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5 Awesome Gifts For Musicians | CreativeLive Holiday Picks

by Finn McKenty
music & audio

best gifts for musicians

Hunting for a great gift for the creative person in your life? Need something that’s in their wheelhouse but not totally predictable? Completely stumped about what they might like? We’ve got you covered.

We’ve asked some of our CreativeLive staffers what great gifts they’d like to get this holiday season — and we’re sharing them with you. Here’s what Finn McKenty, CreativeLive’s Head of Music & Audio, said he thinks are the best gifts for musicians this holiday season.

Apogee OneThe number one rule of recording is “garbage in, garbage out,” which makes your audio interface arguably the most important part of your rig. The Apogee One has inputs for line-in (great for guitar/bass DIs), XLR (for an external mic), and a built-in omni mic that’s surprisingly good. $349

BIAS Desktop: If you use amp sims and want to be able to tweak literally EVERYTHING, then check out the brand new BIAS Desktop plug-in. It allows you to design your own amp at the component level (for example, a Marshall power amp with a Mesa pre-amp and an Orange cab) and tweak every piece along the way. For more info, check out this interview we did with the folks at Positive Grid. $99-199

Arturia Mini-V: You can finally get the sound of the classic Mini-Moog in an official plugin– complete with the iconic interface! Hard to go wrong with that. $99

D’Addario Pro Steel bass strings:  Wanna know the secret to that “piano” bass tone everybody wants? It’s pretty simple: CHANGE YOUR STRINGS. Quit being cheap and buy some new strings– trust me, it will make your tone 100% better. I personally love Pro Steels for their bright top end and tight, punchy low end. ~$20

Axe-Fx II XL: I was fortunate enough to borrow one of these from the folks at Fractal Audio for a couple months, and trust me, THE HYPE IS REAL. Don’t get me wrong, an Axe-Fx is not going to make you sound like Misha overnight (only lots and lots of practice will do that), but it’s like having 250 tube amps, pedals, cabs and mics on your desktop. The XL has a bunch of nice little features like USB output and Ultra-Res IRs which make it hands down the best version of the Axe to date. $2499

For more great gift ideas that you can make or buy, head over here

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Finn McKenty

Finn is the producer of CreativeLive's audio channel. You can email him at finn [dot] mckenty [at] creativelive [dot] com @finn_mckenty