Discover our top recommendations of microphones, instruments and more for budgets under £50 with the 2020 music gift guide.
We love musical gadgets and over the years, through our work as professional musicians and educators, we’ve identified a handful of excellent gift ideas for musical people in the under £50 price range. So check out the music gift guide below and buy the musician in your life a unique present thats a million times better than a stylophone!
Music Gift Guide
1. CLIP Photon Smasher
Turn bike lights into beats and LEDs into futuristic drones with the Photon Smasher – a microphone for light!
Discover a hidden world of sound with the Photon Smasher, the handmade microphone that turns light into sound. Assemble the kit and use the included LED to listen to light. Explore the physics of light and sound to turn bicycle lights into thumping drum beats and light up toys into futuristic synthesisers.
Price: £49.99 (incl P&P)
DISCLAIMER: The Photon Smasher is made by CLIP, with all profit going into running our education projects.
2. Harley Benton MA-5 Miniamp
A small battery powered amp for making music wherever you want.
At our CLIP education workshops, we try not to restrict ourselves to making music next to a plug. These small 9V amps are an excellent way of making music outside or just in spaces without power. Although designed for guitars, you can absolutely plug in a synth, keyboard or microphone – so long as it has a 1/4″ jack output.
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3. Meetoz Contact Microphone(s)
Discover sounds hidden inside surfaces with a contact microphone.
Unlike a normal microphone which picks up vibrations in the air, a contact microphone picks up vibrations in a surface. These inexpensive professional contact mics have a 1/4″ jack with 10 inch cable meaning you can simply plug them into your guitar amp, bass amp or other recording equipment. Traditionally they would be suitable for acoustic instrument like acoustic guitars or Violin. However when you attach them to springs, metal railings or metal drums – you can discover some amazing hidden sounds!
A unique instrument for listening to electromagnetic sounds.
The Elektrousi allows you to discover sonic worlds of electromagnetic fields, surrounding our every step. Plug the microphones into a recording device (e.g a dictaphone like the Zoom H1n) and explore the incredible electromagnetic soundscape around us. For example, your wifi router sings a rhythmic symphony of clicks, pops and hisses!
Price: €22 (£20)
5. Rakit Mini Atari Punk Console
Create lo-fi sounds resembling those from the old style Atari games.
This Atari Punk Console kit is based on the original Stepped Tone Generator by Forest M. Mimms III. It creates great lo-fi sounds resembling those from the old style Atari games using an astable square wave oscillator. The main features of the kit are a 9v battery connector snap, an on/off power switch, a 3.5mm jack so that it can be hooked up to other devices such as an amp, speaker or headphones, and two knobs to control the pitch and depth of the quirky raspy tones produced.
Rakit sell a variety of DIY assembly synthesis/noise-making instruments so definitely check their website to see the full range with options from £10 – 70. However, note that the cheapest prices require you soldering it together yourself (which is always fun, if you know what you’re doing).
Price £9.99 (assembly required)
6. Mini.Mu Glove Kit
The MINI.MU gets kids crafting, coding and playing their own wearable instrument.
The MINI.MU is a make-it-yourself musical glove for kids. It is a collaboration between musician Imogen Heap, creative technologist and children’s author Helen Leigh, Pimoroni and the MI.MU glove team. This kit uses the popular, versatile micro:bit computer to create a friendly, simple and fun crafty code experience.
7. Korg Monotron Delay & Duo
Korg’s analogue synthesiser tribe has two new members!
Pocket sized analog synthesiser from Korg packed with features. These two endearingly delightful little keyboards have identical footprints but differ on their sounds slightly.
Duo: The Dual Oscillator monotron DUO offers X-MOD capabilities for generating even more extreme sounds.
Delay: The monotron DELAY features a Space Delay that can produce intense, analog-like echo effects.