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ADR for puppetry

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Steve Topper
ADR for puppetry
on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:13:27 pm

Hi, I am working on a short film that was done completely with puppets. We are now doing voice overs, and I am having problems trying to make the voice sound less disconnected from the performance.

First of all, it is amateur, so the lip movements don't and can't alway match perfectly with the lines, which I'm sure is affecting the illusion. But beyond that what can I do to make it sound less like it's recorded in a studio and more like in the room the puppets exist in? I've tried adding reverb, but that makes it sound worse. Room tone helps a little, but its not enough.

We've been recording with a large diaphragm mic, and inside a homemade foam covered studio. Thus making everything sound, very "dead" and unnatural. Is there anything I can do in post to make it sound better before I have to go location scouting for different environments. Would a different kind of mic be better?


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Ty Ford
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 10, 2011 at 12:46:25 am

Welcome to the Cow Audio Forum, Steve.

Try recording in a regular living room.

In thinking about your project, I'm guessing it might have ben easier to record the voice tracks first and have the puppets use that playback as a way to sync it up. If someone goes off track, you can always reshoot the section. After a while, the puppeteers should get to know what to expect from the prerecorded voices.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Steve Topper
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:44:23 am

yeah, I'll try a living room. And I am definately learning that the voice aught to have been recorded first. This was kind of off the cuff an grew into something that we weren't expecting, so there wasn't even a full script we were always filming off of....huge mistake.


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Bob Kessler
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 10, 2011 at 2:53:13 pm

A little touch of reverb, especially an IR reverb, is a help. Now, on to the important stuff... Do you have a room tone? And how about sound FX and Foley? Sit down and listen to the original audio. Despite the poor quality - I would assume that is why you are doing ADR - there is lots of real world "motion"; you hear the ambience or the location (room tone) plus the sounds created by the puppets and the puppeteers. You have to treat even puppetry as tradition film sound when you replace the original dialog.

Next time you should try to capture the audio properly in the first place; it will save you lots of time and headaches.

Peace,

Bob
____________________________________________________________________
Filmmaking is the art of the invisible;
If anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.


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Noah Kadner
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 10, 2011 at 5:14:17 pm

Yeah I'm no expert but generally the rule in animation is to record the voice track first and then animate to it instead of the other way around.

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Steve Topper
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:47:15 am

Well the problem with catching audio in the first place is that we were shooting multiple angles with one camera. It was kind of an experimental thing and definately exploited our lack of preparation, so I'm trying to make up for that now

Here's a short example of the footage to give you an idea of what I'm taling about:







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Noah Kadner
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:50:45 am

Hehe- not sure what the issue is. The voice sounds about exactly as I'd expect from an episode of Sesame Street or what have you. You're fine...

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Steve Topper
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 11, 2011 at 4:38:51 am

oh, ok, maybe I was being overcritical on myself. I did add a dash of reverb just now and in my opinion it helps enormously in sublte ways.


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Noah Kadner
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 11, 2011 at 6:10:07 am

Yeah don't sweat it- that's totally solid.

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Steve Topper
Re: ADR for puppetry
on Sep 26, 2011 at 2:10:16 pm

Thanks for the help guys. The whole video is on youtube if anyone wants to check it out







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