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Old April 11th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #1
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Tips for cheap ADR?

Okay, so an actress we used was terrible, and I need to replace her voice to create some semblance of watchability. We have no budget for a recording studio, but we've got good mic's (Senheiser shotgun and lavs), a relatively quiet location, we're using Final Cut Pro / Soundtrack Pro on a pretty grunty Power Mac, so can probably remove background noise and drop it into the original atmos.

Can anyone offer any tips and suggestions?

Any workflow suggestions to help avoid lip sync nightmares? (I remember a program called Vocalign, and wondered if there's anything similar within Soundtrack Pro?)

Any ideas at all (or pointers to solutions or a FAQ I couldn't find), please let me know. Thanks!
Dave Ozra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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Try and find a location with a similar atmosphere to the one you used before - it doesn't have to be the same place but it will help reduce that "redubbed" ambience that you usually get with ADR. Get the shot you want to re-dub and make a VHS loop tape of it i.e the same shot repeated over and over again (as many times as you can) with a 5 second on-screen countdown between each repeat. This will be for the actress to watch on a monitor as she tries to say the lines. If the scene has a conversation in it then include the other actor's lines, for your actress to listen to on headphones, if not keep the loop tape mute except for a "plop" (i.e a tone/bleep on the soundtrack, a few seconds before the dialogue is due to begin) so that you can sync the sound up in the edit, then play the VHS and hit record on your audio, and don't pause or stop recording until you get what you want. Use the 5 second countdown to direct your actress to "go faster/slower" or "more emotion!" or whatever. By using the loop tape the actress will get into a sort of rhythm, which will make it easier for her to keep trying other things - otherwise you will be stopping and starting and rewinding tapes, and it will take four times as long as it needs to...
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Old April 18th, 2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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Actually, I've found the best results come when you do not show the actors their video tape while they are dubbing. Let them only hear what they said, to get down the rhythm, the tone, and the emotion, and they will be able to deliver a line much closer to the original (they stop worrying about lipsync, which should follow naturally if they can simply resay their line properly)
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Old April 18th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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Location: Stockton, UT
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Looping/ADR isn't easy, but you might find:
to be of some use.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 11:02 AM   #5
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Sorry to ring in so late on this topic, but another method that tends to work well is record the loops in as clean/neutral/quiet/isolated a place as possible (a makeshift Iso Booth can be set up in a limited space with some CStands and sound reinforcement blankets or packing blankets), and record the loop takes - once you've done that, if you have any clean loops of ambience from the sets (ie chunks of ambient on-set audio where there are no birds/airplanes/other people talking), lay it in directly under just the looped dialogue, eq/verb the dialogue a little to fit it into the location, and it will probably sit nicely along with the other naturally recorded dialogue... but, of course, it all depends on whether or not you have clean ambience recordings from each scene where the character has speaking lines.

This method, by the way, is called "backfilling"

regarding avoiding lip syncing nightmares... make sure your audio sessions frame rates match your edit timeline frame rates, make sure your actress can see a client monitor (it was mentioned some people don't like showing the adr artist the video... that's a valid point, but personally I think it helps them nail the emotion of the lines)... give them a little pre-roll on the recording so they can ramp up for the line and have a breath between takes) and when you're recording, don't listen to the original audio track... listen to only the adr artist's voice - you'll know if it matches because it will feel "natural" while you watch the vid and hear the voice... or close to it, anyway.
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