A fandub (not to be confused with a fansub) is a fan-made dub or redub of a production, typically completely altering dialogues, story plots and personalities of protagonists in a funny way (frequently referred to as “fundub”). The quality of these fandubs range in production value; from low-end poor microphone quality, no sound effects, and amateur actors, to professional voice actors donating their time and energy with professional sound equipment and sound effects. Fans use copyrighted material and heavily modify the original content to create a new version of material. Fandubbing, except redubbing, is most commonly done with Japanese animation.
Copyright implications for fandubs are very similar to fansubs except the difference of scale (see Fansub for a detailed explanation of the legal and ethical issues with this type of distribution).
Radio Plays/Audio Dramas
Often, the need to rely on visual imagery is unnecessary. In the amateur voice acting world, this results in an audio drama. These productions require a little extra work by the producer to ensure that the story is properly conveyed, without confusing the audience. Without the benefit of visuals, the producer must use creative thinking to properly create the scene and atmosphere of his or her story.
Of key importance in this process is ambiance. The presence of just enough sound effects to accurately suggest the action without becoming slaves to pure realism. Producers of these audio dramas often take lessons from the works of the past, such as The Shadow. The proper usage of sound effects and music can make or break the quality of the production.
Radio plays/Audio dramas also require a fair bit of attention and time to mix. There is a good deal of tweaking that must be done. Often, making certain that volume levels of sound effects and music can take longer than the actual recording of the lines themselves. The advantage, however, is that there is more freedom to make changes "on the fly", by using software that allows for multi-track mixing.
Fandubs and radioplays do not require state-of-the-art technology to produce. A simple, inexpensive vocal microphone and a PC with some type of recording software are all that is needed. The quality of work that one outputs is dramatically increased by purchasing a higher-end microphone with a PC adapter, adding a mixer board, and some professional software.
At first, Windows Sound Recorder was the recording program of widest use for amateur voice acting. However, programs such as Goldwave, Audacity, and Cool Edit have come into popular usage. Goldwave and Cool Edit (now known as Adobe Audition), are both pay-per-license software, much like any other that would be sold over the counter. Audacity, is released under the GNU General Public License and is free for use. Key features of these products are: multi-track mixing, filters (echo), video to sound prototyping, noise reduction, and removal of vocal tracks (for BGM purposes).
Fandubs require a quality video editing software. Being fans and not professionals, such software goes beyond the normal operating budget of a fandub team (that budget being $0). VirtualDub is an inexpensive solution (and in wide use in the AVA community). VirtualDub is, like Audacity, released under the GNU General Public License and is open-source software. However it is generally recommended that multi-track editing software be used so that the balance between sound effects,, BGM and voices can be maintained. Generally free software or software bundled in other OS are used such as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie,though some dedicated fan dubbers do pay out for commercial software.
Amateur voice acting began simultaneously and independently from each other in a small number of developed countries. One of the first recorded projects, dating from 1994, is "Sinnlos im Weltraum" ("Senseless in Space"), a German redub of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The recordings were distributed on VHS, and copies were circulating only among a smaller group of people due to the technical limitations of the media. With digitalisation, starting in 1998, the fandub gained enormous popularity among the German audience.
However, the first commonly noticed fandub can be regarded as Mark Sprague's Sailor Moon S 1997 video fandub, receiving international publicity on the Sailor Moon News Group. Mark's fandub prompted many others to produce similar productions of their favorite shows. However, due to equipment and modem limitation, many fandubs rarely made it past the audition phase, and the ones that do only last a few episodes before production is halted for a variety of reasons.
As a quick fix and inspired from the idea of anime audio drama CDs, the idea of a radio play was introduced. The radio play partially solved many issues fans had -- now, with basic equipment and a nice story or script, they could create their own "series" without the time consuming task of animating frame-by-frame. Many fans flocked to the Anime Web Turnpike, which eventually formed a Fandub/Radio Play category.