DJ Mag Gift Guide 2020
Welcome to the ultimate gift guide for DJs, producers and electronic music fans. Inside we've got everything from streaming kit, MIDI controllers, headphones, books, Bluetooth speakers and tonnes more for every price bracket. Dive in and cheer yourself up for 2020 – you've earned it
2020 is nearly over. Nice one. But before then, the annual excuse to shower loved ones with technology they don't really want that you can use later is here. It's been a tough year for everyone, on mental health and bank balances, so we've kept this one simple and loaded up on the affordable presents for the electronic music fan in your life. With stocking fillers, books, gifts under £100 and under £250, there's loads to choose from to make the last few weeks of this wretched year even easier. Enjoy!
Loop earplugs | from £14
Protect your hearing when the clubs re-open with these subtle and stylish earplugs. There’s multiple volume reduction levels and colours to choose from starting at an affordable price.
DJ Mag Subscription PDF | £20
If the print edition is out of your price or location range, you can still get DJ Mag delivered digitally straight to your account every month, as a image-rich PDF. It’s only £20 for a year – perfect stocking filler.
Hercules HDP DJ60 | £52
High-quality DJ headphones at an affordable price from DJ experts Hercules. Foldable and portable too – ideal for your first DJ cans.
The DJ Game | £11.95
The music charity Last Night a DJ Saved My Life has been raising money from music-related events for children in crisis for years – big up to them! Their latest idea is a top-trumps style game for DJs – who’s got the best Hair Game? Who tops the After Party Powers? Find out inside this game – £1 of every sale goes to a good cause, can’t argue with that, eh?
NIO cocktails | £19.50 for three
If the bars are closed, why not bring the bar to you? NIO cocktails handily package some of the most famous – and more quirky – cocktails out there onto a fancy waterproof envelope and gift box, ready to be poured over ice. A great gift for anyone who loves a long drink after a long day-slash-year.
Wasted Heroes garms | from £5
Our friends at Wasted Heroes have been whipping up dance-music related garms for years, and count the likes of Carl Cox and Peggy Gou as fans. Everything from beanies and totes to hoodies, football jerseys and even face masks – for the techno fan in your life, they’ve got you covered.
Vinyl pizza cutter | £8
Most of us have swapped one twelve-inch for another this year (that’s vinyl for pizza, by the way), but doesn’t mean we can’t throwback to the good old days with this vinyl pizza cutter.
JOBY Grip for iPhone | £38
As streaming dominated 2020, we’re hoping for more IRL experiences in 2021. But that doesn’t mean streaming is going anywhere. This JOBY Grip stand will turn your iPhone into a pro camera that’ll mount in any booth or home, ready to be wired in or used wirelessly in your streams.
Mirror ball | from £10
We’ve said it before and we’ll probably say it again – 2020 was the year for bringing the club to you. It’s not quite the same but whether it’s for live streaming or for small bubble gatherings, a disco ball is never a bad idea. There’s a whole heap of options here, from the tiny to the outrageous.
Pikes Cocktail Book | £12.75
Who doesn’t love Pikes? It’s one of the constants among fans of music, cocktails and debauchery. Bring some of the Pikes party spirit to your kitchen this Xmas with the Pikes cocktail book. It’s filled with photos of the famous hotel alongside drink recipes and stories from Tony Pike himself.
DJ Mag Print Subscription | £96.40 (UK)
Get the world’s best dance music magazine delivered to your door every month for a year – the perfect gift for any electronic music fan.
Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE-1 | £59
Released earlier this year, these are some of Pioneer DJ’s cheapest DJ headphones, in a selection of fancy hues, or basic black.
FUSER Game | £60
A mash-up culture re-birth is long overdue (kind of) and this game called Fuser for Switch, PS, Xbox and more lets you seamlessly mix, match and blend acapellas, instrumentals, basslines and beats from famous records across genres. Think Rock Band but for mashups, aka a Christmas morning nightmare, but lots of fun.
Apple Homepod Mini | £99
Apple’s HomePod has been widely praised as one of the best-sounding smart speakers, but also one of the most expensive. The new Mini model cuts it down to £99 but with the same functionality.
100 of the World’s Best Clubs | £50
This beautifully packaged, coffee-table book celebrates the world’s best nightclubs with high-quality pics and paper, the ultimate gift for any raver or dance music fan. It also features interviews with the DJs who’ve played them, who also pick their faves. It’s limited to 1,000 copies so be quick.
Audio Technica LP60X £99
As affordable as turntables get, this belt drive option from Audio Technica is a great entry-level option for anyone who wants to start their vinyl listening journey.
AUSDOM AW16 Webcam | $79
If you’ve been streaming this year, or know someone who has and wants to upgrade your camera on a budget, the AUSDOM AW16 USB webcam is a great option. As it’s USB it doesn’t need a capture card so can plug straight in and start streaming.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom speaker | £49
You can never enough portable Bluetooth speakers, whether it’s for staycation glamping or My First Festival when it’s safe to do so. Ultimate Ears have long been coaxing power from small boxes and the Wonderboom packs a punch. They can also be chained together for extra oomph.
Launchpad Mini MK3 | £99
Novation’s Launchpad range is one of the OG Ableton controllers and has stuck around for a reason. It’s super flexible, well built and easy to use. The Mini version doesn’t even cut many corners, is just slightly smaller. A quality option for anyone exploring Live or building up their studio.
Hercules DJControl Starlight | £69
Hercules DJControl Starlight is one of the cheapest and smallest Serato controllers going – it even comes with a copy of Lite to get you started. Great for beginners or as an ultra-portable option for staying in this New Years.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 Controller | £249
As we said in our controller roundup, “the DDJ-400 is the best way to start your journey with the industry-standard kit”. And it’s true! For serious beginners who eventually want to play in clubs, it’s a brilliant starting point, offering the familiar CDJ and mixer layout, and rekordbox playlists and analysis.
Korg Volca Sample 2 | £159
Korg’s Volca range is a mini hit with those on a budget and more pro users alike. The Sample is probably the most versatile of the bunch, especially with version two making it easier to add your own samples. A powerful little box for creative music makers.
Blipbox After Dark | £189
Finally, an excuse to buy your kids a synth. The Blipbox takes all the joy of synthesis and repackages it into a kids toy, but keeps the powerful oscillators and MIDI connectivity. The After Dark version is due to be released this month – start them young.
Evermixbox4 | £115
The Mixbox is a quality device for any DJ, amateur or pro. It’s a really simple way to record mixes to your phone through a handy app that can also share your mix to Mixcloud and other platforms. It also charges your phone while recording. Neat.
Maschine Mikro | £199
Native Instruments Maschine is something of a modern classic for its usability, high-quality library and artist Expansions. The Mikro is the cheapest way into the world of Maschine, and the library is worth the asking price alone. The hardware is quality too, with pro pads, a touch strip and multi-functional control knob. A bargain way to enter the pro world of beat making.
Akai Pro Fire FL Studio Controller | £149
The world’s first dedicated controller for FL Studio, Akai Pro’s Fire is a great option for any FL Studio users who want to start taking their programming and control more seriously. You can also get discounts on FL Studio when you buy it – handy.
Hercules DJController InPulse 500 | £249
Released earlier this year, Hercules’ InPulse 500 is their flagship controller with high build quality and helpful features like Beatmatch Guide that lights up, directing you which way to move the jog to keep the music in sync – perfect for serious beginners. It also works with Serato Pro so is a great upgrade option. We loved it – watch our First Look video as proof.
AIAIAI KNTXTW01 Headphones | €200
Charlotte de Witte has teamed up with pro headphone connoisseurs AIAIAI to celebrate her label KNTXT with her own pair of DJ cans. As a long time user of AIAIAI – as you can see in her winner’s set from DJ Mag Alt Top 100 here – the new headphones are a great gift for amateur and pro techno DJs, or DJs of any genre.
Elgato Stream Deck XL | £210
Yes, streaming has become the main focus for a lot of DJs in 2020, and while some found themselves the victim of circumstance, others embraced the new format and got creative with their OBS. Stream Deck XL from Elgato is perfect for them, with 32 customisable LED buttons that can be adapted into shortcuts for quick camera cutting, scene changing, audio FX – you can also chain complex functions onto one button. It also works with other software so can double up in the studio.
Adam T5V monitors | £270
Adam came out of left-field in 2018 when they announced the T5Vs, a super affordable speaker that’s won tonnes of awards for its high quality and low price. It’s officially €199 per speaker but we’ve seen it for as low as £134 each, which comes in £270 – an absolute bargain for such a pro speaker. Treat yourself.
Bedroom beats and B-sides | £12.99
A chronicle of a revolutionary sonic time at the turn of the 20th century when instrumental hip hop took a darker, sonically experimental turn with interviews from James Lavelle, El-P, The Bug, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Waajeed, Kode9 and more.
The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture | £30
It’s been called “the definitive photography book and essential guide to Jamaican Dancehall in the 1980s” and this 10-year anniversary edition is definitely a coffee table must-have for any music fan.
Bring That Beat Back: How Sampling Built Hip-Hop | £15.66
Released back in April, Nate Petrin’s book documents the art of sampling via the technology techniques that paved the way for a musical revolution. While the title focuses on hip-hop, it’s for any music fan with even a passing interest in pop culture and zeitgeist.
Liberation Through Hearing | £15
Richard Russell’s XL Recordings is one of the most seminal labels of the modern age. Curator of acts like The Prodigy, The White Stripes, Adele, M.I.A., Dizzee Rascal and Giggs, Liberation Through Hearing is Russell’s memoir, from his days as a rave promoter in the ’80s through three decades at the top of his game.
Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Records | £21
Set up by Jeff Barrett in 1990, Heavenly’s first single was produced by Andrew Weatherall, setting the tone for the next 30 years of influential sounds. Their Heavenly Sunday Social was an iconic club where the Chemical Brothers made their name. Believe in Magic tells the story of the British staple.
Dave Swindells Ibiza ’89 | £35
A photo diary of Ibiza’s golden age – the summer of 1989. Iconic pics of legendary clubs, parties and people, all smothered in the best fashion of the ’80s. It’s in hot demand so if you miss out on the first run look out for a re-print.
Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany | £10
The definitive story of the robotic group from Germany that changed our music – and our culture – as we know it.
Plastician: The Dad Joke Bible | £7.99
While most DJs were working on their dad bods in 2020, Chris Reed AKA DJ and producer Plastician was working up some cringe joke magic with his new dad joke bible book. If you want cracker jokes all year round, as well as some electronic music references thrown in – very niche request all the same – this is for you.
In a year when almost all artists lost the vast majority of their revenue, many turned to streaming donations, Patreon, and other fan-funded platforms to allow fans to contribute and assist them throughout the pandemic. It wasn't just artists, many venues, radio stations and other media offered the same, while there are many other subscription services out there that existed pre-COVID. One thing most of them have in common though is, for some reason, despite being the perfect gift, they don't offer gift cards! It's confusing, but that's 2020. We wanted to outline them anyway, as they are affordable gifts that might just be perfect for someone in your life – or as a generous Xmas gift to an artist or platform you love. There's no gift card though, so you might have to get creative wth how it's packaged.
NTS Supporter | from £2.99/m
Everyone's favourite radio station introduced NTS Supporters in 2020, a reaction to the global pandemic but also a way to fund their own residents, with 50% of the money going to their regular DJ and hosts. Starting at £2.99 a month, being a resident means you get live tracklists, 20% off NTS merch and that warm fuzzy feeling you're supporting an independent business. You can pay for the year upfront too, if you're gifting.
Loopmasters Loopcloud | from £5.99/m
Give the gift of kick drums this Xmas – Loopmasters are one of the leading providers of samples in the world, covering every genre, style, and instrument you could imagine. Their Loopcloud app and service provides access to millions of samples directly from your DAW, ready to drag and drop the ones you love. £5.99 a month or £60 a year gets you 100 samples a month as well as 10 free sounds a day, but you can go up to 600 for £17.99 a month.
Mixcloud Live | £9/m
Mixcloud Live's release was brought forward as a reaction to the huge rise in streaming in 2020, offering a live platform that guarantees no takedowns because of its unique radio-style license. You can also monetise your channel, access analytics and schedule uploads, plus more. If you know someone who took to streaming and making mixes during lockdown, this is a great gift to help them up their game.
Beatport LINK | from £10.99/m
Beatport's LINK is fast becoming a standard in DJ software, and even on Denon's DJ hardware. It allows you to stream the entire Beatport catalogue straight to DJ devices including curated and custom playlists. It's super useful for new DJs who might not have their own music collection and is supported in lots of software like VirtualDJ, rekordbox dj and algoriddim djay. Sign up here.
Rekordbox Cloud | from €9.99/m
Similarly to Beatport LINK, rekordbox cloud lets you stream your music collection from the cloud into any other device running rekordbox, meaning you don't have to always have your collection with you physically. You can also store analysis info so once your library is scanned, it won't need to be again – hooray! It starts at €9.99 for features like hardware-supported Performance Mode, but if you want the full whack it'll cost you €14.99.