For recording go ahead and get the platinum if you(your brother) has the extra $ for it. The live drive has different kinds of input/output on it and it comes with some kinda remote, but I forget what all it does. It takes up one of your CDROM bays on the front of your PC. I that doesn't sound to useful then go with the SBlive X-gamer or MP3+ depending on what kind of software you want with it. For more info go to www.soundblaster.com
Should you find some sort of special deal on the Value or XGamer series you should know that you *can* get the LiveDrive seperately from Creative (or any given e-retailer) and install on a non-Platinum version card. If your brother is thinking seriously about doing studio work he probably already has a good idea about what programs he's going to use (CuBase and the like, I'd imagine). Though good for home and office use, most of the applications that Creative bundles really wouldn't be up to "professional" work. Of course, that'd be up to him to decide.