Musicians are those dedicated beasts who spend hours on an instrument or in front of a glowing computer screen honing their craft. The multitude of styles and abilities can be a confusing time for people looking to buy their musician loved-ones and friends the perfect gift.
Fear not, we’ve got a cracking list of the top gifts to impress the musicians in your life.
Yamaha Silent Piano
Here’s one for the high-end musician hoping to enter professional level, or for the wealthy tinkerers among you. Yamaha has a variety of keyboard styles from portable digital modules to uprights and full grand pianos, there’s a set of keys for every budget. The Silent range is a bit more expensive and this entry-level piano pictured costs around £3,600 (approx $5,365/AUS$7,500) with the most expensive, a hand-crafted grand piano, will set you back nearly £50,000 (approx $74,500/AUS$103,500).
Yamaha’s Silent Pianos unsurprisingly for the price, have a sleek design and natural tone reproduction which makes them a great pick for those times when you need to practice but not disturb others. It’s not just pianos either, there’s a whole range of acoustic instruments featuring Yamaha’s Silent technology.
Alphasphere by nu desine
A novel way to use samples and manipulate your digital sounds, the Alphasphere is a completely new digital instrument. Developed by Adam Place, of nu desine, it is used in live sets by bands like Koven and Enter Shikari on the regular, and even Chvrches have given it a go.
The Alphasphere promises to combat sampling boredom on stage, not to mention it looks awesome in your studio.
It comes in a range of price points, from $199 (about £133/AUS$276) to up to $1,500 (about£1,000/AUS$2,084) for a professional Elite model. For now, you can only pre-order one from the website but retailers will be listed as they become available.
After successfully reaching its Kickstarter target, Sensel are putting its Morph into production. The pressure-sensitive, customizable interface lets you switch up your input easily and smartly.
Need a keyboard or music pad interface? Use the keyboard overlay or use a brush on the plain surface for art projects. You can connect it to your Arduino kit too or use it as a controller for gaming depending on which overlay you use (sold separately).
Sensel are taking pre-orders now so pop an IOU in someone’s X-mas stocking. The main unit plus one overlay costs $249 (about £167/AUS$350) from the site.
The BOSS SY-300 is a guitar effects pedal for the serious musician who needs an arsenal of sounds at their fingertips.
From flute to dubstep bass sounds, this thing is flexible. MusicRadar gave it a 5 star review and it will definitely keep you busy in your studio with various tweaks and options to split sounds and effects across frequencies.
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is one of the stronger software choices for your Apple-loving musician. MusicRadar gave it a solid review, and it’s the software of choice for a large range of pro musicians.
However, it’s not without its bugs or limitations unless someone is rocking a very fast Pro-level machine, so if you’re made of money you can get one of those for them too.
Currently retailing for $199/£149/AUS$319 on the Apple Store, it’ll keep the bedroom studio maven occupied all holiday.
A music streaming subscription
A music streaming subscription is an excellent choice for those without a massive budget this holiday. If you know someone who just loves their new music, and can’t get enough of discovering more, why not treat them to a premium subscription of their favourite streaming service?
Choose from: Tidal ($19.99/£19.99/AUS$23.99 a month), Spotify Premium ($9.99 – or its three-month holiday deal for only $0.99 – or for £9.99 per month), Apple Music ($9.99/£9.99 a month), YouTube Red, Napster or Deezer (who are offering a subscription deal for only £1 for Christmas) for UK and USA-based subscribers. Most subscriptions cost between $7-$15/ £5-£10/ AUS$10-AUS$20 a month.