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Research Guides@Tufts

Italian 3: Video Dubbing Project

This guide outlines the process for creating the newly dubbed video for Italian 3.

Finding your media on Canvas

Each group will be assigned a specific scene to work with from the movies An Almost Ordinary Summer and La Pazza Gioia.  You can find the media and transcript for each scene on Canvas under Files > Audio Dubbing Assignment.

You can download the video file and the script by clicking on the "..." button in the right hand column and selecting Download.

Writing a Script

Thinking through the following questions can help frame your script.

  • Who is your intended audience?  What is your objective with this video?
  • What is the current tone of the excerpt you are working with?  How will your new script engage with that tone?  Will it heighten or undermine it?  
  • What will be the tone for each character?  Will it sync with their onscreen gestures?  Will you add additional sound effects or remove any sound to help build your scene
  • Is there a theme or subtext in the scene/film that you wish to engage with?



The template below can help you keep track of timing, character, source and new dialog but can be customized to fit your needs.  Adding a column for images, tone or pacing notes could also be helpful.  

You may want to add additional fields such as duration, syllable count, or on/off screen.


In order to fit your new dialog into the video without having to edit it, you will need your new voice over to be the same duration as the line you are replacing.  This likely means you will need to tweak your lines or play with the speed the line is delivered.  If you are interested in syncing your new dialog with the original lip movement, you will need to pay close attention to the shape your mouth makes when speaking Italian, similar to the graphic below, to then replace with dialog that starts with a similar shape, focusing on the most pronounced shapes.

Media Management Tips

Media management encompasses the organization of media assets from research and writing through sharing and archiving.  Below are some best practices for keeping track of files as you work on your project.

  • Organizing your files will help make the editing process smoother

  • All media imported into Garage Band will be saved within the project itself.    

  • It is good practice to have your media backed up in two separate locations, if possible

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Organizing Your Media

Staying organized is essential as you collect and create various assets for your project.  Below is an example of how you can stay organized during this process.

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Backing-up Your Media

It’s important to always back-up your media and project files in case your computer crashes or hard drive malfunction. All machines in the DDS are wiped weekly.  Save all project files and media assets onto an external drive.

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Audio Recording

DDS can help support a variety of approaches to this assignment, but the method we recommend for both ease of use and audio quality is detailed below.  

Recording Equipment

We recommend using the recording room located in Tisch Library room 302 to record your audio.  This room has 4 high quality vocal microphones available for use in a room that has been treated to help mitigate noise.  To use this space, make a reservation online in advance.  Check out our online guide for support while using the DDS Recording Room!

You may find that for scenes that take place outdoors or very specific environments your recording doesn't feel like it's embedded in the scene when recording in a studio.  Using a field recorder to record in other environments may help create a distinctive quality/texture that's more resonant with your scene or intentions.   Tisch Library circulates a variety of media equipment, e.g. microphones, at the front desk.  For this assignment we recommend the USB microphones.  For help with this, please contact Kim Forero-Arnías in the DDS.  

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Creating a New Project

  • Open Garage Band and choose Empty Project. 
  • Make sure the Input Device is set to Scarlett 2i2 USB and the Output Device is set to Built-in Output
  • Select Choose
  • The next window assigns the microphone to a specific track.  Choose the Microphone under Audio and under Input select Input 1.  
  • Select Create.
  • To add an additional track for the second microphone, navigate to Track>New Track and change the Input to Input 2.


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Importing a Movie

  • With the Track Window selected navigate to File>Movie>Open Movie
  • Select the clip and click Open
  • A new window will appear with your video clip as well as a new audio track with the original audio
  • Rename each track to stay organized by double-clicking the original name

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  • Mute the original track.
  • Select the record button.  Record your audio into the mic.


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Recording multiple takes

Select the cycle range by clicking and dragging above the movie track where the time is displayed.

Ensure you have the loop button enabled and hit the record button.

Once you reach the end of the cycle range the clip will immediately restart again from the beginning.  This can be helpful if you are trying to get the timing of a specific line just right.  When you are done, stop recording.  A small number will appear next to the name of your clip.  Click the label and you will be able to toggle between your various takes.

Audio Recording Tips

  • Set the microphone at least inches away from the narrator
  • Stay in one position for the whole recording
  • Don’t wear jewelry or swooshy clothing 
  • Record several versions, try different tones and inflections
  • Record 20 seconds of silence before and after your recording session, also known as room tone, to help with editing
  • Record one characters lines at a time onto separate tracks.  This will allow you to adjust the volume of each character separately. 
  • If a character is offscreen, you can invent any lines you want.  They don't have to be talking in the original clip to have a line.

  • Break the lines into what makes most sense for your rhythmically, e.g., if there is a big pause mid-sentence it might make sense to break it into two separate lines

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Audio Editing

New Tracks, Adding & Duplicating Files

  • Create a new track: Track > New Track or Opt+Command+N
  • Add new files: Simply drag and drop your files from the Finder into the Workspace
  • Duplicate files already on your timeline: Hold Option while dragging the clip to a new location in the Workspace

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  • Loop a portion of the timeline: Drag in the upper part of the Workspace.  This will enable the Cycle button in the Transport Window
  • Deselect: Unclick the Cycle button in the Transport Window

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Splitting a Clip

  • Split a clip: Select the clip in the timeline, place the timeline indicator where you want your edit.  Select Edit>Split Regions at Playhead or Command+T

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Adjusting Volume & Transitions

  • Enable Automation: Select Mix>Show Automation or A on your keyboard
  • Double-click the track to place the Volume overlay on the track
  • Click the yellow Volume line to create a key frame
  • Create two points to make a transition. Moving the line down lowers the Volume while raising it increases the Volume.  
  • Disable Automation by hitting A on your keyboard.
  • To reset: Select Mix>Delete All Automation on Selected Track

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Audio Editing Tips

  • Use room tone to fill gaps in your recording
  • Remove all clicks, pops and distracting audio
  • Set Volume just on the edge between green and yellow.

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Sound Design

  • Think of the piece as a whole and find ways to draw out the themes through use of voice and sound effects
  • Layering sounds can help create a more dimensional space than just having vocals.  Pay attention to sound effects that are happening in the background or while your character is talking.

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Uploading to Canvas

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