What is Looping in Film_

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What is Looping in Film?

Sound terms such as dubbing, ADR. Looping and dubbing are commonly used in post-production processes. In which the dialogue of a film is replaced or replicated in order to finalize a film. If you’ve ever worked in post-production, you’ve likely heard the terms dubbing, ADR, and voice-over. As well as many other terms, like looping, that are used to seemingly describe similar processes. But exactly what is looping in film? And what does it mean?

What is Looping in Film?

Looping is a term used in the film industry to describe a process. In which a scene is “looped” or played on repeat, over-and-over again. So that the voice actor can perform the lines and attempt to get the sound synchronized with the original visual performance.

If you’ve ever watched a poor voice over performance, you know how bad it can be if a voice over actor does a poor job with the synchronization of ADR (automatic dialogue replacement). And you know the importance of looping. You just may not have realized that it was called so much.

What is Walla?

Sometimes, when referring to looping you’ll hear the term walla used. This term is used to describe the customized background sounds that come into play when recreating a scene so that the finished sound recording is “just right.”

Walla is used to enhance the authenticity of the sound that is recreated in the sound studio when looping and voice overs or ADR are taking place.

The sound engineer will layer the sounds so that you get the most realistic finished piece possible. It’s a complicated process, and it’s sometimes referred to as group ADR, but it results in an incredibly finished project. 

Looping is an Art

If you don’t think that looping and ADR is an art, you’ve never tried to recreate the sound. At precisely the right speed, tone and pace before.

Sometimes, looping is used to determine what was being said in the background of a scene. Or somewhere that the original dialogue is unknown.

A Group Effort

In this complicated process, a group will watch the scene over and over again, and read lips in an attempt to lip sync the original audio.

If such is not possible, the group will then come up with words that can be placed into the mouths of those on the camera with a natural fit. Sounds complicated and odd doesn’t it?

It is! Looping is an incredible process that is used throughout sound design to produce synchronized dialogue replacement for a variety of purposes in post-production.

This way, the sound that the audience hears will match up perfectly with the dialogue that is recorded visually on the screen.