The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
ADR Tips
Old 21st October 2013
Gear Addict
ADR Tips

I have been asked by a friend to do the ADR on his short film. All of the shots are excellent, but the audio quality from his location recording is horrible. We need to replace a majority of his personal 1 on 1 dialogue scenes.

Here is my problem:

Every time we record the actors lines and align them correctly, it still sounds like an overdub. For some reason the quality is almost too good. The voices are very present and full, but it seems like I am watching one of those asian films with horrible American overdubs. Even if the words match up, there is just this feature that makes it sound more like a voice over than ADR.

Here is what I have tried to do to fix it:

1) Adding Ambience. The majority of the short is shot in a library, so I have dug through some old layers and found a useable clip. While this helped a little bit, it still feels way more like a voice over than a conversation with higher quality equipment.

2) Reverb. I tried using an extremely tight/short reverb on the voice, but I cannot push it back enough without it being even slightly noticable. It just doesn't make sense.

3) Using a lower quality chain. I started out with:

Manley Ref C-> Great River -> Apogee Rosetta 800. I then subbed a SM7b in for the Ref C, but that just made it sound even more like a voice over. I even tried skipping the GR and 800, and using just a profire 2626, but SOMETHING still just sounds off...

4) Standing back from the mic/ using it in omni

I tried using a KSM44 in my studio while standing a few feet back. Again, not a good result. The vocals need to be personal and warm, but they shouldn't be so wide and intimate. I have recorded plenty of music and bands no problem, but I give big respect to the post guys that are able to nail this so well.

If any of you guys more experienced could throw me a bone and give me some tricks of the trade, I would TRUELY appreciate it. This is way tougher for me than I could have imagined, and it sucks letting down a friend. I was confidant that I would be able to help, but now I realized I need the help of you guys. So, please share any knowledge you can about this topic with me.

Thank you.

Old 21st October 2013
There's a pretty thorough thread over here:
Avid Pro Audio Community

Old 21st October 2013
Lives for gear
nzl62's Avatar

Mic choice.
Try shotgun like 416,mk50 or 50. Also try lav mic
If you can re-record then you will need to thin it out a bit and maybe look at losing a little hi mid. sometimes 3k area is adr give away
Altiverb small room mono (office is my favourite) bend in and then add overall shape reverb
Old 21st October 2013
Lives for gear
Andrew Mottl's Avatar

You could also try a multiband expander to tame the in your face presence. Waves C4 in the noise red/expansion preset, adjust thresholds to make it "pump" the spectral content depending on signal strength. Has worked well for me before.
Old 21st October 2013
As was stated in post #3, mic choice is critical. Presumably the material was shot with a shotgun mic on location, therefore it needs to be re-recorded with a shotgun mic (preferably the same model even) to have the best chance of matching. The proximity effect of something like a SM7b will be a dead giveaway, as you're finding. Then eq, verb and ambience are seasoned to taste.
Old 21st October 2013
If nothing is making the voice sit, are you sure the performance is a good match? Is the actor performing as though it is a voiceover? Is the projection appropriate to the scene?

If you could post a clip with the some production sound and your ADR which isn't working then instead of guessing you'll get more focussed feedback for people here. It could be you haven't filled clothing noise/foley when cutting in the ADR too. Messing with pre amp/convertor choices is not going to change your ADR anything like as significantly as performance and sound editing.

EQ wise you may need to take some highs and a lot of lows off, then add EQ to your reverb to help it match.

Hope this helps.

Rob Walker AMPS
Old 21st October 2013
Lives for gear

what the other guys said;

Record dry
Boom mic
MONO reverb

In a sense part of doing ADR is just taking the time to get the sound right which can be frustrating since the actors get bored of it, or weren't into it to begin with. But I don't think there are any shortcuts when it comes to ADR.
Old 21st October 2013
Gear Nut
Bigmouth Audio's Avatar

I find thinning it out helps a lot and boosting a fair amount of mid range. Essentially eq matching the other dialogue which might have been done via Lavs or boom. A spectral analyser can help get the ball moving then just trust yours ears.
Old 21st October 2013
Lives for gear

Your also going to need to record the ADR in a very big room. Think about the location you are trying to match. Was it a small booth or a big open room. Room acoustics is a huge part of recording ADR.
Old 21st October 2013
EQ match
Mono verb
Fill in foley and amb

How bad exactly is the production audio? It's kind of hard to mess up a library, if it's not super echo-y or a too hot iphone recording.
Old 22nd October 2013
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
Performance is everything.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump