Christmas Gift Guide: 12 gadget gifts for music makers
What would Christmas be without a bit of a sing-song? Actually, don't answer that.
From technohead nerds to leather-loving rock gods, from bedroom DJs to Beach Boys tribute acts, we've got something for every musical gadget lover.
Korg Volca Beats
Drum machines are fantastic things: punch in a few steps on the built-in sequencer, hit Play and you've got the bones of a dancefloor filler right there. Inspired by the classic Roland TR-808 and 909, the Beats has a monstrous analogue kick drum and a smattering of digital sounds, all tweakable via a panel packed with knobs. Complete the set with the Volca Bass and Keys. Demand is outstripping supply at the moment but new stock is expected to be available in December.
It's designed to let multiple listeners share the audio output of a single tablet or phone, but the Rockstar can also be used as a pocket-sized mixer that needs no power, so it's perfect for hooking up three or more battery-driven Volcas (or any other line-level instruments) to one set of headphones or speakers. Now you can jam anywhere: under the covers, on a street corner or at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.
Rocksmith 2014 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
We think that learning to play guitar should be fun, and there's no more fun way of doing it than with this slab of musical edutainment. You'll need a proper electric guitar or bass of your own but it comes with a cable to plug into your PC or console. Now you can learn riffs and scales by playing along, Guitar Hero-style, with onscreen notes. The best thing is, it really does work.
IK Multimedia iRig HD
Plugging a guitar into an iThing or a computer isn't as easy as you might think, but the iRig HD does a great job of simplifying things. It's a 24-bit interface that connects your axe to a USB port, a Lighting connector or a 30-pin connector on an iPad or iPhone. From there you can go via the free AmpliTube amp simulation app or record straight into the likes of GarageBand.
Christmas Gift Guide 2014: brilliant present ideas