This recommendation and guidance is meant for a wide audience and may not apply to your production. Please reach out to your Netflix Representative with any questions.
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Given the facility shutdowns and social distancing guidance around the world, there are questions about how ADR and Dub recording will be done going forward. While we all must accept the challenging realities of the present day, it is important to keep in mind that there is no substitute for a proper ADR or Dub recording room. Final ADR and Dub recordings require acoustically quiet environments so that the recordings can be mixed as indoor or outdoor - so they can be precisely controlled by the re-recording mixer. Matching ADR to production sound is the most difficult aspect of mixing, even when tracks are expertly recorded. Simply put, home recording will often cause problems downstream for sound finishing, either requiring hours of work to achieve compromised quality, or even being deemed unusable entirely. Additionally, we must keep in mind that good ADR starts with great performances, and that part of the value of an ADR studio is that it is a performance space where actors, directors and recordists collaborate to create or recreate the drama of the scene.
For decisions on ADR and PDX recording, please defer to the recommendations of the Supervising Sound Editor & sound team on the particular project. They will ultimately have to make the recordings work in the final mix, so they are the experts who should drive these decisions. We must understand that short of recording in a proper facility, we are left with solutions that will likely compromise quality.
Please contact email@example.com for advice and support on remote ADR and PDX recording.
That understood, here is some guidance on home recording:
Bit Rate, Sample Rate, Frame Rate, File Type
Always record at the agreed upon title-specific frame rate. Always record at 24bit/48k/.wav unless a different spec is agreed upon by key editorial and sound personnel.
Remote supervision and direction of a recording session
Directing the session remotely can take some adjusting for the Production team and the talent – it can take longer and require patience – so it is wise to manage expectations around this. Directing via a high quality audio and video connection is preferable, but not always possible.
- When sound team is present for the session, we suggest utilizing Source Connect Standard on the supervisor/director side and Source Connect Standard or better on the actor/sound team side
- When the actor records themself, we suggest a second device running Google Hangouts, Skype or Facetime for the supervisor/director to monitor and provide feedback. For instance, record on an iPhone and direct via computer.
For scratch (temporary) ADR or VO, for applications such as animation and scratch audio or for instances where final ADR needs to be urgently recorded and the production’s sound team approves this workflow:
Below, please find some tools that may help record in a “home” setting. We will be creating separate guidance for each one that can be shared with actors and those directing their sessions, so if you are interested in hearing more about them, please contact your Netflix Post Manager.
- iPhone apps (Easiest to deploy. Best for small numbers of lines as actors need to send files back to Production)
- Actors Mobile ADR: iOS tool for when you need the actor to have picture reference. Requires some setup by the sound supervisor and actor, but then provides a simple way to record and send lines back to the sound team. Editor Quick Start Guide - Actor Quick Start Guide
- Voice Record Pro iPhone/Android app: We recommend this over the native Apple Voice Memo app as it can record higher quality audio. No picture reference, but could possibly be used in conjunction with an actor looking at picture on PIX or their computer. Quick Start Guide
- USB, iPhone, Android compatible microphones (Can be paired with the above phone apps if wanted for better quality)
- Apogee Hype Mic - large diaphragm condenser
- Beyerdynamic FOX + Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter
- Sennheiser Clip Mic - Lavalier microphone which includes Apple Lightning connector
- Sennheiser MKE 600 + KA600i - Short shotgun + iPhone compatible cable
- Blue Microphones Yeti Studio Blackout USB Condenser Microphone - large diaphragm condenser
- AKG Lyra USB Microphone - large diaphragm condenser
- Rode VideoMic Me-L - directional smartphone mic
- Rode NT-USB - large diaphragm condenser
Note: These phone applications are built for individuals and do not have security features like usernames and passwords natively built-in. Because of this, Netflix Security is limited in how we can support or investigate issues relating to these apps. If these apps are used in your workflow we strongly recommend following our Media Tracking, File Collaboration, and Mobile Device security recommendations in the Security Guidelines section of this document before using these apps.
- Remote Collaboration & Record via Pro Tools - This allows a remote sound team to sync to an actor using Source Connect or Session Link Pro. A high quality audio stream feeds the remote recordist from the actor. Video streams with Session Link Pro, whereas video plays locally with Source Connect Creator. These are validated as convenient and bug-free solutions for long ADR sessions. A USB mic or traditional mic kit must be sent to the actor’s home. Source Connect Creator Quick Start Guide - Session Link Pro Quick Start Guide
- Field Recorders (High quality. These devices plug into computers, so actors could download files and send to their Post Sound team or simply return the device by shipping it back to the sound team to offload -- disinfect first!)
- Zoom H4N - external mic optional, SD card required
- Sound Devices Mixpre3 - external mic, SD card & backup USB drive required
- Remote Collaboration Digital Audio Workstation - This allows a remote sound team to push picture and record an AAC stream back from the actor. We’re in the early stages of researching this solution, but it’s promising.
To be considered for any home recording setup & DAW - SE Reflexion filter pro can help to prevent reflections in an echoey room.
For ADR, VO or Dub recordings with quality compromises
Key creatives must understand that the recordings will not be what they're used to from a proper facility. We recommend doing tests and sending these to creative decision makers before agreeing to home recording as a solution.
Recordings should be done in a quiet room with little leakage from the outside. The room should have textiles on as many surfaces as possible, such as curtains. Closets can work well for this. The actor should keep a distance of at least 12” from the microphone or recording device.
Sync ADR will be very difficult for talent to record on their own, but it's possible with a DAW recording setup on a laptop. Many actors already have home setups. We don't feel a need to be prescriptive about what exact equipment should be used; most modern equipment is of reasonably good quality and we don't want people rushing to buy expensive gear that may still yield compromised audio because of a compromised recording environment. A reflection filter like SE Reflexion filter pro can be helpful in controlling reflections in challenging environments.
We should not expect that the same equipment we see in professional studios will be used in an ad-hoc temporary recording scenario. For those looking to create a more professional recording environment, the following guides provide a wealth of information on achieving something closer to studio quality. For a good quality recording, a central problem will be the sound of the room and not the recording equipment.
We recommend following our Home Studio Security Guidance for remote work. We are faced with uncertain circumstances and do not have the access to materials and resources that we normally do. With that in mind, please reach out to security if you have questions about our recommendations.
We are providing this guidance to support you in protecting our content. Most importantly, be safe and please use common sense. Be mindful of your surroundings and take all of the basic steps to keep you and your devices protected.
Additional questions or concerns should be raised to firstname.lastname@example.org and your Netflix Post Manager.
All video assets should be shared using approved systems and should be identifiable to the end recipient. We recommend the following:
- Digital Transfers should use a secure and approved platform (e.g. Content Hub Workspace, PIX, Aspera). If you are unsure about a transfer tool - reach out to SIS@Netflix.com. Transfers on physical drives should be done using hardware encrypted drives with the passwords/keys sent separately.
- Keep records of persons and organizations with access to content.
- Burn in individualized watermarks for all video turnover materials.
ADR/PDX/Dub - Local Media Copy
To prepare for the possibility to continue the mixing process from home:
- Copy all footage (editorial proxies) and reference sound elements to encrypted hard drives. Reach out to email@example.com with questions about drive security or configuration.
- Copy all picture editorial proxies, sound elements, stems and masters to WORKSPACES on ContentHub. This will provide a backup in the Cloud should you need it, but should be a secondary priority to creating the drives.
- Create a daily back-up by copying all (Avid/ProTools) project files and new media created (sound elements, stems and masters) onto ContentHub.
- A shared Google Sheet or alternative solution to track updates to the data should be maintained by the AE. This sheet should only be shared with individuals who need access to the sheet. Picture and Sound Editors in turn can download the new media from Content Hub and add to their existing projects.
File Collaboration Security
For ADR pickups and similar workflows where talent will need access to content we recommend sharing content via Content Hub or PIX or a similar Media Management solution. In cases where this is not feasible Google Drive can be used. See below for security best practices when creating Drives:
- Files shared must only be accessible to the individual(s) who need them. Once the folder structure is created use the ‘Advanced’ options to update sharing Settings to share directly with the intended audience.
- When someone completes their work on a project they should be removed from the project folders or any other place where they have been given access.
- Only provide “Editor” access to people with a need - this helps prevent oversharing.
- Do not email links to files in Drive. Emailing links will change permissions to files and allow for public access. Instead, setup file sharing permissions directly in Drive.
- Avoid moving files between folders - this changes permissions - and double check file permissions after any files are moved.
If Google Drive is not feasible to share files, you should enable similar settings on the file collaboration platform you choose. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Mobile Device Security
For recording done on mobile devices we recommend the following security guidelines:
- Keep your device and apps up to date, as this is critical to protecting your data.
- All devices should use a passcode or biometric controls (TouchID, FaceID) for access.
- Netflix strongly recommends enabling ‘Find My’ functionality. This is available on both iOS and Android, which helps locate and/or wipe a missing device.
- Do not use any App Stores other than the official Apple App Store and Google Play store.
- Any lost or stolen device containing content should be reported to Netflix Studio Information Security. This includes personally owned devices as well as those issued by Netflix or our Production partners
- 2020-04-21: v2.5
- Added Sennheiser Clip Mic to suggested mic list
- Under Remote Collaboration & Record via Pro Tools, added Source Connect Creator & revised section
- 2020-04-03: V2.0
- Added Rode VideoMic & NT-USB to suggested mic list
- Added Section 2 - Remote Collaboration & Record via Pro Tools
- 2020-03-27: v1.5
- Under 1. iPhone Apps, added links to quick start guides for Todd-AO Actors Mobile ADR and Voice Record Pro
- 2020-03-25: First Version