Voices in One Room
An animated representative of what goes on when this trope's in play.
A method of recording voices where all (or most) of the actors are in the same room and essentially record their dialogue together.
, animation is typically completed before
the voice work is done, with all the actors in the studio at once. This cuts down on production time, and also allows actors to play off each other's performances as well as see how the actual character looks while the dialogue is spoken.
Traditionally for Western cartoons the animation is done after
all the voice work (this technique is known as "pre-lay"), and the animator's job is to match the actor's performance. This can lead to higher animation qualitynote
. However, due to the nature of the voiceover industry in North America—a combination of professional full-time VA's and other types of actors doing voice acting on the side—sometimes performers cannot be gathered together for a single group recording session because of scheduling conflicts. How much this affects the final product really depends on the production and the competency of the actors, directors, and sound engineers.
Voices In One Room notably does NOT occur with dubs of foreign material, except in rare circumstances. This is because Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR or "post-sync"), the standard dubbing method, is technically very complicated; having multiple actors in a room for ADR would make the process take far longer than just recording one actor at a time. Given the insanely low profit margin for dubbed material, it is necessary to do the work as quickly as possible. The lack of this trope, however, is one of the main complaints of those who find ADR sounding "wooden".
- As mentioned above, this is standard for ALL anime recording in Japan. However, Japan uses a different style of recording than many other countries. Anime uses what is known as "three microphone" or the "step-up mic", where there are three microphones set in front of a screen showing the cartoon. The actors go through the episode scene by scene and "step-up" to the microphone when it's time for their lines. This technique has its roots in pre-WWII American radio shows.
- The staff of Code Geass made a comic detailing the process, discussing the actors' (represented by their respective characters) particular quirks, like Takahiro Sakurai wearing a beret to get "psyched up" for his reads and the male actors teasing Ami Koshimizu about how thin her thighs are.
- This was averted in the Cloverway English dub of Sailor Moon. Incidentally, Sara Lafleur and Barbera Radeki (who played "Amara" and "Michelle", respectively, partners in a bowdlerized relationship), always recorded together.
- A rare English dub example occurs in the 1996 recording of the Oh My Goddess! OAV. In two separate scenes, the actors for Keiichi and Belldandy recorded together. The director did this for a couple of reasons: 1) the script called for the characters to talk over each other and he didn't have the technology to do it in post; 2) the actors were engaged at the time and he wanted to take advantage of their obvious chemistry.
- Some of Disney's English dubs of Studio Ghibli films will do this. In their dub of My Neighbor Totoro, Dakota and Elle Fanning recorded together. And in Whisper of the Heart, Brittany Snow (Shizuku) and Ashley Tisdale (Yuko) recorded their song together.
- The pictured example comes from Kirby of the Stars, which had an episode that parodied how anime gets made. The image in question comes in a scene near the end of the episode, where a bunch of the cast get into one room with and try to voice a crudely drawn anime casting Dedede as the hero, which leads to people shoving each other out of the way to voice their lines while other people in the same room talk about how dumb the writing is.
- A Cutaway Gag in Haiyore! Nyarko-san shows Nyarko and Mahiro as Animated Actors performing in this fashion (and Mahiro throwing his copy of the script at Nyarko's head as punishment for her repeatedly invoking Ending Tropes).
- Being an anime about making anime, Shirobako demonstrates how its done in several episodes, including variations like a large group doing background voices for a crowd.
- Being a series about anime voice actors, Sore ga Seiyuu! has this a lot. Episode 1 involves a traditional anime voice acting, while in episode 7, Futaba tries her hand on dubbing a foreign movie—apparently ADR is not necessarily used in Japanese dubbing of foreign films.
- Animated films in America are often NOT recorded with all voices in the same room due to Hollywood's increasing tendency of relying on popular film stars to fill major voice roles. Due to these actors' schedules, they usually record separately from the minor actors (usually full-time VAs who often DO record together). But even then there can be aversions.
- In the second Shrek film, John Cleese and Julie Andrews recorded together. This might have to do with the fact that they're both trained in the English style and could have had difficulty acting alone.
- When they did The Road to El Dorado, Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline asked to perform their dialogue together. The result was a very natural (and very funny) banter.
- This trope and Improv are how the CGI animated film Surf's Up was recorded.
- John Goodman and Billy Crystal recorded most of their dialogue together on Monsters, Inc..
- TMNT had all the turtles voice actors record together.
- Wreck-It Ralph may have been subjected to this trope to allow for natural sounding Improv from the leads.
- When recording dialogue for the emotional scenes in Frozen, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel recorded their lines as Anna and Elsa respectively in the same room. Examples include "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)" and much of the scene when Anna is in Elsa's ice castle.
- Some of the Shark Tale voice actors recorded their lines via this trope, such as Will Smith and Jack Black, and Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.
- The movie Summer Wars rather large cast was record in one room in both the original release and and English redub.
- This is The BBC's preferred method for producing radio drama, although the "room" is sometimes replaced by a location, as with the 1990s production of Bleak House, recorded at a castle in Kent.
- The English version of Snatcher had actors that recorded with each other. This combined with the use of actual professional voice actors made for a result way better than what most games had at the time.
- While most of the voice actors in the English dub of Kid Icarus: Uprising recorded their lines separately, Pit and Palutena's voice actors, Antony Del Rio and Ali Hillis respectively, recorded many of their lines together.
- Sailor Moon Abridged, uniquely for Abridged Series, is recorded with all the players in one room. It becomes obvious in the outtakes when things get changed at the last minute, lots of Throw It In and one of the actors being forced to leave the room because he couldn't stop laughing and ruining the takenote .
- Like with Japan, this is standard for many Western animated TV shows, except that in America, 90% of the dialogue is laid down before a single frame is ever animated (hence the term "pre-lay"). It would be far easier to list instances where this style is partially or entirely averted.
- This is the standard procedure for any show in the DCAU, and appears to be voice director Andrea Romano's preferred style.
- At times Mark Hamill would just accidentally mess up the session by making everyone laugh while doing the Joker voice. How? Because he didn't sit down and read the lines, he actually stood up and performed the actions. At times, the artists would then base Joker's movements during lines directly off of what Hamill was doing. The reason this worked is because this is the guy who played Luke Skywalker, who can overact like no other ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! IT'S NOT POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!"), which fit the Joker.
- In one famous example, the episode "The Man Who Killed Batman" has Joker conduct a "funeral" for Bats, complete with Harley playing "Amazing Freaking Grace"... on the kazoo. They could only do this in one take because Arleen Sorkin actually did play "Amazing Grace" on a kazoo and afterwards everyone was laughing too hard to continue.
- In an interview for Batman: Arkham Asylum, Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman) mentions that this is how most of the WB's animated shows are produced. By comparison, trying to give a comparable performance alone in a recording booth is much harder.
- For the Sonic SatAM cartoon series, a variation was used: Most of the cast (which was largely composed of veteran full-time voice actors) acted in the same room, with the sole exception of Jaleel White, the voice of Sonic. While this made it hard to play off of the rest of the cast, he also had more takes to work with. This was especially true for Adventures and Underground, because those two shows did their recording in Canada, while Jaleel was in Los Angeles.
- Matt Groening prefers his shows do this whenever possible. The principal actors on The Simpsons record together, and oftentimes the actors on Futurama will as well.
- Done in production of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, as well as most other shows Craig McCracken is involved with.
- Also done in The Powerpuff Girls. Tara Strong (voice of Bubbles) has said in interviews that the outtakes from that show were so insane that if they were ever leaked, she and E.G. Daily (voice of Buttercup) would be in a lot of trouble.
- Notorious on The Angry Beavers, leading to a general conversational feel to the show, as well as tons and tons of very obvious Throw It In.
- Thunder Cats had the cast recording in the same room, leading to some amusing bloopers (with many expletives).
- The original Transformers cartoon was recorded like this, and according to the voice actors this led to many amusing antics inside the recording studio — Frank Welker and Michael Bell were apparently notorious for encouraging the voice actors to misbehave.
- Recess did this whenever it was possible.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a partial aversion. Principal voice recording takes place in Vancouver. Unfortunately, Tara Strong (voice of main character Twilight Sparkle) lives in LA. To get around this, the other cast members all record together, with Tabitha St. Germain performing Twilight on a scratch track. Tara then records over the scratch track later.
- This arrangement was itself averted in the recording of episode 3 ("The Ticket Master"). Tara went up to Vancouver to record with the rest of the cast.
- Many shows produced by Loren Bouchard: Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Home Movies, Bob's Burgers. The actors are generally encouraged to improvise.
- Adventure Time.
- Subverted with Rugrats. While the cast does record in a group, they usually record in two separate groups - the Rugrats themselves and the adult characters. Tara Strong recorded her lines for Dil separately. As most of his lines are either crying or speaking gibberish, she recorded separately because the "dialogue" she had to record for Dil could get irritating after a while.
- The Beetlejuice cartoon mostly averted this trope, according to an interview with Stephen Ouimette (the voice of the title character). He and Alyson Court, who voiced Lydia, would record their lines together, just the two of them, and the rest of the cast would be recorded and added afterward.