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Live vs. Edited Studio Recordings: What Do We Prefer?

This pilot study examines a common belief in written classical music that a live recording conveys a more expressive musical performance than a technically flawless studio production. Two tonmeister students of the Paris Conservatoire recorded a six-dance baroque suite and a four-movement romantic sonata in concert and in studio sessions with the same microphone techniques and in the same venue for both conditions. Twenty listeners completed an online survey to rate three versions of the dances and movements, i.e., the concert performance, the firstt studio take, and the edited version. Results show that listeners preferred the edited versions (44%) more often than the firstt studio takes (29%) and the concert performances (27%).

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