When you record your voice in the studio to sync it with the video, how do you make sure to create the same emotion that you had while shooting?

Somehow dubbing seems like a very cut-off process where you don't really need your supporting actor, environment etc. Just a studio room, so what techniques one uses to ensure continuity of emotions?

  • 6
    They're actors, that's what they're paid to do.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 10:57
  • @BCdotWEB wow, really I didn't know that. Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 11:22
  • 1
    It is a significant factor, though - they have practised doing this a lot. They know how to 'switch it on' when asked.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 11:37
  • Yes. But that doesn't really answer anything, does it? Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 11:41
  • Note that being on set isn't very supportive either. It's not as bad as being in a studio room, but even during the most intimate scenes between two people there are cameras a few feet away, and lights on stands, and cables and equipment, and the actors are surrounded by crew members, the director, the AD, the continuity person, and lots of other unsupportive things. Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


This Google Book Result explains some techniques. (wordings are mine)

The actors memorize their parts. During dubbing, a guiding sound comes at fairly low level. Those actors say their lines at their turn. The mixer places the microphone at proper place depending on the distance sound is coming from.

Now, coming to your question. The dubbing director concentrates on catching the mood of the scene. For eg, if the character gestures, he will make the actor gesture. If this scene is about smoking, he may give the actor a pipe or something.

It may take some rehearsal loops before a perfect dubbing. When dubbing is done, the editor breaks down picture loops and synchronizes them with the most perfect take.

This Quora answer explains it quite well.

The process of 'acting-out' the voice includes a lot of emphasis on the emotional and aesthetic value of the character and situation. The voice-actor has to control his modulation, give emphasis where required, and be casual where required. A multi character scene would demand all the characters present in the dubbing room and they will give a collective performance.

  • "A multi character scene would demand all the characters present in the dubbing room and they will give a collective performance." That was useful Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 10:56
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    "A multi character scene would demand all the characters present in the dubbing room" This is not true. It is often impossible to gather all at the same time. All footage I've ever seen of actors doing audio sync sessions is them alone.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 16:17

This is the de facto standard when voice acting (providing voices for animated films, video games, etc). When taping ADR in the studio, actors are often watching the footage while recording - not only 'reliving' the moment within the scene but also to ensure that the lip-sync remains consistent.

What's more is that the REALLY good actors have a tendency to wholly immerse themselves into their characters. In 2001's Ocean's 11, Andy Garcia went so deep into character that he even developed a very specific manner of walking dubbed "The Benedict Strut" - so good, in fact, that he shot a pick-up SEVEN MONTHS after initial filming which was spliced in and every last nuance matched completely!

Even with all this, actors will record the same lines dozens of times over - giving the editors a bit of variety to choose from should issues concerning pacing, sequencing, etc require something ever-so-slightly different from what was originally intended.

More trivia: In the original Star Wars, R2D2 had actual lines. Partway through, after deciding some of the droid banter wasn't as entertaining as Lucas originally thought, R2's lines were replaced with emotive beeping which made C3PO's responses hilarious!

Even MORE trivia: While filming Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot had actual lines that Rocket and others would respond to. Vin Diesel meticulously kept these lines in mind when recording ADR so every detail of "I am Groot!" would retain the inflection of the original dialogue.

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