With computers, smartphones, and other newer technologies it has become possible for so many people, young and old, to try their hand at producing music. As you can imagine, or already know all too well, this also means there are an absolutely overwhelming number of products available for this growing market.
This can make finding the perfect gift for the music producer in your life pretty difficult, but I’ve focused on the best of the best – a still pretty big – but easily manageable – selection of great gift ideas from super cheap too, well, not so cheap, any of which would really please the music producer on your list.
Please note, all of you TL;DR types out there: this is a very long and exhaustive gift guide – something like 52 gift ideas in 7 categories! – and while in the next section I really try to narrow it down, and offer a mere 14 choices for best music producer gifts, you still might like to see my top four choices here:
- Best Super-Affordable Gift for Music Producers: Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth
- Best Mid-Priced Gift for Music Producers: TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
- Best Premium Gift for Music Producers: Focal Clear MG Open-Back Over-Ear Headphones
- Best Gift for Young / Beginning Music Producers: Teenage engineering Pocket Operator PO-33 KO Micro Sampler and Sequencer
What Are the Best Presents for Music Producers?
As I put this buyer’s guide for the best music production gifts together, I quickly realized that there are so many different gifts that are really just right for anybody who is producing music – so many that I had to kinds of reign myself in…
Even so, with all of my admirable self-restraint, I have put together a list of over 50 fantastic gift ideas for music producers, from the affordable to anybody level to the affordable to Quincy Jones or Rick Rubin level. Man, if you were a music producer you’d be laughing your cans off right now!
Anyway, I have so many ideas for a gift for the music producer that I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a summary here. I have found, and will recommend, gifts in the following categories:
- Best Gadgets for Music Producers
- Best Musical Instruments for Music Producers
- Best Computers and Digital Gear for Music Producers
- Best Recording Gear for Music Producers
- Mixers and Workstations
- Portable Recorders
- Best Gifts for Young Music Producers
- Best T-Shirts for Music Producers
- Best Books for Music Producers
Yeah, that’s a lot – you can click on any one of the above lines and it will take you to just that section, or of course, you can read through the whole article, but how about if I offer here at least one of my favorite ideas from each category?
Best Gadgets for Music Producers
Best Musical Instruments for Music Producers
Best Computers and Digital Gear for Music Producers
Best Recording Gear for Music Producers
Best Gifts for Young Music Producers
Best T-Shirts for Music Producers
Best Books for Music Producers
So there we have it – 14 of my best suggestions for great gifts for music producers, in all different categories and at all price levels, and each sure to be a big hit with the music producer on your list.
But there are a lot more below, so let’s get into it, shall we?
The Best Gift Ideas for Music Producers in 2024
Best Gifts for Music Producers – Gadgets
The Orba is one of the most interesting gadgets I’ve come across in a long time – an incredibly intuitive interface lets you move, shake and bump the little guy to make all kinds of interesting sounds, and the built in tech lets you loop, layer and process those sounds, hear them on a nice internal speaker or headphones, record them and even stream them wirelessly to a phone, PC or anything else – an affordable pocket music producer, and a gift any producer is sure to love and use all the time.
Based on the legendary Stylophone Synth, this cool-as little synthesizer has that fat, warm analog sound every music producer dreams of, a full range of effects and controls for modifying and perfecting the music and an incredibly intuitive and easy user interface – a truly powerful and complete portable music making machine that will not just fascinate and delight any music producer, but will prove incredibly useful as well.
Similar to the slightly larger and more advanced Gen X-1 above, the Stylophone Retro is actually pocket sized, and has the same wonderful analog sound.
With a simple and clever stylus interface, pitch bend and vibrato effects, the Retro makes it easy to create surprisingly rich, varied and beautiful music, and an analog audio output allows your music producer to capture their spontaneous creations. An easy, powerful and useful gadget and an incredibly inexpensive gift!
Best Gifts for Music Producers – Musical Instruments
One thing about music producers is that they always want to make music, and they always are. Some music producers I know aren’t actually serious musicians themselves, but every single one of them, if there’s a drum or a keyboard laying around, will grab it and start playing.
Knowing this, I’m recommending a few really beautiful and/or interesting musical instruments that are very, very easy and intuitive to play and which make lovely music. Your music producer might just incorporate them and their sounds into their tracks, but even when they’re not working they will probably still be playing with them.
A strikingly attractive djembe with that classic sound, beautifully built and surprisingly affordable – one of the best gifts for the music producer.
As nice as the inexpensive heartwood drum above is, this Remo Apex is at a whole different level – still not super-expensive, this is a gift idea that would absolutely thrill anybody who receives it.
Kalimba Thumb Pianos
Part therapeutic fidget, part inspiring musical instrument, the Unokki kalimba is super-cheap, and yet is very well built of mahogany and has a beautifully rich and complex sound which just might make it onto your recipient’s next track.
If the music producer you’re buying for knows and appreciates the finer things, they will probably already know that the Hokema Sansula is the finest kalimba you can get, and even if they don’t they will immediately appreciate the incredible sound. Not terribly expensive, this is nonetheless an almost overwhelmingly impressive premium gift
What exactly is an otamatone? Nobody really knows, but everybody just instinctively knows how to play one, and they make the kind of weird, lovely and intriguing musical sounds that music producers just can’t resist.
And what exactly is a theremin? Well, if you’ve ever heard the opening music for the original Star Trek TV series you know, but what you might not know is that the theremin, while incredibly easy to play, is a serious instrument, capable of extraordinary beauty and expressivity and used extensively in all kinds of music, including at least one great masterpiece of 20th century Classical music (Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony, don’t you know).
One thing’s for sure – the theremin is the darling of music producers, who find them incredibly compelling.
Best Gifts for Music Producers – Computer Gear
How much do you love the music producer in your life? The brilliant new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, with its amazing foldable design and best-ever touchscreen, is without question the very best PC you can get for music production, and the perfect computer in pretty much every way.
Fast, powerful, with the widest range of music production software available and the full connectivity a producer needs, and with an almost overwhelming cool factor, the Laptop Studio is the ultimate gift for any music producer.
Of course there are also Apple people out there, and they love music and music making too. For them the equivalent – and another candidate for the best PC for music producers – is the frankly amazing 2022 Apple MacBook Pro.
If you want to purchase a laptop computer for the music producer on your list, but didn’t just win the lottery, I can also strongly recommend my favorite budget choices for both Windows and Apple – the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i and the brand new Apple MacBook Air with M2 Chip.
But say you don’t want to spend a couple thousand dollars? I think the best truly affordable computer gift you can possibly get a music producer, and something any and every music producer constantly needs and wants, is storage.
There are cheaper solid state drives out there, but the SanDisk Profesional G-Drive has the speed and toughness that make it the perfect choice for music production. I know, still not cheap, but a really thoughtful gift that will be enormously appreciated – and a lot, lot less than a Surface!
Best Gifts for Music Producers – Recording Gear
Now we get into a category which we don’t really want to fall too deeply into – there are endless ideas for recording, sound shaping, mixing and monitoring equipment, much of it alarmingly expensive, and most of it ultimately pretty personal and best left for the music producer in your life to choose for themself.
That said, there are a few really sure-fire, can’t miss ideas for recording and mixing – simple and useful mixers that are ideal perfect for a new music producer or the perfect portable or backup for an established artist, brilliant little take-with sound recorders that music producers will use constantly and love to death, and headphones so neutral and accurate that they will improve everything your givee produces.
A couple of the products here are admittedly a bit pricey, but they are the best of the best in their category, and most of my suggestions are surprisingly affordable, even downright cheap, and still the best ideas in their respective ranges.
Best Mixers for Music Production
No fancy features or flashing lights, just a simple, beautifully neutral and accurate and enormously useful portable analog audio mixer at a very low price, and a gift I’m certain any producer at any level will be absolutely thrilled to receive.
A standard piece of gear in the recording industry, the Yamaha 6 channel mixer is remarkably accurate and neutral, very versatile and usable and beautifully laid out. A perfect choice for studio work or on-site production, this super-affordable Yamaha is an ideal entry-level mixer or backup for a professional producer.
I did a little informal survey of several people I know who are into music production – either as professionals or just on an amateur basis – and asked them what they would most like to get as a present. I only asked about a half dozen or so people, but three of them said Groovebox.
This is easy to understand, because the Roland Groovebox is the ultimate tool/toy for any serious or casual recording engineer or producer, with an enormous range of sounds, effects, loops and processing options, musical sounds and rhythms, top-level mixing and recording and industry standard interfaces – and about a gazillion other things.
A superb musical instrument, a complete recording workstation, an awesomely advanced and powerful music production tool, the Roland Groovebox is an absolutely perfect gift for any music producer. Please note that I’m including links for both the full professional and the compact versions, but don’t worry – either way, you will be loved forever!
The Best Portable Recorders for Music Producers
A simple and inexpensive portable digital stereo recorder, the Zoom H1n allows a music producer to find sounds or music anywhere and at any time – one of their favorite pastimes – capture them in beautifully high fidelity sound and easily interface with and send them to their PC or mixer.
Similar to the Zoom just above, the Tascam is a more standard industry choice for one very good reason – sound quality.
Don’t get me wrong – the Zoom H1n sounds fabulous, and is the best sub-100 dollar recorder you can get, but for about twice the money you can get your music producer a professional level high resolution recorder with amazing microphones and amazing sound. Either way, you can’t go wrong, but in the world of record producing the Tascam has a bit more of a wow factor.
That said, if you really want wow factor, and the music producer in your life is working a lot at various on-site locations or processing complex field recordings (or if they are, you know, a bit of a tech-nerd, delighting in dials and lights), the Zoom H8 is an almost unbelievably powerful and advanced portable recorder and audio mixer.
Getting into the premium price level, this amazing gadget is a dream come true for serious music producers as well as serious geeks, and if your recipient is a bit of both it may prove to be too much!
The Best Headphones for Music Producers
I want to say that these Focal Clear MG are the best headphones in the world for music production, but that title might have to go to the stunning (and stunningly expensive) Focal Utopia. Still, the Clear are a super-premium headphone that offer absolutely unparalleled accuracy, honesty, openness and sonic beauty for their still quite expensive price level. Few gifts, on this list or anywhere else, would be as special, as impactful or as beloved as a pair of Focal Clear.
The new kid on the block, these Edifier Stax Spirit S3 are not cheap, but are perhaps the most honest, highest resolution and lowest distortion wireless headphones anywhere near this price, with an effortless and musical sound that is as disarming as it is truly useful for music production. They also make the ideal wireless headphones for a discerning producer’s personal use.
A supreme value, these beyer 990s are incredibly detailed and accurate, with deep, powerful bass and amazing imaging. Just because the best headphones for music production should always tell it just like it is doesn’t mean they can’t also sound really beautiful, and the 990 are one of the best cases in point I’ve ever heard.
The legend, and the standard choice for music professionals, musicians and studios all around the world, the Sony MDR7506 are the best music production headphones under a hundred dollars – by far!
These Tascam TH-MX2 are the cheapest headphones I know that are good enough for the exacting work of music production, and their honesty, accuracy and true musicality make them not only up for the task, but a great pair of headphones for personal use as well.
The Best Gifts for Younger Music Producers
A fantastic and inexpensive digital recording and audio production setup for younger music producers – or for anybody just starting out – the Scarlett Solo Studio package has everything you need for basic computer interface and exceptionally high quality recording and monitoring.
One of the best ways to encourage younger music producers is to give them the tools to really explore and capture the sounds and musics that surround them wherever they go, and the Sony ICD-PX470 portable digital audio recorder is the best affordable way I’ve ever found to do just that – and a super-cool gadget!
Ok, it might look silly, and is maybe a little too fun to use, but the Pocket Operator is a seriously powerful music production tool, with intuitive sound generation, looping and processing, recording and sampling, percussion and rhythm and an amazingly intuitive interface.
Another brilliant device from the geniuses at teenage engineering, the OP-Z portable synth is one of the most powerful and beautiful sounding synthesizers I’ve come across at any level, and exceptionally versatile machine for not just producing sounds, but enhancing and manipulating them, recording them, and combining them with lights, videos and a lot more – and it is a tough, beautifully built machine with absolutely stunning sound quality. Top recommendation!
Even if the incredible te OP-Z gets my top recommendation, I have to say that their OP-1 is even better – without doubt the very finest portable synthesizer, sample and recorder for younger or beginning music producers, and a serious musical instrument as well.
In fact, with its superb recording, editing and sequencing, manipulation, music and rhythm generation, industry standard interfaces and best-in-class sound quality, this is one of the finest sound production devices for producers of any age and at any level – it just happens to be super-cool and super-simple to use, but don’t hold that against it!
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light headphones are absolutely amazing, in how they offer – for a very low price, mind you – not just the accuracy, clarity and honesty so essential in audio production, and the build quality and durability professionals and serious amateurs need, but an absolutely beautiful, fun and exciting sound as well.
I should say that these are the budget choice, and unbeatable for their price, but the real classics – at about twice the price, are the equally cool and slightly tougher and better sounding Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 25 Special Edition headphones. Either way, though, a guaranteed hit for any younger audio artist – or really anybody at any age.
The Best Gifts for Music Producers – T-Shirts
I’m not going to make any individual comments on these t-shirts, letting the designs speak for themselves – although they may speak in a language only music producers, audio engineers and wide-ranging general geeks may understand, I mean, really, what is 808, and why would you want it on your shirt?
Avoiding anything too cute, too obvious or too clever, these 10 shirts are ones I really think any music producer would absolutely love and definitely wear all the time. And I’m pretty confident that most of them will know what a Kraken synth is, or remember what a VU meter was actually used for.
- Synthesizer Audiowaves Analog Synth Sound Vintage T-Shirt
- Synth Audio Cable Synthesizer T Shirt Synthwave Synthesizer T-Shirt
- Analogue synthesizer electronic music modular life T-Shirt
- Analog Synthesizer Vintage Kraken Synth Japanese Retro Gear T-Shirt
- Retro Japanese Synthesizer Analog Music Synth T-Shirt
- Modular Synthesizer Acid Analog T-Shirt
- Modular Synthesizer Player Premium T-Shirt
- Retro VU Meter Hi-Fi Vintage Stereo Music Lover Gift T-Shirt
- Mewzeek T Musician and Music Producer T-Shirt
- Trap Music Beat Producer 808 T-Shirt Tee Minimalist T-Shirt
The Best Gifts for Music Producers – Books
by Bobby Owsinski
Remarkably affordable for an industry reference bible, Owsinski’s Handbook is also remarkably clear and easy to understand, and is a complete, authoritative and genuinely helpful guide to effective audio production in all of its stages and aspects – a great choice for both beginners and seasoned professionals.
by James Wasem
As great as Bobby Owsinski’s Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is, Wasem’s guide to live sound is just as important for people doing a lot of shows and on-site production. A great book on its own, and a perfect companion and complement for the Handbook.
by Prince Charles Alexander
It’s fair to say that so much of the intense and growing interest in music production these days is due to the amazing rise in popularity of hip hop and rap music over the past several decades, which are amazing musics for their beautiful complement of music creation and music production. Prince Charles Alexander’s book is not only the best explication and exploration of hip hop production, it is also an incredibly useful primer for any type of music production.
by Quincy Jones
Finally, perhaps the most fitting way to close this buyer’s guide for best gifts for music producers is with a trio of books by perhaps the most successful, important, loved and respected music producer of them all – Quincy Jones.
Q on Producing is one of the most helpful and valuable references available for effective music production, 12 Notes is an fascinating look into creativity itself, and a inspiring and highly entertaining read for any artist of any type, and Q’s Autobiography is a brilliantly written, funny and touching look into the life of this peerless artist.