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Animation Disney Film Editing Film Sound People Technology

Veteran ADR Mixer Doc Kane of Walt Disney Studios

Stage B – the birthplace of the creative voice track of many animated films including Cars 2, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Rango and many more, is also the ADR home of top industry filmmakers

In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection profile we talk with veteran ADR mixer Doc Kane at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA to explore his extensive project credits and unique approach to capturing some of Hollywood’s most talented voices.

The Art of ADR

The art of ADR is much more than having a collection of microphones and knowing how to use them, although Doc’s mic cabinet is pretty impressive. It’s also more than having the latest and greatest hardware and software, but rest assured, Doc has all of the most modern bells and whistles.Perhaps even more important and some might even argue that it qualifies ADR as an art, is the sensitivity to the client.

ABOUT DOC KANE:
What has three letters, many aliases and is of major significance to the sound community? You guessed it: ADR aka Automated Dialog Replacement aka Additional Dialog Recording aka Dubbing aka Looping. All of these monikers are understood as the process of re-recording dialog that cannot be salvaged from a production. To make one thing clear, there is nothing automated about it. ADR is an art. And here to tell us more about the art is an artist whose name also has only three letters and many aliases but nonetheless has made a significant impact on the sound community.

His name is Doc Kane but most just call him Doc. He has over 300 projects under his belt and a slew of awards and nominations, including four Academy Award nominations.


Tom Hanks talks about the fact that the voice of Woody for toys and games is sometimes actually the voice of his brother, Jim. He tells a story about what it is like working on Stage B when he is recording the voice of Woody for the Toy Story films.

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Dolby Film Sound Oscars People Technology

Ray Dolby Tribute by Walter Murch at 2014 MPSE Awards

Special thanks to The Soundworks Collection for this video.

Ray Dolby was a brilliant scientist whose inventions are in use every day in recording studios, sound editing suites, mix stages and cinemas worldwide,” said MPSE president Frank Morrone. “He was a giant in our industry and we take great pride is saluting his many contributions to our craft.”

Dolby, who passed away last September, is the founder of Dolby Laboratories. He is credited with developing a noise reduction system which delivered sound recordings with greater clarity and fidelity that was previously possible. The Academy Award winner also developed the first commercially-viable surround-sound system, which led to the widespread use of 5.1- and 7.1-channel sound systems in theaters and homes.

In 2012, the home of the Academy Awards was renamed the Dolby Theater, and the grand ballroom at Hollywood & Highland is now known as the Ray Dolby Ballroom.

Ray Dolby Tribute by Walter Murch.

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Animation Dolby

Dolby Presents: Silent, a Short Film

The recent Oscar telecast made me think again how fast things change. It wasn’t that long ago that the Dolby Theatre was called the Kodak Theatre. I just read that IMAX theaters in Los Angeles are switching to laser projection. Even the Chinese Theatre is going with the IMAX Experience. Technology has certainly changed film making as we knew it, (and caused me to start this blog).

Anyway, Dolby released a short about film sound and I thought it would be nice to show it and the “making of” that goes with it. “Silent” reminds me of Disney’s film Paperman.

“Silent” is an animated short film created by Academy Award® winning Moonbot Studios. It celebrates how storytellers, inventors, and technology work together to create cinema magic.
The story follows two street performers who dream of bringing their “Picture and Sound Show” to life. When they discover a magical contraption inside an old theatre, they embark on a cinematic adventure of sight and sound to find the audience they always wanted.

Dolby Presents: Silent, a Short Film from Dolby Laboratories on Vimeo.

Dolby Silent – The Making Of from Dolby Laboratories on Vimeo.

 

 

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Dolby Film Sound People Technology

Ray Dolby

I have always been impressed by Ray Dolby. Like Steve Jobs and Edwin Land, who himself inspired Jobs, he was a great combination of creative technology and business acumen. He was a member of the Ampex team that perfected the first Quad video tape recorder.

Dolby has posted a very nice tribute to Ray Dolby. Local 695 also has a nice article about him, including links from their Quarterly Magazine about his contributions to film sound.

A Tribute to Ray Dolby

by Scott Smith, CAS and David Waelder

To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in this darkness and grope towards an answer, to put up with anxiety about whether there is an answer.

–Ray Dolby

The Dolby name appears so often on films that it has become like Kleenex or Xerox, a generic for noise reduction. But the many innovations of Dolby Labs are largely the work of Ray Dolby, a man of prodigious ingenuity. He died of leukemia on September 12, 2013, at age eighty, at his home in San Francisco. Born January 18, 1933, in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Dolby was hired straight out of high school by Alexander Poniatoff of Ampex Corporation. At the time, Mr. Dolby had volunteered as a projectionist for a talk that Mr. Poniatoff was giving. Impressed by his talents, Poniatoff invited the young Mr. Dolby to come to work with him at Ampex, where he contributed to the design of the first quad videotape recorders.

After completing studies in electrical engineering at Stanford and physics at the University of Cambridge, Ray Dolby invented a system of high-frequency compression and expansion that minimized recorded hiss. He formed Dolby Labs in 1965 to bring this noise reduction system, called Dolby A, to market. Mr. Dolby later turned his attention to the problems of sound recording for motion pictures, which still relied on decades-old technology. His endeavors would lead to the introduction of a surround sound system that could be duplicated using traditional optical soundtrack printing techniques. It replaced the expensive and cumbersome printing techniques previously used for big-budget films.

At Dolby Labs he is remembered as much for mentoring a new generation of scientist/engineers as for his particular innovations. He was a scientist who expanded creative horizons for artists.

His contributions are covered in greater detail in Scott Smith’s series “When Sound Was Reel” in the Summer 2011 and Winter 2012 issues of 695 Quarterly. These are available at:

When Sound was Reel-7

When Sound was Reel-8

 

Ray Dolby Tribute from Dolby Laboratories on Vimeo.