This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of Pro Sound News. Innovations is a monthly column in which different pro audio manufacturers are invited to discuss the thought process behind creating their products of note.
Remote dubbing has risen to the top of the production innovation conversation in the media services industry, embraced by sound mixers, sound supervisors and producers as an effective and efficient post-production solution when a standard studio setting is not a safe or viable option. The rapid adoption of remote recording tools has precipitated an even speedier arrival of next-generation applications. New enhancements mean that now remote recording solutions have extended their utility beyond the pandemic.
According to a recent survey, companies in the tech, media and entertainment industries plan to increase IT investment by more than 200 percent, with more than 50 percent of those companies forecast to continue working remotely post-pandemic. Further, with popular streaming services such as Netflix investing, on average, between 25 percent and 35 percent more per year in dubbing in recent times and the consumption of dubbed content up, on average, more than 120 percent annually, the demand for localized audio is here for the foreseeable future. Improvements and functionality upgrades are moving the technology toward newer, even more exciting use cases for remote recording tools that could further advance sound workflows and production schedules.
Let’s look at the how and why.
Quality, Security and Efficiency
By now, we all know that the best cloud-based remote recording solutions can offer efficiency and security previously unknown in the media services industry—something critical at a time when media consumption is at an all-time high—while sound mixers, supervisors and producers are struggling to keep pace with demand and tighter post deliveries. Recording time can easily grind to a halt and push costs northward if actors are delayed with complicated, inefficient at-home setups. Deluxe’s One Dub enables teams to remotely work with ultra-secure streaming video playback, scripts that are editable on screen, and intuitive record/edit functions. Video files accessible via One Dub are not downloadable through the app and feature user-specific visual and forensic watermarking, along with DRM (digital rights management) for optimum security.
A Noticeable Difference
Two-time Emmy Award-nominated supervising sound editor Mandell Winter recently embraced One Dub for remote recording on a new feature film project. Winter was among the many sound pros looking for a tool that would enable efficient remote recording in the early days of lockdowns and quarantines. He found that One Dub delivered on several fronts, but the most important was quality, with 24-bit/48 kHz sound. He appreciated the top-flight security features and noted that its interface was comfortable for actors—an absolute must in a creative setting. “It stands out from what other applications offered,” said Winter. “Additionally, its security features were appealing because it made the studios comfortable knowing their product was in good hands.”
Multi-Actor Interface for Remote ADR and Loop Groups
Until now, the most secure remote solutions could accommodate only a single actor, and even then, they didn’t offer professional-quality recordings. With One Dub’s new ADR and multi-actor interface improvements, up to 12 voice actors can be in session with a mixer, engineer, sound supervisor and director, with everyone working from the comfort of home or anywhere in the world.
Real advantages come into play when considering remote recording on set. With the lightning-fast advances to remote recording technology, the option to insert ADR into a shooting schedule rather than leaving it until post could radically change how shows and actors address looping. Actors would no longer have to schedule separate time after the shoot to re-record dialogue, often weeks or even months after performing the lines. Inventive sound supervisors, line producers and post supervisors could record willing actors from dressing rooms or trailers, before their production wraps, drastically minimizing ADR and Loop Group scheduling headaches and shortening post schedules.
Radical idea? You bet.
Winter believes this on-set ADR idea can get traction. “On-set ADR is only the beginning of the remote recording capability of One Dub,” he said. “It can also be used when an actor is in a remote location or even on vacation. Previously you might have had to rely on a small studio that doesn’t specialize in ADR because it was your only option. With One Dub, all you have to do is ship a mic to the studio and then we can run the session remotely. To the actor, it is seamless, and if we do it right, they won’t need to come in when they return from vacation. It’s a win for the production, for the actor and the sound team.”
Cloud-based solutions have at last found their footing as essential to safe post-production workflows. As innovations continue to push remote recording further into the future, we can expect new and exciting changes to content creation processes long thought immutable.
Deluxe • www.bydeluxe.com
Greg Taieb leads Product Development and Innovation at Deluxe.