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What Audio Recording Equipment Would You Buy For $1,000?


A while back I walked through the studio, what would you buy next?

So I ask you:

If you had $1,000, what would buy with it?

What gear have you been eyeing lately? Is it a real nice ribbon microphone? A warm tube pre-amp? Or is it a all-in-one acoustic treatment pack?

Take a hypothetical shopping trip, head on over to the gear section on Amazon and leave a comment telling us what you would buy.

You have a budget of $1,000 to buy whatever you want. You can choose to get the one big-ticket item  you’ve always wanted or divide the thousand among a few great steals. Anything goes, just leave a link to the item and tell us why you want to buy it.

My $1,000

On my hypothetical shopping trip I’m trying to decide between a few things.

Pre-Amp – I want to get a new pre-amp to get a different sound to my vocals. Something hot like the DBX 386 Dual Vacuum tube pre-amp sounds good. Or alternatively, the Focusrite ISA sounds good, since it also doubles as a high-end DI box.

Mixing – For mixing I’d love to get my hands on something like the Liquid Mix. All these different compression and EQ models just make my mouth water.

Headphones – I broke my closed-back headphones a while back and I haven’t gotten around to replacing them. I haven’t had to record much so I’ve been fine with using my other ones.

Something like the KRK KNS8400 would be a nice addition, and they would be color coded to my KRK Rokit monitors.

Microphones – Microphone-wise, a nice ribbon mic would be a great addition to my mic collection. I know many people swear by the Royer R-121, but that’s out of our price range.

Luckily, the Rupert Neve Voodoo ribbons are amazing! I’ve done a few sample recording using the Voodoo mics and they are a great choice if you’re looking for a nice ribbon mic.

Plug-ins – A home recording studio usually doesn’t have the space to record drums.

However, there are many great drum plug-ins out there that offer really convincing drum tracks. EZ Drummer is one of those plug-ins. It’s simple to use, has great drum sounds and costs less than one hour at a commercial studio!

How Would You Spend Your Money?

Well, that’s what I would get. I know I would probably need to decide between a few of those things, but I think I could probably squeeze in at least three of my items into the $1,000 provided.

What would you get? Leave us a link in the comments!

Image by: Patrick Hoesly


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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LEAVE A COMMENT

  • Ken

    Just bought a used hardwired Marshall 1974x $1050 today shipped and paypal today

  • Ken

    Just bought a used hardwired Marshall 1974x $1050 today shipped and paypal today

  • Karl Hendricks

    That’s a tough question. I work mostly in the box, so I’d probably blow it on plugins. TRacks3 Deluxe, Kontakt 5, and Zebra should just about blow through it. Alternative 1: a PA setup for e-drums and live play (maybe the B-52 Matrix-1000). Alternative 2: use it to build a treated vocal booth.

  • Karl Hendricks

    That’s a tough question. I work mostly in the box, so I’d probably blow it on plugins. TRacks3 Deluxe, Kontakt 5, and Zebra should just about blow through it. Alternative 1: a PA setup for e-drums and live play (maybe the B-52 Matrix-1000). Alternative 2: use it to build a treated vocal booth.

  • I have been looking to upgrade my virtual instrument collection lately with Native Instrument’s Komplete 8. But since I went ahead and bought that last week (the best “bang-for-the-buck” purchase I have EVER made), next on my list would be monitors. I would go with a pair of Focal CMS 50s (although they are slightly above the given amount).

  • I have been looking to upgrade my virtual instrument collection lately with Native Instrument’s Komplete 8. But since I went ahead and bought that last week (the best “bang-for-the-buck” purchase I have EVER made), next on my list would be monitors. I would go with a pair of Focal CMS 50s (although they are slightly above the given amount).

  • I don’t have 1.000 (Euros) just 500 to spend. So, I bought myself recently a few Softube Plugins, because http://www.thomann.de halfed the price for them. I got the Summit TLA-100A, the Tonelux Tilt (I really love them – they sit on every synthsound from mine) and the brilliant Tube-Tech Classic Channel. For the other 500 (which I don’t have) I would like to get my hands on the Native Instrument Maschine. I think it is a a good system. Or I would spend my money on ‘time’ – just to have enough to experiment with my new plugins 😉

    • Ah, Thomann. I loved that site when I was living in Europe. Plug-ins are a great choice, they give you new sound options without taking up any “physical” space.

  • I don’t have 1.000 (Euros) just 500 to spend. So, I bought myself recently a few Softube Plugins, because http://www.thomann.de halfed the price for them. I got the Summit TLA-100A, the Tonelux Tilt (I really love them – they sit on every synthsound from mine) and the brilliant Tube-Tech Classic Channel. For the other 500 (which I don’t have) I would like to get my hands on the Native Instrument Maschine. I think it is a a good system. Or I would spend my money on ‘time’ – just to have enough to experiment with my new plugins 😉

    • Ah, Thomann. I loved that site when I was living in Europe. Plug-ins are a great choice, they give you new sound options without taking up any “physical” space.

  • Hrafnkell Sigurðsson

    I’ve been dreaming about an md421 mic for a while, guess I would invest in one of those bad boys. Also, the NI drum machine plug-ins look stunning. I would definitely get one of those. Don’t know if hardware would be useful at the moment since I work in my laptop at home most of the time, but I find these MIDI controllers pretty interesting, f.ex. the Akai MPD32.

  • Hrafnkell Sigurðsson

    I’ve been dreaming about an md421 mic for a while, guess I would invest in one of those bad boys. Also, the NI drum machine plug-ins look stunning. I would definitely get one of those. Don’t know if hardware would be useful at the moment since I work in my laptop at home most of the time, but I find these MIDI controllers pretty interesting, f.ex. the Akai MPD32.

  • I’d be hard-pressed to decide. Gear-wise, a pair of Josephson C42’s, a slightly-over-budget Bock 195, or a Chameleon Labs 7602MKII. Then again, there’s all that stuff that needs to be fixed/upgraded, the kinds of boring things that I hate spending money on: a new clip for the 421, replacement shockmounts for my LDC’s, maybe Fouxman-mod the C1000’s that are sitting collecting dust, a multi-TB raid array, a decent snare drum…

    • But take care of the gear and fix it up when needed, and it’ll take care of you in return 🙂

  • I’d be hard-pressed to decide. Gear-wise, a pair of Josephson C42’s, a slightly-over-budget Bock 195, or a Chameleon Labs 7602MKII. Then again, there’s all that stuff that needs to be fixed/upgraded, the kinds of boring things that I hate spending money on: a new clip for the 421, replacement shockmounts for my LDC’s, maybe Fouxman-mod the C1000’s that are sitting collecting dust, a multi-TB raid array, a decent snare drum…

    • But take care of the gear and fix it up when needed, and it’ll take care of you in return 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…$1000.00 to spend? I already have a list…

    FMR’s Really Nice Compressor………………..$200.00 
    Shure SM57……………………………………$75.00-$100.00
    Sennheiser e906…………………………………..$190.00
    Low Profile Mic Stand (bass drum)…………….$15.00
    More XLR Cables (Qty:5)…….Approximately $100.00
    CAD CM217 SDCset………………………………$60.00

    2 rolls of Burlap………………….Approximately $50.00
    1 roll of fiberglass insulation….Approximately $40.00
    Assorted lumber………………..Approximately $150.00

    Mountain Dew & Red Bull………………………..$95.00

    That would get me the mics I want/need, a better compressor, a bass drum mic stand, and materials to build much-needed sound diffusors and collapsible/portable isolation panels. 

    …and go-go juice so I can work late into the night, but still get up in the morning for work…

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…$1000.00 to spend? I already have a list…

    FMR’s Really Nice Compressor………………..$200.00 
    Shure SM57……………………………………$75.00-$100.00
    Sennheiser e906…………………………………..$190.00
    Low Profile Mic Stand (bass drum)…………….$15.00
    More XLR Cables (Qty:5)…….Approximately $100.00
    CAD CM217 SDCset………………………………$60.00

    2 rolls of Burlap………………….Approximately $50.00
    1 roll of fiberglass insulation….Approximately $40.00
    Assorted lumber………………..Approximately $150.00

    Mountain Dew & Red Bull………………………..$95.00

    That would get me the mics I want/need, a better compressor, a bass drum mic stand, and materials to build much-needed sound diffusors and collapsible/portable isolation panels. 

    …and go-go juice so I can work late into the night, but still get up in the morning for work…

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…$1000.00 to spend? I already have a list…

    FMR’s Really Nice Compressor………………..$200.00 
    Shure SM57……………………………………$75.00-$100.00
    Sennheiser e906…………………………………..$190.00
    Low Profile Mic Stand (bass drum)…………….$15.00
    More XLR Cables (Qty:5)…….Approximately $100.00
    CAD CM217 SDCset………………………………$60.00

    2 rolls of Burlap………………….Approximately $50.00
    1 roll of fiberglass insulation….Approximately $40.00
    Assorted lumber………………..Approximately $150.00

    Mountain Dew & Red Bull………………………..$95.00

    That would get me the mics I want/need, a better compressor, a bass drum mic stand, and materials to build much-needed sound diffusors and collapsible/portable isolation panels. 

    …and go-go juice so I can work late into the night, but still get up in the morning for work…

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…$1000.00 to spend? I already have a list…

    FMR’s Really Nice Compressor………………..$200.00 
    Shure SM57……………………………………$75.00-$100.00
    Sennheiser e906…………………………………..$190.00
    Low Profile Mic Stand (bass drum)…………….$15.00
    More XLR Cables (Qty:5)…….Approximately $100.00
    CAD CM217 SDCset………………………………$60.00

    2 rolls of Burlap………………….Approximately $50.00
    1 roll of fiberglass insulation….Approximately $40.00
    Assorted lumber………………..Approximately $150.00

    Mountain Dew & Red Bull………………………..$95.00

    That would get me the mics I want/need, a better compressor, a bass drum mic stand, and materials to build much-needed sound diffusors and collapsible/portable isolation panels. 

    …and go-go juice so I can work late into the night, but still get up in the morning for work…

  • Gdh1532

    I’d start looking for a 500 series lunch box used but in great condition, hopefully with either a api or rolls pre/comp already in it. 

  • Gdh1532

    I’d start looking for a 500 series lunch box used but in great condition, hopefully with either a api or rolls pre/comp already in it. 

  • Id grab a matched pair of KSM 32s. Great for overheads and vocals. Multiple whamo!

  • Id grab a matched pair of KSM 32s. Great for overheads and vocals. Multiple whamo!

  • Ray

    I would buy the best mic pre amp or channel strip with the money. I probably look into buying something used by Avalon or Universal Audio

  • Ray

    I would buy the best mic pre amp or channel strip with the money. I probably look into buying something used by Avalon or Universal Audio

  • A thousand dollars worth of pizza, beer and a couple of waitresses-for-hire for three hours from the local Hooters or Tilted Kilt to serve the pizza and beer at a studio open house party I would throw inviting all the best musicians in the area I could find to spread the word. 😉

  • A thousand dollars worth of pizza, beer and a couple of waitresses-for-hire for three hours from the local Hooters or Tilted Kilt to serve the pizza and beer at a studio open house party I would throw inviting all the best musicians in the area I could find to spread the word. 😉

  • mark baylor

    i have the same studio equip since the 80’s and mostly buy used outboard gear from guitar center and never spend more than $40.00 so i would probably buy 25 rack gear peices and a few headphones. this would make my current setup look like a spaceship.

  • mark baylor

    i have the same studio equip since the 80’s and mostly buy used outboard gear from guitar center and never spend more than $40.00 so i would probably buy 25 rack gear peices and a few headphones. this would make my current setup look like a spaceship.