In this free video tutorial iZotope’s Geoff Manchester shows how to use tools from Exponential Audio, the newest member of the iZotope family, for post production. Geoff focuses on how to blend ADR (automated dialogue replacement) within a new acoustic environment, and how to artfully situate foley and sound effects against footage with reverb.
Blend reverb with ADR
Our example scene involves a woman heard offscreen knocking on her son's door to see if he's still awake. Her dialogue was mostly recorded in a studio, not just behind the door, as you might be fooled into thinking. To achieve this effect, let's start with Symphony, an iconic character reverb, and the most fully featured successor to R2, R4, and R2 Surround.
First, choose a preset from the Room keyword folder. I chose TM Small, which was especially fitting given the close quarters of the space onscreen. There are a few things that make this setting particularly special. Try bringing the Tail Width slider all the way to the left to help cinch the stereo image of the late reflections, essentially narrowing them. Or if you bring the slider all the way to the right to make the late reflections extra wide, it sounds like her voice is in a larger room than the cozy space we see on screen.
Additionally, by low-passing the EQ profile of the early reflections, her voice sounds closer, warmer even. Exponential Audio's tools offer this level of deep control over every aspect of the reverb, the frequency profile of the reflections is no exception. We can change the filter shapes, Q, and adjust the level of reverb for the early and late reflection.
Blend reverb with Foley
Say you have a scene in a boxing Gym like in the video above that came with no production audio, but was later brought to life through foley, effects, and reverbs. How did that reverb get blended?
First, a preset was chosen, "Squashed Church", a chamber style reverb algorithm which is ideal for a spacious empty gym. Next, dive in with a notch filter to hone in on the specific frequency content you want the reverb to effect.
Try using a notch filter on the early reflection EQ curve to remove any resonances that may have been amplified as a result of the additional reverb. Similarly, try to notch out high frequency content of the reverb tail to help bring focus back to the attack portion of your signal.
Try engaging the WARP section of Stratus for transparent compression and limiting controls that allow you to shape the dynamics of the reverb, alongside overdrive settings that add even more color to the reverberations.
Reverb can be subtle or uncomfortably in your face. Post-specific reverbs like Symphony 3D or the Surround 3D Reverb Bundle can give you the power, versatility, and customisation needed to tackle any project's reverb needs.