Thursday 11th January – Day 3
This third day was dedicated to mixing the ADR recorded the day before. The main difficulty in mixing ADR recording is matching the sound of the dialogue to the dialogue that is recorded on location. This is due to the fact that all microphones have different recording characteristics, and also because recording on locations means other factors such as wind and atmospheric sounds are picked up by the microphone.
The main technique in replicating the sound of the location recording is EQing. By EQing, you can match the sound characteristic of the location boom and radio mics, just by emphasising certain bands of frequencies. A piece of software called RX 6 Advanced by Izotope was used to help this process along and provide a good starting block for further editing and matching. Within the software is a plugin called ‘EQ Match’. What this does is studies the frequency characteristics of the audio you feed it, which then can be used on a second piece of audio. So in the instance of ADR mixing, we fed the audio from the location recording into the plugin, which made an EQ profile of the recording, and then we applied that EQ profile to the dialogue recorded in the studio, giving it the same frequency characteristics as the location recording.
Another technique of matching the ADR recording to the location recording is through atmosphere and foley sound, and not the dialogue at all. When recording in a studio you are void of all the atmospheric sounds such as wind, rain, people etc. But, you are also void of smaller but just as important sounds such as the movements of the characters clothes, or the objects they maybe handling. All of these things can be lost when replacing dialogue, so it is sometimes nessacery to record your own sounds to replace these. In the case of This Country and adding environment sounds, there was very little time to go out and record nature sounds. So instead, library sounds were used, which is very common in film and TV audio production I later found out. Some recording could be done in the studio however, foley recording. In one scene in particular, a vicar was handling money to a woman while speaking. The dialogue of him speaking needed to be re-recorded to a rustling sound caused by his jacket, but the sound of him handling money would be lost. So Rich gave me a tin full of nuts and bolts, that would represent the money, and allowed me to go into the live room and record the sound of handling ‘the money’. This was a very exciting and interesting opportunity, allowing myself to see how professional foley work is done, but to also have a permanent audio imprint in the show.
Once these sounds were roughly mixed in, more run throughs of the episodes were completed with the director and producer, making notes of changes they wanted made, with the changes made shortly after.