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recording location sound to DAW

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Manik Möllers
recording location sound to DAW
on Mar 29, 2017 at 5:34:32 pm

Hello, I have question related to recording location sound for a film.
I am thinking about recording directly into my daw (pro tools or nuendo) without a field recorder so I am able to better isolate, spot and maybe remove unwanted noise and record synced ADR tracks directly on set.
Is this a common practice or what are the downsides of it?
Thank you in advance.

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Richard Crowley
Re: recording location sound to DAW
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:44:38 am

Unless you have an unusually portable and field-friendly combination of computer, keyboard, mouse, screen and audio interface, virtually all people who have actually tried it find that using a computer and audio interface in a video/cine location set has far too few (if any?) advantages to outweigh the considerable disadvantages. Field audio recording devices are much more robust and field-friendly than ANY computer and audio interface combination.

Exceptions are where you are working on a sound cart where you have all your gear set up (interfaces, mixer, wireless receivers, cable and boom storage, big battery power supplies, etc. etc. There are SOME sound recording applications that are specifically made for production field recording. The prime example being "Boom Recorder". This is a "minimalist subset DAW" specifically customized for field production TRACKING. (Please note well the difference between TRACKING and EDITING). Boom Recorder is optimized for multi-track recording in situations like field production. Your typical DAW application becomes rather fiddly in hectic field production situations.

It is not at all clear how using a DAW will help you "isolate" or "spot" unwanted noise. And out in the field (and in the presence of the same noise) is possibly the WORST possible place to try to remove it. And recording ADR out in the field is also a very questionable practice because frequently the reason you need to record ADR is because of the ambient noise, so trying to record ADR in the SAME ambient noise just seems like a losing proposition.


Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.

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Bruce Watson
Re: recording location sound to DAW
on Mar 31, 2017 at 3:32:30 pm

[Manik Möllers] "Is this a common practice or what are the downsides of it?"

No, it's not at all common practice.

The big downside of it is that it dilutes your attention. Recording dialog well requires your full attention. Save the DAW work for post production.

As to ADR, one of the prime reasons to use ADR is to record the dialog outside of the noisy environment where the acting had to take place. Which means that recording ADR in that same environment makes little sense. And that's why most ADR is done in an ADR studio. Also, ADR tends to be expensive, so you want to do as little of it as possible -- which generally means you do your ADR after edit lock. No point in doing ADR for footage that's not used is there?

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