MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2023

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Page 11 of 71

Instead of "Dear Dialogue Detective" being asked to solve problems, I thought that this month I would ask a question and hear answers from YOU! The question I asked to the sound community is: How do you think AI (artificial intelligence) will affect sound editing and specifically, ADR and group ADR in the future? Within a day of posting my question on Facebook, I had more than 200 responses! Just as digital platforms began making appearances in the '90s and impacting analogue/Moviola/flatbed editing and magnetic film, AI is on the precipice of changing how we will edit sound, (and picture) dialogue, and ADR. Change is the only constant and our industry has been changing by leaps and bounds. It always has and it always will because editors and engineers are constantly inventing better ways to do things! That is the nature of progress. We have a problem and we figure out how to best solve it. That is the whole basis of production dialogue editing, by the way! When cars began being mass- produced, it put blacksmiths out of business. Cars affected how many horses were now jobless and how many carriages never had to be made again. The drivers of carriages and stagecoaches had to learn to drive cars. What has happened to the people who used to place code numbers on units? Who knows what a to strip the dialogue from the water tank noise and the plastic balls placed in the tank to help the motion-capture markers. One "married" sound of ball noise, water, and dialogue were turned into three tracks without arti- facting. This is a game-changer. What once would have been ADR'd without question, now gives a usable, clean piece of production dialogue without any water or ball noise! It can even strip out actors' overlapping produc- tion dialogue, again, eliminating the need for presumptive ADR. We can speculate on the impact AI is going to have on the industry— perhaps eliminating the need for actors' voices at all. But speculation isn't reality. But it's getting very close. There is a program called Verbalate. ai. which can take any language and sync up lips to the various syllables (Universal Video Translation, Voice Clone, and Lip Sync Software). You wouldn't even need an editor to sync up Chinese words into an English- speaking mouth. What about all the people who have jobs doing foreign-language translation and ADR recording and editing? What about actors who get residuals for the use of their voices in Group ADR? Joan Giammarco is a dubbing director/producer/actor who supervises and oversees foreign- language versions for feature films. I asked her what she thought about the impact of AI in her field. "SAG is very concerned about AI as are acting unions (and nonunion) all over the world. Even if AI doesn't actually replace a person's job, all the ancillary jobs related will go down. But there will probably be a growth in QC jobs to check the AI work." She saw a demo of www.flawless and said: "It looks good but I wonder how the translations VICTORIA ROSE SAMPSON MSPE DEAR DIALOGUE DETECTIVE 10 M PS E . O R G "unit" is anymore? (A unit was 1,000 feet of film. Today, we call it a "track" in Pro Tools.) What about Rivas splicers? I don't even think negative cutters use splicers anymore. I have a box of them in my garage, along with a dusty Moviola, benches, and split reels! What about the tape we would use for splicing? So crucial for editing and now, not needed anymore. And grease pencils! I loved grease pencils to mark the footage on a piece of film. GONE! My point is that change is inevitable and is a-comin'. We can put our heads in the sand and pretend it isn't. But it's happening right before our ears. Editors have access to plug-ins that can remove background noise while preserving the voice and are already a staple of most dialogue editors. What used to be tools that only mixers had access to are now part of every dialogue editor's arsenal—iZotope RX 10, VX Clarity Pro, and Auto-Align to name a few. From "AI audio tools are a game-changer in the audio recording industry, allowing users to achieve professional-level results with minimal effort and time. iZotope RX 10, Descript, and Adobe Podcast AI are three excellent examples of AI-powered tools that can help users enhance the quality of their audio recordings, remove background noise, and master audio files automatically. Whether you're a content creator, podcaster, or simply looking to streamline your audio recording process, these AI audio tools are sure to blow your mind." We learned of Peter Jackson's MAL (Machine Augmented Learning) program that he designed to use on his Beatles' documentary that was able to strip out each person's voice from the guitar or music. MAL was also used in Avatar: The Way of Water

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