Dubspot’s Holiday Gift Guide for Musicians / Producers – Gifts Ideas From Ableton, Livid, Korg +

Looking for that perfect gift for a producer / musician / DJ friend this holiday season? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite pieces of gear and a few other tidbits that are sure to make them smile in our holiday gift guide for musicians and producers. Livid Instruments is offering an exclusive 25% discount to all of our Dubspot audience!  Using coupon code “dubspot25″ you can now purchase the Ds1 for $359 from shop.lividinstruments.com.


Dubspot + Livid DS1 Controller Special Discount


Well-made, flexible MIDI mixing controllers are hard to find. Dubspot and Livid teamed up to solve this. The DS1 MIDI Mixer is a portable solution for computer-based mixing, production and performance, constructed with the highest-quality parts and materials. The goal was to make a fully flexible MIDI controller that looked and operated like an audio mixer. This one is perfect for the mixing and mastering aficionados out there as well as computer musicians in general. The DS1 is available from Livid for $479.

Livid Instruments is offering an exclusive 25% discount to all of our audience at Dubspot!  Using coupon code “dubspot25″ you can now purchase the Ds1 for $359 from shop.lividinstruments.com.

Der Klang der Familie (Book)


Der Klang der Familie is a new book that discusses the fall of the Berlin Wall and its effect on the next three decades of clubbing in Berlin. The book is widely considered to be “the most important account of Berlin’s Techno scene penned to date” (Hyponik.com) and has recently been translated to English. The hardcover version runs about $30 and is currently on back order at Amazon.

From Amazon.com: After the fall of the Wall, Berlin is full of disused spaces and abandoned buildings, just waiting to be filled with new life. It is unclear who owns any of this, which allows the techno scene to take over these new empty spaces in both halves of the city. Clubs, galleries, ateliers and studios spring up – only to disappear again a few weeks later. Soon Berlin has become the epicentre of a new culture, attracting enthusiastic followers from all over the world to clubs like the Tresor and the E-Werk. Wearing gasmasks and welding goggles they dance the night away to the jackhammer sound of previously obscure Detroit DJs. Among them are writers, artists, photographers, designers, DJs, club-owners, music producers, bouncers and scenesters, people from the centre of the movement and from its peripheries – in Der Klang der Familie they all get to have their say and paint a vibrant picture of a time when it felt like everything was possible.

Ableton Live + Push

The granddaddy of all Ableton Live controllers comes from Ableton themselves. Push sports 64 velocity sensitive pads that have the ability to change to a variety of colors depending on their function. Push also features 8 touch-sensitive encoders, a nice LCD screen, and it’s completely bus powered. From start to finish, Push is the best option for producing and performing with Ableton Live. Ableton is also running a special holiday discount until January 15th. Check out their Push webpage for details and pricing.

Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano / Bolsa Bass / Videoscope

Critter and Guitari

We’ve been genuinely moved by all of the products that Critter & Guitari have been producing recently. The range of products from the boutique instrument creators are affordable ($175 for the basic Pocket Piano, $250 for the Bolsa Bass, $135 for the Video Scope) and offer unique fun and play-ability with tactile wooden keys and polished aluminum and wood enclosures. The Pocket Piano in particular is a brilliant little instrument that offers far more sound that you might anticipate from the toy-like name and look. You can order the instruments directly from Critter & Guitari and you can read more about the above mentioned gadgets in our feature from earlier this year.

Korg Volca Sample

The Korg Volca Sample is the fourth member of the Volca line of portable instruments that lets you “edit and sequence up to 100 sample sounds in real time for powerful live performances.” The Volca Sample also has an iOS counterpart app called AudioPocket that allows you to load and edit samples. This little sampler is definitely one of the hottest gift items of the season with a reasonable price of $159. While the Volca Sample has not officially been released, it’s expected to hit retailers in the next week or so in time for gift giving.


Novation Launch Control XL

This latest addition into Novation’s line of Ableton controller products offers a nice alternative to other, more expensive controllers on the market with lots of faders and knobs to control your sessions. At $199 Novation’s Launch Control XL is a giving the APC line some competition and offers 24 knobs, 8 60mm faders, and a gang of buttons that are mapped to control your track levels, solos, mutes, records, panning, and aux sends for 8 tracks at a time. The device also supports templates and works as a basic MIDI controller that you can map however you like. It’s sized to fit next to the Novation Launchpad and should make a perfect compliment if you already own the Launchpad. The Launch Control XL is currently available at many online and local music retailers.

Arturia Beat Step Controller + Step Sequencer

The Arturia BeatStep was one of the coolest products we caught at NAMM last January and we’re still impressed with the device 12 months later. The Beatstep is a USB MIDI controller that doubles as a 16 step hardware sequencer with CV and MIDI outputs. This means if you power it with a USB power cable, you can use the sequencer (without a computer) to sequence hardware synths and drum machines. As a sequencer it offers 16 steps with key, scale, swing, and timing. We’ve had lots of fun with this one so far, it really opens up creativity with hardware and soft synths. The BeatStep sells for approximately $99 online at at local music retailers.

AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones


If your significant other is a DJ, they would probably love to own a pair of the AIAIAI TMA-1 headphones. Designed in collaboration with world-renowned DJs (A-Trak, Seth Troxler, James Murphy and Madlib to name a few), these headphones are a set of cans aimed directly at DJs. The bass response on these headphones leans towards heavy, which means for everyday use they may get fatiguing. For professional/live DJ use, this bass response can be exactly what you need (especially if you mix with the cup half on and half off your ears). They’re durable, feature replaceable parts, and a detachable cable so these are a solid choice for any DJ. The TMA-1 runs about $200 on the company’s website. They are also available at retailers online.

We should also mention that AIAIAI makes another version of these cans that are made more specifically for music producers. The TMA-1 Studio Headphone is about the same price but offers a different design that is more specific to production work instead of DJing. For more information on headphones check out our DJ Headphone Roundup from earlier this year.

littleBits + Korg Synth Kit

Coming in at a mere $159, the littleBits synth kit in collaboration with Korg is an affordable, fun gift for the synthesis-inclined loved one. LittleBits’ cool modular system uses magnets to link together instead of cables, so it’s easy to get started making noise. The kit contains, power, an oscillator, a filter, an envelope, a speaker, a mini-sequencer, and a mini-keyboard. You can also expand on the kit with additional pieces like a microphone, a light sensor, and a motion trigger. Most of the expansion modules are less than $20.

SubPac S2 Tactile Bass System


We love the SubPac Tactile Bass System. The SubPac S2 is a bass “speaker” that you lean against while you listen to music through headphones or speakers. The SubPac itself emits little to no sound, but rather sends vibrations of sound through your body, allowing you to feel sub frequencies in music. The end result is a music experience much like sitting in a car with booming subs in the trunk, where your body vibrates to the sound.  The experience is surprisingly three dimensional and real. Additionally it allows you to drop the bass while not annoying neighbors or significant others. You can buy the S2 directly from SubPac. They also offer another version of the technology (the M1 Bluetooth) that can be worn as a backpack for mobile use. .

Dubspot Gift Certificate


Did you know that Dubspot offers gift certificates for our programs? Give your loved one the gift of knowledge this season with one of our music production or DJ courses that can expand sonic vocabulary and launch you into new heights of creation. Any Dubspot program, course, or weekend workshop can be scheduled and wrapped into a gift for your music lover. We can even arrange private one-on-one sessions with our instructors at an affordable price. Call 1.877.DUBSPOT (1.877.382.7768) for details.

Open House

NYC: Sundays 11:00am and 12:00pm

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Anyone who comes by will have the opportunity to ask our instructors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy, and watch live music production and DJ demos. You can even sit down at one of our workstations and take it for a test drive. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, we suggest you stop by one of our Open Houses to learn more about the school, understand what the learning process at Dubspot entails and help you decide what is best for you. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.