Disco Christmas! Photo (CC-BY) paparutzi.

Yes, it’s that gift-y time of year again, which naturally means among lovers of music technology, thoughts turn to gear wishes and dreams of new hardware. We’ve asked in the past what readers want in their stockings and presents – and, just as interestingly, what they’d give to others. And you’ve come up with fascinating ideas.

This year, I’ll frame the question a bit differently: what, beyond the usual suspects, would you love to have? Books or music collections? Handmade or boutique items? Unique tools and toys that’d help you be creative? And what would you give to others – perhaps out of the gifts you’ve given yourself this year? (Music lessons, for instance?)

We’ll again pull together those ideas for next week. And we’re also looking through the best music of the year. Given the lavish presentation music itself often now has – far from disposable digital downloads, gorgeous vinyl records and limited-edition prints and books and design objects – I imagine those two questions might well merge.

Nor does this has to be raw consumerism: the best gifts, to me, can start a life-long love of music or be an object that embodies a connection to another person. If ever we, the music tech press, may just encourage endless throwaway purchases, I think it’s also our obligation as journalists to find the tools (free or pricey) that will make you musically productive and that you’ll value over a long time. (If you think that we lack that motivation, by the way, you’ve never been buried under a stack of review hardware. Ahem.)

But before I open my own mouth, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking – or what gap we might fill. Fire away.

And if this seems like “filler,” on the contrary, I know from past experience sometimes it’s what gets written in comments that I enjoy the most.

  • nate

    I'd like a German Visa.  Come on, Peter, share a little info on how one can call Germany home (coming from 'Merica).  ….i'm serious.  I still have some friends in England (lovely Brighton).  maybe i should start there.

  • a mopho keyboard yo!

  • Niki

    Traktor Kontrol S2

  • My wish list is really really long! License for Max/MSP, a new Mac Laptop (mine has 4 years, now), new music gear (near field monitors, microphones, hardware synths…), books… really too many things!

  • I want a open DSP hardware platform like the Chameleon synth, only fun and fast like a Arduino. Am I asking for too much? πŸ™‚

  • Peter

    I want to be able to have the time to write more music. I never thought going to school for music would give me so little time to actually write it.

  • kconnor9000

    +10million to trash80's wish. I seem to remember a cheap and cheerful TI eval board called Symphony. Also triggers memory of those DSP enabled footpedals from Digitech, I think.

    For Christmas, I want all devices to sync in harmony. Same as every year.

    And patch cables. The right kind. That could mean TS, TRS, floating-ring, whatever. When I need them. Never, ever enough…

  • For me getting rid of a lot of gear would be a perfect gift. Creativity and more walking. :))))

  • kconnor9000

    I'd really love some more song-oriented features in DAWs, rather than more loop- and beat- oriented stuff. I love my Omnichord for trying out chord progressions. Surely it wouldn't be hard to have a sketchpad in a DAW where I type in "A Dm …" etc. and get a cheesy beat going.

    I want dance music with verses, bridges, choruses, and actual honest to God harmonic evolution, please. Songs.

    Maybe I'm just asking for Abba to come back and rescue music.

  • vinayk

    I've been buying gear all year, and have had very little time to play it!

    My Christmas wishlist would be more time! and someone to put more money into my home loan offset!

  • meeblip se. the complete solder-free kit.

    and possibly a juno 106. or a moog slim phatty.

    since these wishes are getting too pricey and materialistic, really, i just want more time and ability for making pretty music. i shouldn't be dependent on expensive gear.

  • Bendish

    You want my max/msp Federico? I'll make you're wish come true. Cheap. 

    i'd like Logic 10 and Live 9

    Just to see what they've done.

    Perhaps the Soundtoys bundle and the new GRM Tools gear.

  • Thomas Artale

    a livid block or a mopho…

  • I also would like a meeblip SE ret-2-go. I picked up some great plugins with all the recent sales so if I could just win the future music/computer music magazine Sugar Bytes give away then I will be set :).

    Other then that the normal peace,love,and happiness for all mankind….only after my needs are met of course!  

  • Oh yeah…a DSI evolver would be swell too Santa.

  • paradiddle

    Wanna get me hands on the spd-sx and then a korg wavedrum oriental. That's all!

  • A Teenage Engineering OP-1, or the Roger Linn/Dave Smith Tempest/Linndrum 3/Whateveritis coming out, OR, depending on how they compare, the Tempest.

    Or those Monome knobs. Or maybe a Monome.

  • I just bought myself an MPC 60ii, so the christmas shopping for myself is over and done. It's gonna be the 90s in here for real. 

  • Ableton 9 would be nice πŸ™‚

  • sjc

    More RAM, more big drives and a better workstation desk.

  • More vinyl lp's.  Some time to compose.

    I'd like a quad core laptop, but that isn't happening anytime soon.

  • New Potty

    Denon DN-X1600 mixer.

  • @Bendish: yes I'd be interested… πŸ™‚

  • Charlie Lesoine

    A good book on C programming for Atmega microcontrollers.

  • A Moog Slim Phatty with a quality 88 key controller would make me merry as all f…


  • josh g.

    I'm still hoping for a pickup for my really-nice acoustic guitar. (After that I'll start wishing / finding ways to connect it to my computer and/or iPod for some digital noisifying.)

  • Ian

    UAD Satellite Duo!?!

  • guss

    nothing, because i need car repairs

  • Ben

    I want the two new monotrons! (If they're released in time.) Cheap, fun, and I think will be a great plus in the creativity department.

    As far as giving gifts, I'm poor. So maybe something fun and novel like a Buddha Machine. Or perhaps I'll pull out the soldering iron and make something: mini amp, passive mixer, contact mic, tin can mic, drone synth, etc. 

  • X

    Ardour 3!

  • griotspeak



    Max 6.

    A nice moderately price Network Attached Storage solution with RAID.

  • youngcircle

    I want to make good art, preferaby with as many blinking LEDs as possible. I want to use technology but never really fall for it.  Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, never want never what?

  • data_purge

    Renoise 2.8 beta

  • Lin Mu

    For me new gear is a distraction. What I want is the time to concentrate on the gear I have. To learn it as well as I know breathing. The ability to "play" with the tools at hand, rather than chase the cool vibe of endless upgrades. For me, constraints are freedoms from endless fiddling. Limits provide a framework for authenticity.   …. So just give me time and solitude.    

  • If styleflip offered gift certificates, that would be a good look. (pun intended)

    I keep telling myself that I have enough gear and that I really need to spend time practicing and mastering vs. lusting and acquiring.

    I think a bunch of my gear lust comes from the fact much of my studio looks a bit hodgepodge. Although it gets the job done, it would be cool if my stuff was a little more uniform.

    I know it should come down to the sound, but there's something to be said for visual aesthetics…especially if you're staring at something everyday.

    For instance, in front of me right now are 3 different midi controllers: one is dark blue, one is black with green accents, and another is white with grey trim. They work together beautifully…but they look so ugly sitting next to each other.

    Spending $75-100 at styleflip.com might keep me from wasting valuable time and 5x more $$$ on a new setup.

  • Random Chance

    An engineer who does all the routing and recording so that I can concentrate on making music. And a bunch more A/D channels so I don't have to use a patchbay anymore.

  • netchaiev

    let's see, New Monotrons would be nice and like Paradiddle, spdx and wavedrum oriental WITH MIDI πŸ˜‰

  • Chris

    For all the modular synth/Lunetta DIYers – A VCO core based on a small microprocessor. Linear and expo voltages and MIDI in. Square wave out. No temperature, scalling or tricky setup issues. Simple

    The output should be at a frequency high enough to drive switched cpacitor filters, LSFR shift registers, BBD delays, all manner of CMOS circuits, and various interesting wave shapers. C'mon Santa …

  • jo_mo

    Hey @Chris, I was thinking the same but a Lunetta with MIDI in is just plain icky. MIDI out maybe.

  • Besides health for my family and me and more time to make music, i would love someone to come here and rearrange and reconnect my studio, so that everything is perfect cabled and and perfect placed, so that i can just sit down and start making music and make this music as a gift for everyone. πŸ˜‰

  • mac

    a hi-res 14bit control pad for audiomulch metadurface. i wish i knew who makes those if at all. 

    plus reason 6 and i would be all set. 

  • My GF asked me last night what my two wish lists were. One to give to her and one to give to Santa. I told her I'd get back to her since I felt I have everything I want. ableton live has been a life changing tool for me. It gave me the ability to have thousands of dollars worth of hardware in software form. It allowed me to develop my skills musically. Now…what do I want as a gift? A set of technics 1200's. I sold mine last year to pay school tuition and now I can't find a decent pair so I have to settle for Vestax tables.

  • 88 note Nord Stage 2

    Loads o' mics

    Fireface UFX

    And enough cash to work part time.

  • Bendish

    Federico give me a shout on bundeano at gmail dot com

    Peace for Yule y'all 

  • Les Cayes

    I want a semi-weighted 32 key MIDI controller, darn it.  Yes, I always want what I cannot have. Seriously, why do we have 25 key offerings from the likes of M-Audio and Akai, but not a 32 keys?

  • @REGEND settle for Vestax?!?!

    As someone that uses both weekly (Technics in the club, Vestax at home + mobile gigs), that's like saying, "I sold my Ford Mustang so now I have to settle by driving this BMW".

  • Chris

    @jo_mo – icky? OK, how about OSC? Or (homage to Buchla) I2C? I know there's a view that Lunettas standing apart from regular synth standards, but bridging those worlds can only lead to extra fun.

    Also, while I'm wishing, a nice open source design to get CVs and gates out of a computer without going via (ick) MIDI


    a skrillex poster and a box of "oops, all berries"

  • Douglasp

    An Elektron Octatrack

  • Johan


  • 45 hours in every day so that Ardour 3.0 can be released last April. Oh, and slippers. Warm slippers.

  • Matt Gnarly

    I found a local guy who builds ukuleles so I'd love a tenor uke from Santa (or my folks). 

  • Lluis S

    Already bought myself aalto as an early gift, now I'm considering a BCR2000 so I can control it hands-free, as well as set up a live-looping system à la Tim Exile. 

    I'd also love a bass. I'm a guitarist but when I pick up a bass the funky shit just falls right out of my brain. 

  • jo_mo

    @Chris, take no notice of me. I'd be at the front of the queue to have a go on a MIDI keyboard plugged into any CMOS synth. In fact your idea made me think -why not combine Lunetta based randomness with musician friendly control?

    Already got the breadboard out working on this.

  • Chris

    @jo_mo – good stuff! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  • MegaTonne

    A Shure Auxpander.

    Or something that does the EXACT same thing.

    "But before I open my own mouth, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking – or what gap we might fill. Fire away."

    Sounds like a line in an dubbed Austrian porno.

    lol πŸ˜›

  • ronde a

    I agree Johan, I mostly wish for more time.

    I also need less kit as it is, not more…

    The second wish should come early this Christmas with the arrival of NanoStudio V1.30 (iPad universal) which hopefully will be mine this time next week.

    I may aswell spend wish three on world peace πŸ˜‰

  • rondema

    I now wish my iPad would stop interfering with my grammar. 

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    Keith McMillen – QuNeo

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