I don’t think I did one last year, but this year I think I am. So…..you have a saxophonist that you want to get a little holiday gift for huh? Well, here are some ideas.
iPad – Yes, there are other knock off tables. But with the huge, rich, totally awesome App eco-system Apple has, why mess around? ForScore is my App of choice for storing and reading PDFs, with GoodReader a close second. Plus, add programs like Garageband on……there is so much you can do with this device.
iPod Touch – This little device is awesome. You can record stuff on the fly. Or perhaps take a picture of some chord changes you need to work on? Or maybe listen to some tunes? The iPod Touch is great. Use it as a tuner, a metronome, a camera……so many uses. I find I use mine (well, the iPhone version of it) for tuning, or snapping a shot of a chart I need to shed, or doing a spot recording.
Just Joe Strap – There was some make believe controversy about this strap, but it is still hands down the best neck strap I have ever played. Comfortable. Well worth investing in.
Ultimate Support JS-DS100 Jamstands Double Sax Stand – Everyone needs a stand, and the Woodwind & Brasswind has these for $4.99 with FREE Shipping. How insane is that. I have another one of these on order just because it was so cheap!
Dayton Audio Sub-800 Subwoofer ($79) – Add some bottom to your sound. This is a great little subwoofer.
Logic 9 or Reaper – Reaper is a great, almost free program that does a LOT. Logic is a battle tested Pro Audio program that many musicians have done whole albums with. Logic also comes bundled with a TON of Loops and plugins. Either will get you making music.
Mighty Bright Orchestra Light($40) – The best stand light. Hands down. Includes some batteries, a case, and an AC Adapter.
Pelican Cases – I am not happy with my current case, a SBK tenor case. For Alto, I use a Selmer Tripack case. Not really happy with that either. When I came across Battle Cases, I know what I want for my next case. At least for Alto. After seeing Battle Cases, I think a 1650 case modded to hold a curved soprano, alto, clarinet, flute, piccolo and oboe would be awesome. Sadly, since Battle Cases wants $150 to set up each instrument in the case, I probably would do this myself. I suppose another option is something like a Walt Johnson case.
Microphone – Recording yourself is a great way to refine your art. You can’t go wrong with a Shure SM57, or if you have some more money to spend, a Rode M3 or Rode NT1A or a Blue Spark (Engadget Review). These are just starting points. There are plenty of other microphones out there.
Portable Recorder – I myself have an OLD Marantz compact flash recording device. Old, I mean probably 8 years old now? There are a LOT of portable recorders on the market now. Though everyone and their mom swears by the Zoom Recorders, I have never heard anything recorded on them that sounds good. The microphones are really not very good. That being said, a flash recorder that does 24bit and 48khz or above that has XLR inputs would be ideal. Something like the Tascam DR100 MKII.