There are many people whose dream is to succeed in the entertainment industry, whether in the world of music or the movies. Fortunately, with evermore sophisticated advances in technology it can be possible to produce high-quality music and video content from your garage or bedroom (think Billie Eilish or, more recently, Audrey Mika and Clairo)
Not that many years ago you would have required the assistance of professional sound engineers in order to record a pop music hit or dub a video. Now home-made content can (relatively easily) go viral and kick-start a career in the entertainment business literally overnight. But “home-made” does not mean poor-quality – you still need the right tools and skills to produce something that will catch the attention of online audiences or, better yet, a music or film producer. You can also harness these skills to take advantage of the vast increase in video content popularity and the huge potential for earning advertising income online. Whether YouTube or TikTok fame is your aim make sure you start off on the right foot with slick production.
Many voice specialists will recommend recording audio and video in professional studios with all the latest recording equipment, and this will give the highest quality result. But if you think you might be the next internet sensation and are willing to put in the time and effort to master the various audio and visual techniques then a great first step is simply understanding the most common techniques and when and how to use them. To help you get started, let’s take a look at the difference between dubbing, mixing and re-recording:
What is dubbing?
Dubbing is where you add new sounds or voice to an existing recording (a good example of this is the Elton John/Dua Lipa – Cold Heart PNAU Remix). It takes real skill to match the alternative recording to the sound and vibe of the original recording. Some professionals prefer dubbing because the voice over is able to echo the right tone and not detract from the main or original content.
“Dubbing is used to add a different voice from the original”
Dubbing is used to add a voice different from the original so this is predominantly a voiceover to the original content. However, it can also be used to add a completely different sound as in the PNAU remix of Cold Heart where a small amount of dubbing has dramatically improves the finished article.
What is mixing?
Mixing is a process that ensures the overall sound of a film or video is captured in the most effective way, in line with the overall story and message, and without any distracting extraneous noises. For instance, where the original audio recording has problematic background noise such as wind or traffic these can be adjusted so the vocals are clearer.
Vocal mixing techniques also involve adjusting sound frequencies and adding compression, which is where. the difference between the loudest and quietest section of sound is minimised to create the more natural-sounding audio preferred by listeners.
What is re-recording?
Re-recording involves recording a piece of audio for a second time in a professional recording studio usually because the initial audio quality was not up to the required standard.. It is a technique that is common in big-budget movies and is usually done during the editing phase when it becomes clearer where there are problems with audio levels and clarity. It is also known as Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR).
Whether you are a budding musician, filmmaker or vlogger, understanding terms like mixing, dubbing and re-recording is important to improve the quality of your audio.