Knowledge Base

ADR Recording with ADR Master and Pro Tools

Introduction

ADR Master Studio contains all the tools needed to cue and record ADR in Pro Tools®. It adds recording features like track naming and a sophisticated track mute/input/record matrix that defines which combination of tracks should be heard during each of the record modes (Rehearse, Record or Review).

DAW SELECTION Tab

The DAW Selection Tab can be found by clicking on the DAW tab in the top left window. This is where the main DAW Controls can be found.

DAW Selection Tab

At the very top, we have a "DAW Selection" box. If Pro Tools® is open and a session is loaded, ADR Master will show the Pro Tools® application icon as well as its version number and the name of the currently loaded session.

When recording dialog in Pro Tools®, ADR Master offers the possibility to name record tracks before starting to record. This will then also affect the name of the newly created audio region. In the "DAW Track Naming" box, you can select what ADR cue properties are supposed to be part of the track name. By clicking the plus button, you can add placeholders to the text field which will then be replaced by the actual properties of the event being recorded. You can also click in between the placeholders and add static text which will then also be part of the track name. This will give you the utmost flexibility for the track naming. If the text box is empty, ADR Master will leave the track names untouched when recording.

When scrolling down further in the DAW tab, you'll find the "DAW Tracks" and "Track Types" section. This is where ADR Master allows you to control what you want to happen during, before and after the actual take for different record modes in a very fine-grained fashion.

DAW Tracks section

DAW Tracks Section

The DAW Tracks section lists all the tracks currently available in your Pro Tools® session in a table-style manner. Next to each track name, there are three columns labeled "Rehearse", "Record" and "Review". The labels of these columns refer to the three recording modes ADR Master offers. There's Rehearse which will allow you to pre-listen the cue with the actor. Pro Tools® will only playback. Then there's Record which is used for the actual recording. When recording, ADR Master increases the take number for each cue (this can optionally be appended to the track name). Review is used to listen over the take again to see if it needs to be re-done. For each of the three modes, ADR Master allows you to define the "behavior" of the tracks meaning if they're playing, muted, input enabled or recording (recording is only available for the Record mode). You can simply select one of the predefined values "Input" ,"Play", "Mute", "Solo" and "Record" from the drop down. ADR Master counts the number of tracks set to record and you will then be able to select a record track per event by its index. If no track is set to record, ADR Master will check if there's a track set record enabled in Pro Tools® and use that automatically. Just make sure you don't have any track set to record in the matrix to have ADR Master use the Pro Tools® track.

Track Types section

Track Types Section

When scrolling down a bit further, you will see another table listing the values from the dropdown menus in the DAW Tracks table. This table allows you to define how ADR Master controls Pro Tools® track states in an even more fine-grained manner. In the three columns "Before", "During" and "After", ADR Master lets you control how you want the audio tracks in Pro Tools® to behave during, before and after the take. We already added the most basic settings "Play", "Mute", "Input" and "Record" for you, but you can also add more states here to fit your needs or you can modify existing ones. You might for example like to listen to your voice talent before the actual take and of course during record but you want to check the transition into the original dialogue after the take by muting the talent's microphone. To do so, you could simply modify the value in the row "Record", column "After" to "Mute" instead of "Play". There are a variety of options that might make sense in your particular workflow so we strongly encourage you to try around and see what you can do with these settings.

Underneath the table to define the actual track types is a preference which lets you define when to actually apply the "During" state. This might sound a bit odd at first as you would assume that the "During" setting should of course be applied at the in point of the event. There are however scenarios where it might be useful to apply the "During" setting a bit earlier. One is when you're using a speaker instead of headphones in the recording room for example. In that case it will be helpful to mute the playback track a bit earlier so you don't get any feedback and to allow the sound to decay before starting the record pass. This setting lets you define how many frames in advance the "During" setting is applied.

The DAW Control window

DAW Control Window

At the top of the window, you'll find the actual record controls. Starting from the left, there are buttons to rehearse the currently selected event, to stop Pro Tools® playback, to record the currently selected event and to review the currently selected event. These buttons will only be active if there's an event currently selected. If multiple events are selected, these buttons always control the first event in the selection.

When clicking one of the three buttons Rehearse, Record or Review, ADR Master will set a timeline selection in Pro Tools®, set the record track name (if you chose this in the "Settings" tab of the window) and the track mute, input or record states to match your settings. In Rehearse and Review, ADR Master will only start playback from Pro Tools®. If the Record button is clicked, ADR Master will trigger a record pass start. In all cases, ADR Master will respect the Pre-Roll and Post-Roll intervals set in Pro Tools®. So if you set your pre-roll to 5 seconds for example, Pro Tools® will start playback 5 seconds before the cue starts. Only the selected event(s) will be displayed. All other events are hidden automatically. Meaning that ADR Master will never display the previous cue if it overlaps with the pre-roll of the current cue.

Below the record controls, there are a set of buttons labelled "Event Controls". From left to right, it contains a button to select the previous event, to create a new event from DAW selection, duplicate the currently selected event, split the current event at the current playhead, delete the currently selected event and to select the next event in line.

As already mentioned previously, the main intention when designing this window was to help you focus on the currently selected event when recording. Thus, we put an "Event Details" box right below the "Event Controls". In the big dropdown menu at the top, you can select the current event. Once clicked, it will show all events there are matching the currently set filters. To define the filters, click the filter icon on the right. If a filter is set, the icon will turn blue. 

Below the event selection dropdown, you see the current event's in and out timecode with draggable modifier buttons to the left and right of each timecode box. Underneath the timecode boxes, ADR Master displays the current selection set in Pro Tools®. The button to the right of the "Out Point" box allows you to update the current event's boundaries with the current Pro Tools® timeline selection. 

At the bottom of the window, you can set more properties of the currently selected event including the record track. The record track dropdown will let you select the index of the record track you want to record to. Index 1 means the first track where the mode is set to "Record" in the DAW Tracks "Record" column and so on.

Whenever modifying events, make sure to save the project right after.

Contour Shuttle Pro 2 support

To get the best user experience, we recommend using an external control device like the Contour Shuttle Pro 2. The Shuttle Pro 2 allows you to assign shortcuts on its numerous buttons. We did our best to offer shortcuts for all common functions. You can download a preset to get you started from here. You can of course modify the layout to match your personal preference. There's a complete list of all shortcuts available in ADR Master you can view here.

ADR Recording Preferences

ADR Recording Preferences Tab

DAW Control Mode - ADR Master interacts with the DAW using different methods and protocols. For synchronization and transport, either Avid Satellite Link or MTC/MMC can be used. To control the DAW in terms of e.g. muting or renaming individual tracks, starting playback or a record pass, ADR Master uses different technologies. It uses Apple's Accessibility API and also key commands as well as the HUI protocol (for things like track mute). It usually is advantageous (esp. when using Live Events with ADR Master Editor) to not use HUI and use the Accessibility API instead. This control lets you decide if you prefer a DAW control including HUI or without using the HUI protocol. We recommend setting this to “Key Commands only”.

Event Record Mode - When recording events using ADR Master's ADR recording features with this control set to Single Event, ADR Master will only display the selected events at the time the recording is triggered. There will be a streamer or countdown as well as an optional black screen before the cue, a progress bar with text during the cue and an optional black screen after the cue. When playback continues after the cue, ADR Master will not play other cues that might follow up. When "Batch Recording" is selected here, ADR Master will also play all subsequent cues until playback is stopped (according to the filter settings in the event list).

Keystroke Delay - When using the built-in ADR features, ADR Master will send keystrokes to Pro Tools to set the timeline selection (among other things). If setting the track name or selection doesn't work correctly, try increasing the keystroke delay by dragging the slider to the right. Longer keystroke delays increase the overall time before recording is started so you should try to keep it as low as possible on your system.

Mute Video … before Cue In Point / after Cue Out Point - In some instances, it may be helpful to mask the video with black before the ADR Cue In Point or after the ADR Cue Out Point when rehearsing, recording or reviewing.

Both Black Screen options will only be shown during playback.

DAW ADR Cue Expansion - When using ADR Master's ADR recording features, ADR Master will set a selection to Pro Tools® for each cue being rehearsed, recorded or reviewed (if Event Record mode is set to "Batch Recording", only the start timecode will be set as mentioned above). This setting allows you to tell ADR Master to make the selection longer at the in point as well as the out point without modifying the actual cue in ADR Master. This can come in handy if you like to add a little bit of handle length in Pro Tools® when working with your cues.

Locate DAW on Event Selection - If this box is checked, ADR Master will set a timeline selection in Pro Tools® whenever you select an event in either the list or DAW Settings window. When using Avid Satellite Link as connection method it’s usually a good idea to have this set. Without Satellite Link having this option checked can cause a bit of delay especially when going through cues quickly.

Assign Record Tracks Automatically - There are two options to record cues with Pro Tools® using ADR Master's ADR Recording features. In the first mode, you select the record track manually in Pro Tools®. ADR Master will detect that and start recording using this track. In the second mode, you select the tracks you want to record each cue on from ADR Master’s event list. As soon as you set a track to "Record" in the DAW audio track matrix (in the DAW tab of the tab view in the main window), it will become available in the "Rec Track" dropdown menu of the event list, property view and DAW Control window. You can then select it for each cue to record it on that particular track. If this box is checked, ADR Master will check if there are overlapping cues or cues in close proximity and assign them record tracks in an A/B manner in order to allow for proper recording without overwriting existing regions in Pro Tools® whenever the record tracks in the DAW track matrix are updated.