If you are a musician, producer, or sound engineer you know that the list of gear you want to try is quite literally never-ending. There are constantly new items and instruments to discover, and just when you think you’ve seen every pedal, you come across a completely new one. Just in case your gear wish list isn’t long enough, here are 3 interesting products you should consider as your next music gear purchase. Or, if you’re shopping for someone who likes making music, check these out as unforgettable gift ideas.
1. Source Audio Hot Hand 3
Source Audio is a popular gear brand among experimental guitar and bass players. They produce some of the most powerful and unique pedals and effects units on the market. But they also make something that can transform your experience with electronic music gear — and it isn’t a pedal.
The Hot Hand 3 is a “universal wireless effects controller” that is designed to work with a wide variety of gear. The Hot Hand is worn as a small ring and serves the purpose of an expression pedal. So, just as you would use an expression pedal to control various filters and effects, you can use the Hot Hand to control any parameter on your piano, synth, sequencer, or guitar pedal. But, instead of pushing a pedal to control the effect, you can simply wave your hand around in the air. Any electronic music-maker will be stoked to try this on and control effects with the wave of a finger.
This little musical friend is sure to put a smile on its user’s face. While you may not be able to figure out how it is useful in your workflow, the Otamatone is a silly, endearing product that is perfect for all music lovers.
The Otamatone is a ribbon synth that is embedded in a small silicone “creature” that looks somewhat like an eighth-note — or a tadpole. The name “otamatone” comes from the Japanese word for the latter. Simply press your finger on the control ribbon and behold the sweet(?) sounds of this fun musical toy. But the fun doesn’t end there; you can also squeeze the Otamatone’s mouth to create a wah-wah effect. While it may be difficult to actually make pleasant music with this instrument, many musicians are ready to take on the challenge, and it is a fun way to boost creativity nonetheless.
3. Onkyo IE-FC300 High Fidelity Earbuds
On a more serious note, these onkyo hi-fi earbuds are a fantastic product for musicians and audiophiles alike. When you think of high fidelity headphones, you probably imagine some large, bulky over-ear headset. This is usually the case for high quality headphones, as hi-fi drivers tend to take up space and make a headphone heavy. However, high fidelity also comes in earbuds, although this is a much rarer find.
If you want to experience the joys of high fidelity audio on the go, you should definitely check out the Onkyo FC300‘s. Fit with 14.3 mm high performance drivers and anti-vibration aluminum chassis, these earbuds offer an impressive audio experience with the comfort of lightweight earbuds. Be careful — once you try these headphones, you may never want to go back to a bulky headset.
4. ROLI Seaboard Block
ROLI’s Seaboard Block is a highly sought-after choice for music producers and electronic or digital musicians because it offers a lot of versatility. ROLI is known for creating innovative MIDI controllers with MIDI polyphonic expression (MPE) keywave technology, which allows for a greater range of expression when playing digital instruments. These controllers function like a traditional keyboard but with the added ability to adjust the sound in multiple dimensions, making it easier to play digital instruments like acoustic ones.
The Seaboard line is considered to be the best in terms of MPE controllers, but they can be expensive. The Seaboard Block is a compact version that’s more affordable, with a price range of $300-$400. It has 24 notes and doesn’t have all the same features as the larger Seaboards, but it’s still a great introduction to MPE and a valuable tool for electronic musicians.
5. Hologram Electronics Dream Sequence Pedal
If you’re into guitar pedals, you’ll love this one. If you’re unfamiliar with pedals, you might be wondering what sets them apart and why some guitarists use so many at once. The Dream Sequence by Hologram Electronics is a unique option that’s great for guitarists who love experimenting with different sounds, and already have ten pedals. It’s especially suited for those who enjoy genres like new metal, noise rock, shoegaze, and psychedelic rock.
This programmable rhythm and octave pedal uses sequencing, pitch shifting, and envelope shaping to create a wide range of distortion patterns and sounds. It features a digitally-controlled analog drive and tone and a rhythmic gate with dynamic ADSR shaping, allowing for endless possibilities. While Hologram Electronics pedals are known for their high quality, the Dream Sequence is one of their more affordable options, with prices ranging from $250-$350. If you’re looking for something different and exciting, it’s definitely worth checking out.
6. Mooer Mod Factory Mk II
If you’re looking for an affordable option that can still make a big impact in a musician’s setup, a Mooer guitar pedal might be just what you’re looking for. The Mod Factory Mk II features a total of 11 award-winning effect modulations, all for the price of $40-$50. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, check out any number of other pedals on their site.
Mooer is a company that has been around since 2010, providing home studios with high-quality, pro-sounding effects pedals and other gear in small, budget-friendly packages. In fact, Mooer pedals are often based on the circuit architecture and functionality of more expensive pedals, making them a great alternative to big name brands. And with a range of pedals, multi-effects units, audio interfaces, wah pedals, and even amplifiers available, there’s something for every musician in Mooer’s lineup. Plus, they offer some unique loopers and drum machine pedals to add even more creativity to your setup.