We asked some of our featured artists what they want for Xmas and got some fascinating answers. New kit, old classics and fantasy gear - from a space bass to wireless shakers!
My wish list is a new keyboard called ‘Seaboard’ (by ROLI) which hopefully I’m getting before Xmas – I’ve already tried it and it’s amazing.
Totally responsive haptic keyboard enabling per-note microtonal playing and slurring between notes – much better than on the videos!
Pic by Mike Massaro
I’d really love to get me a late 50’s Gibson Les Paul Jr. I’ve always loved the look and feel of those guitars, plus having a unique sound of its own which would be great for the arsenal! Also, I’d love to get a mid 60’s Slingerland kit.
As it is also my Birthday on Christmas Eve I have chosen a big ‘two in one’ present ( - story of my life) The ultimate Christmas gift a Korg Microkrpg XL+. I am a real piano purist and currently use an 88 key Korg SV1 and I usually rely on soft synths and plug-ins for any live work. The new Microkorg XL+ would be the ultimate fun addition to my rig and its quality of sound and versatility is world renowned. In fact I would quite like a custom-made portable one that I could hang around my neck and use when I am in the supermarket asking for cash-back or whatever. My only concern is having to adjust my style of playing to feel comfortable with the tiny keys. That and making every new song I write a little DP (Daft Punk) or heavily vocoded. It must be a right of passage whenever anyone gets one of these - I am sure I’d manage… ;-)
My Christmas gear wish would be the Porter & Davies BC2 drum stool. It’s a seat that basically turns your body into a a speaker. You put your kick (toms & snare if you want) through the P&T amp and it triggers the plate in the throne. The plate sends vibrations through your body which not only internally connect you with your groove but also allows you to actually hear your drums through your body. No more messy on stage sound, no tiring monitoring set up. Comfy ass!
My muso Christmas present would start with a guitar building masterclass with Jack White and Brian Eastwood after a weekend in the lake district for Jack and myself (with spa treatment). We would spend a day in Brian’s workshop choosing the wood and components to make our custom guitars. Not much but a relaxing, educational weekend away would be very nice.
I would like a microphone stand that has triggers built in to where I would naturally hold my right hand. I’d also love to have a sensor so that I could play things like a digital theremin etc just by using my mic stand sensor. That and a wireless shaker that I could select different types of shakers on.
I’ve been wanting to make a hybrid guitar bass sampler. The top two strings being E A on a bass and the bottom 3 strings being E A D of a guitar. The ins and outs of making this stay in tune and play would be fairly tricky, as would choosing the pickups! With distinct tone and volume knobs. Would be quite a process to put this together and make both sound good. I’d also like it to have a sampler built in near the volume knobs with some controls on it so one could play stuff and loop or run noisy bits. The Guibass? Batar? Bastardo! I’d probably call it that.
Ondes Martenot. There is no instrument which embodies the way I think about making music more than the Ondes Martenot. I love the different resonators and the hybrid key/wire playing system. Such a powerful attempt at combining organic and mechanical elements into a cohesive musical tool. And it looks beautiful.
I’d preferably like it to be modelled on the Gretsch Brooklyn Series kit, but with a 2nd floor tom. Then I’d like each tom to have snares that could be adjusted just like a regular snare drum. I’d also like custom removable rattles added to the head of each tom. And a new set of cymbals would be amazing too, one being a 22 inch riveted Zildjian A Custom ride.
Saint Saviour by Mari Sarai
I guess the ability to recreate the feeling you had on a demo version would be my dream power. I always struggle to re-record vocals with the same feeling I had on a demo version, often because I’ve just written the song and recorded it in the same mood. I call it ‘demo-itis’.
I’ve met my all time musical hero Stevie Wonder and hung out with him, and Ty and I have got every keyboard we’ve possibly dreamed about. So it has to be a vintage 1970s custom-made Neve desk laced with 1073 Preamps, for the studio.
My Xmas wish list is practical and it’s a customised pedal board, something lightweight, durable and interchangeable for gigging with my pedals.
A 6-7” deep vintage maple snare tuned low for a really nice 70’s sound! I’m also after a new pair of hi-hats!
And we’d both love a Pearl Harts support slot with Pearl Jam next year! ;)
For my Xmas wishlist I would love the new Komplete. It has every possible sound known to man. Except my voice of course. Which is handy. I already bought that… for a penny. I’d also like a left handed guitar.
My ultimate Xmas present would be Bootsy Collins’ original space bass.This is the diamond encrusted, star shaped funk beast he slapped to pieces back in the 70s. Obviously I’d need a pair of star shaped sunglasses to complete the look.
My wish list piece is the Fender ‘68 Custom Princeton Reverb Amplifier. For a little amp this packs a massive punch and delivers the classic Fender tone! Its small enough for small gigs and at 12 watts its loud enough for huge rooms. Plus, it looks great with the silver grille on the front.
I’d like a Digitech Whammy. I’ve always wanted one but it’s a fair bit pricey. The reason is I heard it played by Jonny Greenwood on songs like Just or My Iron Lung for the first time and I remember wondering how the hell did he make that guitar sound like an organ rather than a guitar, and then I geeked out and found the pedal’s name was “the Digitech Whammy” and it struck my 15 year old self as a mythical creature.