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What is ADR?

Internet Filmmakers' FAQ

ADR stands for "Additional Dialogue Recording", the term used to describe the process of re-recording actors' dialogue in a controlled environment (i.e. a sound studio) during post-production. During the ADR process, actors are called back to the studio to lip-sync lines recording during principle photography in time with a projection of scenes and/or a rough cut of the film. The main reason for re-recording lines is to obtain clean sound, however ADR is also sometimes used to subtly adjust an actor's performance in a scene (by having them deliver the same line with slightly different inflection). It can also be used to add new non-sync dialogue to aid the story (i.e. record a line which is then "delivered" while the actor has their back to camera).

ADR is used extensively on big budget films, since it is almost impossible to get clean sound on a set where several hundred people may be working, but is also extremely valuable for independent films where you don't have full control of the location (and therefore may end up with unwanted background noise in your sound).

Answer by Benjamin Craig  |  Last updated 21-Feb-2005


Older Comments

Gerard O'Hare  |  08-Aug-2007
Well.....I've worked as a Voice Artist/Actor on numerous movies from Gangs of New York to Lord of the Rings with Actors who have been working in this business for decades and there is still no consensus as to what ADR actually stands for. So seems to me that both versions are correct. As an added point of information, in all the big epics, the vast crowds and armies in battle scenes are all revoiced by about 8-12 actors in a studio on a loop. We also do the individual fights, when heads and limbs are chopped off! Most difficult is when a lot of the blockbusters like Troy are filmed in countries where English is not the first language and we have to try and lip sync strange mouth movements.
Kieran Waller  |  05-Feb-2007
Actually, ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement, but it is the same process as described.