10+ awesome gifts for synth geeks
Christmas is coming up – it’s time to spend some money on your synth geek friend or spouse. If you’re anythign like me, you’re always needing to come up with some cool gift ideas at the last minute, so here are 10 great gifts for a synth freak that won’t break the bank … from $0 to $85. Here they are, listed from highest to lowest. Let me know if you need my address so you know where to send mine.
$85 – A cracklebox
The Cracklebox is a very cool glitch box that’s been around since the 70′s. It’s got metal touchpads like the Stylophone, but you touch them with your fingers – the electricity in your body crates the sounds. You can make the greatest noises on this thing that just scream “glitch”… but you’ll never make the exact same sounds twice. How cool is that? You can get them here.
$54.95 – A DIY analogue synth
Gaken makes a kit called the SX-150 (nifty name, eh?) which is a complete analogue synth. It’s got an LFO, a great filter, and even more advanced things like pitch envelope. This little guy is definitely ripe for mods. You can get them here.
$49.99 – Bliptronic 5000
The Bliptronic 5000 is basically a poor man’s Tenori-On. It’s got an 8×8 matrix of lights and buttons that you can use for sequencing and choosing sounds. Definitely not expensive-sounding, but 100% fun. You can get them here.
$39.99 – Jean Michel Jarre: Live in Your Living Room
A recreation of the classic album “Oxygene” by Jean Michel Jarre, recreated on vintage synthesizers, by Jarre, on video, in 3D. What could be better than that? If you haven’t seen this, you must, must, must grab one. I’ve watched mine over & over and over again. Find a DVD & CD box set of this masterpiece here. Oh ya, they also include the 3D glasses.
$29.95 – A DIY theremin
The theremin, invented in 1919 by Russian scientist Leon Theremin, is one of the world’s earliest fully electronic instruments. Yes, a real theremin for only $29.95. Well, except that it’s tiny. Gaken also makes a mini-theremin kit that you can put together all my yourself. The instructions are in Japanese, but it’s full of pictures and really easy to assemble. Grab one here.
$22.49 – The Moog Documentary
Bob Moog began working on synthesizers in the 40′s and has left his legacy in countless albums. The Minimoog is still one of the most revered synths even today. This documentary is a fantastic look at the man and his work, and is definitely required watching for any synth fan. Grab one here.
$20 – Bob Moog Foundation 2010 calendar
This one-of-a-kind calendar was created with historical photos, memorabilia, quotes and information taken directly from Bob’s archives. The calendar features photos of Bob from 1958-1974, as well as photos of pioneering musicians who inspired his work including Leon Theremin, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Herb Deutsch, Isao Tomita, Joel Chadabe and Roger Powell. Get it here.
$19.99 – A Stylophone
The Stylophone is a teeny tiny synthesizer that uses a metal keyboard that you play by touching it with a stylus. The Stylophone was invented in the 60′s and has been used by just about everyone including Kraftwerk and David Bowie. You can them here.
$10 and up – All the cool synth things on etsy
There are tons of great synth-inspired one-of-a-kind things on etsy. I’ve spent countless hours there looking at all the great stuff. Try doing a search for synth, synthesizer, Moog, or anything else you can think of.
$6.99 – Synthesizer Fridge Magnets!
Synthgear has a whole ton of really good quality fridge magnets that look like vintage analogue synthesizers and drum machines. Every self-respecting synth geek needs at least one of these. How about an EMS Synthi? A TB-303? A Sequential Prophet 5? See them all here.
$0 – Papercraft Synths
Download the pdf, print it out, cut it up, and glue or tape it together. Bam – you’ve got a synth! What better deal is there out there? You can even string them up on the tree as decorations. you can get a Moog modular, a Korg MS-20, a Moog Minimoog, an Arp 2600, or a Roland TR-909.