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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Do you prefer live versions of your favorite songs or do you prefer the studio versions and why?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36630points) June 20th, 2012

I’ve got so I prefer live versions over studio versions. It just sounds much more alive and vibrant. Studio versions are okay, but to me they seem over engineered. What’s your preference?

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17 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Studio versions. Better balance between lyrics and instruments (live versions tend to have their balance shifted to instruments, drowning out the singer). Better sound quality. No annoying audience. No missed notes.
The only exception is Stephen Lynch. His banter with the audience and their reaction to the lyrics is essential.

Berserker's avatar

I prefer studio reasons, pretty much because of what @ragingloli said. You can hear much better, and tweaking and perfecting isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m not sure yet, but it’s probably an art, or at least, an admirable trade. Live versions are cool too, not that I have anything against them. But it would get on my nerves if all music was live, and you had to suffer through a singer’s voice fading on and off, when that wasn’t the intended experience. also Industrial would barely exist lol
Going to a concert kicks ass, but it is an experience I’d rather have at a live concert. Just ain’t the same listening to it on CD or DVD. Except for whenever Kurt Cobain did it.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on the song. For songs with intricate harmonies such as Bohemian Rhapsody, I prefer the studio version because it is cleaner.

For other songs, I love the rawness of the live version.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve come across some really well engineered live albums lately. Train’s Live At Last. REO Speedwagon, they seem to have got the balance down. I used to dislike live for the exact reasons mentioned.

JLeslie's avatar

Almost always studio, but there are a couple exceptions. I have a fantastic version of Hotel California live.

Trillian's avatar

Jason Mraz sounds pretty good live. Most groups seem to need to mix and…whatever the hell it is they do.
I like studio recordings because when I hear the same song live, I can’t predict what they’re going to do different. Maybe I’m a creature of habit?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I love adventure, maybe that’s part of it.

Fly's avatar

I tend to prefer studio versions just because of the listening quality and the things @ragingloli listed. I have to second @Trillian, though- I saw Jason Mraz live in concert, and his voice sounded even better and more raw live than on his recorded albums. I would have bought the live concert CD had it not been $30! I have also heard a live CD of one of Maroon 5’s early albums that was excellent, especially the acoustic versions of some of the songs. Otherwise, though, I really prefer the perfected sound of recorded studio music.

stardust's avatar

Studio versions, but I really appreciate a live band.

ETpro's avatar

There are some songs that definitely gain from the crowd feedback. This early performance of Shine on You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd is one I love. Generally though, the cleaner, better engineered sound in a studio is preferable.

Rarebear's avatar

Live versions, if they’re well recorded. I can learn to ignore audience noise and just listen to the musicality.

DominicX's avatar

Studio versions are polished and I like that. Unfortunately, I really like classical and there’s essentially no such thing as a classical studio recording. It’s all live. Even in the nicest recording, you can sometimes here someone cough or paper rustle or a chair squeak…not good for my OCD… :(

Rarebear's avatar

@DominicX Actually, I like that aspect of classical recordings. It tells me that they were performing in front of an audience and not just a microphone.

ucme's avatar

Live is best, end of.
It’s like prisoners jacking off to a recording of their wives talking dirty, gimme the real thing everytime.

tups's avatar

I like both.
I like live videos very much, because then you can really see the artist’s feelings. Live versions often have more feel to them. It also depend on the artist; some are great live, others not so much.
The studio versions that are made today are often very perfect; voices are totally polished, just like instruments. The studio music from the 60’s and 70’s is often live recorded music in the studio. Meaning the whole song is played at the same time, instead of bits and I really like that.

amujinx's avatar

Generally I prefer studio, but some music styles I prefer live. I enjoy very gritty, lo-fi first or second wave punk and rockabilly, so live performances on those styles and similar sounding styles are more enjoyable than a “polished” studio recording to me (not that most first or second wave punk’s studio recordings were really polished).

jerv's avatar

I have issues filtering out background noise, so I find studio visions preferable for many songs. A live album done by a competent mixer is good too, but many live albums seem to give the audience more play than the bass player, and bad mixing ruins it.

Then again, the bands I listen to the most, the only real difference between live and studio is the level of background noise.

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