Dubbing Voice Over

When dubbing voice over there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. Our experience at Resnick Interactive Group has resulted in us being extremely knowledgeable about many of these nuances. Let’s spend a few minutes taking a look at what goes into a dubbing production.

The first thing that needs to be accomplished well before dubbing voice over begins is the intake process. During this time the content of the project is analyzed and the following questions are answered. How many lead characters need voiced? How many secondary characters need to be covered? How many lines does each character have? Is the script in good shape grammatically? Is this a direct replacement of lines poorly recorded before? How many minutes of content are to be covered? Are we receiving final picture? Is timecode present? Is it an original or foreign language dub? Will lip flap need to be matched? Did the client provide all the necessary components (Mix Reference, M&E, Script, Delivery requirements, etc.)? All of these questions must be answered before heading into the studio if you plan on running a smooth production.

Once all of the questions have been answered the voice production can begin. A dubbing engineer or mixer will begin the process of dubbing voice over by setting cues. This will be an outline of what lines need to be replaced and at what location in the project. They do this by referencing the script verse timecode positions. The talent is then brought in to begin recording.

The talent will hear and see a few seconds of content, then audible beeps will be generated leading them into the proper position the line needs to be recorded. It sounds complicated, but it is as simple as saying “one, two, three, GO!” This process is repeated over and over until all of the content is filled. This process is referred to as ADR which stands for, Automated Dialog Replacement or Additional Dialog Replacement. Sometimes the process is called “looping” because dubbing voice over can be very repetitive. Since dubbing can be so repetitive it is very important for the voice director to keep the talent in character and maintain the energy needed in the performance.

Next up in the process is editorial. Dialog editors are assigned the materials and in most cases a timeline for completion is given. It is the editor’s job to clean up take choices (and alternates), remove any extraneous noises, remove excessive breathing, double (triple, quadruple) check lip sync, and make sure all of the takes are labeled correctly. Once the editors have polished up everything it’s either time to deliver to the client or head off to mix.

That is the basic process of dubbing voice over. If you have questions regarding an upcoming project that needs voice services, please feel free to contact us!