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Old 02-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
Utopia
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ADR Recording Tips

Dear All,

I'm new to recording ADR and I wanted to see if anyone had any tips on how to deaden a studio.

The studio I work at has about a 15x15 foot room with a low ceiling (about 9-10 feet) and wood walls.

There is quite a first reflection in the room when a mic gets more than a foot away from the person.

I am using acoustical foam and tube traps.

I am supposed to be recording ADR for an outside shot and that means I have to make it extremely anechoic.

Any other tips are warmly welcomed.

Thanks - Ryan
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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Run the mics and the actor into the smallest closet your cables will reach.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:16 PM   #3
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Uranium City Run the mics and the actor into the smallest closet your cables will reach.

Thanks for the post but I don't get it. Are you serious? Is that a joke?

I don't think a closet would sound good at all..

Cheers - Ryan
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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ADR is usually done in a isolation booth. His suggestion is to mimic that, his answer was not a joke.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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Yes, that's how I've always done ADR...by recording in the smallest closet available, usually with the clothes still hanging in it.

I should have elaborated...my apologies for the confusion.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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Wow - Okay, I get it. Thanks for the response.

Clothes still in it - meaning the deadening effect from them?

Well, considering the clients involved I do not think I will have a chance to place them inside a closet.

Have you done any scenes that were outside specifically? And they worked in the mix?

I will also not be the one who is mixing the film and I want to make sure that I am turning over a good recording that is usable.

I own a Sanken COS-11 Lapel and a Schoeps MK41 Supercardioid and I am renting a MKH 50 for matching purposes.

-Ryan
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:02 PM   #7
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A few rolls of thick egg crate foam can be formed into a boxish shape to eliminate back, left, right, top and bottom reflections by clamping them to stands and crossbars (tent poles with bolts through the ends).
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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Idea

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Originally Posted by knightly View Post
A few rolls of thick egg crate foam can be formed into a boxish shape to eliminate back, left, right, top and bottom reflections by clamping them to stands and crossbars (tent poles with bolts through the ends).
Ok cool - around the mic you mean?

Not so sure the studio will let me set up egg-crate foam (it's an extremely nice studio)

But I do have 2ft x 2ft pyramid foam pieces that are 2 inches thick which stop from 500Hz up.

You're saying to just build a box where the rifle mic can sit in?

I'm not so worried about the lapel sound.

Cheers - Ryan
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #9
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What kind of studio do you work at? Do they have an iso booth?
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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What kind of studio do you work at? Do they have an iso booth?
I work at a music recording/mixing studio and we have a room specifically for voice which I run.

The iso booth in the bigger music studio is too reflecty - one full wall of glass door and hard-wood floor and cedar walls with one wall of lava rocks.

The voice room is my best bet.

Does anyone know much about acoustical carpet?

- Ryan
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:44 PM   #11
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An iso booth should not be reflectly, this could be the mic pic up pattern and mic positioning. I don't work in sound though so I'm not trying to tell you your job, but I have been in iso booths. Is the mic in the hanging down position?
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:49 PM   #12
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Ah - so if iso booths are dead then the closest we have is the room I run. The iso booth in the other studio is mainly for recording drums - hence the reflections.

The mic will be placed above the actor at most 3 feet away pointed at his mouth - like in most ADR studio photos you see such as FOX, Paramount, etc. etc. on their ADR stages.

I'm thinking of using 4 mics for this job just so I am covered:
MK41,
MKH 50,
Sanken COS-11,
Neumann U-87 original issue,
or a C-12A. They get great rejection I think.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:54 PM   #13
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Can I have the U87 please. Hehe. That's one of my favorite mics.

There's a member here Alcove Audio who will probably see this thread by tomorrow and he is an expert. You could PM him this thread and he would not mind.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:05 AM   #14
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Okay great. I hope he sees this tomorrow.

I love the 87. They have made my career. I've got 4 of them - 2 pairs of matched serial numbers. Sometimes I think they add a bit of coloration just because they are about 20-30 years old. I think I'm pretty lucky to have access to some of the top mics on the planet.

Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty nervous because I don't want to botch this one. I have never done actual ADR before and I am glad I have been able to avoid it with my room's acoustics, but this time it's for real and it's an outside scene so I am pretty amped up about it.

- Ryan
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
Can I have the U87 please. Hehe. That's one of my favorite mics.
Oh yeah! One of my faves as well - wish I could afford one...

It's a common practice to run the mics at a distance from the talent as you have seen in numerous "making of" clips. However, those rooms are constructed specifically for ADR and VO purposes; there is lots of "air" but they are fairly dead sonically. You don't have to do it that way. Get the mic(s) in closer. It takes a little more time in post to match the EQ and tweak the reverb to mimic the space of the location, but I would rather have that than the room sound which would sound very odd and artificial if the scene is in an outdoor setting, and is very hard to defeat or even to make match with indoor scenes.

Quote:
You're saying to just build a box where the rifle mic can sit in?
It's a shotgun mic in sound-for-picture parlance.

The infamous "VO Box" may be a solution. For his home studio the legendary Don Lafontaine had a 2'x2' box lined on all five surfaces with about two or three inches of acoustic foam and he placed the mic just inside the box.

In my studio the corner with the video monitor is covered with 1 1/2 inches of Celotex with carpeting on top of that. (The carpeting is more for looks than sound.) There is almost no bounce from behind the mic and I just get the talent in close, 3" to 12". As a mixer I would rather have something very "big" and "dead" that I can "degrade" rather than trying to polish a turd. I just suck out the some lows and some highs, tweak the mids until I match the tone of the rest of the dialog and then use my trusty Altiverb to match the natural reflections. And yes, outdoors there is some reverb/reflection, it just isn't very audible. The "trick" is to get a 'verb that can be heard when the voice is soloed but not noticeable when placed in the mix.

A buddy of mine uses the "Cone of Silence" (a Get Smart reference); it's just a very large piece of Auralex in an ice cream cone shape attached to the boom arm of the mic stand and around the mic. He hangs up a few sound blankets behind the talent.

As you seem to have a bit of audio experience your biggest challenge is the mind-set; sound for picture is all about making everything sound "real." Ideally you use the same mic that was used on the set. If you are trying to match production sound dialog I would lean towards a shotgun for outdoors and the MKH50 for indoors, but that is a call you should make with your own ears. If the entire scene is to be ADRed the choice is completely up to you. What you should probably do is use some personal time after the studio is closed and do some experimentation. Put up all the mics in various locations and search for the "dead" spot. Maybe a few sound blankets, gobos or whatever you have available to deaden it further. As you said, you want to get it right. You have all of the tools and the skills, you just have to apply them differently.
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