If you're anything like us, you'll have been in denial about the amount of Christmas shopping that you need to do, but with the Advent calendar chocolates disappearing faster than your ability to tolerate 'wacky' festive jumpers, it's time to get cracking.
Sadly, we can’t provide a 360-degree personal shopping service (yet again, it’s up to you to come up with a decent present idea for auntie Beryl) but if you’re buying for a music technology lover, we think we can help.
Click through the gallery to browse our selection of suitable gifts. Varying in price and levels of seriousness, we think there’s something here to suit all tastes and budgets.
Abbey Road Studios Blue House Cushion Cover
Abbey Road Studios is now far more than a recording complex: it's a brand that's recognised the world over.
And that, of course, means merchandise, which can be purchased directly from the studios' online store. Take this cushion cover, for example, which will enable your gift recipient to demonstrate an appreciation of recording history through the medium of soft furnishings.
Ableton Making Music - 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers
A book is often considered a good Christmas gift, but we reckon you should sidestep the slew of celebrity autobiographies and cookbooks and consider Ableton's tome instead.
Not just for Live users, it promises "concrete tips for solving musical problems, making progress, and (most importantly) finishing what you start,” which is something we could all benefit from.
For years, everyone was looking to take their music making in the box, but these days, an increasing number of people are enjoying the thrill of jamming with a hardware-only setup that doesn't involve a computer.
Korg's cute little SQ-1 can help out with that: it's a compact, well-built step sequencer (there are actually two independent sequencers) that can control digital and analogue gear. And with its flashing lights, it even looks festive.
Tonic card and dice game
The family board game is a Christmas tradition for many of us, but a few rounds of Cluedo probably won't have too much influence on a person's music making.
Tonic, though, is different - it's a card and dice game that's designed to give you guidelines to work within and encourage improvisation. The full version costs $25, but if you're feeling really thrifty you can print out the cards for free.
MPC laptop sleeves
We've featured stuff from 'Thepusspuss' in previous gift guides, and this is another excellent option for the person who appreciates their music tech history.
Inspired by Akai’s MPC2000XL, these pouches come in Mini, Medium and Large sizes to accommodate your phone, 13-inch MacBook Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro respectively. They’re lined for extra protection, and the plastic zips are said to prevent scratches.
Anyone who’s co-habited will be used to hearing noises emanating from the bathroom, but why don’t you make these more tuneful with the Potty Piano?
Designed to be played both standing up and sitting down (though you’ll be looking at an upside down keyboard when you’re upright), this toilet mat produces sound when pressure is applied. Practice hard and you could become an accomplished pee-anist.
Livid Instruments Builder Boxes
Building things at Christmas is officially Good Fun - remember the joy you had creating Lego and Meccano models? - and you can let someone experience the joy of construction by putting a Livid Builder Box in their stocking.
These come in Button and Fader flavours and, once complete, serve as fully-functional MIDI controllers. Step-by-step instructions are included, so even a beginner should be able to live out their dream of becoming a boutique hardware creator.
You might remember the PUC, a handy interface that enables you to transmit MIDI wirelessly over its own ad-hoc Wi-Fi network. Well, the Puc+ ups the convenience level that bit more by offering Bluetooth functionality.
What this means is that you can plug in any device over USB or 5-pin MIDI and have it immediately available on your iOS 8.2 or later enabled iOS device or Mac running Yosemite. You can select MIDI Out over the 5-pin port, too, giving you even more flexibility.
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators
Given that these drum, bass and melody synths are designed to fit in your pocket, it stands to reason that they’ll slot comfortably into a Christmas stocking as well.
Looking like calculators or early handheld video games, these devices might seem primitive, but their sounds are usable (particularly those produced by the PO-12 Rhythm box) and they’re great fun once you’ve got your head round the slightly quirky workflow.
What do you give the Elektron owner who has everything? Well, the company’s latest accessory of course.
This diminutive box is a USB 3.0 hub featuring a whopping seven ports. So that'll be all your peripherals and Overbridge-enabled Elektron instruments sorted then. Team it with an official Elektron USB cable for the ultimate Swedish-styled synthesizer stocking-filler.
Shure MOTIV MV88
The MV88 is a stereo condenser mic that plugs straight into your Lightning-equipped iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Shure's free MOTIV app provides adjustment of mic gain, mic pickup pattern (stereo, mono cardioid, mono figure 8 and raw mid-side) and M/S balance for the stereo option. The MV88 comes with a detachable foam windshield and a black zip case for storage.
TipTop Audio Stackcables
If you’ve lost a loved one to Eurorack modular, then perhaps the only stocking filler worth worrying about would be more patch cables.
Among the best cables out there are of the TipTop Audio variety. Available in a wide range of lengths and colours, each cable can be stacked for a multitude of patching possibilities.
Even if it’s not being taken on the road, covering up your music production gear to keep it safe is a good idea. No one likes a dusty knob, after all.
Decksaver specialises in synth, controller, mixer and DJ gear covers, with each one being custom-molded to fit the piece of hardware that it’s designed for. Slip one of these on and there’s no danger of a Christmas sherry spillage in the studio causing long-term damage - except, perhaps, to your dignity.
Cremacaffe Kolibri laptop/tablet stand
We’ve seen laptop/tablet stands before, but this Italian offering looks particularly stylish and flexible.
Cremacaffe Kolibri is said to be super light but rock solid, can accommodate devices up to 18 inches size, and has four “ergonomic configurations” to suit different usage situations. What’s more, it can be folded flat, making it easy to transport (and, indeed, to wrap).
Digital magazine subscription
If you’re looking for a gift that’ll keep on giving, you can’t go wrong with a subscription to one or both of our sister magazines: Future Music and Computer Music.
Better still, if you subscribe to either of them in digital format today you’ll get two issues for free (the current issue and the next one). Available for iOS and Android devices, this is a no-obligation free trial - cancel within 30 days and you’ll pay nothing.