Making ADR sound less like ADR

I’ve been asked to help make the ADR on a friend’s project sound “less like ADR.” Besides EQ and maybe a convolution reverb, are there any other tricks I can use?

Just hang a 416 or the likes above the talent, about 2 foot away, and record the ADR just as the location sound is recorded. Obviously you need a good room for that. That being said, you need a good room with ay mic.

Then it’s only a matter of matching the room reverb. Concentrate on the early reflections, 'cause these are far more important than the tale. Actually, I mostly try to avoid the tale completely. In my opinion, that is what makes the reverb unrealistic. Tail should only be heard above a certain thereshold. I.e. when they talk loud/shout/scream in a room where it makes sense to hear a reverb tail.


If you have anything to do with the recording of the ADR then as Fredo pointed out the room / mic is really important.

If it’s already done then as you said EQ and verb are important.

What I feel helps is sometimes trying to mask the dialog. This isn’t always appropriate because you want the dialog to be clear most of the time. But if it’s a particularly tricky piece of ADR that’s annoying people then you can sometimes distract the ear/eye by adding or making louder other sounds. At that point you may be picking the lesser of two evils.

So if you’re cutting to the ADR mid sentence, or very tightly at least, you can sometimes have some background sound (not room tone necessarily) distract the listener a bit during that transition. It can be anything from a car going by to peoples talk in the background swelling a bit etc.

And I’d also try to get your client, or friend rather, to understand that many times it can be VERY difficult (i.e impossible) to make the dialog match 100%. Your best friend in ADR in my opinion is realistic expectations and enough time/money to do the job…

And Vocalign …
We just finished a (disastrous) 100 min movie, and honestly, it’s impossible to see that everything is ADR-ed.

Yep … everything … something went totally wrong during shooting, which made that only 20% of the location sound was usable. Since it was pointless to try to “match” the 20% location sound with the ADR, we decided to just ADR everything.

Anyway, just want to say that -if the ADR recording is done pretty accurate/We do this with a Rythmo Tape - Vocalign will match your dub pretty much perfectly with the source.


Thanks for the posts. Well, I got the project and all the spots labeled “obvious ADR” by Quality Control were actually sections of production sound! Needed some EQ, level boost (no verb needed). How ironic indeed.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

eeeeh… :confused:


Try mics which are usually use for location recording (boom). Usually it is “gun” or “short gun”. It can be not only expensive NEUMANN or SHOEPS but something chipper. Set it up in front and above of actor on hand-long distant or closer. If your going record ADR which should sound in room (in a scene) you can find some room which is close to the required acoustic. Usually it is better than any soft reverbs even Altiverb. If you don’t have such opportunity use Altiverb because IMHO it is one of the best. Insert Altiverb to required track (not to FX channel using “send”) and try to turn MIx to absolute “wet” and tune it’s “direct” and “earlyreflection” and “tail” to get needed sound. Hope this advices could be useful.