The quality of live recordings

Is it just me, or has the quality of live music recordings improved immeasurably over the last 10 years?

I was just listening to that live set linked in the Deafheaven thread and it’s almost studio quality. This isn’t the biggest, most popular band in the world with tons of money behind them, this is just some recording from some festival.

You listen back to live recordings from say 2008 and they’re a bit rough around the edges but capture the most important bits. When I hear live recordings now, I’m almost always floored by the quality of the recording, sometimes surpassing how it sounds when you’re actually there.

Then there are things like Audiotree and WFMU where some of those recordings are even better than the studio recordings (but that one makes a bit more sense considering it’s a static radio studio setup for this very purpose).

What’s the cause of this? Technological advances? Prices of the equipment coming down? People investing more into this sort of thing? I’m completely wrong and it’s the same as it ever was?

What gives?



Using direct feeds of instruments and reamping. Editing the crap out of everything. Using triggered samples instead of the miked drum kit.

Basically not using the signals from miked instruments, but just the performance.

Total guess!!


Yeah, there’s a shit ton of post-production on live records these days

Even some sneaky overdubs & autotuning


That would explain that!