ADR - yes or no?


(Barbara Mc Thomas) #1

The director I’m working with wants to ADR the entire project. It’s about 3 minutes so it’s not that this would take so much time, I’m just worried it won’t look good. The actor performances are light and natural, and I’m worried about not being able to recreate that I studio. I also don’t think the sound quality we have is actually that bad. I can spot a few rough places, but it’s not distracting to me as an audio layperson.

Who has done ADR? How did you make it successful?


(Bri Castellini) #2

Oh MAN do I have opinions on ADR! Eating lunch but will add them later. I actually made a video essay for a post production class in grad school about ADR, which includes some examples from my own projects at the end with some of my opinions:


(Bri Castellini) #3

So is the reason your director wants to ADR because of bad production sound? What’s the problem with the production sound, specifically? Background noise/fuzz, or something else?

In general, ADR is VERY hard to implement in a way that doesn’t sound like it was replaced after the fact. It’s hard on actors to recapture the magic of the moment, ESPECIALLY when they have to try and perform in time with the video you’re overlaying new dialog over, and it’s hard on the editor to make the new sound, well, sound like it’s coming from that day. The editor will also probably have to completely foley all the background noises so it all sounds consistent, which is even harder.

If there are only a few problem areas, maybe try just ADRing those, and using editing tricks to hide them within the larger sound mix? Without knowing what kind of issues you’re having, though, it’s hard to know how difficult it will be.


(Meg Carroway) #4

Ugh ADR is sooo annoying to do- avoid it at ALL COSTS except for as an emergency. It’s usually so obvious to viewers; even if they don’t realize why it looks off, they’ll know it’s off. Especially if you’re a smaller budget project (which I assume you are? I don’t know though! Money usually makes these things easier!)


(Meg Carroway) #5

omg 19 dislikes Bri


(Bri Castellini) #6

:joy::joy::joy::joy: I had no idea there were so many Marlon Brando fanbois on YouTube willing and ready to defend his honor. I stand by my statement and also by the fact that I was talking about a very specific thing he did in service of a class video essay that I clearly identified as a CLASS PROJECT.


(Barbara Mc Thomas) #7

There’s some hum in the background. It’s a two person scene with a lot of cutting back and forth and sometimes the audio doesn’t match as it’s taken from different takes of that makes sense.

I only found it distracting when listening via headphones and even then I don’t know if it’s because I was specifically listening for problems.


(Bri Castellini) #8

Do you have room tone (or can you make room tone from a compilation of silent stretches of audio from all takes) that you can use to equalize it? That’s what room tone is for, after all!


(Barbara Mc Thomas) #9

I will ask about room tone. The audio from the actual Mics was apparently trash, so they are using audio from the camera mic. So volume isn’t consistent and there’s that occasional hum. I can understand all the dialogue just fine, but then I wrote it so I know what they’re supposed to be saying!


(Bri Castellini) #10

Haha makes sense! Yeah if the issue is mainly a difference in background noise between takes, that’s absolutely something you can do with room tone usually. It has saved my life many, many times, and is consistently easier and better than ADR. Unless you have an AMAZING sound tech/editor who can make a full scene worth of sound from nothing.