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10 Musical Christmas Gifts That You Might Even Want For Yourself

Christmas gifts for musicians from Bobby Owsinski's Music Production Blog

Sometimes we need a little bit of help when it comes to choosing Christmas gifts for the people around us in the music and recording business. If you have no idea what to buy, here’s a list of recommendations that covers a wide variety of items and reasonable price ranges. All of these following products I use regularly.

1. Books by Bobby Owsinski

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook 5th Edition

Yes, I’m biased, but if you’re looking for a music or recording-related book, you’ll hopefully find one of mine that will hit the sweet spot. There’s something for everyone, including books on mixingrecording,  mastering, music business advicesocial media for musicians, and many more. If you’re just starting to mix, my Music Mixing Workbook will give you step by step exercises that will get you where you need to go fast. There’s even a great bundle of both the Mixing and Recording Handbooks that will save you a bundle. From about $16 to $45.

2. Etymotic Research ER20 Hearing Protectors

Etymotic ER20 on Bobby Owsinski's Production Blog

I personally never go into a loud audio situation without these little gems. They are soooo much better than foam or wax earplugs in that they cut the level down without affecting the frequency response. Since I found these ER20’s, I feel absolutely naked and scared when I don’t have them on me. At around $14, you just can’t go wrong.

3. Elgato Stream Deck

I don’t think there’s anything that I’ve purchased recently that I’ve used more. Stream Deck allows you to map all of your DAW commands to backlit keys that you can identify quickly with a graphic or a description. Makes editing so fast I now can’t do it any other way. It comes in 9, 15 and 32 key versions and is a snap to set up.

4. SCOTTeVEST 21 Pocket Hoodie

If you travel a lot (who doesn’t anymore) or just want the convenience of a hoodie with a lot of pockets, they you’ll want a SCOTTeVEST. It has 21 pockets of various sizes, a built-in Do Not Disturb blindfold, and even an eyeglass cleaner. Studios and airports can be cold, but this product brings both comfort and functionality all in one.

5. Monoprice 108323 Headphones

Monoprice 8323 headphones

It’s shocking how good these phones are for around $30. They’re pretty comfortable, have a really tight fit, and provide a surprisingly balanced sound. In fact, I would trust the low end on the 8323’s more than on a couple alternatives that I have that cost 4 or 5 times more. Don’t let the “DJ-style” in the description scare you, these are terrific for the price.

6. CalDigit TS3 Plus Computer Dock

If you use a recent Mac laptop like I do then you probably ran into the “not enough ports” issue. A great way around it is this CalDigit dock. It has a total of 15 ports, including 5 USB-3.0, 2 USB-C ports, an additional Thunderbolt 3 port, DisplayPort for a second monitor, audio in and outs, a SPDIF port, and even an SD card reader. I’ve tried a lot of docks by other manufacturers, but this one has worked like a charm from the day I turned it on. There’s a new Thunderbolt 4 version too.

7. Bobby Owsinski Courses

If you want to either learn mixing from the ground up or increase your mixing skills, I offer the Music Mixing Primer (use the code VMPRIME for a special XMAS price) and Top 40 Mixing Secrets courses (along with a number of cool bonuses). You can also get monthly Song Critiques, “What Makes This Song A Hit” sessions, Q&A webinars and invites to the “Advice Lounge” by becoming a member of my Hit Makers Club. Lots of free stuff too.

8. Snark SN-1 Guitar Tuner 

Snark Tuner

We’ve all gotten used to using software guitar tuners, but when you want to tune as fast as possible, this is the best tuner I’ve found. It clips right onto the guitar so you don’t even have to plug it in, and it even has a built-in metronome. At $20, it’s unbeatable.

9. Music Nomad MN205 String, Body, and Hardware Cleaning Tool 

Music Nomad cleaning tool

If you have stringed instruments in your studio (and I bet you do), this thing is great for keeping them clean with ease. Not only that, it will help keep the dust off your keyboards, computers, and just about anything else in the studio. A steal at less than $9.

10. Bobby Owsinski Merch

Up Your Levels v-neck T-shirt

The popular “Up Your Levels” merch is back. T-shirts, mugs and even a tote bag. Show the world that you think more is better!

These are some great musical Christmas gift ideas for a musician or engineer that you can get fast before the Holiday (don’t forget to treat yourself too).

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