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Old June 2nd, 2004, 12:48 AM   #1
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A problem I'm not smart enough to handle

So we have a big chunk of dialogue that has to take place on one of the loudest buses i've ever been on, and rather than actually try and record any sound in that environment we decided to go with ADR. The ADR we recorded syncs up okay with what we shot (this is more of an exercise for us, we're all newbies, so we're not expecting perfection) but the ADR that we've got isn't blending too well with the environment of the bus. It doesn't sound like our actors are actually sitting on a bus. It sounds to me (i wasn't present during the ADR session) like our actor is way too close to the microphone. So he's not really projecting his voice like he would have to in order to actually be heard on this bus.

So my question: Is it possible to make the ADR sound more distant? Or is there something that I can do to make it blend a little better with ambient noise of the bus? I've messed with the EQ a bit and even played with reverb in soundforge, but its not doing much good.

BTW, the actor is off in Rhode Island now, and totally inaccessible. So rerecording is pretty much out.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Sorry the post is this long.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 05:07 AM   #2
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Here's one low-tech way that might do it: play the voice track through a speaker, and re-record it with a mike. You can listen with headphones and play around with the positioning of both devices to each other and the room (having the speaker against a wall, in the middle of the room etc) as well as trying different speakers, EQ settings through the speaker, different mikes etc. until you like what you hear. This will take some of the presence out out of the track.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 05:36 PM   #3
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That's one of the reasons you always record Room Tone. So you always have something to use in this manner.

Can you get back on the bus and re-record ambient sounds for use?

Then you can just plug in that sound along with the ADR track.

If the ADR was accurate enough (tough, I know) you could just lay the ADR over the existing sound track and let it bring clarity to the mix but still sound 'real.' You may have to cut each word and sync it separately. For that, you'll probably find a NLE too coarse and have to use a sound mixing program.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:21 PM   #4
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I don't think that's what he means. It sounds like he's got the ambience of the bus, now he needs the voice track he recorded to sound like it is part of that entire soundscape.

I would play with the EQ settings as best you can. There is software that does something called convolution, which essentially does make the sound more distant, but it's expensive to purchase. Altiverb is the most widely used one I think.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:30 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : I don't think that's what he means. It sounds like he's got the ambience of the bus, now he needs the voice track he recorded to sound like it is part of that entire soundscape. -->>>

That's why I suggested mixing the ADR right in with the existing soundtrack voices. The ambience will still be there with the clarity of the ADR. I do this live all the time by wiring up the talent and then also recording them and the environment with an on-camera microphone. Then I merge the two sound tracks until I get clarity and ambience.

It isn't perfect but I don't know any other way to do it. I don't think manipulating the sound tracks with software will do much.

One can try making a 'hole' for the dialog by using an equalizer or by panning the ambient hard to both sides and leaving the middle for the ADR. Worth a try. I've used the equalizer approach but haven't yet tried the hard pan trick which I learned in the VASST class last Friday.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:42 PM   #6
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Ah I see what you mean. Yes that might work.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 08:19 PM   #7
 
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you can also try to use a convolution reverb, if you can get enough samples from the bus ambience. WAVES has the best one, BIAS has a good one for Apple, Sony's is pretty good.
But overall, what I'd do is make two tracks.
One of bus noise.
second of ADR. play ADR out of speaks, record it w/mic.
then blend clean ADR with 'dirty ADR'
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 08:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys, they're really a big help. I just ordered that soundforge dvd from VASST and jay rose's audio post production book from amazon, so hopefully I'll have less of these problems in the future. But in the meantime I'm glad to have found these forums. Thanks again.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 08:30 PM   #9
 
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Matt,
you'll LOVE the Forge DVD. We're getting RAVE reviews about it from everyone who's gotten it thus far, and it's only been shipping for a week.
We're pretty thrilled with the response, because we take a different approach to training than other companies do. That's always a risk, doing things differently.
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