Live versus studio?

For most of my life, I’ve long preferred studio recordings, but more recently my tastes have moved more and more to live recordings, official videos and also mixes. Thank goodness for youtube!

I think it’s a function of getting much older, or maybe the ‘sterile’ streaming sound is just too clinically pure :sunglasses:

Perhaps the quality of modern live recordings is better, than it was years ago…?

Less hit and miss…?

Maybe. But it’s more about ‘atmosphere’, I think. It’s something many mixes have over the originals, and I used to detest mixes!
One example is the original Shania Twain’s That Don’t Impress Me Much. The original sounds flat and soulless compared to the Dance mix version :yum:.

I think it is a case of difference rather than better or worse. Some live recordings I enjoy more than the studio version or vice versa. Both have their merits. And to muddy the waters even further, some studio albums might have a lot of the instruments recorded live together and then other instruments/vocals recorded later. I think a good engineer and producer followed by a good mastering engineer getting the best out of the musician’s output is what makes the biggest difference.

As for the sterile streaming sound, I have the 333 streamer and it is far from sterile sounding so I think it is more about streamers than the music on the streaming services.

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It is an area that interests me. I have always preferred the atmosphere of a good live recording. The problem is that there are so few good recordings. Streaming has enabled me to listen to so many more and still I find few good recordings. Either poor in the initial recording or the remix loses the atmosphere and over promotes aspects of the playing, making it sound false.

I wonder if it might be due to a live recording being able to capture the instantaneous interactions between the musicians which might be missing in the sort of multitracked studio recording where everything has been recorded at separate times, on separate days, in separate studios etc., even on separate continents?



That’s what’s needed for a ‘good’ recording, however categorised.

A heavily multi-tracked recording can perhaps loose some of this ‘magic’.

I just think amongst the multitude of fantastic studio recordings there are some amazing live recordings. For starters.

I have been mulling this over the last few days and am uncertain. I was enjoying my usual Dire Straits studio albums HDCD mixes. Then, I popped on the latest Pavarotti CD (Greatest 50 on Decca), and it’s all great so far. Then next was U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky; everything seemed flat. The U2 CD lasted three songs before I stopped the CD and did something else. I will give it another shot today.

Having said this, I have a conundrum: I enjoy Dianna Krall in Paris at 45 RPM, though I also enjoy the CD for all the live applause from the audience after each song or the start of a new one once the song is recognised. I suppose one may say a happy conundrum to have.

Mitch in Oz.

I have often preferred a live recording of a group I like, compared to their studio albums.

EST are a good example. The extended improvising, adds a lot of life to their pieces. I believe extensive studio multi tracking can suck an awful lot of life out of a song.

Of course this is not always true.