What does an ADR Recordist do?
ADR Recordists are recording engineers who specialize in re-recording dialogue in a studio setting, as well as recording the voiceover for animated films and TV shows, documentaries, and video games.
ADR stands for “automated dialogue replacement”, and it refers to the techniques that can be used to fix or smooth out issues in recorded sound. To get clear and perfect dialogue in each shot of a TV show or movie, filmmakers have a secret weapon: an ADR Mixer.
Sometimes, dialogue is re-recorded to replace the original sound in a scene, because there was some issue, such as background noise, or an actor messing up a line. The ADR Recordist makes sure that all the spoken dialogue in a film is of the highest possible audio quality. They are given notes from the Script Supervisor or Production Sound Mixer, taken during the film shoot, indicating where there are problems in the audio tracks, and from there, they get to work replacing those spots with new recordings, with the actors called in for studio recording sessions of the necessary dialogue.
What's an ADR Recordist good at?
Have a good ear, know what sounds good, be able to hear sounds that shouldn’t be there
Understand the process of film production, appreciate how sound contributes to the narrative
Record sound, use editing software, understand how sound is made
Understand the vision of the director, work with actors replicating dialogue, collaborate with the producers, picture editor, and sound editors
Attention to detail
Be patient, attend to the smallest sounds, often under pressure in the final mix stage
Who does an ADR Recordist work with?
ADR recordists work closely with the Director and Editor. They might also work with the following people:
Supervising Sound Editor
Supervising Sound Editors work directly with the filmmakers to structure and advise on schedules and creative styles. They liaise closely with the picture editor. They build the team of editors responsible for creating the film’s soundtrack. Supervising Sound Editors organize the effects (FX) and Foley recording sessions. They provide the creative input during the mix and ensure the final mix and various versions are delivered.
Voice Actors are talent responsible for performing dialogue for a film, TV show, or animated project. This might be the first time the dialogue is performed, or a replacement dialogue that needs to be recorded due to bad production sound.
Dialogue Editor (Animation)
Dialogue editors are responsible for editing the recordings of the script and synchronizing this with the animation.
How do I become an ADR Recordist?
You can become an ADR Recordist through many different routes but you must have an interest in and skills in audio recording.
Educational requirements: A college degree in film and TV production with a concentration on audio post-production is beneficial to this career, but may be substituted for a degree in recording arts with a particular focus on audio engineering. The ADR editor must be proficient in the use of analog and digital audio recording consoles, as well as digital audio software like ProTools.
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