In 1929, a musical talkie made its way to the cinemas. It was called Applause. It was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starred Helen Morgan, Jack Cameron, and Joan Peers.
Now, you’d ask, why are we talking about this movie? Because it is the first film credited to be the pioneer of sound mixing. The director interlocked 35mm audio tracks, beginning the practice of film tracklaying, and so began dubbing.
To imagine the entertainment world without dubbing is impossible now and once you’re through this article, you’ll understand why. Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- What is Dubbing?
- Types of Dubbing
- Applications of AI Dubbing
- A Stepwise Approach to Dubbing
- AI Audio Dubbing: The Future is Here
- Benefits of AI Audio Dubbing
- Try Murf for AI Dubbing
What is Dubbing?
Dubbing is a post-production process utilized generally in film-making and video production where additional recordings are done by voice actors (the process of “creating doubles,” which was then shortened to “dub”) and then lip-synced with original production sound.
These recordings or audio tracks are then “mixed,” mastered, and enhanced with sound design. It is also sometimes called “Automated Dialogue Replacement” or ADR.
Here’s a fun fact that highlights the evolution of voice dubbing. Before voice dubbing, a technique called “looping” was used to re-record the sound for scenes.
When only a few scenes in a movie had to be redubbed, the film would be spliced and played repeatedly while the voice actors did multiple retakes to record the audio to synchronize with the movie. Imagine!
Today, with language localization, dubbing is also used to make the film available in a different language than the original one.
Voice dubbing has also found its way into gaming, TV shows, commercials, audio shows and podcasts, and even eLearning content. It offers multiple benefits, like enhancing user experience, increasing user engagement, improving accessibility, and more.
Types of Dubbing
Depending on the type of the project, voice dubbing can take different forms for experienced voice actors. Here are a few.
Lip-syncing is about matching the original audio as closely as possible by syncing it with the lip movements in the video or movie. The actor or voice artist looks at the visuals and records parallelly unless the film uses sync sound (which means recording along with shooting).
This is one of the most difficult types of dubbing and requires great skill. When a script is transcreated into a different language, the actor’s emotions on the screen and the original script must be carefully matched.
Similar to lip-synced dubbing, time-synced dubbing also considers the timeframe in which the line has been spoken (common for foreign language dubbing to ensure the audio matches).
However, here, the need to exactly match the lip movements is removed, as long as the timestamps for the beginning and the end are the same.
It is usually cheaper to time-sync than lip-sync and takes less time.
In this case, time and lip movements need not be matched; in fact, audio matches are not an issue. For films, the original meaning of the content has to be retained, but the artist has the freedom to record without any time constraints.
For other kinds of content that require only voiceovers, like animation videos, educational content, or visuals that are not dialogue-rich, non-synced dubbing is the way to go. It is also the most cost-effective type of audio dubbing.
Applications of AI Dubbing
Dubbing has been a part of our lives for decades altogether. Across various industries and contexts, it has varied but vital applications. Let’s learn about some of them.
Films, Movies, and TV Shows
To understand why video dubbing is essential, especially in motion pictures, foreign movies, TV shows, and OTT shows, let’s examine what happens behind the scenes. Actors brave different weather conditions, obstacles, and tight schedules to shoot a movie.
While the visuals are perfected during the shooting schedule, it is impossible to sound perfect and obtain high-quality dialogue in most cases. There could be crowd sounds, unwanted background noise, or even loud mic hits (that sound like thuds) and blows (that sound like you are blowing on the mic) if the recording of the dialogues was done parallelly.
To create an immersive sound experience (free of background noises and other unwanted sounds) that is later mixed with music and sound design after a recording process, video audio dubbing saves the day.
For films and movies, it is used for:
Recreating the original voiceover of foreign films through video dubbing
Market expansion through language localization for foreign movie language dubbing
Adding cultural context to foreign language films that are transcreated into a different language from the original language
Offering high-audio-quality narrations and dialogue delivery to audiences
Remember the remix of an old song that you enjoyed listening to recently? That is audio dubbing. Without audio dubbing, remixes wouldn’t be possible.
But that’s not all. Audio dubbing in the music industry helps with the following:
Adding an extra layer of vocals to support the lead vocals or as the chorus through a dubbed version with a sound mix in different languages.
Adding sound effects and harmonies through voice (laughs, breaths, and exclaims) or beatboxing.
Fix errors in an existing audio track through redubbing.
Enhancing live performances to produce good-quality vocals on stage, which are pre-recorded.
The gaming industry is an ever-evolving one. Audio dubbing helps create better gameplay. Many games insist on using audio and earphones for an elevated experience.
For video games, audio dubbing can:
Help with localization into a target language from the original language version.
Add a storyline to the gameplay through narration and other audio tracks.
Add character voiceovers and reactions for a better emotional impact without awkward direct translation.
Audio dubbing is widely used in the education sector to:
Localize eLearning content
Create engaging tutorials in bulk.
Improve accessibility for the visually impaired.
Documentaries often contain actual footage of the real-life story or incident that it is made on. Through video dubbing, documentary makers can:
Enhance the storytelling through audio as visuals with no dialogue on the screen.
Use it as a guide across timelines or events and to convey additional information.
To promote clarity and understanding of what’s happening on the screen
Commercials that usually want to focus the most on the USPs of a product or service require voice dubbing to make their point come across clearly.
Audio dubbing can help set the context and convey more information about the product through a voice actor.
It allows advertisers to go global with multilingual campaigns by translating the original language without creating the visuals again.
A Stepwise Approach to Dubbing
If you’ve been intrigued by the applications of sound dubbing, here’s a detailed stepwise process of how the magic happens:
Unless it is a movie or a show, a project has specific voice requirements like gender, age, and voice texture that are decided. For films, the actors themselves do the audio dubbing.
If the product has to be localized, then the language(s) are decided, and the script is transcreated for the voice actor.
The next step is auditioning professional voice actors and casting the right talent for the project.
As soon as the voice actors are cast, a sound dubbing schedule is created, and a studio is set up with or without visuals.
Then comes show time, where the voice actors speak into a microphone in a recording booth using the transcreated or the original language script. The audio track is recorded by a recordist or sound engineer using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) like Protools, Cubase, or Audacity.
After the audio track is recorded (voice dubbing) and edited, it is layered with the visuals in the DAW, mixed and mastered according to the project’s specifications, and exported in the required audio formats. This is where sound effects and music are added to production.
A quality-checking process takes place where the voice actors pronunciation and the dubbing’s technical quality are checked.
Lastly, if errors are found in the quality-checking process, the voice actors in the studio redub parts of the audio.
However, this traditional process of dubbing can be cumbersome. A better alternative, AI dubbing, offers all the advantages of dubbing and bridges the limitations. But what is AI dubbing, and why is it the smarter choice to make today?
AI Audio Dubbing: The Future is Here
Many believe that the year of AI has begun. The global AI market is set to touch USD 459.3 billion by 2030. While generative AI has been the buzz for content generation like text and images, dubbing has not been left behind. AI voice dubbing uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate dubbed audio for video content.
AI dubbing uses machine learning algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) to synthesize a human-like voice. Using speech recognition, deep learning, and advanced algorithms, it also analyses the video content to bring in voice modulation.
Compared to traditional audio dubbing, AI dubbing reduces the process time, effort, and costs, aiding in its popularity across global markets.
Benefits of AI Audio Dubbing
There are many reasons why AI dubbing has become popular today. It offers multiple benefits for those without any technical know-how from the industry. Its benefits include:
When AI audio dubbing is used, there are no costs for hiring artists, a Studio, sound engineers, and equipment. Platforms that provide the service have a fee, but AI dubbing is extremely cost-effective compared to how it is done conventionally.
As no manual labor is involved, along with changing schedules, the turnaround time for AI audio dubbing is much faster.
Projects that took months earlier can be done in days, speeding up the content pipeline for creators who can quickly make their work available to audiences.
AI can use speech recognition and translation to localize the same script within a few hours without conventional audio dubbing.
This is extremely useful for foreign language films. This expands the reach of the content without employing additional resources.
AI is precise, with no human challenges of audio dubbing like fatigue or lack of focus involved. Projects can be consistently carried out with the same efficiency and output, and the voice performances remain consistent.
The audio dubbing process can be customized with AI, including tone, pitch, delivery speed, language, and emotional expression.
The best part? Despite all of these customizations, AI is trained to sound natural and not like a bot.
Due to decreased costs, time, and effort, along with increased efficiency, consistency, and customization options, it becomes a cakewalk to scale with AI audio dubbing and deep voice.
Preservation of Original Lip Sync
While not attempting to replace lip-sync, AI can make it more accurate by using deep neural networks to sync an actor’s on-screen performance with the generated audio.
Try Murf for AI Dubbing
AI dubbing is a smart, much-needed, and innovative disruption that is here to stay. The consistent training and development of AI has also put the concerns of bot-like voice overs at rest. And by doing this expertly, Murf AI has emerged as one of the leaders in the AI-powered voiceover landscape.
Murf’s versatile text to speech software has won multiple awards and been discussed in publications like Forbes. Its simple yet creatively powerful studio offers more than one can expect.
120+ text to speech and voice over video voices in studio quality that are natural sounding, just like a voice actor would
Voice over dubbing in 20+ languages
Option to add videos, music, and visuals to an existing or new audio track
Complete customization options to change tone, pitch, and speed, along with the capability to add punctuation and emphasis without voice actors
Industry-best voice cloning technology with which the sky is the limit
Try Murf today for free and collaborate with your team to create bespoke voiceovers that perk ears and drop mouths. You can also use Murf’s API to upgrade your voice infrastructure at scale for your business. Get in touch to get started now.