Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Reasoning Professionals: Gift Manual for artists vacation version

This week’s episode of The Logic Pros is the Holiday Gift Guide Edition. We will be looking at some of our favorite recording gear for Logic Pro X on the Mac and all your favorite iOS synth and sequencer apps. While some of the favorites remain, you’ll find some new and interesting gadgets in each of the main categories from mini MIDI controllers and repurposed U.S. coin picks to pocket synthesizers, Lightning mics, wireless interfaces and more:

Audio/MIDI Interfaces

puc+ wireless Bluetooth MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac $90

We had a ton of fun testing out the new palm-sized puc+, a super easy and inexpensive interface that lets you connect MIDI controllers wirelessly over Bluetooth to your Mac for Logic (or to an iOS device). It’s available for $90 shipped right now via Amazon using the on-page coupon.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

More Great Interface Options:

  • IK Multimedia iRig Pro audio/MIDI interface for iOS/Mac $105
  • Apogee ONE Audio Interface for iPad & Mac $349
  • Apogee Quartet Audio Interface for iPad & Mac with Waves Gold Plugin Bundle $1,500

MIDI Keyboard/Grid Controllers

iRig Keys MINI portable 25-key MIDI controller for iOS and Mac

iRig Keys MINI portable 25-key MIDI controller for iOS and Mac $80

Well, you know how much we love Akai’s best selling line of MPK MIDI keyboards, but we though we would gear this year’s pick towards a more versatile setup that works both on Mac and iOS, as well in the home studio and on the road. IK Multimedia has become known for its highly rated and affordable production gear for beginners and more experienced producers alike, so this year we will be highlighting the iRig Keys MINI portable 25-key MIDI controller for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. This little, bus-powered keyboard packs in a lot of value for $79.99. Not only does it works with Logic Pro X and all your iOS apps, it includes Lightning, USB and MicroUSB cables to get you going right out of the box. It also comes with a host of iOS instrument apps, as well as some software and sample packs for Mac.

Akai MPK Mini MKII 25-Key MIDI Drum Pad and Keyboard

More Keyboards/Controllers:

  • Akai MPK Mini MKII 25-Key MIDI Drum Pad and Keyboard $100
  • Korg 37-Key microKEY2 Keyboard Controller $90
  • Novation Launchpad MK2 Mini Grid Controller $100

Gear/Accessories for Guitar Players

jamstik+ wireless smart guitar controller for iOS and Mac

jamstik+ wireless smart guitar controller for iOS and Mac $300

You may remember us reviewing the original jamstik guitar controller for iOS and Mac, but since that time the folks over at Zivix have released an updated model and a series of notable upgrades. Along with its genuine fretboard and real strings, jamstik+ allows guitar players to control instruments just like MIDI keyboards do on Logic Pro X and other DAWs, along with the plethora of interesting iOS synth and recording apps out there. This time around we are getting updated wireless connectivity, beta hammer-on tech, an interesting tap mode for soloing and more.

More Gifts for Guitar Players:

  • Guitar Pick Punch $26

    • Punches standard 351 shape guitar picks out of just about anything
  • IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic guitar mic/pickup for iOS/Mac $44

Coin Picks

  • 2-Pack Repurposed Coin Guitar Picks from $29

    • or from $13 on Amazon and Etsy
  • Snark’s Best Selling SN-5 Clip-On Guitar/Bass Tuner $7
  • Korg PitchHawk G2 Clip-On Guitar Tuner $21
  • IK Multimedia iRig 2 guitar interface iOS/Mac $30
  • JAM Studio Quality Guitar input for iPad, iPhone and Mac $100
  • Intellitouch CT1 Capo Tuner $24


Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones $160
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones $150

Headphones are always a tough suggestion to make with so many solid options out there from companies like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Sony, Audio-Technica and AKG. The Sony MDR-series and the AKG K-series options are always a good pick, but this year we are going with ATs and Beyers. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are among the best selling and most popular out there. Not only will they work great for tracking and mixing, but they are much less bulky than some of the comparable options in the price and quality range. In our opinion, they also provide a nice balance between flat recording/mixing reference cans and a slightly more excitable, and “fun” consumer level sound.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the bulky and rugged Beyerdynamic DT 770 PROs may not be as fashionable, but they sound fantastic and can be worn for hours on end. Don’t be fooled by the slightly lower price tag compared to the M50x, these are my personal favorite option in the price range and feel much more durable/expensive than the listing value. 

More Recording/Mixing Headphones:

  • Sony MDR7506 Pro Headphones $78
  • Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones $100
  • AKG Pro Audio K702 Channel Studio Headphones $235


Logic Pro X Apple Keyboards & Cover

Logic Pro X Apple Keyboards & Cover from $30

One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the massive list of keyboard shortcuts in Logic is to get a keyboard with shortcut decals. We reviewed products from EditorsKeys that use real Apple keyboards with pre-applied, high-quality decals. The company also has wired versions for $149 and DIY keyboard covers for your existing Apple keyboards. However, there are also a few other cheaper keyboard cover options for your MacBook or desktop keyboard starting at around $30 Prime shipped.

Gear Dust cover

On-Stage/Studio Keyboard & Gear Dust Covers $8 to $16

An inexpensive way to keep your keys looking fresh and clean, these On Stage dust covers range from $8 to $16. A must have to go with your MIDI keyboard, synths, or other gear, especially if some of it goes out of rotation from time-to-time.


Here are a few more honorable mentions:

  • Teenage Engineering PO-12/4/6 Pocket Synthesizers from $63
  • Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone $105
  • Blue Microphones Spark Digital Lightning Microphone $15

The Logic Pros is a regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

More The Logic Pros:

  • Making MIDI FX in Logic’s complex Environment simple
  • Working with Logic’s built-in Space Designer convolution reverb
  • Creating precise multi-tap delay/echo patterns with Delay Designer
  • Getting the most out of Logic’s built-in MIDI Arpeggiator
  • Creating custom-made, tempo flexible Apple Loops
  • Routing 101 – creating multi-track FX Sends and Submix groups
  • Kontrol S-series keyboards give you Komplete control of NI’s world-class instrument library
  • A look at Logic’s new heavy weight sample manipulation synth Alchemy
  • Moog Sub 37 is one of the best hardware synths for the money
  • iPad/Mac synths still can’t quite capture the experience of this $1,000 Moog
  • How-to connect MIDI controllers wirelessly over Bluetooth to iOS or Mac w/ puc+
  • Time compression and pitch correction with Logic’s built-in Flex tools
  • Automate tedious MIDI edits into a single-click with Logic’s Transform feature
  • How to use MIDI hardware synthesizers in Logic w/ External Instrument plug-in
  • How to create custom sampler instruments using any audio file with EXS24
  • How to create Retro Synth patches with custom wavetables and multi-voice stacking
  • How to customize Logic’s Drummer, beat-by-beat
  • 6 powerful new features you may have missed in Logic 10.1
  • How to control anything in Logic using your hardware MIDI controller
  • How to create multi-layered synth patches & drum sounds with Track Stacks
  • Turning iPad into a virtual pedalboard using Logic Remote
  • TE’s new pocket-sized synths & how to sync them up with your Mac

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