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#1739165 - 04/22/07 05:22 PM Live music vs. Recorded music.
Rocky McDougall Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 4272
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
I'm sure this has been discussed before but I can't remember when and I could not find it if I tried.

I love going to live music performances. I also spend a great amount of time listening to studio recorded music.

The multitrac recorders have allowed musicians to produce a near perfect, recorded song. If mistakes are made, they are
re-recorded until they get it right.

Live performances have some flaws, but they have something, in my opinion, that is better than a recording. They present a group of musicians giving 100% (usually) to blend, harmonize and groove together. They have a certain energy that is hard, maybe impossible, to duplicate in the recording studio.

Today we have some wonderful recordings of live performances.
Years ago the live recording were next to horrible for their lack of sonic quality.

I have a collection of "Direct Disc Recordings" by Sheffield Labs. These are wonderful, they could not be re-recorded. The master disc was cut by hand and the musicians only had the one chance to produce a great recording. These discs had the "Energy" present, you could hear and feel it. I really miss that in todays "high-tech" recordings.

Rocky
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#1739234 - 04/22/07 07:35 PM Re: Live music vs. Recorded music. [Re: Rocky McDougall]
Outlander Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 13
Oh yeah live music has so much more life and energy. Tho i do hate outdoor shows. i like indoors so the band can blow the roof off the place.

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#1739266 - 04/22/07 09:12 PM Re: Live music vs. Recorded music. [Re: Outlander]
Elwood Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 217
Loc: Wisconsin
I would have to agree, there's a certain synergy that's just not there in studio recordings. My son, an audio engineer, tells me about the prevalence of pitch correction software in today's commercial music that makes mediocre performances appear flawless. Live performances, by contrast, are the real deal, and when it works I really respect that.

Then again, some of my favorite music includes Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles, where experimenting and refining the recordings was the goal, and live performances were never part of the plan, and the level of creativity and impact on the music industry were profound.

I don't know if this is really in keeping with the topic of this thread, but I've been to concerts where part of the music was simply playing recorded tracks from an album, and I felt cheated. I recently attended a nationally-known artist's concert, but there was no bass player. That was done via a keyboard, as was a bagpipe and a few other instruments. It was technically performed live, but was a simulation.

Now that I play bass in a small church praise band, we sometimes find ourselves in a quandary when a key band member is unable to attend. For example, do we cancel the service, or does the rest of the band play along with MIDI files recorded by the pianist? What if a particular song would really benefit from an unusual instrument we can't provide, and certainly can't hire out? I can usually simulate it in Pro Tools, but does the benefit of it being there overcome the disappointment of it being simulated? We don't know, but err on the side of live.


Edited by Elwood (04/22/07 09:13 PM)
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#1739286 - 04/22/07 10:31 PM Re: Live music vs. Recorded music. [Re: Elwood]
arneyz Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 470
Loc: St. Paul, Minnesota
I've always felt that music is meant to be played live. I'm always reluctant to record songs because it feels too final. I don't like to listen to those perfect, clean-cut recordings on albums. I think that the little mistakes and improvisations done live give the music its flavor. If I go to a concert and the band playing is playing verbatim from their album I usually leave dissapointed because I could have just stayed home and cranked up the sterio a bit to hear the same thing. But I could never totally discreadit anyone for doing that because it takes alot of skill to play an album worthy song live.
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#1740128 - 04/24/07 12:37 PM Re: Live music vs. Recorded music. [Re: arneyz]
Happy Birthday Tom Capasso Offline
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Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 8768
Loc: Wantagh ,NY,UNITED STATES
Interesting. I agree that live recordings are better today, but I don't know if that's an absolute. I can hear the difference between the 71 Allmans at the Fillmore and the One Way Out CD (Beacon Theatre a few years back). I like being able to hear some of the more subtle sonic stuff, but they are both great enjoyable sets of music.

I also think it takes some effort to get a studio recording that doesn't sound lifeless. I agree with Elwood that sometimes the artist is going for energy and groove, and sometimes they are crafting something different. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't (and we'll not always agree on which is which ;\) ).

As to using "un-live" stuff at a concert, I guess it depends on your expectations. My cousin and his wife do dinner music at clubs and restaurants. They sing, he plays guitar, and the rest is programmed (by him). It fits their purpose and I'm OK with that. At a concert, if there are a few bits taped I'm OK with that.

Elwood - your discussion about your church was intriguing. If you want a sound for one song, I'd see if there is someone available. If not (what - no bagpipers in the congregation? ), then I'd think about what is the best for the service. Ultimately, it's not about the music, or concepts about music purity, is it?

Tom
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#1740175 - 04/24/07 01:42 PM Re: Live music vs. Recorded music. [Re: Tom Capasso]
Rocky McDougall Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 4272
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
We attend a fairly large church, 5,000+ seating, super PA system and a 15 piece professional orchestra. Occasionally we will have a guest singer come and perform with canned music. It may be the best accompanyment music available but it just leaves me a little disappointed no matter how great the singer or the song.
Live music is, well, it's .......................alive.
Rocky
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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin

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