ADR dialogue, make the studio sterility more like it came from the field

Can anyone share how you treat ADR dialogues to make it sound natural when the people in the scene are distant ?
I find that Reverb, Delay, EQ etc. are insufficient or more accurate not enough to make it sound convincing if the recording was made in a small studio and close to the microphone.
What do you do to make it sound worse like it came from the field and get the studio sterility more “dirtier” and distant ?

1 Like

It’s true that it’s challenging to obtain such result in smaller studios where the dialogues are recorded close to the microphone. Some times the reverb does the trick but not always.
In such cases, I try to keep the distance between Artist as more as possible from microphone with the preferred lowest gain settings & use the EQ’s.
Try to coverup with foley effects & ambiance sounds.
As we all know it’s really difficult to keep a set method as the requirements are different in every project.
If there is any other way to do this, I would really like to learn it :smiley:

1 Like

Of course, you need to EQ in the first place, because air absorbs different frequencies differently. Here is a very nerdy article about sound propagation :slight_smile: But this effect is not too noticeable at small distances. For example, at 10 meters a 8000 Hz tone is attenuated by about 0.7dB, while 500 Hz about 0.03 dB. Not bid difference to detect it by ear. With bigger distances the HF attenuation becomes more noticeable.

What is extremely important for natural sound is the environment. You need to emulate reflections scene the best you can for natural ‘distant’ sound. On reverbs, make sure you have zero pre-delay, because when sound source is distant, early reflections reach your ear at the same moment as the main signal.

Also if the scene has highly reflective parallel walls, emulating respective comb filtering will make it sounding more natural.


If possible, I used to try to create IR’s of different locations and camera positions during production, of course that is usually not an option.
Apply said IR, or use an IR similar in dimension and construction, at small amounts (consider pre-delay and room size settings of course). This really ‘tucks’ the ADR source into the environment as @Andy_Gone is referring to above.


IRs is great approach too, as @Yishai-Waves said. Just wanted to say that I would be very careful about attaching sound scene to camera positions. Normally the sound should not change as drastically as camera position/zoom may do, otherwise it usually sounds unnatural. E.g. if camera zooms in, the sound usually does not get louder accordingly, etc. There are exceptions to this, too.


Same here, He have a descent size room so we have the luxury to have a close mic and far away mic (Most o the time a boom)

IR reverbs do ana amazing trick to create ambient to match the room tones and distance


Thanks folks for all your inputs !
I usually work with descent size room ADR recordings but occasionally get close Mic recordings from other studios and have to deal with it for hours, unfortunately with is one of those things I didn’t find the right tool for the job yet, IR gives a nice starting point but still sounds “too good”, I sometimes end up with five or six plugins in a chain to get it accurate and convincing to my ear.
There is a plugin named Proximity (by Tokyo Dawn Records), to my surprise it is the only tool I know of that was created to deal with that phenomena but it is far from convincing my ear, I’m sure Waves can invent something far better.


Copyright © 2019 Waves Audio Ltd. All rights reserved. Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy