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Automatic Dialog Recording

Film industry term referring to the use of a tool to aid the synchronisation of a dubbed vocal track to the lip flap on screen. By speeding up, or slowing down the voice recording, studios can match the vocals to the lip flap without re-recording the lines.

Despite originally being done by a laborious mechanical process, ADR was more cost effective than re-recording, particularly since it might take many, many tries to record a line to perfectly match the lip flap. Mechanical methods of ADR unfortunately distorted the actor's voice, resulting sometimes in sub-standard vocals.

Electronic ADR tools such as Wordfit, which is a part of DAR SoundStation, make the ADR process much easier and more precise than the old mechanical methods. While wordfit is the most commonly known ADR tool, it is also one of the oldest electronic ADR tools and while it is much better than its predecessors, it still results in audible distortion of the dialog and is much maligned in the fan community.

Today modern, computerized tools such as VocAlign and Fairlight make the process even faster. Nonetheless it is still a very time consuming process, but significantly faster and cheaper than re-recording. Modern ADR tools also manage to modify the vocals in such a way that the distortion is kept to a minimum and is often inaudible. Unfortunately due to the expense of high quality ADR tools, many companies still use Wordfit.

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