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Dubbed Audio Style Guide - VO-Style Dubbing - Russian

 

Objective

This document contains a list of required practices when creating Russian dubbed audio for Netflix content. Consult your Netflix representative for any specification not covered in this document.

For all other languages please refer to the general Dubbed Audio Style Guide - VO-Style Dubbing article.

1. Translation Requirements

 1.1 General Guidelines

  • VO voices should differ from the original character voices in timbre for a better distinction between the original and dubbed audio.
  • There should be a 1-3 second delay in the VO audio to provide the viewer an opportunity to hear the original voice(s). Delaying the translation (leaving a few seconds with no translations at the beginning and, where possible, at the end) enhances authenticity. This may mean condensing translations to ensure the original audio is heard. However, if valuable information is lost because the translation is condensed too much, it is acceptable to have the VO sync with the original dialogue.
  • Depending on the number of VO voices used, the acting and performance should be toned down to 25-75% of the original intensity (the fewer voices used, the more subdued the performance).

1.2 Foreign Languages

  • For bilingual/multilingual shows, foreign dialogue should also be translated and voiced over, as the viewer will be able to hear the foreign language(s) in the original dialogue track for the creative intent to be conveyed. Any linguistic/cultural particularities that are part of creative intent can be highlighted by various stylistic means, such as special idioms, widely recognized foreign or borrowed words (e.g. grazie, merci, danke schön, etc.) The use of language accents should generally be avoided, because an inaccurately applied/imitated accent may be perceived as insensitive or offensive to certain cultural and/or ethnic groups. 
  • In some instances where lack of comprehension between characters is intended, the use of Forced Narratives may be recommended. Seek  advice from Netflix for any uncertainties with foreign language treatments.

1.3 Walla/Efforts

  • Walla does not need to be voiced over, with the exception of plot relevant dialogue lines.
  • Efforts/reactions/interjections do not need to be recreated in VO. Allow the original audio to shine through. 

1.4 On-screen Text Treatment

  • On-screen text should be read lector style (in a neutral voice) if plot pertinent and does not overlap with dialogue. 
  • If the on-screen text overlaps with dialogue, and is plot-pertinent, provide a FN. 

1.5 Songs and Existing IP

  • Songs should be translated and included in the FN file (not dubbed) only if plot pertinent and if the rights have been granted. 
  • Existing translations of poetry and literary works may only be used if they are in public domain and/or clearances have been obtained. 
  • Please confirm clearances with your Netflix representative.

1.6 Censorship

  • Dialogue (including expletives) should be rendered as faithfully as possible, without using dialect or words that would otherwise introduce or soften a level of obscenity inconsistent with the original content. Tone, register and context should match the original.
  • If expletives are bleeped in the original content, do not recreate the bleep in the voice-over. This would create a jarring experience due to the likely misalignment of the bleep sounds. Instead, translate the censored expletives in a milder way, and keep the bleep in the original mix audible to convey the creative intent.

1.7 Consistency

  • Key Names & Phrases glossary (KNP) creation and entry within Netflix KNP tool is required during script translation and adaptation. Translated terms should be entered into the tool and “locked” by the start of recording. Existing, locked KNP translations must be followed. Details and requirements for the KNP workflow are outlined in our Dubbing Scope of Work. 

 

2. Casting

Depending on the genre and content type of a title, the number of voices used in a VO may vary:

  • 1 Voice/Narrative Style (e.g. documentaries and unscripted content), where one narrator covers at least 60% of the dialogue, with only a few secondary characters present.
  • 2 Voices: MVO (all males voices) and FVO (all female and children’s voices) - not recommended for Netflix content; please confirm with your Netflix representative.
  • 3 Voices: May be used for certain style of documentaries and unscripted with one main character with most of the dialogue offscreen, and a few speaking secondary characters of different genders. This style of VO is rarely used for live action. 
  • 4 Voices: 2MVO+2FVO (occasionally 3MVO +1FVO).  This is the standard number of VO voices for TV, as it allows for a simultaneous recording of all the voices in any one dubbing session. 
    • Casting requirements for 4-voice VO:
      • Voice actors should have a large vocal range to ensure that each character is properly represented, and there is no confusion between the characters voices covered by the same voice talent. 
      • The talents’ speech patterns should be as neutral as possible, without any accents or speech nuances and defects, with some exceptions where necessary for creative intent. Please confirm with your Netflix representative before applying such effects.  
      • It is preferable that one actor should voice characters who do not interact with each other, in order to avoid having to “speak with oneself.”
      • The acting and performance should be toned down to approximately 75% of the original intensity.
  • 5-8 Voices is preferable for content with a large number of characters and to ensure a maximum variety of voice cast. 
    This approach is closest to lip-sync dubbing, therefore proper lip-sync should be considered for Netflix content instead.
    • Casting requirements for 5-8 voice VO:
      • Depending on the number of characters, main leads should have their own assigned VO talents, who can also cover certain secondaries. 

 

3. Technical Aspects

For information on audio mix and delivery formats, please reference the Netflix Originals Delivery Specifications.

  • For a 5.1 Original Version Printmaster, dip center channel only. For very loud sections or for films with very wide dynamic range, it’s acceptable to dip Left and Right as well. As a general guideline, avoid dipping more than -6dbfs.
  • For both 5.1 and 2.0, dip normally avoiding abrupt ramping of the audio to accommodate the VO. 
  • Voiceover may not be raised above the Netflix loudness spec for  overall Dialog-Gated Loudness to overcome very loud Original Version sections.
  • Dip Original Version 6-12 dB, per mixer discretion. Dubbed audio should be clear and intelligible with natural presence of Original Version dialogue underneath. These are subjective choices relating to the dynamics and perceived volume of the Original Version compared to the Voiceover. 
  • When using compression on the VO, avoid creating audible artifacts such as pumping, popping, sibilance or audible loss of high-end fidelity.
  • As a guideline, transitions or dips to and from Voice Over areas should be no longer than 5 seconds. Create seamless well-crafted transitions when dipping the audio to accommodate the new VO.
  • Avoid overprocessing the VO with EQ, Dynamic Compression or noise reduction. 

 

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