By Clive Young.
Every year at Pro Sound News, we run a story on what to get your favorite live sound roadie for the holidays. We look around for useful and sometimes goofy items that are small enough to fit in a road case drawer, and which are as applicable to guys running PTA meeting audio as to their brethren tackling 50,000-seat stadium shows.
This year, we cast our net far and wide, using Twitter, publicist listservs and more to ask for cool gift ideas. We hoped we’d get interesting responses, and were not disappointed: Everyone from Pink’s touring drummer to a roadie’s mom wrote in, and while some answers didn’t fit the question, there was a lot of good stuff to discover. In fact, there was so much that we’ve split it up into four parts—and today, we highlight…
• High Fidelity Hearos: Everyone has their favorite ear plugs; these cut volume by up to 20 dB and are used at every concert by Stephen Perkins, drummer for Jane’s Addiction. hearos.com/earplugs/products-00211.html
• Shake N Wake Alarm Clock: It looks like something out of Dick Tracy, but this oversize wristwatch-like gadget will shake you awake from that back-of-the-truck catnap without disturbing everyone else. bit.ly/89pIgP
• Tripp-Lite Travel-Size Surge Suppressor: You finally get a chance to recharge all your gadgets and zap—one powersurge later, they're all fried. That’s less likely to happen with this item, which sports a standard plug and two USB charging ports. bit.ly/6iY43Z
• Sennheiser PXC 310 BT Travel Headphones: While they sport NoiseGard 2.0 noise-canceling technology, these headphones are also Bluetooth equipped, so you can listen to stereo music from your iPhone or laptop wirelessly. www.sennheiserusa.com
• Icon Rogue 1: Whether you’re going rogue or just under the stage, here’s a tough, waterproof LED flashlight with an aerospace aluminum body that runs off a single AA battery. www.myiconlight.com
• Speaker Beeper: It's a portable testing tool that checks driver functionality, wiring and speaker cables, and room coverage. www.ljp.us/html/production.htm
• Jungle Balm: New to the U.S., this is an old-school (as in 400 years old) Indonesian pain remedy made from culillawan tree oil. Supposedly a few drops on a sore spot does the trick. www.junglebalm.com
• During a field trip to Target, we spotted some good stuff in the stocking stuffer section, such as a 6-Language Translator--a $10 Blackberry-styled gadget that translates 5,000 words and 110 sentences between English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. Also on hand was a $20 Computer Travel Kit with USB NUM keyboard, mini 5 P/M to USB A/M retractable cable, USB 4-port hub; retractable RJ45 networking cable; and a retractable optical mouse, all in a pouch. Both items were branded as Target products, and are apparently in-store only for the holidays; no URLs available.
Have some great roadie gift ideas you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!