About MR, AR, LMR and LAR: Do Kpop Idols Really Sing Live?


"Do k-pop idols really sing live? It's not an easy question to answer because the answer to the question could be both yes and no. Well, I want to talk about details about k-pop idols' live performance on the stage. Have you heard about MR, AR, LMR, and LAR? If you get to know about these terms, you will be able to have a good understanding of k-pop idols' live performance."

MR(Music Recorded)
Basically, MR means instrumental accompaniment. Have you been to karaoke? MR is like karaoke music which doesn’t contain the sound of singer’s voice. However, there is no k-pop idol who uses such a clear MR, while all the k-pop idols’ MR contains sounds of their voices. Before performing their songs on k-pop chart shows, k-pop idols should make their MR, and the way how they make MR is to decrease the sound volume of their voices in original music, while keeping the sound volume of instrumental accompaniment as it is. So, to k-pop idols, singing to MR doesn’t just mean they sing live to instrumental accompaniment. It means they add their voices to volumed down original music. Why do they do this kind of thing? Because it can make their live singing sound better.

AR(All Recorded)
AR not only contains the sound of instrumental accompaniment but also contains the sound of singer’s voice. Yeah, the original songs which are available on various online music sites are AR. So, when k-pop idols lip sync, they just dance to their AR, pretending to sing live.

LAR(Live All Recorded)
K-pop idols’ lip syncing is a sensitive issue, and an idol will run into flack if the whole world gets to know that he is the singer who just does lip sync to his AR. So, k-pop idols who lip sync on the stage need to seduce people into thinking they're singing live. LAR is a kind of AR, while it not only contains the sound of instrumental accompaniment and singer’s voice but also contains the sound of singer’s labored breathing.

LMR(Live Music Recorded)
LMR sounds like LAR, but there is a subtle difference between them. If k-pop idols sing to LAR, it can’t be said they sing live because LAR contains all the sounds of music, while all they do is just pretend to sing live. However, unlike LAR, LMR includes some parts which sound just like ordinary MR. So, to k-pop idols, singing to LMR means that they sing live some parts of their songs.

"You might be curious why k-pop idols do all of these troublesome works. And some of you might think it's because of their lack of singing ability. Yeah, there are some idols who can't sing well, but that's not all. Actually, the production environment of k-pop chart shows are still very poor. For example, most of k-pop idols should record their dance performances and voices separately due to the technological limitations of k-pop chart shows. So, in this condition, MR, AR, LAR and LMR could be effective means for k-pop idols to show better live performance to their fans."


<K-pop Secret Vol.2: Unknown Stories about K-pop Industry>
K-pop Secret Vol.2 contains unknown stories about k-pop industry. The author, who has been working as a k-pop journalist since 2010 gives you answers to some questions about k-pop industry such as “Do k-pop idols really sing live?” “How do k-pop chart shows choose their no.1 of the week?” and “Who’s the best singer among k-pop idols?”
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goodbarber.kpopsecret2
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