Decent/Bargain/Inexpensive Gear?

Hey everyone. Just started getting paid decently again after a bit of a drought and was looking to get into using some hardware. I’ve been using ableton live for about 5-6 years now and more or less know the program in and out. I’ve done without controllers/hardware this whole time, and in a way I’m kinda grateful for that in how much I’ve learned the software, but now it’s time to invest a bit.

I’m planning on getting a used generation 1 maschine as a solid, all around workhorse kinda controller, but I find myself interested more in older/used/bargain kinda gear. I know there’s definitely a lot of cool stuff floating around out there, so what do you guys recommend I be on the lookout for?

A good example I think would be the Korg DDD1, which is a simple, but mod-able drum machine from the mid 80’s that is quite fun to use. Every so often you will find some of them for around $100 on ebay. The fact that you can add 808/909/whatever mod cards makes this a cool unit for the price.

What other decent quality gear can be had for cheap?!

You’re talking about just synthesizers and drum machines? Or are you talking about processing gear as well?

Interested in everything. Still a bit new to the hardware scene so I’m just curious what kinda stuff can be had for bargain prices, while still maintaining a level of quality/usability.

Found a few Alesis Midiverbs for under a buck on ebay. May be a cool investment!


Black Lion Audio’s Auteur pre-amp. Not the cheapest of cheap pre-amps out there, but it’s my current pre-amp of choice and for the money, about $300-400 new, it sounds amazing and I use it for everything from recording plain old audio from a vocalist or saxophone, to re-amping synthesizers (which sounds really really good). It’s not tube, but it’s got very clean components so it sounds crisp but gives a small amount of warmth to a signal.

This is how I built most of my studio, using my hypothesis of Technological Detritus.

A couple suggestions…

I would focus on buliding up a few pieces that generate sounds first. Especially since I am guessing your interace probably isnt ideal to take advantage of signal processors.

You will probably want to invest in either a mixer or an interface with more I/O once you get three or four pieces.

Casio made some really great keyboards years ago, the CZ series phase distortion synths have an interesting character and can be had pretty cheaply.