I have two dialogue fragments recorded by the same person, but with a different mic and different proximity and recording quality. One recording sound much closer than the other, and sounds like it was recorded in much higher resolution. I need to make them sound more or less the same.

Is there a common, general technique for making two different dialogue recordings sound the same? Of course I could try balancing the gain of both recordings, and manipulate/degrade the resolution of one recording to match with the other. But I am wondering about different techniques like convolution, etc.

  • Ouch; good luck my friend with whatever you do. I've had performer friends bitched out by recording engineers for twiddling knobs in the middle of a session. The recording engineer can easily apply any EQ you want to change your tone in post, but it's much more difficult to make two cuts with different input parameters sound the same in order to cut them together seamlessly.
    – KeithS
    Jan 24, 2014 at 17:56

4 Answers 4


There are plug-ins that handle this for you (DUY Magic Spectrum...though Zynaptiq's Unfilter can do a decent job of it as well). They, and nearly every other technique almost requires that good technique was used on both pieces of audio. The only sure fire way to come close is to figure out which one sounds worse (direct to reverberant ratio, noise, distortion, etc.) and work towards making the better one sound like it. It's damned near impossible to do the opposite.

If presence is off, you can use a combination of EQ and mild compression to try to match something that was more closely miked. Expansion can do the opposite...match something that wasn't as closely miked. As Tobias mentioned, early reflections can go a long way towards selling the sound. I regularly use that technique on ADR for outdoor scenes to make them feel like they belong in the space (especially if I'm trying to match against production dialog).

Good luck.

  • Mr. Maynes has spoken highly of Magic Spectrum. Alas, I haven't had a chance to dig into it, although I trust his thoughts on the matter. Jan 24, 2014 at 5:16
  • yeah. been dying to try it out myself...just haven't been in the right situation to add it to my toolbox yet. Jan 25, 2014 at 0:27

Normaly it is a combination of EQ, De-essing and Reverb.

It is normaly easier to Turn the higher quality One (close) into something worse. Adding mids and removing lows and highs will make it appear further away. By damping esses and Breath you Remove close mic-ing effects.

After that you can try some reverb with focus on early reflections to make it more roomy.



The best thing you can do when engineering ADR performances & matching source is to use your ears, but it takes the time and effort of experience to develop them in to a tool.

As far as how to use them, EQ - and capture it properly in the first place - use location notes for mics used and look at pics for where the boom op will have snuck in under the flag , have a big enough room and don't record "ADR" with a U87 in a vocal booth.

If all else fails or you inherit the mess DSM is amazing - but just do it right to start, then there is no need to roll the turd in glitter.

  • hi giveitago, i find it hard to take your answer seriously (that's why i downvoted). perhaps you can edit it a bit, because it seems drenched in sarcasm and is not very constructive. Aug 30, 2014 at 10:44
  • I agree with Arnoud that there was enough sarcasm in there to make it not particularly constructive, but I think there was enough there to take a stab at improving it. Keep in mind that we all had times when we didn't have the experience yet and didn't know what could be done well with a plugin vs what really is best done right to begin with or needed a good ear to fix right. Try not to bite the noob for asking for help learning what time, experience and other patient experts have taught us.
    – AJ Henderson
    Sep 1, 2014 at 16:12

EQ, volume automation and, if need be, a bit of reverb. If you want to try plugins, go for a match eq or the Dynamic Spectrum Mapper, which I think is the more advanced thing you could try.

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