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Recording voices for animated feature
Old 5th August 2020
  #1
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jahtao's Avatar
 

Recording voices for animated feature

Hi Guys,

We're looking to upgrade some of our kit ahead of an animated feature next year. What have people had success with?

1. Mics?
2. Mic stand?
3. Headphones?
4. Mic pre?
5. Compression on the way in?
6. Script stands?
7. Stools?
8. Juggling many actors at once?
9. ADR cue-ing software, I gather we'll be recording to animatics
10. Tips for sending dialogue off to the animators? Naming conventions? File formats?
11. Workflow tips

Thanks v much!
Old 6th August 2020
  #2
Sounds like you are starting from scratch. Maybe hire someone with some experience doing what you are getting ready to do? Lots of choices...best of luck!!!
Old 6th August 2020
  #3
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NReichman's Avatar
 

At Rhumba, we've recorded dialog, assembled radioplays, composed and produced songs and music, done sound design, and then final broadcast mix on a number of big animated television series:

RHUMBA

Each department has developed their own workflows, and one of the most crucial early tasks is keeping a bookkeeping system for every single alternate take of a given line, while still providing a solid radioplay for the animators. Animatics are based on your radioplay, not the other way around. There's more to talk about than I can write in this post, but you're thinking of all the right issues. Give us a call or an email. I'm on deadline now, but there are other members of Rhumba around.
Old 6th August 2020
  #4
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cubivore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Sounds like you are starting from scratch. Maybe hire someone with some experience doing what you are getting ready to do? Lots of choices...best of luck!!!
yeah, hire me as a consultant lol!!! that's basically starting from the ground up and no small task. you can use anything for the gear part at leas.t
Old 6th August 2020
  #5
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jahtao's Avatar
 

Hiya. Thanks for you relies. We’re actually a pretty decent facility with a lot of award winning shows under our belt. Just not animations. If my questions looked too basic it’s probably because I like to get into the detail and cover all bases.

Let me simplify.

1. We have a U87 and a couple of TLM103’s, my instinct is that we should go all U87 on this animated feature, am I over thinking it?

2. I’ve been told to expect cast records of four actors at a time. So we’ll probably buy a new preamp. I’d like to have compression available for each channel. Any recommendations?

Mic stands and stool recommendations can wait : )
Old 6th August 2020
  #6
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I would also plan to record video of the actors speaking their lines to send back to animation.

Randall




Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao View Post
Hiya. Thanks for you relies. We’re actually a pretty decent facility with a lot of award winning shows under our belt. Just not animations. If my questions looked too basic it’s probably because I like to get into the detail and cover all bases.

Let me simplify.

1. We have a U87 and a couple of TLM103’s, my instinct is that we should go all U87 on this animated feature, am I over thinking it?

2. I’ve been told to expect cast records of four actors at a time. So we’ll probably buy a new preamp. I’d like to have compression available for each channel. Any recommendations?

Mic stands and stool recommendations can wait : )
Old 6th August 2020
  #7
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cubivore's Avatar
 

those mics are very commonly used and will serve you fine.

unless it's walla groups, 99% of the time we only had single actors in the booth. grouping actors together isn't very efficient, especially if they're not in every scene and just sitting around waiting. your producer/director needs to know how to do line counts and budget each actor based on those needs AND know how to get the reads that will sound good once the other actors' lines get dropped in.
Old 6th August 2020
  #8
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Been in the Toon Biz for 40 years as an animator. Working with a studio now from home, just like the rest of the entire industry. The biggest problem they’re having is recording dialogue. Actors aren’t equipped or skilled enough to do it and studios aren’t equipped to handle physical distancing.... yet. Some hustling by the production department seems to have found a solution.
Old 7th August 2020
  #9
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PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NReichman View Post
At Rhumba, we've recorded dialog, assembled radioplays, composed and produced songs and music, done sound design, and then final broadcast mix on a number of big animated television series:

RHUMBA

Each department has developed their own workflows, and one of the most crucial early tasks is keeping a bookkeeping system for every single alternate take of a given line, while still providing a solid radioplay for the animators. Animatics are based on your radioplay, not the other way around. There's more to talk about than I can write in this post, but you're thinking of all the right issues. Give us a call or an email. I'm on deadline now, but there are other members of Rhumba around.
Your video's on your Rhumba website you did Nathaniel are great, really enjoyed them. I btw have most of the same equipment I saw in the Rhumba video's, but your workflow & approach is just at a different level than mine.

On equipment I have moved to Mic King Stands, they are very trip resistant compared to other stands (especially when people are walking all over the place in more ad hoc rooms). One thing I've done is go with a RME UFX+ interface, I also use a RME Babyface. I have some high end mic pre's but find going straight into the RME is better. For a mixed post shop (design/music/dialog) I like the RME UFX+ because I can record small music sessions, handle multiple mics and even output to a 5.1 Genelec system (a lot of animation is slowly moving off of stereo). I think dialog only shops have different requirements than a mixed shop.

I'd be especially interested in the OP's question on workflow for animation, the post environment & approach can be significantly different compared to narrative film.
Old 7th August 2020
  #10
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jahtao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NReichman View Post
At Rhumba, we've recorded dialog, assembled radioplays, composed and produced songs and music, done sound design, and then final broadcast mix on a number of big animated television series:

RHUMBA

Each department has developed their own workflows, and one of the most crucial early tasks is keeping a bookkeeping system for every single alternate take of a given line, while still providing a solid radioplay for the animators. Animatics are based on your radioplay, not the other way around. There's more to talk about than I can write in this post, but you're thinking of all the right issues. Give us a call or an email. I'm on deadline now, but there are other members of Rhumba around.
Thank you for this. That’s good to know the animatics are made from the radio plays and not the other way round. I’ll watch your videos ASAP too. Thank you!
Old 7th August 2020
  #11
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NReichman's Avatar
 

Thanks for watching guys! Those videos are mostly aimed at potential clients instead of colleagues. The tech info is intentionally glossed-over. Working in animation is great. We have a new season of one of our top shows coming back soon. Mostly unaffected by covid-19, thank goodness.
Old 11th August 2020
  #12
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Mundox's Avatar
I've done dialog recording for quite a few animation projects for big studios.
A dual U87 (far/near) is the de facto standard.
Some of them specify Micpres like 1073 but our Amek Purepaths are easy winners.
I invested in Triad Orbit stands which make dual miking a breeze.
(although I had some issues with the wing nut breaking on me, the replacement seems to be OK)

You might also need a Timecode based logging system and a person who does the logging of the takes. Sessions are usually continuous recordings broken down to segments.
And yes, you will need a camera to record the actor.
Old 15th August 2020
  #13
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jahtao's Avatar
 

Thanks v much Mundox. Those stands look good.

Do you have the Amek's dynamics engaged at all?
Old 17th August 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao View Post
Do you have the Amek's dynamics engaged at all?
I also use an Amek pre. It's fantastic, I use it for everything.

I don't record with dynamics. Leave sensible headroom and if you dual mic you have your backup/scream mic if needed.
Old 18th August 2020
  #15
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Mundox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao View Post
Thanks v much Mundox. Those stands look good.

Do you have the Amek's dynamics engaged at all?
Yeah I have it in 2:1 / -10. It's the most transparent compressor out there.
But I don't rely on it, I usually ride the input Gain & Trim.
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