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Happy Mag’s audio gift guide for musicians and hobbyists

Got a musician in the family but no idea what to get them these holidays? Or maybe you’re just poking around for self-gifts. Either way, you’ll find something you love in our audio gift guide.

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Buy a friend an instrument and they’ll be a hungry forever – just kidding.

A gift for a musician is a tough nail to crack, but when done right, it’s the best gift there is. Great gear never goes out of fashion, and when it’s a piece of kit with a depth and a charm that keeps you coming back, it can become a part of the studio for life.

Without further ado, here are 10 gifts that’ll send any muso to the moon and back with glee.

Sennheiser MK 4

Sennheiser MK4

For years Sennheiser have been cream of the crop when it comes to quality microphones, and any home studio will be that little bit better for having one lying around. The MK 4 cardioid true condenser mic is where it’s at if you’re looking for an all-rounder, and a full metal housing and internal shock mount ensure it’s tough and applicable to a variety of situations, from home-job recordings to onstage use.

At $419 AUD it’s a hefty gift, and probably more suitable for your partner than a close mate. Rest assured it’s amazing value for money, this great-sounding microphone will get a workout.

SENNHEISER MK 4

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Capcom Series

Teenage Engineering PO-133

The PO-33 from Teenage Engineering was already a dope sampler, punching well above its price bracket. This little, calculator-looking gadget is a fully-fledged beat machine with 40 seconds of sample time spread across 8 melodic slots and 8 more 16-sample drum racks.

The Capcom series is icing on the cake. These editions include a set of licensed Megaman or Street Fighter samples that come with the unit, depending on which one you buy. Hadouken!

POCKET OPERATOR CAPCOM SERIES

Sennheiser HD 200 PRO

Sennheiser HD 200

There’s a good chance you’ve already seen these cushy headphones around, and there’s a damn good reason. Sennheiser’s HD 200 PRO headphones are another proven workhorse, a top choice for anyone who needs monitoring cans that won’t break the bank.

As an added bonus they’re on sale for just $99 until the end of 2020, celebrating Sennheiser’s 75th anniversary.

SENNHEISER HD 200 PRO

Genki Wave Ring Controller

Genki Wave

MIDI controllers can be pretty out there, but one you can wear? Welcome to the world of Genki. This ring controller allows you to map different MIDI parameters to the movements of your hand, offering a curiously intuitive method of musical expression.

Like the theremin, it takes a little time to get your head around this utterly unique instrument. But when you master the ways of the Genki, the experience is very rewarding, especially if you like to think outside the box.

GENKI WAVE

Sennheiser e 835/e 835-S

Sennheiser e 835

If you need to lock down a rugged, onstage dynamic mic, this is the one for you. The e 835 from Sennheiser is a mic that can take all the punishment you dish out in a live situation and still offer up a classic sound.

No-nonsense, clear representation of your sound, with a good degree of off-axis intelligibility is on display here. Handling noise is isolated with a hum compensating coil, and you’ll have no problems cutting through high on-stage levels with the e 835 in tow.

And if you need all this, plus a convenient on-off switch on the mic itself, the e 835-S is your best bet.

SENNHEISER E 835

CopperSound Third ManTriplegraph

CopperSound TripleGraph

If it’s on this list, it’s obviously no ordinary pedal. And why would anything from the mind of Jack White be ordinary? The Triplegraph is the result of a four-year collab between the modern rock god and CopperSound, and boy does it make one hell of an impression.

It looks like a vintage morse code machine, but the sounds are entirely futuristic on this digital octave pedal. Adding to its collector’s item cred: a 130-page booklet that ships with this monstrous stompbox.

THIRD MAN X COPPERSOUND TRIPLEGRAPH

Sennheiser HD 25

Sennheiser HD 25

Along with microphones, Sennheiser is well-versed in the opposite end of the signal chain: headphones. The HD 25 has been one of their stalwarts, and for good reason: killer sound and virtually indestructible.

Despite their hardiness, the HD 25s are surprisingly light, meaning they won’t weigh down on your ears or the top of your head after long periods of use. For the DJs out there: a rotatable capsule allows for single-ear listening.

SENNHEISER HD 25

Roland TR-6S

Roland TR-6S

There’s no shortage of desktop synths and grooveboxes these days, but are any as capable as the Roland TR-6S? It’s easy to picture it as the little brother of the TR-8S – but younger siblings can be precocious and the TR-6S is no exception.

It’s limitations help to steer you down more creative avenues, plus, there’s a host of built in effects and rhythmic performance variations to spice up your grooves.

ROLAND TR-6S

Sennheiser e 935

Sennheiser e 935

The e 935 from Sennheiser represents a step up in class from the aforementioned e 835, but won’t make too much of a dent in your back pocket. It packs in all the durability you’d expect from Sennheiser and offers transparent highs and warm mid-range for performance on stage or in the studio.

Adding to its long list of credentials is its high feedback rejection – no embarrassing squeals on stage – and a hum compensating coil. A classy allrounder, especially for vocalists.

SENNHEISER E 935

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

Ik Multimedia iLoud MTM

IK Multimedia is no stranger to hardware, but are relatively new to the monitor game. With the iLoud MTM, they’ve offered something truly different in the crowded home studio monitor market.

Cramming an incredible degree of functionality and frequency response into these very small monitors is an engineering marvel. For surgical mix adjustments in small spaces, it doesn’t get much better than this.

ILOUD MTM

Fender Billie Eilish Ukulele

Billie Eilish signature Ukulele

Sure, there are plenty of signature guitars, but a signature uke is definitely more difficult to come by. Pop superstar Billie Eilish penned many a hit with the humble ukulele as her guiding light, so it only makes sense that Fender has paid homage to her with her own signature model.

If you’re a uke enthusiast and an Eilish fan, the personal touches – including the ‘blohsh’ logo – make it a must.

BILLIE EILISH UKE

Audient EVO 8

Audient EVO 8

The audio interface is the quiet achiever of the home studio. Designed to be functional and almost forgotten, they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Underestimate the Audient EVO 8, however, at your own risk.

With four combi-jack inputs and four outputs, plus low-latency recording up to 96 kHz, it packs a lot of punch for a USB desktop interface. And with its Loop-Back function, you can perfectly record audio from your own computer with the push of a button.

AUDIENT EVO 8