What is the ideal balance between planning out an entire session of playing, complete with music scoring and conversation detailing, and winging the entire thing?
As an example, I'll cite one of the last sessions I DMed, some time ago. My group (three players) was sent from a major city to a somewhat closeby druidic circle to question them on the situation that was at hand (that is irrelevant to this question). As they traveled, around the fourth day or so, they found a cave. It was early night, so they couldn't see inside the cave much. They felt a rumble underground, and were intrigued. I had planned for most of the session, involving a giant purple worm, outside it's habitat. Since they players had a knack for investigation, and were quite curious, I was sure they'd go in the cave. However, they did not.
They went to the druidic circle, vowing to seek the cave after they returned from the circle. From this point, I was forced to improvise pretty much 80% of the session, since I had only mental notes on this part of the story. Turns out, when I asked, this was the session they enjoyed the most. It even gave me more time to further plan out the cave, and then THAT ended up being the session they enjoyed the most (I had the worm be possessed by a spoooooky parasitic fungus, related to the campaign's BBEG - a D&D Blighter [Anti-Druid of sorts]).
Rambling aside, what would you consider is the ideal balance between huge binders full of notes for each session and doing an improv every time?