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