So Christmas is approaching and you have a buddy, girlfriend, child, parent…. that is really into recording and you want to buy them a Christmas gift / stocking stuffer, but have no idea what to get. The problem with buying things for a recording enthusiast is that lots of the cool new stuff we get excited about these days is software, but you need to make sure that any software you buy is compatible with their existing set up (which is sometimes even hard for the person that has the studio to figure out). Recording equipment is a fun idea, but it can often be pretty expensive and it is hard to find something you know that the person will like. We recording geeks are an odd bunch and a piece of gear that one person says is amazing, the next person will say is awful, and in this very subjective craft they both might be right in their own way.
So I have put together a list of inexpensive gift ideas that cannot fail.
Percussion is one of the great creative tools to have in a studio and you can never have too much sitting around. Tambourines and shakers are one of the secret weapons of recording producers and the bigger the collection the more ways you can use this trick on records. I have over 25 different pieces of percussion around my studio.
Some great things about buying percussion are: 1) Almost any music or drum store will have a big selection; 2) It is almost impossible to make a bad choice, and; 3) the prices start really low. You can buy an egg shaker for less than two dollars (something I use on most records) to more than a thousand dollars for hand made world music drums. But for less than $20 there are dozens and dozens of great options. Who would not love a Frog Guiro for the holidays? (about 17 bucks)
Swirlygig makes cool accessories designed to mount on mic stands. Having a place to hang a set of headphones or a place to put your drink in the studio is something most small studios deal with every day and most studios have a mic stand sitting around. We use our Swirlygig hooks at the studio every day. For between $11-$15 these make a great and practical gift. You can get them at many music stores or order direct from Swirlygig
Almost all studios end up becoming a crazy mess of cables, connecting our recording equipment, keyboards, guitars, guitar pedals….. Keeping all your cables neat and orderly cannot only keep the studio looking better, but also make time in the studio more productive. There are lots of options for cable ties, but the BongoTies work really well and have a certain “cool” factor as they have a unique design, are bio-degradable and made from renewable materials. You can buy them at lots of retailers for a little more than 5 bucks. If they do not have this brand, any kind of cable management or cable ties make great stocking stuffers.
I admit I am a little biased because I am featured in the book, but even if I was not I would recommend this. Recording enthusiasts and electric guitarists are obsessed with the quest for great tone. Curtis Fornadley put together the most in depth and comprehensive book on the topic, interviewing the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Peter Frampton, Joe Bonomasa, Scott Henderson, Eric Johnson.....
Buy it from Amazon
In the modern studio we are often having to shuttle data from computer to computer. USB drives are constantly used for this task as well as backing up data. With the newer versions of protools that load audio into RAM, we can even work on Pro Tools sessions off of USB drives... so why not use cool ones. A USB drive will always be appreciated, but a fun one will be remembered and a fun topic of conversation. Any electronics or office supply store will have cool options.
This one I am super biased about of course! We have been selling gift certificates for people that want to buy my new in depth online drum recording course. You can get more info about the course here drumrecordingbootcamp.com . Contact me directly for the details on payment and getting the certificate you can put under the tree.