I'm looking for a device I can plug into a soundboard to record my band's live shows. What would you recommend for the best sound quality and preferably something that's user friendly as I'm somewhat technologically challenged. Thanks in advance for the help!
If you have digital optical outputs on your live console, something like the M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge would be a great choice.

If you are limited to an analog console, try the PreSonus Firestudio Project or M-Audio ProFire 2626...both of which will connect to a computer via Firewire.
A desktop is ideal as you will be writing many tracks at once but a fast laptop may work.

You could also skip the current live console you use and buy something like the Mackie Onyx series mixers which have a Firewire output. These consoles let you mix your live show but spit the audio out the firewire port right after the preamps so you can mix and master those tracks after the show and get them into the best shape for your CDs or Mp3s.
Last edited by moody07747 at Aug 7, 2010,
What is your purpose for these recordings? If you want something that is "retail quality", your answer is a WHOLE lot different than if you want something of "evaluation quality."

For most purposes, a board recording will almost invariably really suck. Reason is, it will be all vocals and bass, with hardly any drums and maybe some guitar. If you're playing a small club, the guitars and drums don't need a whole lot of "help" from the PA, so not much of them is going through the PA, and thus, not much of them is going through the board. What DOES go through the board and the PA the most is the vocals and guitars.

Given that, for most purposes, your best bet is something like a Zoom H2. It will give you very good "evaluation quality" recordings. No, don't sell them. Seriously. But other than that, they're dead easy to set up and use, they're very portable (about the size of an electric shaver), sound *really* good, and have a good variety of options such as recording direct to mp3 format.


I'll need a longer post for "retail quality" of a live show. For this, you *might* use the house PA mixing board.... if it is up to the job. You're looking at a number of hours of setup, lots of gear, and a cooperative sound tech who is willing to trust you to screw with their board, probably during much of the afternoon. (which begs the question, does their house sound tech "supervise" you while you work, or can you get them to trust you to work without them around?)

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.