Starship Troopers: ADR Recording

Last night the team and I had an ADR (automated dialogue replacement) recording session in the C24 studio at SAE, where we recorded the lines for most characters, though we will be getting Dizzy’s lines and another version of Zim’s lines throughout the week.

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The team working on Starship Troopers in the C24 Studio. (L-R) Sam Ludinski, Pete Minnikin, Ben Zhang

There was a slight hiccup beginning recording, as ProTools was giving us an error message that just didn’t make sense, supposedly to do with sample rate, though the Fireface (audio interface) and the session were both in 48khz. Thankfully, a member of the technical team at SAE was able to assist us with our problems. We then proceeded to record lines for Zim, Rico (x2), Djana’d and Breckenridge. It was a little difficult getting the actors to really get yelling like military officers as some of them weren’t naturally loud people, but I’m confident we have some solid takes that Ben can edit and produce something appropriate as a result.

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(L-R) Cameron (Zim, Rico), Stuart (Rico), Pete (Breckenridge), Ben

For microphones, we were originally going to use the Rode NT2A and the AKG C414, although someone had misplaced part of the fitting that the NT2A requires to be used with a microphone stand, so we decided to use the Audio Technica AT2050 as our secondary microphone instead. It was important that we had two microphones because different voices sound better with different microphones, and by recording through both microphones at once, Ben can choose which sounds better for each actor in the editing phase.

The microphones were set up next to each other, pointing inwards towards the actor that was speaking at the time. This means that both microphones were a little off-axis, however I think that will work to our advantage in giving the voice lines a more washed-out sound which would be appropriate for an outdoor scene such as the one we were replacing. If we had more experience with the microphones used, or if we had prepared a little better, we would have been able to just use one microphone during recording and achieved the outdoor sound in post.

Despite a few inconveniences, we were still able to get most of the dialogue recorded as planned, with another version of Zim being recorded sometime during our Foley session tonight, and Dizzy being recorded later in the week.

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