The opinion on Live/alternate take/re-records VS original masters

ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
edited September 2010 in The Rock Band Network
Just curious what the general consenus is around here about getting a Live or alternate take, or re-record as opposed to getting an original master track.

For the sake of argument say a master track was either destroyed, or in such a legal mess that there is no way that we'd most likely ever see it in the game.

Would you prefer that we never see these songs in the game at all, or if the only way we'd ever see these songs in the game is to use one of the alternate means would it be acceptable?

I've been looking into getting some songs for RBN and I've discovered some real gems. However some of them are not the original master recordings. Of course it's still the original artists doing the songs.

So I was just curious what everyone's thoughts are on this.

Comments

  • PankrazzoPankrazzo Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    That depends from song to song and can't be generalized.

    Any version of a song, is of course better than no version at all, but if you then have to choose between live versions, alternate takes or re-recordings, it all comes down to the individual quality of the specific songs.
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited September 2010
    Some of them are live versions, some are re-records, some are alt takes (we don't have multiple choices per song if I was unclear on that). I obviously can't let the cat out of the bag yet until/if we've signed them, but I was just trying to get the overall feelings on the subject.

    I agree that it depends on the quality of the song we get, but I was just curious if it was a situation of this or nothing (and there's nothing to say that at some point down the road HMX MIGHT get the original master somehow) what the overall feelings towards the idea.
  • PankrazzoPankrazzo Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    I'd buy any recording of a song I like, if the audio quality is up to the standard ;)
  • hiimSMAPhiimSMAP Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    As long as the song happens, I'd do it.
  • toolsinmindtoolsinmind Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    I myself am a fan of live recordings, but it really depends because some bands are way better live than others, and the quality of the recordings are always a big issue, but if it's a good band and a great song, any recording is better than none
  • axelkotheaxelkothe Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    I always (or 99% of times) prefer the masters. But if they are not an option, other versions are definately better than no version at all.
  • Lord_MhoramLord_Mhoram Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    I tend to prefer rerecords or alternate takes over live.
    But all are better than covers. :)... well usually there are some truly atrocious live cuts I've heard over the years.
  • DragoonXDDragoonXD Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    I'd rather have live versions in a lot of cases. Just look at "Smile (Live)" by The Gufs. 10 billion times better than the studio version.
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited September 2010
    There is no such thing as an orignal master track. Its just a song that you are use to hearing.

    I really dont give a cats meass what verison of a song I get. Beggers cant be choosers.
  • Nathaniel607Nathaniel607 Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    Well, it depends on the quality of the re-record/live take. Seriously, this is all that matters. Usually, these are a bit worse, but I'd don't really mind that much.

    Though, sometimes, I'd prefer live - like I'd prefer Dream Theater's "Beyond this Live" live at budokan rather than studio.
  • kingtonyxkingtonyx Unofficial
    edited September 2010
    If you can do it, do it!
  • PseudomaniacPseudomaniac Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
  • taylorleetaylorlee Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    Depends.

    If it's a song that is really popular, ala Judas Priests' "Breaking The Law" and the Live version is as terrible as the one we got, then I'd say no. It pains me to think of what might have been.

    On the other hand, some Live tracks are really good, I'm sure. The Kansas Live tracks are pretty solid, strumminess aside.
  • TubaDude49TubaDude49 Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    Pseudomaniac;4030228 said:
    I'd love some Live ;)
    "I Alone" and "All Over You" would be great, now I know who to contact about RBN next;)
  • cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
    edited September 2010
    I'm not one of those who has to have the song exactly as I remember it/ as recorded etc. As long as it's the actual group (or at least a substantial part of it), I don't mind one tiny little bit if the version they give you/us is live, alternate, or a re-record.
  • JoshVanHalen87JoshVanHalen87 Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    if it is a good quallity master re-record and don´t sound different as the original record it would be ok.
  • Givem2meGivem2me Rising Star
    edited September 2010
    I sing while I play bass in my band so I pretty much dispise live tracks. Hate them with a passion. All the notes appear Red while I'm playing... because I sing the song the way I've always heard it since I'm mainly focusing on the bass-note line.

    There are some exceptions to this. The Nirvanna unplugged album would be one. I was upset on the same magnitude when About a Girl came out an it wasn't the live track. I couldn't bring myself to begin the thing without saying, "This is off our first record. Most people don't know it."

    Similarly, I'd love to get Pat Travers' "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)," and it is live, or Bare Naked Ladies "Brian Wilson." But to stick a live song on there (or re-record) because the band owns the masters and doesn't have to share royalties with a label REALLY pisses me off, and I hope the numbers will eventually show somehow that bands make more off of the masters, even after the label gets their cut, than they do off of live stuff. I don't know.

    There are a couple other reasons I don't usually like live stuff. I think Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" may be the best live performance of all-time, but you can barely hear Bruce sing the 2nd verse because they did that song late in the Argentina show, and his voice is weak. Plus it's so crushing to see a song you really want come out live because you know it will never come out as a master. Therefore, it's almost better to never get it than to take away my hope.

    But if masters are lost or whatever, I beg artists to try to make the re-records sound as close to the originals as possible. I hate Buffet now because of his lame improv on some of his re-records. I really like how Snoop "kept it real" when they re-recorded his stuff to add some guitar. I thought he did a nice job sticking to the original stuff, although, it really didn't matter with regard to my original beef because it was all talkies. But to me, that shows that he takes his stuff serious, and I appreciate that.

    So in summary, give me the version that I'm most familiar with. If that's not available, do a super-precise re-record. Ditch the live stuff unless it's something I've never heard. I'll take some bizarre Hendrix live Jam from the archives and love it.

    Last thing I'll say is that I gamble a lot and Ace of Spades has always been on my Ipod, and my best friend and I always thought it was hilarious when Lemmy shouts "And don't forget the Joker!" because it was so random and not even close to relevant from a card perspective. But for Rock Band 2, the re-record, he says "But apparently I am," in reference to the I don't want to live forever line. That got me for a few times. The rest of the song is a tight, precise re-record, so I can live with everything but that.
  • NoThru22NoThru22 Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    I'm sorry, but the posters who said "I prefer the masters 99% of the time" and such are either ******ed or didn't read the first post, but I think they're the former. Noble said what if the masters are destroyed or legally entangled, would you rather have the alternate take or not at all? Obviously, your forum answer is not at all, but even when the forum trolls get wind that a song isn't the original (or album) take, they still buy it and end up *****ing about it while they play.

    Noble, by all means, if it's the only route, then take it. Only if it sounds completely horrible (like Hair of the Dog) should you not bother. If it is a good version or a close take, then it will sell 99% as well as the original would have.
  • Nathaniel607Nathaniel607 Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    NoThru22;4030955 said:
    I'm sorry, but the posters who said "I prefer the masters 99% of the time" and such are either ******ed or didn't read the first post, but I think they're the former. Noble said what if the masters are destroyed or legally entangled, would you rather have the alternate take or not at all? Obviously, your forum answer is not at all, but even when the forum trolls get wind that a song isn't the original (or album) take, they still buy it and end up *****ing about it while they play.

    Noble, by all means, if it's the only route, then take it. Only if it sounds completely horrible (like Hair of the Dog) should you not bother. If it is a good version or a close take, then it will sell 99% as well as the original would have.
    That's not the point... yes, I usually prefer masters, but I realise if it's the only route - take it. Unless the live take is better.

    But when you put it that way, it seems like a bit of a pointless question to ask.

    "Do you want chocolate or strawberry ice cream? BTW, there's no strawberry left."
  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited September 2010
    Also look at it this way, just because us authors in RBN can't get the rights to a (we'll call it familiar) master from a band, doesn't mean HMX can't at some point down the road.

    As an example (and this is not an indicator of the bands I'm talking about) Say the only way we could get a copy of Ratt's Lay it Down is if it was a re-record with the original singer of Ratt and a new band. We'd get it in RBN then two years down the road HMX might get the original Ratt master. (the bigger labels don't like RBN for some reason). Now keep in mind HMX might never get that master on the other hand.

    So in situations like the above, is it better to get a different master than the one everyone is familiar with, or try to wait it out?

    I mean we do have two different versions of some songs in the game already.

    Me personally I'd take the alternate version to keep me satisfied for now. IF HMX ever got the original I'd more than happily purchase that as well to have the version I'm familiar with.

    Just didn't know what everyone's take on something like this was.
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited September 2010
    a wise man once said "i do not regret the songs i've authored, but those i did not author".
  • BUBBA6969BUBBA6969 Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    NoThru22;4030955 said:
    If it's the only route, then take it. Only if it sounds completely horrible (like Hair of the Dog) should you not bother. If it is a good version or a close take, then it will sell 99% as well as the original would have.
    My thoughts too. If the masters are not available for whatever reason, a re-record or "live" version would be fine considering it sounds close to the original as possible.

    I also agree "Hair Of the Dog" is a terrible cover/re-record whatever it is. Should have done my research before I wasted $2 on this one.

    The Testament song "Souls of Black" is not the original either from the album "Souls of Black".:(

    Should make this a poll.
  • QuazifujiQuazifuji Opening Act
    edited September 2010
    I'll go with the general consensus that a live or rerecording is strictly better than nothing at all, and I don't think it's generally worth not doing just on the off chance that Harmonix some day gets the original masters. If the band does end up doing a rerecording and you have any say in the matter, though, it's probably best to encourage them to keep it as close to the original as possible.
  • k-mack-mac Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    Sometimes the live versions can be much better than the studio. As long as it's a good recording, then it could be an advantage. Look at the Alice Cooper songs - the live versions on RB are much more kick-ass than the studio counterparts. And for Tom Petty, Refugee is my favourite song by him, and the live version HMX got is even better than the studio version. The live version of Band On The Run and Sing The Changes by Paul McCartney are also better than the studio counterparts.

    On the otehr side, the live Judas Priest album was not as good as the studio counterpart.

    A good way to look at it is: is the live version more kick-ass/awesome than the original? That can often win people over.
  • General Lein979General Lein979 Headliner
    edited September 2010
    In order of liking:
    1: Most well known version
    2: A good alternate take (Working man)
    3: Era specific live recording (closer to the recording date of song the better (Kiss songs))
    4: A good sounding rerecord (Renegade)/ recent live version that songs great (iron maiden)
    5: an ok but not great alternate take (walk away)
    6: bad recent live version (breakin the law)
    7: bad alternate take (Last Resort)
    8: Bad Rerecord (Hair on the Dog)
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited September 2010
    General Lein979;4032588 said:
    In order of liking:
    1: Most well known version
    2: A good alternate take (Working man)
    3: Era specific live recording (closer to the recording date of song the better (Kiss songs))
    4: A good sounding rerecord (Renegade)/ recent live version that songs great (iron maiden)
    5: an ok but not great alternate take (walk away) > bad recent live version (breakin the law)
    6: bad alternate take (Last Resort) > Bad Rerecord (Hair on the Dog)
    What this guy said.
  • edited September 2010
    I think in general if the master version is not available, people would prefer whatever version (live/re-record) sounds closest to the original version.

    Some of the most common complaints about live tracks and re-records is when the song doesn't sound true to the album/studio version. For example, if the live performance contains an improvised guitar solo, or the vocalist takes some creative liberties with the lyrics.
  • jeccanekojeccaneko Headliner
    edited September 2010
    I prefer studio versions, but I'll take re-records and live versions. Generally, I prefer re-records over live versions too. Live versions seem to have a higher chance of being hit and miss. It's partly dependent on the night the artist is having, partly on the audio quality, and partly on how the audio engineer mixes the track from the recordings.

    An example of the latter - I have the Evanescence live album. Frankly, it stinks. Amy Lee's vocals aren't loud enough, and the crowd noise overpowers the band a lot, instead of being an interesting addition in the background, like on good live albums. I don't know if that has to do with the mixing job or the particular recording but... yeah. I don't like it.
  • rocker820rocker820 Road Warrior
    edited September 2010
    song is better than no song for sure. But of the choices you gave us there is no one answer, it mostly depends on the artist or song. I'd say most of the time if it was an older artist, a live version would be better than a 2000's re-recording when they are way past their prime. Or if it was a band like (hypothetically) Dragonforce who have a bunch of technical difficulties live, I would much rather have a re-recording that they could play around with in the studio first.

    So like I said, depends on the song/ band.
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited September 2010
    taylorlee;4030233 said:
    If it's a song that is really popular, ala Judas Priests' "Breaking The Law" and the Live version is as terrible as the one we got, then I'd say no. It pains me to think of what might have been.
    Yeah... if the live version you get sounds totally broken, then maybe even try to find a different live version, or see if the band will rerecord. Play the alternate version to both people who know the original, and people who have never heard the original, and see if there's a consensus that it rocks.

    I feel like the only person who is "hurt" by (good) live versions is the singer, so the fidelity of the vocal track is pretty important to consider. Maybe if you're charting the vocals, make the really deviant lines into talkies, or make them more forgiving, so that people won't be penalized as much for only knowing the original? Don't know if that would work in reality, but it's a thought. For the rest of the instruments, note-for-note familiarity really isn't much of an issue, as long as the song still sounds great and is fun to play.

    But yeah, the idea that Harmonix could theoretically someday get the original masters is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
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