Video: Inside the World of ADR with Dub Master Doc Kane

There are plenty of reasons why a filmmaker may need some ADR (Automated/Additional Dialog Replacement), whether it's because of unsalvageable production audio or a flubbed line that went unnoticed. (Or maybe you're making an animated film!) Whatever the reason, it takes a highly talented and intuitive artist to correctly lay down your audio tracks, and one of the best ADR mixers in the industry, Doc Kane, talks to SoundWorks Collection about his process, the tools he utilizes, and what it's like working with some of the biggest names in film.

Kane has worked on over 300 projects throughout his over 35 year career in the sound department. He has received many awards and nominations, including 4 Oscar nominations, worked with hundreds of acting veterans, and is the go-to ADR mixer for the likes of Tim Burton, James Cameron, and Clint Eastwood. So, it's no wonder why Kane is considered one of most highly respected masters in re-recording.

In the video below, he touches on several topics, including the history of ADR (called looping back in the day), as well as how he got his start. While working at Disney, he poked his head into the theater that was dubbing Little Mermaid. The filmmakers had used 17 different microphones during production, making it difficult to make the audio sound consistent.

So, recordists at Disney, including Kane, aiming to help make audio on animation projects more uniform, decided to commit to a microphone standard: the Neumann U87. When it comes to software, he mentions that he only utilizes one plugin, Massenburg EQ, when he works in Pro Tools.

Kane shares some other great insights, too. For one, he talks about the ease most actors feel while recording ADR, since there isn't a record light staring them down. Also, he very adamantly explains what the most important thing in ADR work is: Do Not Distort the Tracks!

Check out the video below:

What do you think? What suggestions would you give to someone getting started in ADR, or any other area of sound recording?

Link: Veteran ADR Mixer Doc Kane of Walt Disney Studios -- SoundWorks Collection

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Your Comment


Anyone knows how does he records while playing the video in sync? Like if you can use an NLE as a master of a DAW?

December 9, 2013 at 12:52PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


With the high resolution of 24-bit audio (with a SNR of 144 db), I don't understand the importance of riding the fader while capturing the ADR, instead of doing this after the fact in post. (16 bit audio was a different story.) The third post on the following link provides a great explanation of recording levels:

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!

December 9, 2013 at 1:37PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Curious as to why ALL the waveforms in his ProTools rig appear can literally see the waveforms clipping/squaring off at the top and the bottom....

December 12, 2013 at 1:37PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


could have been the original location audio you were seeing distorted.

December 13, 2013 at 11:18AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Or he could have the clip display turned up, rather than the clip itself, in order to see the very quiet bits better.

December 17, 2013 at 10:56AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


He probably zoomed in on the waveforms quite a bit which would give the visual impression that the audio was distorted.

December 17, 2013 at 9:16AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM