Gift Guide 2023: 12 affordable holiday gifts for producers and musicians

Forget socks – stuff your stockings with meaningful and musical gifts this Christmas for the producer in your life.

Music Producer

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… but you don’t know what to buy. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. If you’re asking ‘What should I buy for a music producer this Christmas?’ then you’ve come to the right place. MusicTech’s gift guide is rammed with twelve of production-focused present ideas that should steer you in the right direction.

READ MORE: We’re giving away a Roland AIRA Compact S-1 worth $150

Whether it’s synths for creating melodies, headphones delivering pristine sound, affordable, high-quality microphones, or even a robust field recorder for capturing the sound of Santa’s sleigh, we have something special for every music maker. Check out these twelve affordable ideas:

Gift Guide 2023: 12 affordable presents for producers and musicians, at a glance:

Artiphon Orba 2

A fine stocking filler, Artiphon’s Orba 2 is a fun instrument that will keep a music maker of any level busy for hours. It’s an expressive handheld sampler stocked with over 100 instruments, making for on-the-go hands-on music creation. You could literally create and record a whole song in the park with no computer required thanks to its built-in speakers and headphone output.

Today’s best deals on the Artiphon Orba 2

Korg NTS-1 Nu:Tekt Digital DIY Synthesizer

A nifty little synth, Korg’s NTS-1 Nu:Tekt is another small, stocking-friendly device. It’s a mini synthesizer and multi-effects system in a compact USB-powered design that you assemble yourself. Putting it together could easily make for a fun post-Christmas dinner activity once everyone else has fallen asleep on the sofa. NTS-1 is also compatible with the logue-SDK, so you can run any custom oscillator and effect content available for Korg’s Minilogue XD and Prologue synths, or, create your own. Price: $89/£85

Today’s best deals on the Korg NTS-1 Nu:Tekt Digital DIY Synthesizer

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator

It’s not a calculator. Teenage Engineering’s vast range of Pocket Operators are quirky pint-sized gadgets and sequencers packed with huge musical potential. Perfect for on-the-go beats or composing your magnum opus, these playful machines bring a whole lot of musical fun in a tiny package. If you’re looking for fun through synthesis this Christmas, a cute little Pocket Operator is a fantastic choice. Price: $59/£46 – $99/£78

Today’s best deals on the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator

Korg Volca

Korg’s Volca range are portable powerhouses. These compact synthesizers, beat machines, and samplers pack immense sonic capabilities into their pocket-sized frames. Offering diverse functionalities, from analogue synths to drum machines, they’re ideal for on-the-fly jams, studio setups, or sonic explorations. Versatile, fun, and creatively inspiring, Volcas are potentially the perfect companions for your producer friend or loved one this christmas. Prices: $149/£119 – $199/£158

Today’s best deals on the Korg Volca

Sennheiser HD25 On-Ear Closed-Back Headphones

A classic for DJs, Sennheiser’s HD25s have been a mainstay in DJ booths for years – and for good reason. Renowned for their durability and superb sound, these headphones boast excellent noise isolation, perfect for DJs and studio professionals. With swivelling ear cups, they offer flexible monitoring options, while their lightweight design ensures comfort during prolonged use. Delivering precise sound reproduction, these headphones are a go-to choice for professionals seeking unparalleled audio quality.

Price: $149/£119

Today’s best deals on the Sennheiser HD25 On-Ear Closed-Back Headphones

Samson Q9U cardioid dynamic USB/XLR microphone

Perhaps you’re buying a gift for a streamer, a vocalist or a voiceover artist. This mic, heralded by some as the “king of budget XLR/USB dynamic microphones”, is a superb choice for those looking to record their voice for a number of different uses. You can connect it to your laptop, tablet or computer and start recording clear audio in a matter of minutes. It’s also built sturdily for the price, so it suits the hustle and bustle of the home or on-the-go recording. Price: $149/£119

Today’s best deals on the Samson Q9U cardioid dynamic USB/XLR microphone

Austrian Audio MiCreator Studio

Austrian Audio doesn’t mess around when it comes to music gear – especially microphones. Well-built while delivering clarity in its results, the MiCreator Studio looks the part, is ultra-portable due to its small size and is robust and well-built. It’s got a satisfying and intuitive jog wheel, direct headphone monitoring, and USB-C connectivity. It accommodates additional mics or instruments like the MiCreator Satellite, perfect for music creation, live streaming, voiceovers, or online meetings. Price $220/£175

Today’s best deals on the Austrian Audio MiCreator Studio

IsoAcoustics ISO-Puck Set

ISO-Pucks are small circular isolators that provide isolation for studio monitors, speakers or guitar amps. You place them under your speakers, and they provide isolation from the surface below, reducing vibrations feeding into neighbouring surfaces, also preventing the vibrations from reflecting back into the cabinet from the supporting surface. That means your producer friend or loved one can focus on the sonically soothing vibrations they create themselves, rather than any unwanted ones. Price: $56/£43

Today’s best deals on the IsoAcoustics ISO-Puck Set

Zoom H1n

Does your partner record the atmospherics of the city when you’re on a date? Or perhaps you have a spouse pulling up their voice note app at any sign of morning birdsong? The Zoom H1n is a top-notch yet affordable handheld field recorder with a real X-Y microphone arrangement, 24 bit/96 kHz linear PCM and a built-in monitor speaker. With this, you can – potentially at the detriment of your relationship – amp up their field recording abilities with the Zoom H1n and turn them into a professional documenter of the sonic landscape around you.

Price: $97/£77

Today’s best deals on the Zoom H1n

Bjooks: Books on Music Tech, Artists, and Creators

This gift guide is in no way just about electronics and studio accessories. A brilliant book, especially a book by the music production book-focused book brand, Bjook, can inspire and educate your gift recipient. If their music sounds like it needs some work, these books can offer valuable insights and resources for music producers, with some teaching even coming from the likes of Hans Zimmer. They explore diverse topics such as sound design, electronic music history, synthesis techniques, and the creative processes of renowned artists.

Price: $45 – $75 / £45 – £63.

Today’s best deals on the Bjooks: Books on Music Tech, Artists, and Creators

The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin is a revered producer, the co-founder of Def Jam Records and is generally a widely respected sage in – not just music – but various creative scenes. Rubin’s philosophies often emphasize simplicity, authenticity, and creating a conducive environment for artists to express themselves freely. This book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, took bookshelves by storm in 2023 when it saw Rubin “distil the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments – and lifetimes – of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us”, writes Amazon. This is the perfect companion for the creative in your life.

Price: Hardback – $26/£20

A gift voucher to their favourite music store

Sometimes, money towards the next guitar, synth, microphone or piece of studio gear is all a music maker really wants. If you can’t quite put your finger on what they need, then there’s no harm in buying a voucher for their favourite music store, so they can go away in their leisure and buy that piece of tech that’s been on heir 2023 wishlist. With zZounds, for example, there’s the option to buy a voucher worth $/£25 all the way up to $/£1,000, so whatever your price range, you can keep a producer in good spirits this holiday season.

Check deals at Amazon
Check deal at zZounds
Check deal at Thomann

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