Back when I started working in bands, recording a live show meant renting a tape truck, usually a stepvan outfitted as a studio control room with miles of cable and two-inch tape, manned by at least two technicians. Now a small rack and a laptop does the same job and takes up no more room than a suitcase. You can just see our rig on a table at the right edge of this photo.
After the initial cost of the gear and some time spent tuning it up (thanks, Jeff Bakos), it costs us nothing but a little extra effort to record any show on 16 tracks. The rig’s maiden run came at Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse in Durham, North Carolina, last month, a terrific throwdown, and – wonder of wonders – everything worked. We intend to keep recording shows and release a studio-quality live CD by spring.
(Thanks to Steven Whitsitt for the photo.)