Santa? I is one.
I'm one of those people that is impossible to buy gifts for. If I like something, I just go buy it, thus leaving no room for gifts, and if it isn't something I already wanted, I don't care, and I don't really have any compunction about letting the gift-giver know that. I imagine that most people for whom the term "musician" is all-encompassing fall in to the same category. So, with that in mind, I provide a gift list, so you can just send a link to the people in your life that can't figure out what the hell it is you do and say "these are the things I would like to have. Pick one." All different price points are represented.
Since we're in a "full disclosure" state of mind 'round these parts, I'll mention again that I take no advertising money for this site, or any other site that is part of the extended family of posiNET. If something is mentioned here, and I got a freebie, I'll say so. Those ads to the right of this post are either for companies I own or have a stake in, or in the case of Analogue Haven, just cool dudes that I like and want to support.
So, without further ado, Five Christmas Gifts Under $500 For The Musician In Your Life, In No Particular Order...
The Time Factor is a delay pedel that contains several delay algorithms from the Eventide Harmonizer family. Don't let the pedal form factor fool you, though. This little baby is full of techno. It would make any guitar player, keyboard player, or "engineer/producer" type happy. Even if they already have one. Trust me on this.
Everyone wants one of these. If they already have one, they want another one. If they say they don't want one, they're lying or haven't played with one. It has terrible effects that can't be edited, a MIDI spec that is utterly ridiculous, and the stupidest I/O imaginable. Oh, did I mention it hisses like a pissed-off wombat? But it is built like a tank, does some things that nothing else does, and is great fun to play with. Don't get the little tiny ones. They're a waste of time. This is the one to get.
This one might not be the best choice if your giftee doesn't play guitar. But if he/she does, you could certainly do worse. Amp simulator, multi-fx, and a not-terrible drum machine all in one handy box. With a headphone jack. (I think that might be key for some significant others.)
This is the best $75 you could possibly spend on plugins, without mentioning Audio Damage. (Which I won't do, because that goes without saying.) For less than a hundo you get the fantastic D-Pole filter/delay/munger, the Attack percussion synth, and the PPG Wave synth plugins. All three are fantastic, and there is really no way the computer-based musician in your life won't be fine with this incredibly useful package. I mean, the D-Pole alone is worth the money. (I have a soft spot for it, because it's the first plugin I ever purchased.) These plugins are OSX and Windows, VST and AU, which means most anyone can use them. (And by most anyone, I mean anyone that isn't a Pro Tooler.)
For those not in the loop (oh, I'm on fire today) this is a cartridge that turns a Gameboy Advance, Micro, DS, or DS Lite in to a synthesizer/drum machine. You may have to throw one of those in, too, but even then, you're looking at a gift under $200 that will make any musician of any stripe, young or old, gifted or ham-fisted, happy.
Now, here's the game we're gonna play, as far as comments to this thread go. If you're gonna link something, it has to be under $500, not made by any of the Verboten companies (Roland, Avid and its childrens, Behringer, et al...), and have appeal across a broad spectrum. It's not as easy as one might think. And I don't know if a pissed-off wombat hisses. I just made that up, and the alliteration worked. Do wombats even get pissed off?