Can I be real for a second? Stocking stuffers are LAME. Socks. Soap. Maybe some awful smelling cologne/perfume if you’re lucky. This year, surprise your loved ones by stuffing something truly awesome in their stocking! Aston Origin The Aston Origin is quickly becoming one of the most popular home studio mics on the market. Built like a boutique microphone, with hand-selected, high-end components — the Origin sounds great on vocals and acoustic instruments. This microphone also features a proprietary ‘Wave-Form’ head which helps eliminate plosives and unwanted noise, eliminating the need for a windscreen. Plus, the Origin features a custom End Cap, designed to absorb high amounts of unwanted rumble. No need for a shock mount! Just fasten it directly to the mic stand, plug it in, and hit record! Avid Annual Upgrade Plan Renewal For Pro Tools OK, so maybe a new microphone isn’t what your loved one needs. That’s cool, there are still plenty of useful stocking stuffers for the musician or engineer in your life. For instance, why not cover their Pro Tools subscription for a year? Not only does the Avid Annual Upgrade Plan Renewal let you renew Pro Tools and its updates for a fraction of the price, you also get early access to new software releases! Vintage King Rack 500 Look, we’re not trying to brag or anything, but we know gear. Vintage King has been servicing audio equipment for over 20 years! We’ve seen pretty much every 500 module on the market, and we’ve seen a lot of 500 racks too. But none of them delivered the flexibility, durability and quality that we thought we could. So, we built our own! The Vintage King Rack 500 was designed to power any combination of 500 series modules you can come up with. Constructed for durability and toughness, this thing is built like a truck. Perhaps the best feature is the expanded connectivity. The Vintage King Rack 500 features both XLR and DB-25 audio connections, and extra XLR I/O to access channels 7 and 8 with 8CH DB-25 connectors. Make Noise 0-Coast The Make Noise 0-Coast (No-Coast for short) is a single-voice synthesizer that packs a H U G E punch in a tiny package! It features modulation techniques from both the Moog and Buchla synthesis styles. The No-Coast is great for synth-heads, or new sound designers alike. Designed to make noise right out of the box — you can start playing right away, plug in your favorite MIDI controller or start plugging in patch cables! This tiny device is sure to keep any synth fan busy for hours. Acme Audio Motown DI WB-3 One of the keys to “The Detroit Sound” was the Motown direct box. Berry Gordy wanted to be able to control the low end of his records, which meant recording the bass separately from the other instruments. The Motown D.I. WB-3 was designed by a young Motown audio engineer in the early 1960s, and this modern replication captures the magic all over again. Acme Audio's Motown DI WB-3 features the same audio character and lack of low-frequency magnetic saturation as the original. API 512C The API 512c is a classic preamp. It’s often described as "fast" or "pure," and known to add a certain pop to vocals, cymbals, piano, and acoustic guitars. The 512c uses the original API circuit designs to deliver the same classic sound, and up to 65dB of headroom! The perfect gift for the loudmouth in your family! Inward Connections The Brute The Brute is an optical limiter (similar to the Teletronix LA-2A) that’s known for sending vocals straight to the front of a mix. Commonly described as gentle, warm and smooth, The Brute is the perfect compressor for achieving that "high-end" vocal sound. Slower than most compressors, The Brute helps bring out a breathy, airy quality to vocals. But, don’t overlook it when compressing guitars, bass, or even the mix bus! UA Apollo Twin Duo MKII  The Apollo Twin MKII is one of the most popular professional desktop recording interfaces in the world. It delivers crystal-clear conversion quality and impeccable tone. Not to mention the patented Unison technology, which allows you to emulate mic preamps from Neve, APUI, Manley, UA and more in real time! In addition to a recording interface, the MKII Duo also provides external DSP, and a studio’s worth of analog hardware emulations of the UA 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, legacy LA-2A and 1176LN compressors, Pultec EQs, and more! The MKII Duo is a great choice for engineers looking to start their home studio. As your needs change and your projects get bigger, you can expand your inputs by including up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding I/O and DSP as your studio grows. Plus, after upgrading to an Apollo 8 or 16, the MKII Duo becomes a monitor controller with built-in DSP! Coles 4038 Designed and built by the BBC in the early 1950s, the Coles 4038 is one of the most popular ribbon microphone of all time. Producers and engineers have predominantly looked to the Coles 4038 for recording drum sounds. The popularity of this use most likely leads back to Beatles and Led Zeppelin records, as Glyn Johns was a staunch user of the mic. Step your stocking game up this holiday season! Only old ladies buy candy for stocking stuffers. Microphones, instruments, software, and interfaces — there’s something on the list for everybody!