Gifts Under A Grand 2014

photoath_m50xwh_ath_m50x_ath_m50xblAudio-Technica ATH-M50x
A few years ago we touted the Audio-Technica M50s and their 50-year anniversary silver release. Fast-forward to 2014 and you’ve got the ATH-M50x—better ear cups for the closed-back design, a now-detachable cord (sorry, they don’t offer a mic/volume switch edition because remember the M stands for monitor) along with the same specs as its previous edition (45-mm driver producing a frequency range from 15Hz to 28kHz). The ATH-M50x is available in Black, White and limited-edition Blue/Gold. Along with a carrying case, it comes complete with three cables—one for travel, one for home use and one for studio (coiled). If you’re a starving artist and can’t find yourself spending the dough, A-T has released the m20x, m30x and m40x to better suit your budget. MSRP $239 http://audio-technica.com

StuPro2TB-xlargeGlyph STUDIO mini
Glyph’s “Studio mini” series are production-grade external hard drives ideal for any mobile studio owner, photographer or videographer on the go. Available from 500GB-2TB, the minis possess a fanless, light aluminum enclosure to keep quiet and cool while you work on the road. Each mini features USB 3.0, FireWire 800 and eSATA ports, bus power via USB or FireWire, a rear power switch and a stainless steel faceplate. MSRP $229-$409 http://glyphtech.com

jpwithbook-1280pxJimmy Page Book
The guitar legend tells all in this official autobiography. A photographic essay Page personally created combines his own words with a handpicked selection of more than 600 photographs. Over two years in the making, this 512-page volume documents Page’s musical journey—from 13-year-old choirboy to ‘60s session musician, through the Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin and beyond. For Millennials like myself who didn’t get to experience Page’s success as it occurred, this is a must read—and obviously for hardcore fans as well. MSRP £40.00 (about $60) http://JimmyPageBook.com


DoubleWide HighResRetro Doublewide
We just gave one of these things away in our weekly Friday Freebie program (i.e. somebody, somewhere feels lucky as hell…). The Retro Doublewide is a Tube Compressor Module for the 500 Series that incorporates four NOS 6BJ6 variable-mu tubes in two gain stages as well as two high-quality Cinemag transformers. Input and output are fully floating and transformer-balanced for use with line level signals. The Doublewide has two timing characteristic modes; Single and Double. Double mode provides a dynamic program-controlled attack and recovery timing. The tubes are self-biased and balanced without the need for user adjustments. A meter-zero adjustment is accessible from the side of the unit to compensate for tube variations. MSRP $995 http://retroinstruments.com

0003_J05905_Simmons-Stryke6_ASimmons Stryke6
The Simmons Stryke6 Drum Controller is an electronic drum control device for the iPad that can also be used to trigger various DAWs and sample programs with any USB/MIDI computer. A great alternative to those small busking gigs or coffee shop shows where a full kit just feels awkward. The controller features six drum pads plus kick and hi-hat pedals. A companion app is also available in the Apple App Store (Simmons Stryke Drums). MSRP $300 http://simmonsdrums.net

tascam-dr-44wl_p_frontTascam DR-44WL
You know how giddy you got when you realized your GoPro could be remote controlled from your phone/mobile device? Or when your Mackie mixing board had an iPad function so you could roam around the venue?! Well Tascam has caught on to the craze to make field recording a hell of a lot easier. The DR-44WL is a four-track recorder with stereo mics, XLR mic inputs (with optional phantom power) and Wi-Fi. Tascam has released a free partnering app (on Android and Apple) to directly connect to the unit. The app allows users to start/stop recording, adjust input levels, edit recording parameters, upload to services like Soundcloud and more. This would be an asset for FOH engineers and singer/songwriters hoping to remain seated between takes. A more compact DR-22WL is also available. MSRP $374.99 http://tascam.com

M80-MicTelefunken M80
We try our best not to litter this spread with too many of the same product types. So when it comes down to choosing the right mic for most of our readers, it’s never easy. This year we went with the Telefunken M80. Everyone from AFI and Green Day to Snoop Dogg and Tim McGraw endorses this super-cardioid dynamic mic. It features a wider frequency response (30Hz–18kHz) and higher SPL capabilities (>140) compared to others in its category. Built for stage or studio, this mic would be an ideal addition for vocals, instruments and drums. MSRP $279 http://telefunken-elektroakustik.com


tch-voicelive-3-front-vocalTC-Helicon Voice Live
Okay, so we’re breaking our own rule with the $1,000 MSRP, but let’s get real, you can easily find this piece of gear at any major retailer for under $800. TC-Helicon’s Voice Live 3 is an update to its flagship that turns any solo vocal gig into a full-blown harmony-having, melody-looping, choir-friendly performance. It features 11 independent effects blocks, over 180 different styles, and more than 250 factory presets available right out of the box (our favorite being Guitar Talk Box). A great tool for artists who can’t afford a live sound tech with expensive out-board gear or prefer to perform solo while keeping a fuller stage presence. MSRP $1099 http://www.tc-helicon.com

FlyRig5-xlargeTech-21 FLY RIG 5
Created to offer great tone without lugging around your favorite amp, the Fly Rig 5 comes in weighing around 18 oz. and stretches to just under 12-inches in length. In laymen’s terms: You can fit this bad boy in your guitar case. The 5 in the title is in reference to its five main features: SansAmp (a tube amplifier emulator); Reverb; Plexi (based on the Hot-Rod Plexi); Hot (21dB boost of pre-amp gain); and DLA (modeled after the boost DLA pedal). The pedal includes a 3-band EQ to go along with variation knobs for each category. The tone choices are endless. A great buy for guitarists/bassists who love Tech-21’s signature tones. MSRP $350 http://tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/flyrig.html

By Andy Mesecher