Los Angeles has many voiceover recording studios scattered all across town, from the West Side to Hollywood and The Valley to Malibu. Most production teams look for a voiceover and ADR studio that is conveniently located with deep expertise and a quality staff. Here at Outloud Audio, we take great care to be the best choice for voiceover recording in Burbank. Burbank is well-known as one of L.A.’s media hotspots, and our dialogue stages are conveniently located near many studios, as well as the 5, 134, 101, and 2 freeways. The Outloud studio experience is distinguished by our five voiceover stages, which are all custom built for the best sounding dialogue recording. Outloud Audio also has a full complement of voiceover microphones and, most importantly, a staff of full-time engineers who record voiceovers and ADR every single day. We work on a variety of programming for animated television and film and live action television and film, as well as advertising and narration projects. Our neighborhood, known as the Magnolia Park section of Burbank, couldn’t be more hip and fun. Just outside our door, we have coffee shops, comic book stores, antiques shops, restaurants, and one of the best Cuban bakeries in the world. With our deep experience in voiceover, animation dialogue, ADR services, narration recording, and advertising audio; clean, modern facilities; and so many nearby services, our clients consider Outloud Audio in Burbank to be one of the best spots for voiceover recording and ADR services in Los Angeles.
To convince the human eye that it is perceiving motion, one needs to watch film at a modest 24 frames per second. But to convince the human ear, we need a whopping 44,100 samples per second to accurately perceive sound. The human ear is so sensitive to sound, and to the human voice, that only the highest quality audio recording can please even the casual listener. For production supervisors, post production supervisors, and directors, there is no escaping the need for pristine audio. Automatic Dialogue Replacement, or ADR, has the specific purpose of capturing new dialogue that most closely matches an actor’s previously filmed performance. Voiceover recording traditionally refers to audio that accompanies a visual presentation of, say, a film or television commercial. For instance, the narrator of a scene in a film, the voice of the driver thinking about the experience of driving a car in the advertisement, an audiobook, an animated voice—all of these are captured using specialized studio mics.
Mics for Voiceover and ADRThe standard LDC (large diaphragm condenser) recording studio mic for voiceover is the venerable Neumann U87, known for it’s broad dynamic range, reliable quality, and availability all over the world. It’s often the first mic I look for in a studio’s mic locker when working with another animation dialogue recording studio. The standard when selecting mics for ADR is the Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic. It has a strongly defined on-axis address which helps to isolate the voice it’s pointing towards. Ninety percent of animation dialogue recording is captured with a U87. These mics are our baseline for recording great sounding reliable audio, day in and day out. Many studios for voiceover recording find the price point of the U87 can be out of reach, but every studio specializing in dialogue should obtain at least one as most professionals, directors, sound supervisors, and post production coordinators rely on these voiceover mics to capture the best performances of their talent. When I first used the U87, I smiled, as I recognized that I was hearing the sound of so many great dialogue recordings and songs that I had listened to my whole life. I rely on the U87 every day as one of the best built voiceover mics for movies and film. —Mark
Capturing ADR and loop group performances is critical to maintaining the audio quality that ensures your final project is flawless. While there are scores of audio studios with varying specialties, only a select few offer the best quality ADR service and professional experience that TV production, film companies, advertisers, and other media clients expect. We strive to be among the top Los Angeles ADR studios and work with many post production studios around the country and the world. Here’s what we’ve learned about finding the best audio post production partners.
Initial CommunicationWhen searching online for the best ADR studios in LA or anywhere, one of the best ways to create a short list is by eliminating any that don’t respond in a timely manner. Production managers have hard deadlines for studios completing ADR and looping. Time is a huge factor, as is a courteous and prompt response not just to booking requests but to confirmation of session details or answering any questions.
Project Portfolios and Studio FeaturesThe best ADR studios for live action television, feature films, and voice over for advertising in Los Angeles or other major cities, such as New York or London, will have a number of top clients and interesting portfolios of recognizable work. They are also likely to have a résumé of voice over recording for clients from premiere corporations. When working in smaller markets where studio credits may be less recognizable, the quality of the studio build out, the selection of microphones, and having the most up-to-date technology can signal that a studio has the chops to meet your TV, film, or advertising production needs.
The ApproachIt can be a challenge to vet ADR studios to discover their approach to projects. Do they understand the client’s post production requirements while providing the highest quality service? Can they cater to audio post production workflow specifications? How do they handle media security? Do they offer a comfortable environment for execs and talent? The best ADR studios in Los Angeles or Albuquerque should have clean, modern, and comfortable facilities and offer the technical solutions production managers look for, such as IP-based video services so that production teams from multiple locations can fully interact and engage in each project in real time. The best ADR studios shine in the details. A solid post production studio will take care of everything from having comfortable spaces to the latest audio technology. It will also offer superior client service with a willingness to customize based on a client’s ADR needs. Studio staff will be prompt, locations will have multiple stages and a team of professionals with the best recording and editing equipment in the industry. It takes time to look at the details for every ADR studio from approach to delivery. When you do, you can find an ideal partner to work with on your next project and many more to come.
Microphones may be the most important tool we have to help us deliver the perfect audio performance for our TV, film and VO projects. From large diaphragm condensers to shotguns and lavs, we own many of the industry's beloved voiceover microphones and multiple sets of all the coveted live sound mic packages for matching pre-recorded live performances for ADR. I like to match the characteristics and performance capabilities of the mic with the specific source and production goal. For instance, we always match the mic's used in production with the mic's we use on the stage. In addition, we will work with the talent and sound supervisor to catch the pitch, energy, and axis delivery of the source performance, so integration in the final picture is 100% seamless. If you love microphones and mic history, catch up with me on this topic. I’ll be happy to share my enthusiasm for mic options during your next visit to our dialogue stages in New York City or Los Angeles. —Mark
Woo hoo! Disney's Ducktales, Elena of Avalor, Puppy Dog Pals, Mickey Mouse, Sofia The First, Tangled: The Series, Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and Lego Star Wars; Nickelodeon's Welcome To the Wayne; and Amazon's Danger and Eggs and Click Clack Moo have all been recognized with Daytime Emmy nominations. We are honored to be the dialogue recording studio for these outstanding series. This year, all the Daytime Emmys action will take place on Friday, April 27, and Sunday, April 29.