What would Christmas be without a bit of a sing-song? Actually, don't answer that.
From technohead nerds to leather-loving rock gods, bedroom DJs to Beach Boys tribute acts, we've got a Christmas gift idea here for every musical gadget lover.
Korg ClipHit (£99)
This ingenious little pod turns your immediate environment – whatever that may be – into an electronic drumkit.
We’ve actually had one of them around for a couple of years now, but kept forgetting to put it in the Gift Guide because we were too busy playing around with it. Sorry. The secret is in the eponymous clips, which can attach to anything from wooden furniture to plastic cups – basically, anything you can hit (with or without a drumstick) to create a vibration.
The ClipHit will pick this up and turn it into your chosen drum, cymbal or other percussive sound. Not recommended for use with priceless fine crystal vases.
MOOER LOFI MACHINE (£54)
Bitcrusher pedals are perfect for guitarists who don’t like guitars – they take that plonky-plunky sound, ram it through a bunch of low-resolution filters and spit out something like the tape loading noise of a ZX Spectrum.
The good ones tend to be upwards of £200, but Mooer has carved out a canny niche in copycat pedals that are as teeny in price as they are in profile. The sound quality isn’t always right up there, but in this case that’s hardly an issue, is it?
STYLOPHONE GEN X-1 (£60)
Invented in the late 1960s, the original Stylophone was the most basic analogue synthesizer imaginable – and excelled at making noises not dissimilar to amplified insect farts.
The new Gen X-1 version can do that too, but it’s been pimped out with a whole suite of grown-up synth skills. You still have to use the hard-wired stylus to complete the circuit and play a note, but now that note can be pushed through a square or triangular LFO, a variable low-pass filter, an envelope filter and a delay. Not bad for 60 quid.
IK MULTIMEDIA iRIG ACOUSTIC STAGE (£81)
Whether you think Ed Sheeran is a genius or just a semi-talented goon who got unbelievably lucky, the acoustic guitar is as relevant now as it ever has been – and if you find one of these things under the Christmas tree it could soon be your turn to be duetting with Beyoncé.
No more worrying about microphone distance, or struggling to get a realistic sound from a piezo pickup: just clip this little digital mic to the edge of your soundhole, connect it to the strap-mountable module and listen in awe as impeccably natural tones flow through to the PA or your recording interface.
There are EQ presets to soften or brighten the top end, plus a built-in feedback killer, and it’ll work just as well with your 13-string Persian mando-lute.
Electric Corrulute Kit (£46)
You're so hip you got kicked out of your local ukulele orchestra for not playing by the rules. Well, stuff ’em, and stuff that silly old uke.
What you need is a lute – and not just any lute, but an electric one that's made out of cardboard. This simple, flat-packed self-assembly kit has all you need to create the four-string plunker your maverick creativity demands.
Dato Duo (€329)
Dato’s Duo is designed to be played by two people at once: Hall and Oates, Lennon and McCartney, or you and Auntie Jean after the Queen’s speech has finished. It looks a bit Fisher Price but that DIY aesthetic is part of the appeal. Making music with the Duo isn’t about expertise; it’s about experimenting and having fun. What does this button do?
Pioneer DJ DM-40BT (£179)
It’s all very well having a set of monitors in your bedroom studio but what about when you just want to kick back with a bit of Lionel Richie rather than putting the finishing touches to that Christmas concept album?
Pioneer’s DJ DM-40BTs have Bluetooth onboard, so you can stream from Spotify on your phone as well as connecting your iPad Pro to play back the GarageBand demos.