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How to sound design a character "remembering" a line of dialog without using reverb??
Old 21st November 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 
thefunkybeat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Question How to sound design a character "remembering" a line of dialog without using reverb??

I'm working on post production for a short film.
The setting is modern American street life (not sci fi).
In the last scene the main character remembers something that was said in a previous scene. For this I played back the clip of audio from the previous scene and put some reverb on it.
The director has decided she doesn't want me to use reverb, but still "make it sound like it's in her head".

This director is really an actress who is trying her hand at directing and video editing for the first time and she doesn't know much about sound either, but I thought it would be worth looking into anyway. What other ways could you get that "in their head" sound? Again, it's not a sci fi or fantasy movie and the character is sober, so I don't want to go too nuts on the effects.
Old 21st November 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
When I've run into that situation, I've gone with a not-quite-A.M. radio EQ. Kind of wispy and different enough to stand out from the normal dialogue, but not highly penetrating in an obnoxious effect way.
Old 21st November 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Rust Creep's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Easy.. use someone else's voice like most other movies

Seriously this is a good question

How about some reverse delays of whats said worked eloquently in there

Sent from my DROIDX
Old 21st November 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
FWIW, I tried using diffusion on a film: character's dialog was centered as normal; in-head thinking wasn't reverb or filtered, but was sent through complimentary combs and spread very wide. The way a thought doesn't have a precise location in your head (if you think in an auditory mode), while stuff you hear binaurally definitely comes from a direction.



Made logical sense. But it didn't work, even when I watched on a good stereo or surround system. Went back to reverb and filtering, mono and centered.
Old 21st November 2012
  #5
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Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just tossing ideas out there....


Reverse the clip, put an extremely tight reverb (closet, car, etc.) or very tight slap-back delay, record the result, reverse back to "normal."

Try doubling, or other delay effects like phasing or flanging.

Create a copy or two, pitch shift them, play them simultaneously.

If you can ADR the line use an LDC, have the actor speak very softly and eat the mic, then compress the crap out of it. Pan it to the center of the surround field.


Remind your fledgling director that clichés are clichés for a reason; they work and the audience expects them. For some reason "Reverb = Remembering."
Old 21st November 2012
  #6
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't know what the scene is about and how you have the surroundings designed, but maybe fading out or pulling back backgrounds (atmos) and foleys plus pulling up score (or maybe pulling it back too?) plus the close, intimate LDC sound plus a special way of pronouncing what was said (maybe giving it a kind of "ah yes, of course!!!" feeling performance) could work?
Old 21st November 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
As others have said, it is hard to come with good suggestions when not knowing the other elements of the scene. What about music, atmos, or is it already very minimalistic?

I would try pitching the dx down (50-70 cent?), put a lowpass filter (7-8k?) and boost low-mids slightly, drown BGs/atmos in reverb and pull them down so focus is solely on the 'not-quite-natural' voice(s) and let the atmos just float in the background.
Old 21st November 2012
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Check out the last Harry Potter film. There are many examples of using radical EQ, delays, panning, and reverb for the dialogue in someone's head.

Tom
Old 21st November 2012
  #9
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Like Uncle Bob, I'll try some flanging or phasing or just give a try replacing or mixing the background with a special sound design effect like drone, low musical pad...
Old 21st November 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
danijel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
One common trick is to ADR the actor (or yourself) whispering that same line in sync (twice) and play it from L and R, leaving the original in C. Make the sync really tight.
Old 21st November 2012
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Mix it in Atmos and spot it center in the overhead array, 2/3 of the way back in the room.

/snark
Old 21st November 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel ➡️
One common trick is to ADR the actor (or yourself) whispering that same line in sync (twice) and play it from L and R, leaving the original in C. Make the sync really tight.
What he said. A single whisper track in mono works fine, too.
Old 21st November 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
danijel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
What he said. A single whisper track in mono works fine, too.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that
May be even better for a subtler effect.
Old 21st November 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel ➡️
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that
May be even better for a subtler effect.
And put it back in the wings.
Old 3rd December 2012
  #15
Gear Nut
 
thefunkybeat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks guys! Very helpful stuff. Much appreciated.
Old 3rd December 2012
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Reverse the dialog, put a very subtle reverb on it and then reverse it back. Can sometimes work beautifully but it can also be a little too much for this maybe.
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