We’re down to the last list in our weeklong Christmas gift guide, and this time we’re spreading some holiday cheer to all you DJ/producers out there. Whether you’re a diehard Ableton Live user or even if you’re into other digital audio workstations like FL Studio and Logic Pro X, there’s something in here for every music maker. Check out these 10 gift ideas for DJ/producers…
10 Gifts for DJ/producers
1. Novation Launchpad Pro
The original Launchpad was an Abelton Live performer’s dream, a gridpad controller that let you put your hands on audio and Midi clips within the digital audio workstation for gigs and even studio use.
The updated Launchpad Pro brings so much more than a cosmetic overhaul: Velocity-sensitive RGB coloured pads mean that you can get more expressive with drum / synth routines, and clips would be easier to identify too since they imitate the colours in Live. Basic mixer and effect parameter controls are also baked in, making for a more inclusive experience on the controller itself. Recommended.
Price: $299 / £183 / €252
Our full review: Novation Launchpad Pro
2. iRig Keys
The iRig Keys is one of our favourite portable keyboard controllers, and not just because it’s got a 37-key keybed which is unusual for a mini keyboard controller at this price range, but also because it works with just about anything you connect it to – iOS, Android, PC/Mac. It even comes with all the cables you need to connect to all these platforms straight out the box. What’s not to like?
Price: $99 / £76 / €105
Our full review: iRig Keys & iRig Keys PRO Universal Keyboards
3. Novation Launchkey Mini Mk2
For something more compact that comes with Ableton Live pad control, the Launchkey Mini Mk2 is a great choice. It lacks the pitch / mod wheels and RGB velocity-sensitive pads of its bigger brothers, but at this size (and price), it’s still quite the bargain for on-the-go producing.
4. Akai APC40 mk2
An update of a cult favourite, the APC40 Mk2 features a more streamlined design with an 8×8 grid of rectangular pads. There are less knobs here than on the original, but we still think it packs a ton of control for its footprint. Also one of the very few grid controllers out there with a Midi crossfader built in.
5. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Keyboards
The Komplete Kontrol-S keyboard controllers ushered in a new era of tight hardware / software integrations. It ships with its own software that pulls essential controls from a variety of NI soft synths like Massive and Absynth, letting you tweak them straight on the Kontrol-S’ knobs without having to dive deep into pages of programming.
Pricey, but if you’re starting to get a little more serious with your producing and you’re invested in the NI ecosystem, this is the next logical keyboard to get.
6. Arturia Keylab 49-Key Midi Controller
More affordable than the NI Komplete Kontrol-S, Arturia’s Keylab series offers more controls (16 knobs, 9 faders, 4×4 gridpad) and also comes with its own Analog Lab software suite, which has samples of vintage synthesisers through the decades. A better option for folks who can live without NI’s control integration and would like to invest in a great feeling controller for less.
7. Push 2
The Ableton Push was my first controller review ever for Digital DJ Tips, and it has a special place both in my heart and in the studio. Unfortunately, it only ever really stayed there – I felt it was too heavy and big to take along for gigs, so sometimes I felt like I was only ever “half” using it.
I got to try the new Push 2 a few weeks back, and while the improvements are just iterative, they are significant. The chassis is smaller than the original, and significantly lighter. Plus, the new hi-res display and improved pads just make using it even more enjoyable than it was. For composition and improvised performances exclusively on Ableton, the Push 2 is hard to beat.
I like my workspace to evolve as my needs change, and this is made painfully obvious by my ADD-like obsession with gear that just comes and goes in my studio desk depending on what projects and software I’m working on.
Palette is a modular system of knobs, buttons, and faders that let you build, arrange, and re-arrange your control surface as you see fit. We haven’t had a hands on yet, but when we do and if it’s good, it could be the big answer to gear-hungry nuts like me.
Price available at Palette Gear
9. Traxsource Gift Certificate
What DJ would turn down new tunes? Give the gift of (legal) music this Christmas.
Price: From $10 – $500
10. Oyaide RCA & USB Cables Pack
Some of the best audio and USB cables on the market today. Get them in this bundle that comes with a carrying case and ditch that ugly rat’s nest of wires inside your DJ bag.
SPECIAL MENTION: Music Production For DJs
Get started making music quickly using just your laptop, no extra controllers and fancy gizmos needed. The course gives you everything you need to kickstart your music production journey – there’s no other course like this out there.
The course tutor is quite fetching, too!
Get Music Production For DJs right now.
It’s been said many times, many ways…
We hope you enjoyed this year’s holiday gift guide (almost three times as big as last year’s), and that you found something in the posts that you’d want to ask Santa for. You’ve got all you need for your Christmas list, so get to it! And if you’d like to send of these items our way, we’d be more than happy to accept 😉
Happy holidays from all of us here at Digital DJ Tips!
Check out the other lists:
- 10 DJ Gift Ideas Part 1: Under $999
- 10 DJ Gift Ideas Part 2: Under $399
- 10 DJ Gift Ideas Part 3: Under $199
- 10 DJ Gift Ideas Part 4: Stocking Stuffers
Share with us any other items you think should be on this list in the comments.