14 Best Gifts For Music Producers In 2023


We tested the best gifts for music producers in 2023. Refer to our guide below if you want music production Christmas gifts below $200.

‘Tis the season to be merry, and nothing makes it merrier than some shiny new gear! Throw those socks and undies out of the cart and get that music producer in your life some gear that’ll have them cooking up a phat beat ASAP.

In this article, we’re listing the best gifts for music producers for the 2023 holiday season. 

Let’s get started!

The best gift ideas for music producers in 2023:

  1. Teenage Engineering PO-20 Arcade Synthesizer – $99
  2. Teenage Engineering PO-14 Sub Bass Synthesizer – $99
  3. Korg Volca Drum Synthesizer – $130
  4. Korg Volca Keys Synthesizer – $150
  5. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface – $200
  6. Behringer UM2 Audio Interface – $59
  7. Akai MPK Mini MIDI Controller –  $84.45
  8. Novation Launchkey Mini MIDI Controller – $100
  9. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone – $79
  10. Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone – $89
  11. JBL 104-BT Studio Monitors – $169
  12. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski – $29 (Kindle)
  13. Audio Effects, Mixing, and Mastering by Metin Bektas – $3 (Kindle)
  14. Music Production Software and Virtual Synths – starting at $9

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-20 Arcade Synthesizer and Sequencer

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-20

Price: $99

Why buy it:

  • Nostalgic beats on the go
  • Perfect for a gaming musician
  • Affordable and fun beat-maker

The Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators are fun little synths that spark creativity in every music maker.

The Pocket Operator PO-20 is all about those nostalgic sounds from retro gaming in the ‘80s and ‘90s. 

It’s portable, fun to mess around with, and can also be a serious music production tool. 

The minimalist Arcade Synthesizer and Sequencer packs in 16 retro sounds. The unit can create entire songs with the 16-step sequencer, 128 patterns, pattern chaining, and chord mode.

There are also 16 punch-in effects, including delay, stutter, and bit crush. Thanks to the Audio-pulse-based sync, you can also use the PO-20 as part of a larger setup with other Pocket Operators and third-party gear.

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-14 Sub Bass Synthesizer and Sequencer

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-14

Price: $99

Why buy it: 

  • Compact and portable
  • Super fun to use
  • Easy to work with

The Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-14 is one of the best gifts for musicians because it’s a sub-bass synthesizer and sequencer, and almost any producer could find a use for that – or at least have some fun playing around with it. 

The PO-14 has multiple synthesizer engines and packs 15 sounds, a micro drum, 16 punch-in effects, 16 punch-in bass-oriented play styles, and 16 pattern chaining.

The synth is super portable, and you can use it individually, together with other Pocket Operators, or chained with other compatible gear for music creation. It’s a pure dream for every DJ!

Korg Volca Drum

Korg Volca Drum

Price: $130

Why buy it: 

  • Simple to use
  • Lots of sonic possibilities
  • Currently, the cheapest Volca

The Korg Volca Drum is a digital percussion synthesizer with a six-part DSP synth engine that can create a wide array of drum sounds. 

It’s the perfect gift to mess around with on the couch, or it can also be part of your toolbox for a serious music production.

The Volca Drum is not a one-trick pony, and as you can hear yourself from product demos, the synth can output drum sounds that cover a range of eras and styles very convincingly. 

The Volca Drum has 16 multi-touch keys that can control 16 steps with six-note polyphony. 

There are ten factory kits and 16 kits with overdrive and resonator effects. There’s also a MIDI in, headphones 1/8″ out, and 2x 1/8″ sync in/out.

Korg Volca Keys Synthesizer

Korg Volca Keys

Price: $150

Why buy it:

  • Big sound, small price
  • It can be battery-operated for portable jams
  • Versatile sound options

What is the best gift for a music producer who wants to own an analog synth?

The affordable and versatile Korg Volca Keys synth would excite all producers despite its small size and affordable price.

The sounds this model can put out run the gamut from grungy and grainy to smooth synth vibes. 

The Volca Keys has 27 keys, three voice polyphony, and a 16-step, 8-pattern sequencer. 

The compact unit can be run on DC power or 6 AA batteries, so it’s perfect for a sneaky portable jam.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen 2×2 USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Price: $200

Why buy it:

  • A reliable audio interface is a must-have
  • Excellent value for money
  • Good ease of use for anyone who wants to create music

A budding producer will not get far without a reliable audio interface, and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has the budget end of the market covered.

The 4th generation release of the Scarlett 2i2 has a 2 in, 2 out USB-C audio setup with hi-Z inputs for ease of use on guitars.

The interface also has updated mic preamps, Auto Gain and Clip Safe, Dynamic Gain Halos, custom headphone amp, loopback, and Air Mode for adding high-end presence and harmonic rich drive.

I’ve been a long-time user of the Scarlett interfaces since the start of my music production journey, and they absolutely punch above their weight class for what they cost and deliver a tonne of value. 

Behringer U-Phoria UM2 2×2 USB Audio Interface

Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Price: $59

Why buy it:

  • Affordability
  • Great no-frills recording workflow
  • Excellent first interface for a beginner

If you want to find the perfect gift music production gift for an absolute beginner, look no further. The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is an excellent little audio interface that will get a budding music producer up and going without breaking the bank at Christmas time.

It’s one of those tremendous electronic music studio gifts that will get plenty of use because a reliable interface is essential for getting your home studio off the ground.

Now, let’s be frank, the Behringer UM2 does have its limitations, but if you don’t want to be shelling out hundreds of dollars, then this is a pretty damn good option. 

The UM2 is a 2-in, 2-out USB 2.0 audio interface that operates in 16-bit/48kHz. 

It has an XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line) input and a 1/4″ (Hi-Z) input for recording high-impedance instruments, such as a guitar with humbuckers. It also has a Dual RCA Stereo output and 1/4″ headphone out.

For a producer recording at home, it’s got everything you need to track the vocals and instruments (except for a full drum kit).

You can find more recommendations in our article about budget audio interfaces.

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 MIDI Controller

Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Price: $84.45

Why buy it:

  • One of the best MIDI controllers under $100 to add to your music production suite
  • Compact design
  • High quality for the price

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 MIDI Controller is a great compact MIDI keyboard that offers much value for the money. 

The USB/MIDI keyboard and pad performance controller has 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys and 8 backlit, bankable, velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads.

The Akai keyboards come with eight assignable control knobs for mixing and a four-way joystick for dynamic pitch and modulation control. 

The MPK Mini has a built-in tap tempo arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range, and modes, featuring dedicated octave up and down buttons. 

The unit is also built well for the price, and with the range of features available here, you really can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a compact, affordable MIDI controller.

Find more similar gifts in our article about affordable MIDI keyboards.

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 MIDI Controller

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3

Price: $100

Why buy it:

  • An affordable way to get hands-on in the studio
  • Small footprint
  • A good set of features for the price

What’s one piece of equipment every music producer should have? A reliable MIDI controller is right at the top of the list due to the huge range of sounds it can bring to your fingertips at an affordable cost. 

The Novation Launchkey Mini MIDI Controller packs a punch in a small package, especially for the $100 asking price.

The 25 mini-key controller has 16 performance pads, eight knobs, modulation, and pitch strips and comes bundled with music production software. 

It’s a great way to get hands-on with making music rather than facing the fatigue that comes with endlessly fiddling with a digital interface in a DAW. 

The Novation Launchkey Mini is also popular with producers who don’t have much spare space or who like to work on the go. 

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

Price: $79

Why buy it:

  • Classic design that is tough and reliable
  • Great all-rounder mic for a musician in your life
  • Hi-fi sound on a budget

Some intuitive designs stand the test of time and keep on delivering year after year, and the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of those classics.

Originally released in 2004, the AT2020 delivers the goods. It’s cheap, reliable, and sounds great – what more could anyone ask for who has a passion for music?

It’s also super versatile and can get impressive results from various sources for the lucky person in your life.

Whether you’re recording voice work, vocals, or instruments, the AT2020 has got you covered. The high SPL handling means that you don’t have to worry about it handling a cranked amp, either. 

The AT2020 was actually my very first mic purchase, and I’d still absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable cardioid condenser that can be their workhorse in the studio.

The model linked above is the XLR version, but if you want a mic that can plug straight into USB, you’ll be well-served with the AT2020USB+ model, which is currently going for $89.99 on Amazon.

You can find more recommendations in our article about budget microphones.

Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone

Shure SM57

Price: $89

Why buy it:

  • Built like a tank
  • Used by pros worldwide
  • Ridiculously cheap

The Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone is one of the must-have gifts for music producers. It’s used in bedrooms worldwide due to its low price.

You’ll also find it in the toolkit of top-level pros in the music industry due to its beefy sound and rugged reliability. 

The SM57 has become an industry standard, and the proof is in the pudding as it’s been used to capture the guitar parts of Kurt Cobain, John Frusciante, John Mayer, and a whole lot of other big names.

It’s also one of the best cheap gifts for music producers because it’s affordable, built like a tank, and super easy to use.

Recording with an SM57 is simple and doesn’t take a lot of faffing around. There are also tons of guides online that allow music producers to get the best out of them in the studio. 

The mic’s uses aren’t limited to electric guitars either, as it also has its place in capturing drums, horns, acoustic guitars, and even voice recordings or vocals.

JBL 104-BT Portable Studio Monitors

JBL 104-BT

JBL 104-BT

Price: approx. $169

Why buy it:

  • Decent studio monitors on the go
  • Bluetooth support
  • Affordable speakers for a small studio

The JBL 104-BT studio monitors offer surprisingly good sound quality while maintaining a compact size and extreme portability. They are also super affordable, retailing for around $169, but you can find them even cheaper on sale.

The speakers combine a 4.5-inch LF driver with a 7.5-inch soft-dome HF driver. They feature a 60-watt Class D amplifier and are acoustically optimized for desktop use, catering to professional and entertainment needs.

Their small size makes them perfect as a small set of speakers you can carry when traveling. They can literally fit anywhere, from a small studio space without any room treatment to a real studio where they can be used as a second pair of monitors for reference purposes.

While the JBL 104-BT excels in delivering detailed sound with strong bass response, it falls short in midrange clarity and low-end extension.

However, despite this drawback, their robust build, straightforward controls, and excellent imaging make them a solid choice for secondary monitors or budget-conscious setups and an ideal gift for a musician who likes to travel.

Get more recommendations in our article about affordable studio monitors.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook: 5th Edition by Bobby Owsinski

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook

Price: $29 (Kindle) $66 (paperback)

Why buy it:

  • Written by a legit top-level pro
  • Updated just last year
  • Trusted resource on mixing

American audio engineer Bobby Owsinski is one of few top-flight professionals who has penned detailed guides about production, which makes this and his other books some of the best gifts for music producers.

Owsinski’s production credits include Pantera, Jimi Hendrix, and Iron Maiden, so he’s the real deal. 

His mixing guide is a trusted audio engineer resource; you can’t go wrong with it as a holiday gift.

The 5th Edition of The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook was released on March 28, 2022, so you’re getting an up-to-date resource with this version.

He has also written guides on recording, mastering, and other production topics if you’re looking for guides with a different focus. 

Audio Effects, Mixing, and Mastering by Metin Bektas

Audio Effects, Mixing, and Mastering by Metin Bektas

Price: $3 (Kindle), $4.95 (paperback)

Why buy it:

  • It’s a very cheap music gift
  • A great reference for beginners
  • Concise and clear presentation

Audio Effects, Mixing, and Mastering by Metin Bektas can not be beaten on price, at just $4.95 for a paperback or $3 on Kindle. It’s actually even free for Kindle Unlimited users. As a result, they make great gifts.

The book is split into three sections covering effects, mixing, and mastering, respectively.

It’s written in a concise and accessible manner, so it’s great for beginners.

It also covers all the core topics and techniques you need to get started on production, mixing, and mastering. 

Music Production Software Instruments and Effects

Music Production Software

Price: starting at $9

Why buy it:

  • Music software can be a super affordable gift for any musician
  • It’s not a physical gift, so you can send it via email or DM
  • Bang for the buck – music software is often better than any comparable audio hardware you can get in the same price range

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or can’t deliver a physical gift, music software is an excellent option.

You can share plugin licenses via email or DMs, making them an excellent gift for your music producer friends and beat makers across the globe.

For example, you can purchase a decent VST plugin for as low as $9 on sale and share the serial number or license key as a gift. On the other hand, you can opt for a more expensive gift like a digital audio workstation or the Komplete bundle from Native Instruments.

We recommend purchasing the gift on a plugin marketplace like Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds, as this method makes sharing the purchased license key easy.

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About Author

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Steve is a musician and journalist who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He learned everything he knows about production from Google and used that vast knowledge to create a series of records you definitely haven’t heard of.

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