Hey Guys,

So I've recorded some ADR, (I wasn't able to do it outdoors at the time) and now I need it to sound outdoors. In the past I've ran the signal through a speaker outside (worldizing) and re-recorded it, but it's REALLY difficult to find a distant, quiet place outdoors with a near by power supply. I don't own an 'outside' impulse like the one that comes with Altiverb either.

Any recommendations? To my ear, it sounds like EQ'ing out a lot of the 'body' or low end of the voice is the first step. Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!!!

5 Answers 5


Distant perspective is one of the most difficult things to "fake" for dialogue, or for sound effects, that's why often, you need a real recording.

If you really need to use what you got, try eq, like you said, and experiment with short delay times and some short reverb, with lo-pass filters on them. If you could worldilize it, it would propably be in this case best approach.

Maybe next time, while recording ADR for outdoor sound try using these technique - put some additional mics in corners of the room. And I guess, what is most important in ADR overall - don't afraid to put mic back. The goal here is to match production, so usually to get proper perspective and boom alike sound - you need to put mic farther away.

  • You mean like having two microphones - one say a foot away from the talent and then a second mic a couple metres away? I'm curious if anyone has also tried/had success with recording ADR outdoors at all. Commented May 12, 2013 at 14:17
  • Yep, that's what I'm thinking about, heard this tip from really good sound designer, haven't tried this myself yet.
    – Marcin
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 3:56

If you decide to use a convolution reverb, you could try sending some backgrounds into the reverb as well so it naturally glues itself.


Here is an option. http://www.boomlibrary.com/boomlibrary/products/outdoor-impulse-responses

There are a few freeware/cheap IR reverb plugins out there that you could use to run these IRs. These impulses are really great for outdoors stuff.


If I might... I think perhaps you're barking up the wrong tree (no pun intended). It's been my experience that "outdoor" ADR doesn't sound right, not because of the space, but because of the PERFORMANCE. Think about it... when you're outside, you're projecting over whatever ambience is there... birds, traffic, people... When you get into an ADR booth, you don't really need to do that, so the actor tends to project less, thereby changing both the timbre and pitch of the voice. Things I've found that can help are:

  1. Direction during the ADR record. The most important... the ADR director needs to make sure the Actors are projecting and performing just like they were "on the day"... Sadly seldom done.. is it in sync? Yes, Does it suck? No... moving on...

  2. I've often had success feeding loud ambience into the cans when actors are performing, thereby forcing them to project over it... oh and turn down the cans too! A good example is here at 7:25 http://www.zedfilmworks.com/films_interchange.php

  3. Sounds like you've already recorded it, so if a re-record isn't possible, try a little gentle pitch shift... going 10 or 25 cents up can make a performance seem more "energetic" - the human voice tends to go up in pitch as we get louder. It also changes the timbre because the formants shift, which can help too.

  • Some great tips there!
    – Andy Lewis
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 17:50
  • Tip #1 is very important and right on the money - and something I realized a long time ago - on set, there's often more throat projection (aiming toward what you mention in Tip #2), but in the ADR studio it's easy to let one's guard down and deliver more intimately from the chest. Throat vs chest resonance and energy differ so greatly that it pretty much is always guaranteed to result in a bad match any way you slice it. Commented May 14, 2013 at 18:17

Uh oh. It sounds like something that I and probably not many would like nor think to even try, because it gets really close to "misusing and trusting plug-ins for what they're really not made for".

If we had a worldizer plug-in, then sure, but if you're trying to "make a speech sound like the speaker is outdoors" using EQ and reverbs, then it's going to sound like an equalized voice with reverb (likely sounds like the speaker is in a cave or a [digital] room). Convolution reverbs are the best call here, but even they will likely sound fake (depends on the other sounds in the mix and whether they create the outdoor illusion for the entire mix with a suboptimally "fixed" voice).

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