Whether tinkling the ivories or keeping it real on the wheels of steel, music is a wonderful pastime and if there’s that special someone in your life who is that way inclined then we have some gadgets on hand that are going for a song.
Impacktor – the Drum Synthesizer
From app developers Beep Street, Impacktor is a one of those apps that makes you revel the fact that we live in the future. The cheapest item on the list, I still find it one of the most impressive. Impacktor takes table drumming antics and reinterprets the vibrations into actual sounds. Virtually any surface becomes a playable percussion instrument. It doesn’t just do drum sounds and is capable of all sort of electronic industrial sounds. There’s even a 6-track audio recorder built in so you can layer some beats and export it to the DAW of your choice.
£2.99 from the App Store>
Staying near the app theme, is IK Multimedia’s app-cessory, the iRig Mix. The iRig range is dedicated to enhancing the music making capabilities of your iDevices – they have microphones, keyboards and stompboxes. The iRig Mix is a lightweight and portable DJ mixer that allows you to have party in your pocket. You can mix off just one iOS device but for maximum fun you can throw in a couple of other devices and crab scratch your way to glory. You can even route microphones or guitars through the thing.
€74.99 (ex. tax) from electronic and music retailers around the world
EB-50 In-Ear Monitors
Unlike conventional speakers, monitors are essential for musicians and you need audio fidelity – to trust that what you are hearing is what you are playing – and then to tweak accordingly. The build-quality of the EB-50s is phenomenal and they’re great for recording, mixing and mastering. The drivers use neodymium magnets for greater sound definition, which are encased in a multi-layer, anti-resonant material to eradicate any of the internal vibrations that leads to distortion in lesser designs. These are then housed in a non-resonant military-spec aluminium body.
The Musical Fidelity EB-50 in-ear monitors are available in the UK now with the SRP of £149.99 but I’ve seen then online for less. For further details, go to www.musicalfidelity.com
Korg KAOSSILATOR 2
The KAOSSILATOR 2 is a mini synthesizer with an intuitive touchpad.Ever so slightly bigger than a mobile phone, the new battery powered synthesizer comes with an enhanced sound generator that lets you create synth and drum combinations across a range of genres, from R’n’B to D’n’B. There are 150 sounds built-in and you can of course make many more all by rubbing and tapping – which adds a fun new dimension to how you make music.
KAOSSILATOR 2 is out now with a RRP of £155.99 For more information head to www.kaoss.co.uk
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
Maybe my favourite thing of the list the TC Helicon lets your inner diva shine with its super sophisticated vocal processing FX. There are 200+ presets loaded and it’s infinitely tweakable so you can customise to your heart’s content. You can also hook it up via USB to your computer so it works directly with most DAWs. There’s even some built in looping (especially when using it with the MP-75 mic) so you can start a Reggie Watts or Hyperpotamus tribute act.
The VoicePlay Live is available from www.absolutemusic.co.uk for £209.