The best music-making gadgets for Christmas 2012

Make block-rocking beats and shake the foundations of your home the gadget way with five of these beauties

Fender Squier USB guitar


GarageBand on the iPad and iPhone has made it easier than ever to put a tune together. Now Fender's created this Squier guitar that plugs into your iThing via USB, letting you play straight into the app (though be warned – it uses the 30-pin connector instead of the new Lightning connector). Despite its entry-level price, the Strat got a thumbs-up from Stuff's resident guitarists – and its extra functionality makes it perfect for laying down a few tracks.

Numark iDJ Pro


Vinyl is enjoying a bit of a revival and probably always will – but you can ditch the past in favour of the future with Numark iDJ Pro. This professional-grade DJ controller lets you mix beats, adjust EQ settings and loop beats – only instead of CDs, you do it via an iPad (bear in mind it uses the old 30-pin connector, though). Combined with the required Djay app and you have a 21st century take on the disc jockey with all the latest digital trimmings.



Guitar Hero's plastic fantastic controller was all very well, but it always felt a bit daft mastering Buckethead tracks on expert when you could be spending that time learning how to actually play a guitar. Rocksmith combines the arcade play of Guitar Hero and Rock Band with an actual six-string guitar – any axe will do, using the enclosed Real Tone Cable – training you up from beginner-level notes to full-blown shred wizardry. You can thank us when you're standing on the stage at Wembley.

Teenage Engineering OP-1


Cramming a world of electronic sounds into one perfectly balanced slab of metal and plastic, the OP-1 gives you a synthesiser, virtual four-track tape recorder, sampler, FM radio and internal sequences. Sure, it looks like 'My First Synth,' but this clever music-making gadget takes the emphasis away from your standard keyboard-based setup, inspiring a different approach to your creations – particularly with its unique accessories.

Mackie DL1608


The Mackie DL1608 may look like a typewriter from some angles but this music-oriented gadget is a powerful mixing tool. It includes 16 boutique-quality mic preamps, 24bit Cirrus AD/DA converters for top-top sound quality, eight balanced outputs, 4-band EQ compression and gate plug-ins, supports up to ten iPads at once and boasts wireless functionality, thanks to the use of an iPad. Sure beats lugging around a lot of equipment and wires.

See all Stuff's Christmas gift guides

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