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Chapter 5. Recording to Picture > Recording Dialog and Narration

Recording Dialog and Narration

The most important part of nearly all film and video productions is the dialog and narration that occurs throughout. A great deal of effort goes into making the dialog clear and accurate. Smooth dialog audio helps draw the viewer into the production. In many cases, dialog recorded on the set might be unusable due to environmental factors. As we’ve learned, it is possible to replace certain dialog segments in the studio using ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement). Animation dialog, voiceovers, and narration are also recorded in the studio. This section is devoted to recording dialog, in its many forms, in the post-production studio.

Replacing Existing Dialog (ADR)

Imagine that you are a production sound mixer on a film about a WWII submarine crew. The set is a recreation of a WWII sub that can be moved and turned by large hydraulics and electric motors in order to simulate the rocking of a submarine under fire from depth charges. The hydraulics and motors are constantly making a racket, and it seems that every time the main character says a line, one of these motors makes a horrible sound that can be heard everywhere, including through the body mic and boom mic—rendering the recording useless. The machines have to be in operation, as the boat needs to move during these scenes. What are you going to do? ADR, the process of replacing these lines with new ones recorded in an audio studio by the same actor, is the answer. Any recorded dialog that contains too much environmental sound or is flawed in other ways must be replaced in post-production using ADR.


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