The ultimate guide to dubbing
Subs vs. dubs—The eternal debate that’s been going on for as long as we can remember and one that won’t be concluded any time soon, but that won’t stop us from chiming in and giving you our two cents on the topic. Today, we’re playing the dubbing advocate and teaching you how to master it for your own projects, both animated and live-action.
What dubbing is, and how it’s used in the film industry
Before we get into the details, we ought to say a few words about what dubbing actually is.
In short, dubbing is a part of the post-production process in the animation and movie industry in which supplementary audio recordings are created to replace the original audio. It involves lip-syncing and other audio production, but suffice it to say that’s the process responsible for you getting to enjoy, say, your favorite anime without having to read any subtitles.
This is a common practice when it comes to children’s shows, both for domestic and foreign media. It’s also popular in some European countries, for example, Russia, where they dub even the most famous blockbusters (although simple voiceovers are more common there).
The different types of dubbing and their purposes
So, what kind of dubbing is there?
Of course, even video games are dubbed (i.e., localized) in other languages. Just boot up your favorite game and take a gander at the audio settings. You’ll see plenty of available languages to choose from.
It bears mentioning, however, that dubbing is not always a means of boosting accessibility. When original audio files are damaged, for example, dubbing can be used to restore audio quality to its former glory.
Knowledge is important and shouldn’t be kept behind a foreign-language wall. Instead, we can find a few voiceover artists and transfer all the necessary study materials into your target language with a bit of sound engineering. That’s pretty much what’s already done for documentaries, software tutorials, and other similar things.
How dubbing can be used to improve a film or TV show
We have to admit that the entertainment industry is where dubbing and lip synchronization truly shine, no matter what type of content we’re talking about. If you’ve ever used a streaming service such as Netflix, you know what we’re talking about.
The reason media houses try to push dubbed versions of their shows is that it increases revenue. It’s simple: the more viewers you get, the more money you earn, and dub options are a no-brainer for a large part of the audience since not everyone speaks all languages.
Further, dubbing can be used to correct some audio issues in post-production. That does wonders for maintaining a high level of immersion in the story.
The benefits of dubbing for both viewers and producers
Naturally, profits and accessibility are only a part of it, and dubbing can help studios in many more ways, for example:
Don’t like something in the original audio? Simply dub it over. The opposite is also true. If you want to retain certain things in the original audio that got removed, you can head over to the recording studio and restore it.
Staying true to the original vision
Staying true to the creator’s vision is something viewers really admire. Sometimes, the author cannot really finish their project the way they wanted to. In such cases, dubbing can be useful in helping bring the author’s vision to life.
When you’re limited to subs, it’s often hard getting the point of the original audio across. On the other hand, with some voice talent on your team, you can make the dialogue flow much more smoothly and naturally, giving the audience a taste of the original in their own native idiom.
Aiding the visually impaired
We mentioned kids, but there are adults who may struggle to read, as well. Those living with dyslexia, for example, will much rather listen to a high-quality dub than struggle to read subtitles while trying to watch the actual show or movie.
Speechify—A versatile text to speech application
Would you like to give dubbing and revoicing a go yourself and make your content available to a new audience? There are a couple of ways you can go about it. You can hire voice actors to deal with the dubbing process, or you can do it yourself. How? You can try text to speech (TTS) tools.
TTS apps are truly sophisticated nowadays. Speechify, for example, does it all, from reading assistance to podcast-making to voiceovers. It’s truly a marvelous piece of assistive tech. If you are willing to experiment with audiovisual material yourself, you can use Speechify to dub your videos without relying on others. The voices are very customizable, and they produce very natural-sounding speech.
With lots of detailed step-by-step guides online, you can master lip-sync dubbing in no time and start dishing out high-quality video content of all formats, from YouTube video essays to corporate videos to e-learning material to fan-made animations.
Check out Speechify for free today, or consider Speechify Premium to gain access to additional text to speech features for your dubbing needs.
How can you improve your dubbing skills?
The best way to improve any skill is to practice. Try starting slow and playing with the original language first, then start creating new voices and slowly moving to more complex processes, for example, mouth movement editing. Of course, you can also use a TTS tool like Speechify to do the dubbing for you instead.
What is the difference between dubbing and translation?
Translating is a more general term. That is, it can be used for dubbing, voiceovers, textual conversion from one language into another, etc. Dubbing is specific and refers only to translating audio in movies, anime, TV shows, and so on. Sometimes dubbing something in a different language means using a slightly different translation than a direct one in order to convey the same meaning as the original language.
What are some good dubbing actors?
There are a lot of famous, highly sought-after voice actors. There’s Troy Baker, for example, famous for the role of Joel in The Last of Us. Then there’s Mark Hamill and his legendary Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
Why is dubbing difficult?
Dubbing is difficult because it takes a lot of time to master all the necessary aspects of it. Just recall those recording studios with all the strange-looking equipment. It takes lots of practice to become comfortable with every step of recording, syncing, and superimposing new audio. A text to speech tool like Speechify can make the dubbing process easier.