Thursday, March 23, 2006

Looping

Who uses it: Filmmakers and sound technicians
What it means: Replacing live dialogue with dialogue recorded in a studio. The official name for this process is automated dialogue replacement (ADR). It may also be called "dubbing," but looping is replacing dialogue in the same language, and dubbing sometimes means replacing dialogue in a different language.
How you can use it: When you're not hearing what's being said.

The project I've just started involves recording and transcribing what will be hours of personal interviews. It's got me thinking a lot about the processes of listening and hearing.

I don't usually tape interviews. I am blessed with an exceptionally good memory (that's not bragging, because I did nothing to earn it and and do nothing to take care of it -- rather the reverse, in fact), and I've always found that my note-taking and my memory were accurate enough for anything I was doing. I do believe in allowing sources to approve their quotations, which is a controversial and objectionable practice among serious journalists. But I don't write exposes, and I think that adversarial journalism is often just as misleading as press releases can be.

Anyway, transcribing these tapes has shown me that my memory is not as good as I thought it was. When I listen to a live speaker, I fill in words that might be missing, and draw conclusions that the words themselves might not support. I don't know how dishonest that is; I don't know if I'm intuiting what the speaker actually means, or simply imposing what I think they should mean.

It's very interesting, and not a little humbling. I think I'll be taping a lot more of my interviews from now on.

Dad came up from Virginia Beach last night. Joseph and I met him at the train station, and we all had dinner at The Dubliner. Is it just me, or are there really only about a dozen Irish songs? I swear we heard three different versions of "The Wild Rover" last night. Not to be disloyal to my heritage, but one would have been enough for me.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I can think of 21 songs. Of course they are all old ones!
Have a great time with your DAD.