Looking for ways to shower the deserving musical dad in your life with tokens of affection? We aim to make your gift-giving easy—check out these sweet suggestions for making your father feel special, from fun little gadgets to serious production tools.
One of the handiest but least sexy modules in your system is the mult, a device that splits an output signal into several copies. Although a mult module doesn't take up much space in your rack, it does take some, and in a complex patch, it seems like you can never have enough of them. With that in mind, Intellijel created the Hub, an inexpensive and portable 1-to-3-way passive mult. The Hub is built into a solid, lightweight plastic enclosure that is 1.5" wide and just over a 0.5" thick, and the 3.5mm gold-plated jacks are mounted onto the PCB. (The unit can be opened up by removing a pair of screws, if you need to repair it.) Magnets on each side allow you to attach the device to metal edges or posts of your case. (The Hub is also available without magnets for the same price.)
THE X CLIP DUAL MIC CLIP
Dads plus duct tape equals true love. And although all dads love the fact that the wonder stuff has 1,001 uses, we're pretty sure "taping two mics together" is probably not everyone’s favorite trick. The X Clip plastic dual-microphone clip is designed to pair a Shure SM57 with just about any small-diaphragm condenser. Microphones easily slide in and out of the simple mount, letting you adjust phase coherency in seconds, and eliminating the need for extra mic stands.
DIVISION 6 JACKLIGHT
Whether your dad needs something to test the polarity and strength of an output signal, or just some more cool blinking lights, the Jack Lite will do the trick. The light at the end of the 3.5mm plug will shine red for positive signals, blue for negative, with brightness indicating signal strength. Pick up a few for dad and a few more for yourself!
MUSICAL WINE GLASSES
$65 for two glasses; uncommongoods.com
Create beverage-based instruments the easy way with this custom set of eight lead-free crystal glasses from Uncommon Goods: Fill up (or drink down) to A-major scale note markers laser-etched along the glass and then run your finger around the lip to create beautiful resonant tones; sheet music is provided so dad and all of his friends can get in on the action.
GLOW-IN-THE DARK PATCH CABLES
If your dad needs patch cables that glow bright green in the dark (and really, what dad doesn't?), now you know where to get them for him. Available in lengths from 12" to 31.5".
Prices start at $75; soundwavejewellery.com
Sound Wave Jewellery customizes earrings, rings, bracelets, and other unique pieces with a visual representation of your favorite recording. Share words of wisdom or send dad a secret message, or just let him show off his wide dynamic range in style.
Treat Dad while doing your part to recycle with custom guitar picks made from retired cymbals. Each handcrafted, solid-brass pick has a unique dual-sided lathing pattern and smooth, beveled edges; our friends down the hall at Guitar Player rave that they “glide off the strings, creating an otherworldly tonal palette.”
$32; rockitbot, etsy.com
Dad could jam your smartphone, guitar picks, business cards, USB cables, business cards, jump drives, SD cards, batteries, cash, and ID into every spare pocket in his pants. But he knows that the safari look is so 1990. Instead, help him neatly pack it all into the Nerd Herder, an all-in-one gadget wallet that holds all of this and more—even his passport. It’s available in two sizes and a dazzling array of designs.
Witness your dad making gorgeous space music on the go with the Theremin Mini from Gakken. This easy-to-assemble kit will have Dad up and running before he finishes that latte you also brought him on his special day; all he'll need are a Philips screwdriver and four AA batteries. Includes tiny sheets of music and a Japanese Theremin magazine for inspiration.
$48; artstruments, etsy.com
The beloved Furby robot toy has been through numerous incarnations since its launch in 1998, but none as cool as this circuit-bent beauty. The Freakenfurby lets Dad craft alien-sounding vocal noises, freeze strange sounds, and send the toy into utter sonic chaos via a handy Glitch switch. Patch into its built-in 1/8" jack to send his creations into other noise-making machines.
Ljunggren Audio RYO Airtenuator I
$15 assembled, $9 pack of 3 PCBs, $25 DIY kit, ljunggrenaudio.com
Is dad into modular synths? A passive attenuator for systems with 3.5mm jacks, the RYO Airtenuator I has a linear taper that makes it great for adjusting signal levels and modulation depth between source and destination modules. At 2.25" long and 1" tall, the RYO Airtenuator I is designed to float in the air, suspended by the input and output cables attached to either end. The knob is easy enough to turn with a single hand, yet it is lightweight enough that it won't create stress on your modules' jacks at either end. Simply route your signal in the right direction through the device. Little white arrows printed on the circuit board show you the proper connection. We think dads will find the RYO Airtenuator I to be very handy when he needs a way to subtly adjust the parameters of a patch, especially when performing.
This one's a favorite with the music teacher dads: Chord Dice is a set of dice that lets Dad have fun explaining (or learning) theory. The makers of Chord Dice have a simple mantra: Music should be simple and fun, and exist for everyone. Five six-sided dice display chords and their relationship to their root key (here, G major); Dad rolls, forms the chords, and plays the song that he just constructed. If he doesn’t know how to play the chords, he can download the accompanying tab dictionary. According to the company, “if you want to rock, just roll.”