Looking for an extravagant gift for that special recording engineer or working musician in your life? The holiday season is upon us again!
Giving the ultimate gift - regardless of price - can still be daunting, especially if you're buying for the the hard-to-please type. Even though ost of us are on a budget this year, it's always fun to pretend; let's take a look at some of the ultimate gifts out there, regardless of the price!
These items are sure the be a hit with even the most picky audio engineer.
Courtesy Jerry Harvey Audio
Jerry Harvey is one of the audio industry's most recognized engineers. As the longtime engineer for Van Halen, his industry-trend-setting monitor designs became Ultimate Ears, the California company selling customized and universal-fit in-ear monitors. After passing off his baby to Logitech (and taking some time to breathe), his new company, JH Audio, was formed. The JH16 Pro is the pinnacle of his monitor-building achievements: an eight driver earpiece with dual highs, dual mids, and quad lows, all expertly blended together in a beautiful custom-fit monitor.
How do they sound? Breathtaking. The price? $1149, plus impressions.
The MBox 2 series is a great addition to the Pro Tools lineup, but once you've gotten a taste of Pro Tools' power, you quickly want more. The $1200 Digi003 rackmount Pro Tools system is the absolute best for home recording engineers looking to record 8 tracks simultaneously. Included is the powerful Pro Tools software as well as a host of plug-ins to make your recording go flawlessly. Check out our guide to Pro Tools
for more information on this powerful recording software.
If you've got a great vocalist, nothing beats pairing them with a world-class microphone. Join top vocalists such as Tori Amos, John Mayer, and Dave Matthews in their choice of vocal microphone, the Neumann KMS105. Silky smooth midrange, enhanced low-end response, and perfect sound reproduction for even the most intricate of vocalists. It's pricey at around $639, but very much worth it - it's usable both live and in the studio.
For more information about recording vocals with a good condenser microphone, check out our guide to microphone types
At $1,499, the 610 is an absolute perfect addition to any home studio. The 610 tube preamp, DI and EQ is from UA's TEC award winning 6176 and is based on the legendary console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the 60's. Countless classics have been recorded using these preamps, noted for their musical character and warmth. The compressor
built-in is fantastic, too. This would be the perfect processor for vocals, guitars, or anything requiring a silky-smooth compressor.
If you've got a great pair of headphones or personal monitors, you know how hard it can be to get a true, clean output from digital sources. Most built-in headphone amps are dirty and inaccurate; at $975, the Benchmark DAC1 offers the ultimate listening experience. Pair it with a pair of UE-10 Pros and you'll never want to upgrade again. Looking for a great pair of earphones? Check out some of the best audio monitors I've reviewed
for some great recommendations.