Working In ADR? How Revoice Pro Helps Post Professionals Get Great Results Faster
If our Emmy-winning time-alignment technology is suited for anything then helping those working in ADR would be high up the list. After all, ADR is about taking an original dialog track and then trying to fit a new, better sounding performance. Furthermore, it needs to be done in such a way that the viewer is unaware of the work done. In other words, great ADR goes unnoticed.
ADR is also something that many film and TV makers would rather avoid, preferring to retain the audio from set whenever possible. Inevitably, for reasons such as the noise of a plane or a motorway on a 16th-century drama, ADR is necessary, all because the location scout didn't consider putting a costume drama shoot under a flight path would be a problem. Other reasons may be audio equipment failure or a host of other audio issues that need to be fixed in post. At this point, the talented ADR person steps in to save the day.
Chris Roberts (Ripper Street, Fortitude, Star Wars, X-Men 2) explains; "The challenges we often face are varied; shooting sound for television drama use different and they all throw different unique challenges each project is different. Some shows need a lot of ADR, particularly period dramas, no matter how good the particular sound recordist is. If there's a beautiful stately home that's sat right next to the M3, we're going to have to re-record every line of dialogue because there weren't motorcars in 1827."
Jonah Guelzo (Fast & Furious 7, Divergent) "Ideally, it's always best to be very intentional about your shooting locations, and how controlled they can be during filming for sound purposes...but we inevitably had some very poor sounding locations. We had to record next to a busy street, a noisy convenience store, a police department where all the A/C was controlled remotely in some other state and other less than ideal recording situations."
The work is varied with each project throwing up unique challenges, as Peter Shaw (The American, Mrs Brown's Boys, United) explains; "Each project comes with its own unique set of challenges. At times, I may be required to record ADR for entire scenes or to work on sync dialogue so as not to need any ADR at all. Both scenarios are difficult and take a lot of time and effort, but both are equally as rewarding."
So how does Revoice Pro help when ADR is first and foremost a skill that takes years to master?
Guelzo highlights the challenge is that sometimes it is not possible to get actors back for ADR recording, so he has to rely on grabbing wild lines on set. "To save money on the backend and to avoid having to spend money bringing back costly Actors for ADR recording sessions, I would pull actors away to a quieter area that still sounded acoustically appropriate to the scene and then get them to record wild lines for me with a view to somehow piecing them together to reconstitute some terrible on-set sounding scenes" he continues, "Using Revoice Pro, I was able to reference all of the guide audio, and after finding bits and pieces of wild lines and occasional takes from other shots during the scene, I was able to conform the wild lines to very closely match the original inflexion and timing of the original lines. Watching the scene back, you can't even tell that I used almost entirely wild lines because of the sync being so spot on."
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Shaw finds the time stretch and pitch functions invaluable during post. "I use Revoice Pro for all my ADR and sometimes for replacement production dialogue. The algorithm sounds great with virtually no artifacts unless used for extreme time stretching/pitch shifting. I mainly use timing, but sometimes a combination of both can work wonders especially if it's technical replacement ADR that's sandwiched tight in-between production dialogue.
The pitch process also comes in handy if I need to replace production dialogue with an alternate production take. Generally, you would have no control over the pitch apart from trying to choose a close match to the original. Occasionally, the actor might deliver their lines consistently so choosing a suitable alt can be straight forward, but it's not always the case. The pitch process gives you that extra edge to help sit the alt take into context."
Roberts points to efficiency savings with ever-decreasing budgets for post-production. "What we're looking for in any software package is something that helps us deliver the quality work that we want to give to the client as efficiently as possible. And that's more important today than ever with budgets getting tighter schedules getting tighter. So it's really good to have something that will slot into that workflow. Help us achieve our aims and ultimately improve on them."
If you are new to ADR or a professional who is yet to appreciate the benefits of having Revoice Pro in your toolkit, then watch this short video made by ADR professional Alan Sallabank (Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Dr Strange.) The video shows Revoice Pro in action and how easy it is to get even better sounding ADR using Revoice Pro. The short video covers ADR fitting, using alternate takes and even replacing the actor's voice.