If I Had a Million Dollars ($500 Edition)

May 23, 2012 10:54 AM

What would you do with about $500 (USD) to spend on a new music something?

Ok, so I have about $500 to spend (USD, give or take) on something musical. What would you get? Things I have considered:
Upgrade my Audiobro LASS from Lite to Full (this is actually $650 but that's within my upper limit).

Get a new mic (currently just use the SM7b).

Sell my Apogee Duet 1 and get a Duet 2, or maybe some other ADAC with killer pre-amps.

I kave Kontakt Player 5, upgrading to Komplete Ultimate would be $800, so that's a little high but still tempting. Is there some other library or set of virtual instruments in this price range that you would be looking at?
I know that these kinds of decisions are highly personal, but I love to hear what other musicians would get next within a given price range, so have at it, comrades!

posted by Doleful Creature (13 comments total)

A few Moody guitar straps, a Wampler Plextortion, a Line 6 G50, an Eleven Rack (although an Axe-FXII looks better), new pickups for two of my guitars, a Carvin V3M, and a Duet 2 would all be worth considering if I were handed about $500.
posted by Silvertree at 1:02 PM on May 23, 2012

I'd need $599, but I'd replace my delay and chorus pedals (both by digitech) with a Moogerfooger Cluster Flux.

...Or I'd buy your love.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 5:54 PM on May 23, 2012

My love is free, but can you write the check out to "cash"?
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:14 AM on May 24, 2012

I'd buy this keyboard.

If I were you, though, I'd be seriously thinking about getting the Copperphone as a second mic. I really adore mine and it's only half your budget.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:07 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hey, that copperphone is pretty sweet! *scribbles on notepad*
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:57 AM on May 24, 2012

That SM7b is a great mic, doesn't need upgrading. A nice condenser might be worth it to record some things though -- the Sterling ST77 is nice and you can usually get one for around $200 from somewhere.

Mostly though I think when you spend money on stuff like this, you should get something that is as much unlike stuff you already have as possible. Here's some fun stuff I found.

An Epiphone Dot 335 copy ($399)

Or an Epiphone Banjo ($249).

An Egnater Tweaker 15w combo? ($599)

A Dean Boca 12-string? ($399)

A Pearl drumkit ($549)

A strumstick ($155)

A Rogue Classic brass body resonator? ($349)

In terms of samples, I highly recommend Alicia's Keys or the Tonehammer Emotional Piano. The Abbey Road 60s drumkit is also on every track I ever do pretty much. Also the NI Vintage Keys package.
posted by unSane at 12:11 PM on May 24, 2012

I'd go on eBay and grab a Les Paul 60's Tribute Gold Top with P90's, ensuring that it was one with a rosewood fingerboard (rather than baked maple) and a natural mahogany back (rather than the rather horrid black matt finish of more recent versions of this model). You migh have to add a few more dollars but, trust me, it'd be worth it.....
posted by MajorDundee at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2012

stuff i recently bought for under 500, mostly used

a schecter omen 7 diamond extended for 179 - with a 26 1/2 length, i've managed to downtune it to open g - it seems kind of messy and over-resonant for leads, but it does the low doom metal thing really, really well

a double fat squier telecaster deluxe for 249 - with tone control knob pushed in, you have a two humbucking pickup guitar that sounds very close to an sg - pull it out and you're in single coil telecaster mode - nice atlantic blue finish, too - i think this was made in korea in 2000

a 60 buck orange microcrush 9 volt battery powered amp - by shoving it speaker down on a quilt and miking the side, i'm getting a very nice tight metal tone that can be reamped with care through virtual amps for a big sound - hooking the headphone out to my computer sounds pretty good, too

i also got a danelectro fab metal pedal for 14 bucks which has a nice cheap sounding but nasty tone

i kind of think i may be through buying stuff for awhile, except for minor purchases
posted by pyramid termite at 5:50 PM on May 24, 2012

$738.63 currently.
posted by unSane at 5:51 PM on May 24, 2012

This Danelectro Tremolo is the best $39 I've ever spent, by the way. It's basically on permanently in my board. It's not *quite* as good as the trem in my Twin Reverb but by God it's close (and quieter too).
posted by unSane at 5:55 PM on May 24, 2012

On the other hand, $250 gets you this, which is Tremolo to die for.
posted by unSane at 5:57 PM on May 24, 2012

Update for the vaguely curious: I ended up ordering an Apogee MiC and using the rest of the money to take Mrs. Creature and the children on a long weekend trip to see some rather nice mountain vistas in southern Utah (not my flickr but you get the gist).

I'll be taking the MiC with me on a work trip to India next week, we'll see if I'm able to produce any workable tracks using just that, my iPhone and the iOS version of garage band...
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:37 AM on June 1, 2012

Apogee duet all the way. best bang for your buck.
posted by djdrue at 5:32 PM on June 14, 2012

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