It’s that time of year again: the holiday season, when we decide what gifts to get our loved ones. It can be hard to find that perfect gift for today’s musician. Guitars aren’t so hip anymore; drum sets are unyielding. Also, musicians, producers, and engineers purchase many of their own gear themselves, and it might seem like there’s nothing else to get them. Fear not! Whether that someone in your life is a music professional or just getting started on their music production journey, we’ve outlined some of the best gifts for musicians in 2022.
BONUS: iZotope also has some of the best deals of the year on music production, mixing, and mastering tools happening right now.
Browse the best gifts for musicians in the following categories:
Music production software is one of the best gifts for musicians because it opens the doors for them to flex their creativity in new and exciting ways. Whether they’re a seasoned mix engineer, an aspiring producer, or just enjoy experimenting with designing sounds, these software options are some of the best gifts for any musician.
Mix & Master Bundle Advanced from iZotope makes a fantastic gift, with five industry-leading plug-ins that streamline their audio engineering into one fluid, interconnected workflow. Your special person will have everything they need to easily tackle every step of the audio mixing and mastering process with AI-powered plug-ins—all used by top recording studios worldwide.
KOMPLETE 14 SELECT includes several products developed by Native Instruments to create virtually any genre of music possible. This bundle has cutting-edge synthesizers, high-impact drums, and many studio-grade effect plug-ins to help any musician, from bedroom beatmakers to professional sound designers, craft their unique sound. It’s one of the best gifts for music producers.
Plugin Alliance unites some of the best-known plug-in companies under one virtual roof, and their new MEGA Bundle does not dissappoint. Choose your plan for your favorite music producer to give them 180+ plug-ins including patented TMT console emulations, guitar & bass amps, samples, world-class analog emulations, and bonus free plug-ins in 2023.
All musicians could use familiarity with a digital audio workstation (DAW), the software that houses your plug-ins. REAPER is a great DAW to give to someone as a present. It’s always been at an entry-level price point, more and more people use it, and it can do literally anything you need it to in audio. It can even edit video! If you know the person in your life is looking for DAW and they don’t already have one, get them this.
The new KONTAKT 7 from Native Instruments is the industry-leading, do-it-all-yourself instruments platform. If your musician loves to compose music with different instruments and samples, this is the best gift for producers to expand their music production capabilites. More than a sampler, this shapeshifting platform has powered two decades of blockbuster film scores and chart-topping hits, plus thousands of incredible instruments.
With the rise of technology, high quality recording gear has become more affordable. It’s no wonder why home studios have become increasingly popular in recent years. Studio time can be pricey, so many modern musicians opt to record at home in makeshift vocal booths. These next few gift ideas for musicians are sure to take the quality of their recordings to the next level.
Musicians spend a lot of time in their home studios these days, and a well priced, high-quality microphone is a must-have. LEWITT's LCT 240 PRO microphone is an easy-to-use XLR microphone that's great for vocals, instruments, and content creation like streaming. If you're buying gifts for a beginner musician, this is a good choice for their first condenser microphone.
Most recording spaces need a little bit of “room treatment” in order to minimize the sound of reflections bouncing off the walls. Gator acoustic foam panels are a cost-effective solution that aid in the absorption of these reflections, allowing any room to become more ideal for recording vocals or instruments. How many you need will depend on the size of the space and how much treatment is necessary; but these 12” X 12” acoustic foam panels really help tame the amount of room reverb, making any recording more crisp and clear.
Pop filters prevent plosives that could otherwise ruin the perfect vocal take, so they make an excellent gift for musicians who regularly record vocals. The Golden Age Project P2 pop filter is made with a classic steel mesh to block any plosives from hitting the mic. Simply attach it to the microphone stand with the attached clamp and then adjust the gooseneck to position the pop filter between the vocalist and the microphone. The voice will still pass through clearly, unmuffled by the metal mesh. This pop filter has the advantage of being more durable than others I’ve come across.
Headphones and studio monitors are critical to a musician’s ability to listen to what they’re recording and how their production sounds. We’ve rounded up several great choices to get them started or upgrade their current setup.
Studio monitors help music producers make better sounding mixes by providing an accurate representation of the frequencies present. A pair of Yamaha HS5s is a great gift for a musician looking to improve their mix monitoring, as they’ve been used in top studios worldwide ever since they were first released in the late 1970s. These speakers deliver incredible accuracy and low coloration to ensure you’re hearing a track as it truly is.
These headphones are also quite durable. I’ve been using them for 15 years—even before they had that x added to the end of them. I have only ever had two pairs, and that’s only to have a duplicate on hand.
Every engineer needs to hear how their mix will sound on a consumer system, and the Bose Soundlink Mini II is the one for the moment: it’s a bluetooth speaker with “extended bass.” Many speakers are doing strange things to the bass these days, so it behooves a good engineer to make sure their low end stands up to what this kind of speaker does. Get this gift for them, and they’ll thank you.
MIDI controllers, mixing controllers, and DJ decks make great gifts for a certain kind of audio person, as they allow producers and engineers to control music software in a more intuitive way. Whether the musician in your life is a master at programming beats or they’re just starting to dabble in DJing, the following controllers are sure to provide them with hours of creative fun.
The MASCHINE MIKRO is a compact MIDI controller that allows you to play melodies, tap out beats, and build full compositions quickly with its 16, touch sensitive pads. This controller comes with a copy of the MASCHINE software, which is jam packed with tons of instruments, samples, and loops to begin playing with right away. Although using the MASCHINE software is the best way to unlock the MIKRO’s full potential, it will also work as a standard MIDI controller in any DAW.
Native Instrument’s TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 makes a great gift for a musician looking to make the leap into the world of DJing. With the included copy of the TRAKTOR DJ software, these highly portable DJ decks are perfect for spinning beats just about anywhere. Whether it’s for a house party or a club, you can easily create killer mixes on the fly with this popular DJ controller.
This micro-sized keyboard controller is the smallest keyboard made by Native Instruments, which makes it a perfect gift for the traveling musician. With only 32 compact keys, the KOMPLETE KONTROL M32 has a sleek and solid design, fused with professional production features. Plus, this keyboard comes with a bundle of Native Instrument’s most popular synths, basses, drums, and effects.
Gear isn't limited to recording and producing on a computer. Live performances have their share of microphones, processors and monitors to achieve a high-quality sound.
The BOSS VE-8 allows you to process a guitar and a vocal live with one, conveniently sized piece of hardware. With it, you can add creative effects like distortion and vocal pitch correction. Plus, with looping capabilities and the option to add intelligent vocal harmonies on the fly, this makes for one truly powerful audio processor to use in a live performance setting. It’s a wonderful gift option for the gigging musician.
These Shure SE215 sound isolating earphones are excellent in-ear monitors that won’t break the bank. Over the few years they’ve been out they’ve developed a solid reputation with gigging musicians—much like Shure’s microphones have. With Shure’s innovative MicroDriver technology, these earphones reproduce sound frequencies with amazing accuracy. Plus, they fit tightly enough to block out up to 37dB of outside sound, which makes them great for monitoring your performance while protecting your hearing in a loud venue.
To deliver a great vocal performance live, a decent dynamic microphone is a must. This particular model made by Sennheiser gives outstanding performance and dependability at an affordable price. It’s rugged construction ensures it’s built to last. And, since it is highly effective at rejecting feedback, it makes for one of the best dynamic microphones on the market.
Musicians will thank you
When it comes to gift giving, musicians can often be some of the toughest to buy for. But, hopefully this list will help you narrow down your search for the perfect gift for the musician in your life. And if you’re looking for a free gift, tell your musician to go to iZotope’s Learn site to access free tutorials on music production, mixing, and mastering.