CAS Quarterly

Winter 2019

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36 W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y When gearing up for the battle against phone-recorded ADR, I have employed the classic EQ, reverb, compression, and Lo-Fi and noise generators, as well as the newer tech such as VocAlign, iZotope RX, various pitch correction and matching softwares and reverb matching. But it is virtually impossible to make terribly out of sync audio with very different inflections smooth in and out to match production. In addition, the often low sample and bit rates that are delivered with high noise floor, gratuitous reverb, and limited frequency spectrum marred with handling or wind noise make the task even more complicated as pitch shift and time correction tools needed for pitch and sync matching will likely cause aliasing upon minimal manipulation. But now … there is an app to at least help with some of that. Introducing PhADR by Todd-AO, an innovative phone ADR app for iOS aimed to improve the necessary evil of remotely recorded phone ADR. The software is currently in beta, but will be available for sale soon. The app provides talent with a reference picture and sound for sync and inflection match, beeps before the section to be looped, the ability to "star" takes and send specific selections via email to the producer/director as a .Wav file via email. This software, along with a script, a decently performing and reasonably priced lightning microphone, and a quiet, nonreverberant space (like walk in closet) could be a real game changer to remotely accessible talent and producers/directors unable to get to an ADR studio. Rob Nokes is leading the project's development. With a long history of innovating solutions and developing workflows, Rob aims to make what we do better and easier. An sfx recordist and sound supervisor himself, Rob has been globe-trotting to gather unique ambience, vehicles, and animal vocalizations for decades, b y K a r o l U r b a n C A S M P S E as well as supervising and directing ADR sessions. Twenty-one years ago, Rob became an owner to the first and largest a la carte library of sound effects and music that allowed the auditioning and purchasing of sound effects online, Sounddogs. While still an owner of Sounddogs, Rob opened his studio, 3rd Street ADR, years ago to accommodate talent who prefer a Santa Monica location. Today, he owns the sound editorial and ADR studio, Todd-AO. Last year under Nokes' leadership, Todd-AO released its first software, Absentia DX. It was a hit with dialogue editors and re-recording mixers alike and was nominated for a CAS Outstanding Product Award. After seeing time lost on repetitive noise-reduction tasks needed for a particularly noise-challenged television show, Nokes collected a development team to craft a product with the goal to protect the integrity of the voice while tackling unwanted hums in the background before dialogue editorial begins. After being part of the beta test group for PhADR myself, I reached out to Nokes for insight on his inspiration to develop such a product, as well as his focused intent on the market. How did you become inspired to improve the necessary evil of phone ADR? Was there a particular project? The inspirational moment came on Deluxe Stage 2 at 900 Seward with Kevin O'Connell on Icebox for Gracie Films. We received some iPhone ADR that would have been good if the performance had matched better. After our discussion, I drew a mock-up of the application, discussed it with Kevin, and then made a proof of concept. Most people know me as a sound effects guy, but for the last 15 years, I have been immersed in the world of ADR, supervising or mixing, and then building ADR for Your iPhone: Introducing PhADR Who amongst us in this day and age of post sound hasn't cringed at the notion of iPhone ADR? The performance is wild, so sync is anywhere from wildly different from production to a complete line change. The sound quality? Ugh. Matching back to the lavaliere or shotgun boom mic is almost always a challenge.

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