12 Sub-$300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

12 Sub-$300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

I am a bona fide music geek. I admit that fact freely. In addition to my love of stringed instruments like guitars and basses, I also have an affinity for synthesizers and electronic music machines. Traditionally, collecting musical instruments and accessories has been an expensive hobby. Fortunately for those like me however, instrument manufacturers including Korg and Teenage Engineering have unveiled a host of cool inexpensive synthesizers and drum machines over the last few years. Here are a dozen cool gift ideas for the electronic music geek in your life. All of these are less than $300 and guaranteed to please.

1. Drum Machine Pillow (approx. $41): What do you get for the music geek who has everything? A drum machine pillow, that’s what. This 14″ x 20″ cushion is modeled after a classic Roland TR-808 drum machine. You have to order it from Sweden, so make sure to allot plenty of time for holiday delivery.

808 pillow 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

2. Korg Monotron Duo ($49): This tiny little device is about as cool as you can get for 50 bucks. The tiny Monotron Duo has a ribbon keyboard controller for playing melodies. It features two voltage controlled oscillators and voltage controlled filter. The Monotron Duo is true analog synthesis that fits in the palm of your hand.

monotron 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

3. Teenage Engineering PO-12 Rhythm ($59): This is a drum machine that fits in your back pocket… literally. The amazing PO-12 is about the size of a pocket calculator but features has all the features of larger drum machines including 16 patterns, a 16-step sequencer, and 16 built-in digital effects. This thing is crazy… and cheap!

po 12 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

4. Shure SRH440 Headphones ($99): Every music geek has a tendency to “turn it up.” Keep the volume down by giving them a set of Shure SRH440 headphones. For less than $100, these babies produce studio quality sound and can be plugged into any of the instruments on this list. Gotta have a good set of phones!

srh440 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

5. Korg Volca Bass ($159): In 2013, Korg released their Volca range of synthesizers. In my opinion, the Volca Bass is the shining star of the series. For less than $160, you get a 3 oscillator analog bass synthesizer with a wicked voltage controlled filter and integral 16-step sequencer. It’s downright awesome!

volca bass 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

6. Korg littleBits Synth Kit ($160): Korg really seems to understand the concept of affordable but powerful electronic instruments. The littleBits Synth Kit is not an exception. It allows users to join several tiny modules in different configurations to make powerful musical instruments. Put modular synthesis in your pocket.

little bits 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

7. Moog Werkstatt 01 ($199): Similar to the littleBits series, Moog came up with a low cost modular synthesizer kit in 2014. The Werkstatt 01 is a single oscillator synthesizer that is 100% analog and features Moog’s famous transistor ladder filter. The tiny device even supports expansion modules for DIY gurus.

werkstatt 01 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

8. Arturia Microbrute (normally $299, now $209): The Arturia Microbrute is a beast! This small but mighty semi-modular keyboard synthesizer is a massive bargain at $299. However, several retailers have marked them down to an incredibly low $209 for the holiday shopping season. Every music geek should own one (or two) of these. It looks like a toy but sounds huge!

microbrute 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

9. Drum Machine Beanbag (approx. $232): This beanbag is a cool addition to any synth geek’s music space. The 48″ x 72″ cushion is designed to look like a classic Roland TR-808 drum machine. Like the pillow above, there are no US retailers so you have to order it from Sweden. Order now if you want it to arrive by Christmas!

808 bag 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

10. Korg Kaossilator Pro+ ($279): Hmmm. Have you noticed how many Korg products are on this list? The Kaossilator Pro+ is a dynamic phrase synthesizer that features a unique touchpad interface. Even a beginner can produce complex songs in a matter of minutes using this awesome device. This thing is cool to the extreme and like nothing else!

kaossilator pro 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

11. Waldorf Rocket ($289): The Waldorf Rocket packs a ridiculous amount of analog features into a tiny 7″ x 7″ black box. This single oscillator synthesizer is the only instrument on the list that requires an external MIDI controller to take full advantage of it’s functions. However, if you’re buying for a seasoned music geek, they probably already have a spare keyboard laying around.

rocket 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

12. Moog Theremini ($299): The Thermin has had a geek following since it was designed in 1928. The distinct instrument is played by moving your hands around two antennas, one antenna controls the volume while the other changes the pitch. Moog came up with a smaller version of the instrument which is cleverly titled the Thermini.

theremini 12 Sub $300 Gifts For The Electronic Music Geek

So there you have it. These 12 items are sure to excite any electronic music geek and they won’t break the bank. Make that music geek happy when you surprise them with a tiny musical instrument or accessory. Happy shopping and have a rockin’ holiday season.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT Security field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.