Tips and Tricks

He said, she said: Recording dialogue

If you have ever tried to have a deep meaningful conversation in a crowded restaurant or a rock concert, you would understand how frustrating it could be to be surrounded by a noisy environment. If background sound levels are too high, dialogue is lost.
Dialogue is central to any video – be it an advertisement, corporate video, documentary or drama series. Just like the quality of the sound recorded, the quality of the sounds produced by actors and voice-over artists are equally crucial to the overall execution.

Tone it down

Minimize background noises by getting the microphone close to the mouth of the subject. Vocal microphones or a radio transmitter paired with a lavaliere microphone work for non-drama work – such as in an interview.

Shield the microphone from the static noises by asking the presenter to stand with his or her back to the wind and use furry microphone covers.

In outdoor drama recording, traffic often causes problems when editing – as background sounds all have to match up in each cut. Before filming outdoors, make sure the recording is clean and the scene is filmed without any loud noises nearby or overhead.



The easiest technical recording to achieve would be the voice-over. Usually recorded separately from any video, voice-overs can be repeated until perfect. Record in a vocal booth or soundproof room. To build a sound booth at home, use a pop shield and a wrap-around foam sound both with an omnidirectional microphone on a shock mount. Common materials for home recording studios include egg boxes or mattresses mounted on walls to soak up low-frequency reflections.

Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) is another form of voice-over utilized when noisy on-film recordings make dialogue indiscernible. Actors would then try to match their own on-screen dialogue in a vocal booth during a video replay to synchronize their voice to video recording.

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