- Dream tech purchases with over $1 billion in the bank include a Mac Mini as a studio computer, a Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6 synthesizer, a PRS 24 guitar, a Solid State Logic Fusion mix bus processor, and an Empirical Labs Distressor stereo pair as a dream outboard processor.
- The Eventide H9000 rack processor is the ultimate choice for effects, the Solid State Logic SiX desktop mixer as a mixing console, and the Portico 542 500 Series Tape FX for summing.
With a record Powerball jackpot of 1.73 billion dollars, there is quite a bit of tech you could buy. That sort of money leads to a certain level of daydreaming, especially when considering the vast amount of tech available at different price points.
So, what would you buy with almost $2 billion? Sure, you can go ahead and discount taxes and all that other boring stuff. But if money was no object, then the sky is surely the limit when it comes to tech as a whole. I know what I would buy, so, let’s talk a little about my dream tech purchases with over $1 billion in the bank.
The Tech I’d Buy If I Won the Lottery
So, before diving in, let’s preface this by saying my dream setup is a full-on digital recording studio. As such, my choices are going to differ greatly from yours. I’ve been a lifelong musician, so having the means to hit record and lay down some audio is an absolute dream. Without further ado, here are some of the biggest tech purchases I’m drooling over.
Studio Computer: Mac Mini
I’m a Mac fan; my daily driver is an Apple laptop. If money was no object — for instance, if I won the Powerball jackpot — my first computer purchase would be a Mac Mini. This is an absolute monster of a desktop computer with scads of RAM, an M2 Pro processor, and plenty of storage.
You would fully expect this to be too much for any recording studio needs, and you’re absolutely correct. However, you’re also looking at a computer from the lens of future-proofing it, and the Mac Pro will absolutely last for several years.
Getting great quality recordings relies on a lot of different factors. The Mac Mini alleviates some of that load and is compatible with industry-standard software like Avid’s Pro Tools, Apple’s Logic Pro X, and Cockos Reaper. Simply put, you need a heart for any setup, and the Mac Pro is a great way to get there.
Synthesizer of Choice: Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6
- 2 newly designed, discrete VCOs per voice
- 49 keyboard keys
- Features a two-pole, resonant, high-pass filter
- 24-bit, 48 kHz resolution
The Prophet-6 is a monster of a synthesizer. Part of what appeals to me is that you get all the power and grit of an analog synthesizer with modern manufacturing processes to rein in the tolerances. If I won the Powerball jackpot, this is one of the first things I’d purchase.
Now, you could argue that no one needs a flagship synthesizer with a price tag quite this steep. However, if you could, why wouldn’t you? I’m not a touring musician anymore; I’m content in my small office studio space. The grit and incredible keybed of the Prophet-6 is a massive draw. I can’t deny that it would be an absolute joy to use one for making prog rock or whatever fits my mood on a given day.
The Dream Guitar: PRS 24
Now, I’ve got plenty of guitars. As a player with around 20 years of experience behind the neck of a variety of guitars, I’ve learned what I like and don’t like. If I won the Powerball jackpot, the very first thing I would be purchasing is a PRS 24. Paul Reed Smith is a well-respected name in electric guitars, and the 24 marries concepts I love from both the Fender and Gibson design ethos.
You’ve got a hardwood body made of mahogany, typically with a flame maple top of some sort. The neck is slick and easily playable. You’ve got a set of hand-wound pickups that are well-suited for the likes of metal, rock, jazz, and so much more. In short, it’s a dream guitar, despite coming at the same price as a really poorly maintained used car.
Mix Bus Processor: Solid State Logic Fusion
Solid State Logic has been at the forefront of digital recording technology since the 1980s. Their mix bus processor, the Fusion, takes some of the great concepts gleaned from 40 years of audio development and delivers a great sweetener for any recording.
You’ve got access to a basic musical equalizer — great for shaping signals as they pass through it. It comes with a superb dynamics processor that can apply gentle and equal compression across an entire mix. The transformer saturation is the biggest draw, however. There is just something about running an electric current through a device to transform a sound.
If I won the Powerball jackpot, this jack-of-all-trades would earn a permanent spot at my desk. What it does is just too good and I’m tired of renting space on one for my mixing and mastering clients to get the best quality recordings I can muster.
A Dream Outboard Processor: Empirical Labs Distressor Stereo Pair
- Uses a custom-designed gain-control circuit to deliver a warm, vintage sound
- 10:1 “Opto” ratio uses separate detector circuitry
- Can be operated in dual mono or as a stereo-linked pair using a patch cable
The Empirical Labs Distressor is a great all-in-one dynamics processor. Having a stereo-linked pair enables you to do things like handle mixing duties, in addition to processing stereo signals. The Distressor has been a personal favorite of mine for a number of years, and the software emulations just don’t cut it in terms of fidelity.
If I won the Powerball jackpot, a stereo-linked pair of Distressors would be a must-have. It might not be the right compressor for all materials, but there is an undeniable sound present. The Distressor is the sound of 90s rock, 2000s dance, and so much more. It is one of those processors that is an absolute killer on things like vocals and bass guitars.
Making Things Weird with Effects: Eventide H9000 Rack Processor
Eventide is one of the most respected names in pro audio. You’ve heard their effects draped over a whole slew of hits from the 1980s, like David Bowie’s Modern Love. The H9000 is the natural evolution of that tech, brought to the 21st century. If I won the Powerball jackpot, the H9000 would be my only solution for reverbs, delays, and anything else I needed done.
You’ve got 16 algorithms in total with dozens of possible channel connections. To say this effects processor is deep is a bit of an understatement. However, the stated price is a real sticking point as to why I’ve not purchased my own yet. You routinely find these rack-mounted devices starting at around $6,000, which isn’t a small sum. But if you’re looking for the sounds of outer space, it’s hard to top Eventide.
Mixing Console: Solid State Logic SiX Desktop Mixer
- A fully professional condensed console
- 6 channels
- Ultra-low distortion
- For use in the studio, post-production, on stage, and for podcasting
Now, I imagine the Mac Pro is going to handle most things. In the digital domain, there is something to be said about having plenty of options available and unlimited tracks. However, I’m a big fan of multi-track mixers and the SSL SiX fits the bill.
It isn’t as full-featured as a whole SSL 4000 series desk. However, it has all the hallmarks of a great mixing desk. You’ve got dynamics control, preamps, and equalization for any signal passing through it. It might not be as illustrious as a full desk, but I like it.
If I won the Powerball jackpot, this would earn a permanent place in my setup. It might seem like a piece of prosumer gear, but it has the pedigree of a company that has helped mix the likes of David Bowie, The Human League, and every rock band out of the 1980s.
Summing: Portico 542 500 Series Tape FX
- The “True Tape” emulation circuit provides a nostalgic rounding and compression
- Selectable 15 / 30 IPS modes
- Pre/post-tape blend control
- The Silk & Texture circuitry lets you fine-tune the harmonic ratio and tonality on the output transformer
As a child of the 90s, I never lost the love of tape. I collect cassettes still, and I have a full-on analog summing station near my main mixing area. Now, while a reel-to-reel tape player is a dream, they are rather finicky. You have to worry about things like the heads remaining clean, the capstans, and the armature having to function properly.
Needless to say, the constant need for servicing gets in the way of working. If I won the Powerball jackpot, a Portico 542 500 series module would be permanently in my signal chain. These are some of the closest emulations you can get to actual reel-to-reel tape. The sound of these is unparalleled, and it acts as a general sweetening to any sort of sound.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my daydream on potential tech purchases. I’m not as much of a gamer as I was in previous years, which has influenced some of these choices. Music has been a way of life for as long as I can remember.
If I happened to win the lottery, aside from more obvious choices, I’d be making a home studio that is the envy of any recording artist. What would you pick for your tech choices? It’s always a fun exercise to daydream, even if they are more akin to pipe dreams and other fanciful fare.
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