Equip, Lifestyle

Equip: 12 Essentials for Music Producers, Week of June 18

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Being a music producer is a difficult job, one that requires lots of programs and gear to achieve success. It comes as no surpise, then, that these humans can be rather picky when choosing equipment. Still, there are tons of gadgets out there that can help them produce high-quality music for a fraction of the price. You just need to know where to look.

Lucky for you, we’ve already compiled a list of some of the best production gear on the market. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, these items are sure to please — regardless of your budget or music production know-how.  

1. Arturia MicroLab 

Music producers who favor the piano will love the Arturia MicroLab keyboard. This compact 25-key controller features velocity and touch-sensitive keys and pitch and modulation strips to produce high-quality sound. Your purchase also includes a free download of Analog Lab Lite, which comes with more than 600 synth sounds. 

Get it from Sweetwater

2. Kali Audio MV-BT

Whether you want to blast bangers over your studio speakers or reference your mix against a track, the Kali Audio MV-BT is the gadget for you. This Bluetooth input module allows you to use long runs of cable without sacrificing sound quality. Plus, it’s compatible with older devices and features an LED volume control panel for optimal functionality. 

Get it from Amazon 

3. TC Electronic June 60 Chorus Pedal 

There’s nothing more moving than a chorus, and good producers know it. Help your favorite artist add richness and width to their music with the June 60 chorus pedal. Add it to mono sources like synths, guitars or even a choir of angels for a full, studio-worthy sound. 

Get it from Found Sound

4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

Enjoy accurate audio and excellent sound isolation with a pair of Audio-Technica headphones. The M-series features contoured ear cups, detachable cables and a stellar sonic signature to deliver top-notch sound and an unmatched experience. 

Get it from Audio Technica

5. 10-Inch LED Ring Light 

Producers dabbling in music videos could probably stand to shed some light on their set, which is where a light ring can come in handy. Elevate video quality and illuminate singers, drummers and even background dancers with this 10-inch LED ring. The kit includes three color temperature settings and a charger. 

Get it from Element Lights 

6. M-Audio M-Track Duo 

Be ready to record on the go or at home with this versatile M-audio interface. Headphone and stereo outputs allow for total monitoring flexibility and a USB/direct switch enables zero-latency monitoring. Simply save everything on the USB sound card to produce audio with a 48n kHz sound resolution. 

$69 from Amazon 

7. Oblique Strategies 

These infamous cards, which were developed by producer Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt, help creative minds overcome writer’s block. Each one includes a writing prompt to set your wheels turning so you can churn out lyrics in no time. With more than 100 cards to choose from, you’re unlikely to run out of ideas for songs. 

Get it from Amazon

8. Artiphon Orba 

Make music immediately with the Artiphon Orba, a handheld synth, looper and MIDI controller all wrapped up into one. Layer bass, drums, chords and lead parts to create beats on the go and pair with the app to customize instruments. Play your compositions through the built-in speaker or connect to headphones for a private listening experience. 

Get it from Artiphon 

9. Dubreq Stylophone GEN x-1

Make beats on the fly with the Dubreq Stylophone synthesizer. This portable synth has a built-in speaker, low pass filter, analog delay feature and sub octaves to enrich sound quality and improve your experience. A pulse width modulation button and sound strip also allow users to slide between notes and create chorus effects. 

Get it from Amazon 

10. Teenage Engineering PO-33

Make producing fun with a teenage engineering micro sampler. This portable device allows you to make beats, design sounds and improve sequencing. Choose from sixteen effects for additional manipulation and record samples via a built-in microphone. Connect to a mixer or headphones to cue playback and revise your creation. 

Get it from B&H Photo 

11. Behringer Synthesizer TD-3

If you have some extra room in the budget, help your blossoming producer upgrade to a next-level synthesizer like Behringer’s TD-3. This analog bassline synthesizer comes in a variety of colors and can add extra depth to any recording. The classic model can also help them create groove sounds and add a little bit of grit to their music. 

Get it from Guitar Center

12. Shure SM58-LC

Every great music producer needs an exceptional microphone. Whether they’re beatboxing, singing or simply strumming the guitar, the Shure SM58-LC is sure to turn out a legendary performance. The mic also comes with a swivel stand adapter and storage bag for portability. 

Get it from Shure

Alternative Gift Ideas

If your favorite producer already has a decent amount of equipment, consider gifting them something else like an inspiring book or their favorite album. Subscriptions to editing software and production courses are great ideas, too. 

Martin Banks