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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

Voice Over And ADR – The Not Silent Blog 7/28/20

ADR is fun!

I did an ADR session last week in Manhattan. While I can’t talk about the project itself (at least not yet) I can talk about the process.

First off, what exactly is ADR? It can get a little confusing so…

According to Wikipedia, ADR stands for:

  1. Automated Dialog Replacement

  2. Additional Dialog Replacement

  3. Automated Dialog Recording

Sometimes it’s used to re-record dialogue if the original audio wasn’t very good (bad weather, background noise, technical issues, etc.) Other times ADR is used to record an internal monologue. Sometimes the audio of an entire movie or TV episode is replaced using ADR. And once in a while, the powers-that-be don’t like the voice of the actor and want it replaced. Did you know that all of Andie MacDowell’s lines were dubbed by Glenn Close in the 1984 movie ‘Tarzan’ because the producers didn’t like her Southern accent?

For this particular project, what I did was “dubbing” aka “re-voicing” aka “language replacement”. This means we swapped out the original actor’s voice (of a different language) for mine. We used ADR equipment to get it done (see below).

That means I was in the booth with script in hand like normal. There was also a monitor which showed the actor in the video as well as subtitles so it would be easier to help me see my lines.

We usually recorded one line at a time (sometimes more). I would watch the video, listen for the sound of three beeps in my headset, and right after the third beep I would say my line and (hopefully) time it just right so it syncs up with the actor’s utterances. There was also a, well, I don’t know the technical term for it so let’s call it a “timing bar” so I could see how much time I have to narrate the line.

Like I said, ADR is fun but it’s hard! And fun.


Doing ADR is a very specific skill set that takes time to develop. I strongly recommend working with a great coach like Kara Edwards who has tons of experience dubbing anime like Dragonball.

How much to charge for ADR work? Here’s what the Global Voice Acting Academy suggests (and the SAG-AFTRA rate):


Thursday, August 6th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar will be ‘Time Management’. In this one-hour webinar, we’re going to talk about how to keep your voiceover business on track on a daily basis. This webinar caps at 25 attendees and sells out fast. Click here to sign up.

Sunday, August 9th @1PM EDT: The Voice Actors Studio presents…’How to Manage your Money Like a VO Pro‘. So…you got your first (or maybe it’s your 257th) voiceover paycheck! CONGRATS!!! What do you do with it? Where do you deposit it? Should you open a new bank account? How much should you set aside for taxes? Should you incorporate? How do you get insurance? How do you save for retirement? All this and much more will be discussed in this online workshop. Sign up here!

Thursday, August 13th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be ‘Brand Yourself’. In this one-hour webinar, we’ll talk about the basics of telling the story that is your voiceover business. This webinar caps at 25 attendees and sells out fast. Click here to sign up!

September 11-13: The 100 eVOcation early bird tickets sold out in six hours! Since it’s a 100% digital conference about all things voiceover business & marketing there is still room. Click here to sign up.



Tom Dheere is a voice actor who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business & marketing consultant known as the VOStrategist and produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”. You can subscribe to his weekly blog and the monthly VO Strategist Learnin’ Stuff Notice here.


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