Lightswitch Video | Video Terminology 101: ADR vs. Dubbing
09.03.2021 Talking Tech

Video Terminology 101: ADR vs. Dubbing

ADR vs Dubbing Blog Post Graphic

Not all audio and dialogue is recorded at the same time that the video that appears on screen is. In an earlier blog post, we explained what voiceovers are, but today we’re going to dive into two other features of post-production: ADR and dubbing.

ADR stands for Automated or Additional Dialogue Replacement. This audio is typically recorded in a studio, where the actor watches their on-screen performance and re-records their lines to either improve the audio's quality or to change the lines previously spoken.

Sometimes when a video is being filmed on location, a variety of different factors impact the quality of the audio recording. For example, if filming is taking place outside, planes overhead could be unavoidable and get in the way of the actor’s dialogue. At a later date, that actor would then go into a studio to re-record the lines they had already said. This also happens when, for whatever reason, the dialogue in a scene needs to be changed from what was originally recorded and in the script. Using various shots (such as ones where the audience can’t see the actors’ face to read their lips) in a creative manner can be done so that lines, and a scene, can be transformed from the original one that was shot, with the audience none the wiser.

Dubbing on the other hand is when the recorded dialogue is replaced with dialogue that has been translated into another language. While foreign films and television series can be shown in other countries with subtitles, sometimes the decision is made to have different voice actors re-record the dialogue in a new language in addition to having subtitles, opening up the work to a wider audience who otherwise may not have watched it.

A popular example of dubbing is the YouTube channel “Bad Lip Reading,” where voice actors dub over popular films with different, random dialogue.

Here’s a video they made for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

Check out our other posts in our “VIdeo Terminology 101” series:

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