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ADR tone doesn't match scene

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Davin Skorstad
ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 17, 2010 at 7:38:43 pm


I've been editing a scene in FCP and because of a lawn mower in the background I had to record ADR. After adding the ADR into the timeline it doesn't quite match the tone of the other dialogue (originally shot in a kitchen which has a slight echo to it).
So the tone of the ADR doesn't match the tone of the original dialogue, and its a scene between two people, with only one persons ADR added.

I've been trying to play with the 3-band EQ, and a reverb effect, and they seem to get close but doesn't quite do the trick.
The final cut also sounds acceptable in the timeline, but when I export in Compressor the ADR is very obvious.
I have to have this done asap and probably not enough time to record ADR for the entire scene. Any suggestions as to how I can match the ADR to the 'sound' of the original dialogue?

Many Thanks!!!

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Mark Suszko
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 17, 2010 at 8:10:22 pm

Did you capture any original "room tone" without the mower?

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Davin Skorstad
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 17, 2010 at 8:15:44 pm

Unfortunately I didn't. I'm trying to use the 'Match EQ' effect in Soundtrack Pro, which seems to work a bit, but creates other problems at the same time.

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Frank Nolan
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 17, 2010 at 9:37:18 pm

I am sure if you look at all your takes (without the mower) you will be able to find small pieces throughout where there is no dialog. You can then cut these small pieces together to get enough room tone to "fill" under the ADR. This is usually done by the dialog editor and then the EQ and compression etc. is done by the re-recording mixer. However if you are the one man band and need to do it all yourself then that is your best bet.
Getting ADR to match production dialog is a skill that requires many things to come together starting with the mic used (and placement) in recording ADR, the performance of the actor matching the original, the skill and knowledge of the ADR editor and re-recording mixer.
BUT if you don't have some room tone fill then no matter how good you are at EQ and compression it will be almost impossible to get it to match unless of course the room tone on the B side of the cut is almost non existent.

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Shane Ross
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 17, 2010 at 10:57:06 pm

Frank's got it. Look for areas in the footage where you have no one talking, so you can get the proper tone. Trying to get it in post is near impossible, even for professional audio engineers. This is why they want room tone....and why they record 30 seconds of room tone after every location on professional shoots. It is VERY important. Even on documentary projects.

Something for next time.


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John Pale
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 18, 2010 at 4:23:37 am

Soundtrack Pro also has a plugin called Space Designer, which has a large array of tweakable presets for room ambience.

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Michael Kammes
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 18, 2010 at 4:12:36 pm

I charge a pretty penny to do this - it ain't easy.

I would recommend looking at other clean dialogue from the scene preferably the same character!) in a spectrum analyzer. This will give you an indication what frequencies are 'hotter' than others in the environment. Try and match that with EQ settings on the ADR'd dialogue.

Verb/Echo is tough. There is a lot of play with this. Lots of experimentation. A mentor of mine once said - find what you like, then back off 10%.

Another trick is to try and record the ADR with the same mic used on set. At least SOMETHING will be similar.

Other tricks include raising the background room noise of the scene, recutting picture around the bad audio, adding sound effects, and/or music. Some even go so far as to ADR the ENTIRE scene, so the viewer isn't taken out of the scene when the ADR dialogue comes in - it's ALL ADR! Obviously these are last ditch Hail Mary efforts.

Good Luck!


.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr

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Scott Sheriff
Re: ADR tone doesn't match scene
on Dec 18, 2010 at 7:25:35 pm

To what everybody else said I would add record some room tone with the same mic in a similar room, if you can't get the original. Use library room tone from another project.
But I have to agree with Michael, it is going to be extremely difficult to match the ADR dialogue tone in bits and pieces, even if the BG room tone is similar, and that doing the whole scene might be the quickest solution.

Scott Sheriff
SST Digital Media

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