isn’t a worry for you, hooray! That’s great. If it’s made you feel a little sad, we get it.

You can’t have it all… or can you?

AKAI LPD8 with 8 Velocity Sensitive Drum Pads MIDI Controller – $47.22

Akai brings eight drum finger‑pads with eight rotary 270‑degree control knobs in this versatile, simplistic, unit. The LPD8 offers an interesting compromise with its limited physical space when compared to the likes of the Korg Nano Pad, which offer more pads, knobs, sliders and buttons. The eight controller knobs are as straightforward as they come, with minimum/maximum operational range values and controller number assignable for each knob in the included LPD8 editing software.

Using the four smaller buttons to the left, you can switch between the four modes of the backlit, velocity-sensitive pads. Pad mode is the ‘default’ performance mode, where pads send note on/off messages. However, when in Program mode, the lower four pads become preset buttons (selecting any of the LPD8’s four user‑definable presets), whereas CC mode makes all eight pads transmit control change messages to external programs, each control change message also being user-definable in the editing software.

As the pads are velocity-sensitive, variable control message values are sent based on how hard you hit them. This allows you to add spontaneous, improvisational, rhythmical variation to synth or sampler parameters such as resonance, oscillator frequency, or volume for example.

When in Program Change mode, the pads transmit program change messages, assignable per pad from within the editor. Any pad’s behaviour can be momentary (on as long as pressed, off upon release) or togglable (hit once for note on, and again for note-off).
Although, in CC mode, the ‘on’ hit transmits a control value dependent on velocity, while the ‘off’ hit sends a value of zero.

Acoustic Foam Panels – $34.71

If you’re critically listening to your music through monitors rather than headphones, it’s important to have acoustic treatment set up so the sound doesn’t bounce around and reverberate – giving you an altered version of your song rather than what’s actually coming out of the speakers.

For a budget of less than £50, we recommend the Donner 12-Pack Acoustic Foam Panels for an effective way to tame those pesky sound reflections. We’d advise grouping 4 together at a time with larger rooms and 2 at a time with smaller rooms. However, it may be better to group 4 behind your monitors, 4 on the opposite wall and a couple each for those important early reflection points on your side walls.

There are many Christmas gifts that’ll put a smile on a music producers’ face, including yours. But there’s not many that’ll do it at an affordable rate. We’re glad that we helped you find that special something for yourself. Now, we also know that it’s hard to find a good site with a plethora of premium samples at an affordable rate too.

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