I have a simple question/idea which some of you may have already cleverly worked out:

I record ADR and music overdubs and while tracking, I use playlists to keep track of takes.

I keep take 1 on playlist 1 (.01) of a Pro Tools track, and then each subsequent take is on the next playlist after I either duplicate or create a new one.

It would be helpful to me to have a little software program which acts as a magnifying glass on a computer screen because what I do is mirror the display of my Pro Tools computer and have another TV screen with the same picture as my computer screen. My assistant notes down each take and if the director or producer liked it, she notes that next to the take number so they match up while recording.

So, basically, what I'm trying to solve is having my assistant able to know what playlist I am on at any given time for her notes, without me having to shout out "Playlist 3" and I think what can remedy this is a little program which acts like a magnifying glass (like when you scroll around on an iPhone while typing) where you put it over a part of the screen and it blows it up larger, and I'd put this over the track name and my assistant would be able to see the ".01" or ".06", etc. easily.

Have any of you found a work-around?

Thanks - Ryan

2 Answers 2


FWIW Ryan, my typical ADR workflow (and the workflow of others I know) does involve calling out takes. Calling out takes has all kinds of positive benefits IMO, and shouldn't be so quickly dismissed. Calling takes allows producers and script supers to all stay on the same page, and provides opportunities to change technique if something isn't working for the actor.

Also, when we cut ADR for some of the network shows that are filming in town the producers and/or adr editors are actually on the telephone or ISDN from LA, so they require hearing which take is which because they are definitely taking notes on their side as well.

A typical cue sounds like this from me:

  • "moving on to cue 327, here's playback: production"
  • I play back production with beeps
  • "Actor, do you need to see that again or do you want to go?"
  • actor: "I got it, lets go"
  • "Cue 327 take 1"
  • we record the take
  • "we were a little fast there, lets try one more."
  • actor: "yep"
  • "327 take 2."
  • we record the take
  • "that looks great, lets get a safety."
  • "327 take 3"
  • we record the take
  • producer on the phone: "I think I like that one better."
  • "cool, let's double check sync and then move on. Here's playback take 3."
  • I play back the take in context with the rest of production.
  • "sync looks great. Actor are you happy?"
  • actor: "I love it."
  • "great. Moving on to cue 423. Here's playback: production."


Its a fair amount of verbal communication, but no where is anyone confused about what they are hearing or why they are hearing it, which actually equates to efficient and productive ADR sessions in my experience.

  • very useful thanks for taking the time to post this
    – studio13
    Nov 1, 2010 at 20:37
  • Thanks, but I usually do my sessions with the Supervising Editor, my assistant and the actor. The last session I had, the super didn't want much talking going on in the control room - wanted a work-around on that. I agree on the calling out of takes. Do you really call the actor "Actor?"
    – Utopia
    Nov 2, 2010 at 16:38
  • no, I was just using a generic term there.
    – Rene
    Nov 2, 2010 at 17:49

If you're running a mac, holding ctrl while using the scroll wheel/mighty mouse ball/magic mouse pad will zoom in and out. The screen will follow your cursor.

Not really sure how to do that on a PC though...

  • But what if you had only one screen and wanted to zoom in on a small text or number for someone to see from 10 feet away?
    – Utopia
    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:30
  • @Ryan Ohyeah, mirrored monitors means it'd be zoomed in for you too. Which could be ok if you practised and could zoom in and out on the fly. Failing that; binoculars? Nov 1, 2010 at 13:15
  • Hah! I checked with a friend of mine and he said he's seen Allen Sides use a hardware box which converts some sort of video signal which makes your new screen able to do what I wanted - he uses it for scoring sessions. I'm going to look into that one. Thanks!
    – Utopia
    Nov 1, 2010 at 23:34
  • Figured out what to do in the meantime: Use my Command8 and place it near the assistant so he can see the track name.
    – Utopia
    Nov 3, 2010 at 20:47

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