ADR: Automatic Dialog Replacement

ADR - Automatic Dialog Replacement
ADR is an abbreviation for the automatic replacement of dialog in a motion picture. While this may sound straightforward, there is little "automatic" about it. ADR requires a concentrated effort on the part of the actor coupled with a meticulous process of recording and documenting their performances in perfect sync with the picture.
Why ADR?
The need for dialog replacement became apparent in the early movie business. Whether it was a garbled delivery, or noise pollution from weather, traffic or an unwelcome airplane, filmmakers needed a way to correct the dialog after the fact. A modern movie may have more than 70% of dialog replaced by ADR! The desire for better quality sound and the need to accommodate foreign language dubbing has driven the use of ADR.
ADR at In Your Ear Studios
We have been providing ADR services to production companies around the world since our opening over 20 years ago. Our experience working with Disney on movies such as "The Little Mermaid" provided a stepping stone for In Your Ear's ADR offerings early on. Now we have Blockbuster movies such as "The Help" and hit television series like "The Family Guy", "The Cleveland Show", and "Sleepy Hollow" among our credits.
How do we work?
We work to address our clients' specific needs. If the entire project needs to be a ProTools session for upload to their post facility, we do it. If our clients need to work via Facetime or Skype, we offer those options as well and we can connect in realtime though ISDN (APT or Telos Zephyr). For budget sensitive sessions, we offer Internet connections using Source Elements' "Source Connect", Steinberg's "VST Connect" or a simple phone patch.
Will the sound match?
Several factors must be considered to ensure reliable ADR matching. One is performance match: the actor must be accustomed to ADR and most screen actors are. A second factor is acoustics. A good ADR studio will feature variable acoustics offering neutral diffused reflections to a completely dead acoustic signature. Providing these conditions requires controlled absorption and comprehensive bass-trapping to well below the vocal frequency range. Noise isolation is also important and In Your Ear's studios were built from the ground up to meet the most stringent noise floor requirements. We also factor in boundary distance, and all of our studios have ceilings of twelve feet or higher to meet this important requirement.
Why does In Your Ear do so many ADR sessions? You're not in Hollywood.
Virginia is the host to many great movie productions. Steven Spielberg shot "War of the Worlds", "Minority Report", and "Lincoln" here. Ridley Scott shot "Hannibal" here, and AMC's "Turn" is currently shooting in the Richmond area. While major actors are here, they often need to come into our studios to replace lines for projects they recently filmed elsewhere. Conversely, once a major feature leaves the area, local actors come in to replace their lines. In Your Ear is Hollywood's first choice as a source for ADR, Foley and other important audio needs in our region.
Staying Ahead in ADR Services
We are always evaluating new technologies to make ADR more cost effective for our clients. Newer tools such as Nuendo from Yamaha/Steinberg feature special workflows for making ADR simpler. Internet technology continues to improve, offering more options for faster, lower-cost workflows. We are always striving for better compatibility technically and acoustically. We even went to the extreme of building "The Cleveland Cave" in our Studio B to match the sound of Fox's preferred recording room for "The Family Guy" in Southern California. The result is dialog that cuts perfectly into the show.

 

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