My name is michael maroussas and I am a supervising dialogue and adr editor working in london.
I use crowd ‘walla’, recorded with groups of actors in studios or on location, to enrich the soundtracks of films.
New voice cloning technology is introducing an additional way of creating walla.
Respeecher enables you to convert your own voice recordings into a wide variety of other voices – male, female, old and young (or even animals, but that’s another story…). This means it is now possible to create individual or group walla solely using your own voice. Check out their website at www.respeecher.com for a full and detailed explanation and demos. As you’ll learn, the only limit is your own ability in front of the mic!
Respeecher also works in multiple languages, which has inspired me to try and gather a community of ‘voice creators’ from all around the world to crowdsource a library of all kinds of different walla for us all to use in whatever film or media projects we may work on: A Bank of Walla!
For this to be of interest to you, I’m imagining that you’ll be, like me, a film or tv dialogue / adr editor who needs walla in lots of different – sometimes obscure – languages. On the whole, this is supplied by actors in studio sessions or at exterior location shoots. This doesn’t replace that tradition. Exterior shoots in particular (which have become even more commonplace since Covid) are unbeatable for providing real ‘worldized’ walla. However, Respeecher does give us dialogue editors another tool in our arsenal in the pursuit of creating the richest crowd detail possible for the films we work on.
One of those tools in our arsenal is our own voice. In my experience, a lot of dialogue editors are quite comfortable performing walla themselves – often simply from having seen it done so many times and by knowing what does and doesn’t work. Many of us already use our own voices occasionally in films to cover less prominent or temp walla or breaths that don’t justify a dedicated studio session. Respeecher provides us with an exciting opportunity to take those personal contributions to another level.
This is day one for me in setting this collective up; I’ll develop and add to this website drastically over the coming months as I work out the format in all it’s detail. But my starting point is to reach out to and start a Slack group with as many people all around the world as possible who might be interested in creating ‘walla’ for a crowdsourced collection. If so, please reach out to me on the Contact page to join in the discussion.