Letters to Santa
As strident believers in Old Nick and his philanthropic ways, we feel that, here at MusicRadar, we are obliged - no, we are duty-bound - to be the gateway between us mere mortals and Papa Noel himself. Consider us a festive font, here to help those in need to get their yuletide wishes into the hands of Father Christmas and all his lovely elf helpers.
You may think they have it all, but most professional producers and DJs still suffer from GASjust like the rest of us, hell, we're only human right? Whether it be just a set of microphones, or a complete studio's worth of gear, there's something on everybody's list.
Before we go on, let's get one thing straight; Santa is real! No arguments! And now we've made that clear, we can spread a little Christmas cheer by helping some dear friends get what they want for Christmas.
“As I’m a big fan of movie soundtracks and film scores, I would really like to receive a plugin to help me improve my cinematic sounds and create an amazing and spectacular score for a film.
“A perfect Christmas gift would be a plugin entitled Eastwest Quantum Leap, which was recommended to me by my friend and producer K-391.”
“On my Christmas list this year is everything from the Big Fat Snare Drum line - it's a line of drum accessories that change the tonality of drums and make for really unique sounds. I like to track live drums and build my own kits from scratch and these are great for dialing in a lot of character.”
Matthew has just released his new single 'Kisses Back'.
“This year, on my wishlist is the Dave Smith Instruments OB6. I'm a massive fan of both Dave and Tom. The Oberheim and Sequential sound together is just a dream come true. I tried it for the first time in a studio a few months back and after hearing those thick pads and bass lines I knew I had to get one!”
“I feel like I've already had a Christmas present with the reopening of fabric! Other than that my fingers are crossed for an Oberheim 8 Voice.”
“On my wishlist to Santa would be the Intellijel Metropolis: A sequencer inspired by an old Roland system 100, a perfect mod in a modular empire. The amazing arrangements you can come up with are mind blowing!”
“I would put the PlayDifferently Model 1 mixer on my Christmas list for sure, I had the chance to test it in ibiza back in the summer and I have to say the sound and general handling is just great. It’s basically a filter mixer - the fact that every single channel has its own filter makes the mixing even more exciting and you can create your own style of mixing.
“This mixer is especially for people who like to mix more than just two records into each other by adding more layers to the tracks which are already playing. It’s a pure analogue mixer and you hear that in the output - as I said the sound is just so good! Its perfect and it allows you to be creative to the fullest.”
“Dear Santa, I’ve been a good guy this year and my Christmas wish would be an Elektron Analog Rytm.
“It is an analog groovebox and I want it because I’m currently working into the development of my own live set and this is simply the best and most interesting gadget I’ve discovered. I think it would be a perfect solution in a live set context and a boost of creativity in the studio.”
“One app we’d really like for Christmas is Auxy, which is essentially a studio built for the iPhone. It's always in our pocket so we grab for it when we get an idea. At first, we thought it was more of a sketchpad but when exporting the sounds and comparing to our studio gear we realised it sounds pretty massive.”
New single 'Pillow Fight' is out now.
“I’d love a Tom Oberheim SEM Pro for Christmas, though I’d probably settle for an OB6 for the time being.
“If the elves could talk Strymon into building a multi-processor rack unit with all their algorithms in one box I’d add that to the list. A more realistic option would be a service for my Monopoly, as it seems to have become a sentient being and rarely does what it’s supposed to.”
“I’m going to ask Santa for a Maschine Jam. I have been a big fan of Native Instruments since the early days and for the last 2 years I have loved using the Kontrol Keyboard & Maschine. Both bits of kit helped change the way that I interact with my music. Maschine Jam will open up further real-time possibilities and so it's at the top of my Christmas list this year!”
“If I had to ask for one thing for Christmas it would be the Macbeth Elements synthesizer. It’s a beast! It’s a monophonic synthesizer which allows you to create an infinite number of sounds and atmospheres, each one stranger than the other.
“It’s perhaps not the most musical instrument that I would have in the studio although who doesn’t like to get lost in sound and be able to experiment with no specific path or direction?
“It also offers the possibility to mix each sound with an integrated spring reverb with which you can extend the depth range of sounds and a tape echo to top it all! A very complete machine for lovers of things out of the ordinary.”
“On my Christmas wishlist is a Microsoft HoloLens - it’s really cool. When you put on the glasses, it’s like having a computer in front of your eyes wherever you go. I can Skype with someone through them and they can see everything I’m working on, as if they were in the same room. It’s a pretty cool tool for collaboration, can’t wait to get my own pair.”
“I've been preparing for my new studio for the past six months would like to build my own studio in my new house full of UAD gear!”
“I'm obsessed with drum machines and the Arturia DrumBrute seems like a nice addition to my collection. My first impressions: really percussive and it has a lot of parameters you can play with to get the most out of it.
“It also has some other cool features including a 64 pattern sequencer, 12db Steiner-parker filter I could go on and on, but you'll just have to have a play with one to find out for yourself!”
“What do I want for Christmas? If I’m thinking like a kid would, which is really what the holidays should be about (plus I also have the luxury of choosing what I would ultimately want for Christmas), then hands down it would be the Minimoog Voyager XL.
“This specific Minimoog celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original but yet brings to the table the sounds and texture of today. In addition to this, it has additional features which make it an incredibly flexible synthesizer such as MIDI controls, extra performance controls, digital control and sound storage. This analog synth enables the user to save patches easily and effectively.
“Anyone who knows me, knows my slightly strange and very intense love for bass. As such, the powerful and absolutely gorgeous bass sounds that can be produced from this synth are enough to make me tear from joy. Other than bass sounds and with 1024 factory sounds, the Voyager XL has a plethora of synth sounds, orchestral imitations as well as effects and noises.
“Being a piano player and having 61 keys available to use is a huge asset. The keys are aftertouch and velocity sensitive and are absolutely perfect for a mono synth as this one. The large range is also fantastic for soloing.
"I can keep going but I feel like I’ve already gotten my heart beating at a rate that I can’t take. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and who knows, maybe I’ll see a Minimoog Voyager XL under my tree this year (a girl can wish)!”
“The top of my wishlist would have to be the new Adobe VoCo software, because it’s a progressive piece of software, and maybe also a little scary!”
“What I want for Christmas are some studio monitors like the Focal SM-6 Trio or the Genelec 8260 APM.
“The Focals are really good for mixing purposes because their frequency response is just brilliant. The sound of the Genelecs on the other hand is a little bit warmer and therefore they are more fun to listen to.”
“The one music tech product we want for Christmas is the Sub Pack M2, a sub bass backpack. Why? We tried one a friend of ours had bought and after we tried it, we wanted to get one. You feel the bass right there in your chest when mixing on low levels.”
“First up would be a UAD Apollo Twin and all the plugins. I've played around with some of them in a friend’s studio and UAD is without a doubt the best retailer I know, after Waves.
“Secondly, it would have to be a Moog Minimoog. I absolutely love this analog synth, a friend of mine has this one and it has some amazing sounds especially for the low end sounds (bass), it’s a must have for all studios.
“Third on the list would have to be a Virus Ti. This might be an obvious choice for most of the producers out there, but this one has some of the most amazing lead and arpeggio sounds, especially for my kind of style which is progressive house, where it’s all about the clean leads and arps.
“Last and by no means least would be an Aston Origin Microphone. I've been in the studio with two amazing songwriters and singers from Stockholm and they used this microphone. Definitely one of the best recordings when it comes to the quality of the mic. It also can be useful for recording your own talks to radio shows etc.”
“Our top pick for Christmas would have to be a Moog Voyager XL. We've got a Moog Little Phatty which we use in pretty much all of our tracks and the Voyager XI is the step up. We often borrow our mate's when we're working on tracks and the sound it produces is just incredible. So we think it's time to get our own.”
Solardo will be joiningCarl Cox atLWE NYD 2017 at Tobacco Dock. More information can be found on the LWE website.
“A microphone set for my drumkit in the Live room of the Protocol Studios.”
Sultan + Shepard
“At this most wonderful time of the year, we could only ask for the most wonderful Yamaha CP80. It's a piano that a lot of bands take on tour because it's compact and actually has an electrical output, which means the acoustic vibrations of the hammers can be amplified quite easily. But the sound is sort of in between a real piano and a wurlitzer so it has a really beautiful tone.”
Stereo MCs - Rob Birch
“Dear Santa, please bring this (Wasp), a 909 and some elf techs to fix our Prophet and Wurlitzer - thanks a mill. Best regards, Rob.”
“The Slate Digital VMS (Virtual Microphone System) is an absolute beast and firmly at the top of my wishlist to Santa.
“They've developed a mic and preamp that are both essentially flat in their frequency response. You run the flat signal through different software plugins they've developed which recreate the tone of tonnes of legendary mics and preamps spanning all eras.
“I've been getting more and more into vocal recording and processing lately, and given the diversity of my music I don't want to be limited to the tone of one microphone or preamp. Dying to get my hands on one of these bad boys!