Re-recording - definition anyone?

Hi All ye experts,

Ok I’m no dummy, but I got into a strange argument with someone who had taken his mix, played it through speakers in a church somewhere, and recorded it back. Ok, fine I’m thinking (could have used Altiverb was my first thought) but he then said “this is common practise in Hollywood and that’s why it’s called re-recoding”.


Anyway, I’m no idiot but, at the risk if sounding like one, this statement is pure BS, no? I can imagine the odd occasion (when a space is impossible to emulate) but as a routine method of mixing?

A “re-recording engineer” is the same thing/person as a dubbing engineer no? Not a guy with a rucksack, a pair of speakers, strong boots and a stereo pair?


I wouldn’t focus on the term “re-recording engineer”, there are more jobs that fits that title.

As for re-recording stuff in a “real” environment, that totaly makes sense.
Although Altiverb is a very good tool, it is a total joke compared to the real stuff.
In post, we do this very often, just because no reverb/room/eq/whatever emulation comes even close to the real stuff.

Of course you can question if the degradation of the audio that comes with the playback over speakers justifies the cause. But mostly this is done for recording TV sets & radio’s, emulating clubs and other difficult_to_create spaces.
I haven’t heard of re-recording a music mix that needs to end up on a CD or so.
I guess that guy is working in the Post business, and that the re-recording is going to be used in a movie or TV series. That would make a lot of sense.


Of course re-recording individual instruments is a very common thing.

A DI’d guitar or bass is often sent through an amp to give it the character of the amp and also some aspect of the sound of the room it is re-recorded in.

Yeah, not sure I agree with the above regardless of which of the descriptions used it is. Not that common I think. Not at all. As for nomenclature:

Correct. As far as I know the “Re-recording engineer” is the person that does the “final mix”. When he says “in Hollywood” that’s what it implies, and thus it implies that he’s wrong. At best it’s a very poor and confusing use of terminology I think.

Really interesting and helpful replies. Thanks.

I’m not completely ignorant then, which is a relief! Instincts are pretty sharp around here (the forum) - because the guy who’s language I was doubting is indeed a composer who has emerged from a mainly post environment.


+1 on re-recording meaning doing the final mix of a film… as opposed to production mixing, which is what you do on the shooting stage. Term still holds, even though when you’re mixing in the box it’s more a question of programming automation, rather than re-recording. (Though I guess if you’re using ProTools and have to do your final render as a real-time mixdown to another file, re-recording is still appropriate… but most people call that “print mastering”.)

If there’s any name for playing the sound through speakers in a cathedral and miking the result, it would be an extreme form of “worldizing”.