A studio album is an original collection of tracks by a recording artist.
It usually does not contain live recordings and/or remixes, and if it does, those tracks do not make up a majority of the album and are often called "bonus tracks". Due to their heavily prepared nature, they can contain a variety of flourishes and production techniques, including segues, sound effects, found sound, and orchestral contributions.
In the music industry, studio albums are usually contrasted with compilations and live albums. Studio albums are generally considered to be albums proper, containing material that is, in the majority, previously unreleased and original. They tend to be the highest-selling albums - in the United Kingdom, for example, eighteen of the twenty-four albums that have sold over 2.5 million copies are studio albums.
In classical music, studio albums differ from live recordings in that they are often the result of multiple edits. Orchestral works in particular can be the result of several takes of the same piece. This practice is well established, and in older, analog recordings, edits are often very noticeable when transferred onto digital media.