Today on Binky’s Blog, Binky talks about ADR. What to do if you HAVE to do it, how best to save time and money, and shares how it can be avoided with two simple tricks that can be applied on set.
“Ah, the joys of Audio Post-Production. And what is ADR exactly? Automatic Dialogue Replacement. Also referred to (though rarely) as Additional Dialogue Recording. However you say it, ADR means long and tedious hours and it can be very costly. It’s something, when you’ve done it, you want to avoid. And it you HAVE to do it, then you want to do it in as little time possible. Let me tell you how you can save time doing ADR and how you can avoid having to do it in the first place, just with two simple tricks on set.
First, let’s begin with why and when. ADR is part of the Audio Post-Production process. So you got your person cleaning audio, making things “seamless”, adding sound effects. But sometimes, the audio is just not good enough and cleaning it doesn’t help it sound better. The reasons? 1) Could be your audio recording device was malfunctioning (this is the worst case scenario and happened to me) and it messed up your sound and it all sounds…bad. 2) There’s a buzz in the audio or a whistling (another sort of malfunction, sometimes sporadic, sometimes constant). 3) The line was whispered and was not loud enough. 4) The line was said too far from the mic or the actor was turned away from the mic and the sound did not get picked up. 5) Something unexpected came in and added a noise at one precise moment (tractor, truck, thunder). 6) One word from the line is shouted and the audio peeks at that place. 7) There’s a lot of wind. Usually, if the reason is 5, you can retake the shot, but sometimes sounds are recorded and unheard by anyone except for the Sound Recordist. So trust your person to notice these things. But long days can mean missing some of the sounds sometimes and it’s only normal, since the human brain can’t register everything at once. So don’t fire your sound person just yet.
Okay, **** happened. What do we do now? ADR.”