If you want to spoil the producer in your life with an awesome gift without breaking the bank, here’s a great place to start. We’ve assembled this a collection of a few gems that all come in at less than a Benjamin.
X50 v2 $70
While there are plenty of amp sims on the market, X50 is not only cream of the crop in terms of quality, but also much cheaper than many of the other options. Like Toneforge, it’s an all-in-one solution combining TSE’s 808 overdrive, an amp sim (modeling the 5150), a cab sim (comes with a great selection of IRs; you can also load your own) and effects (gate, reverb, delay and a very good EQ).
JST Finality $59
Finality is the newish limiter plugin from Joey Sturgis tones. If you’re a fan of Joey’s recordings then you know he is all about liberal use of limiters and clippers in unorthodox ways, so he made his own plugin that does all the things he couldn’t find in existing plugins. If you like that aggressive, modern sound then definitely give Finality a shot.
“DIY Mastering” with Jesse Cannon $79
Speaking of limiters, they’re an integral part of the mastering process. And while many think of mastering as something of a black art that bedroom producers can’t be trusted with, that’s simply not true. There is absolutely no reason you can’t master your own music, and in this class producer Jesse Cannon (Misfits, Soma, Animal Collective) shows you exactly how to do it.
“Compression & Dynamics Master Class” with Graham Cochrane $49
If you’re not quite ready to dive into mastering but want a better handle on how to use compression in your mixes, then this class by Graham Cochrane is a great place to start. Graham explains the sometimes confusing concepts of compression in very clear, simple terms that will take you from “turning knobs and hoping it sounds good” to making decisive, purposeful compression moves in no time!