Asbjoern Andersen


This is Part 2 of a guest blog post by sound designer Mark Camperell, Founder & Creative Director at Empty Sea Audio and its sister company, The Library by Empty Sea:

In Part 1, Mark shared his tips on how to come up with ideas for your new library, and finding great material to record. In this second part, he takes a look at post processing your sounds, and the things you have to consider when pricing your work:

 

Post process

Just as daunting as the recording process is the post process.

Most often times, this takes longer than the actual recording time. My go to steps are as follows:

1: Group related sounds on their own track. This will make your editing, processing and naming much easier from the start.

2: Listen to your raw material and reject any sound that doesn’t fit or doesn’t meet with your standards. You have to put on your customer hat. If you don’t like it, chances are someone else won’t like it either.

3: Your sounds should be cleaned from any pops, clicks and mic bumps. Top and tail your files to the first and last modulation so that you’re keeping file size to a minimum. If you tout the physical size of your collections when you advertise, your customers will thank you for not charging them for extraneous megabytes of silence.

If you need to improve your signal to noise ratio, do it in a way that’s transparent and that won’t detract from your recording.

EQ to taste to accentuate the interesting parts of the sound. Compress if needed to beef up a sound. Don’t brick the stuff, leave that to your customer. Some of us like to have dynamic range to play with when we design! Master your files so that categories of sounds are playing back at a similar perceived loudness and timbre. I try to have sounds playback at a level that makes sense for what it is. Foley gear doesn’t need to be mastered to -1db seeing as it’s usually going to be playing back well below that. Tire squeals on the other hand could be mastered to -1db no problem.

4: Name your files in a way that makes sense and makes it easy to search/sort.
I personally use a “collection_object_action_#” method. There are a million ways to name and organize your files. Pick one that works for your collection that you are comfortable with.

5: Finally… metadata. If you don’t know what metadata is, you should take the time to do some research. There are a lot of great articles out there about metadata. I suggest those written by Tim Prebble.

Most sound designers HATE when a library they just spent good money on doesn’t come with embedded metadata.

Metadata is quite powerful and it makes the library experience so much more enjoyable when the embedded metadata is well grounded.

Most sound designers HATE when a library they just spent good money on doesn’t come with embedded metadata.

It makes the investment harder to use because you end up spending so much time figuring out what each sound is and categorizing it yourself. Without naming naming names, there are some notable offenders out there that do not include this stuff. While they have great sounds, I find myself using them less and less because they’re less efficient to search.
 

Sell, sell, sell

I get a lot of questions about how I come up with a price for an individual collection.

Without getting too much into economics and supply & demand, this section should help you price your products.

Usually what I do is start by looking at comparable products that are available. This gives me a good baseline. Next, I look at my obvious costs. Did I have to pay for access to the item? Did I have to rent or purchase any specific gear for this collection? These are things that should be built into the price.

You should take into account the uniqueness of the collection also. If you were able to get access to something quite rare, then the price should reflect the scarcity of the item that you are recording.

The other thing to factor in is how much time you spent on the collection.
All-in if you spent 40 hours on it, price the collection so that 5 or 6 sales cover your 40 hours.

Make the lean times less lean by creating a passive income stream.

You don’t want to have to sell 300 copies just to make your rate on the time you put in.
My goal with selling sound effects packs is to make the lean times less lean by creating a passive income stream.

The quicker you can break even on a collection, the quicker you start realizing the benefits of passive income.

There are some costs associated with selling your packs beyond just the time you spend and gear required.

You have to have a web shop set up to sell the stuff so there could be web/graphic design fees. Hosting costs money. You’ll need to set up a merchant account so you can address issues like accepting credit cards, Paypal, worldwide currency among other concerns. A merchant account will take a small percentage on every transaction, price accordingly.

Additional things to think about… Your website may be hosted on servers located in Colorado or Texas. Your customer might be in the Czech Republic. To ensure reliable transfers for large files and fast rates of data transfer, you might want to consider placing your product with a worldwide storage service. Your product will be securely stored on redundant servers around the world and they will use the most efficient one for transfer to your customer.

You’ll pay a few bucks a month to store and a few bucks per transfer for a service like this, but I assure you that your customers will be thankful that your 3GB collection of sounds won’t take three days to download.

In the end, you aren’t really selling sound effects. You’re selling a license to use your sound effects.

I would encourage you to talk to an attorney or use a legal service like Legal Zoom for getting an End User License Agreement for your sound packs. You want to protect yourself and your intellectual property from those that are looking to take advantage.

Among other things, your EULA should be clear in how your customer is allowed to use the sounds that are purchased.

It should also be clear as to how many customers are allowed to use the collection per purchase. You really should have two license agreements. One for single user and one for multiple users.
 

Conclusion

Don’t expect to pull in thousands of dollars immediately with your first sound pack, especially if you are currently toiling in relative obscurity. Ben Burtt could probably rake it in with his very first pack, you probably will not.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!

It may take a few collections before you start seeing profits. If you use your collections as a way to fill holes in your schedule you’ll start to have more and more offerings.

Having a diverse portfolio of products gives you more credibility. If your products are high quality and contain unique sounds people will start to notice.

Try giving away a few free copies to trusted friends, colleagues or people whose work you admire. They’ll use your sounds on projects and your stuff will be heard. Their colleagues might take notice and inquire where the sounds came from.

Word of mouth is very powerful. The more people that are familiar with your product, the more apt you are to sell it or other products. You never know who is looking for exactly what you are selling.

This could be a chance for you to try new things you haven’t tried before. You could use it as a personal showcase for your abilities beyond the usual projects you encounter. Maybe you’ve been pigeon holed into weapons or vehicles on your last three jobs.

Releasing a sound pack could give you a chance to show what you can do with creatures or environments.

Remember, make it something you’d want to purchase yourself. And, most of all have fun with it! No one tells us to “SHHHHHHH” so why not get out there and make some noise?

 

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About Mark Camperell:

Mark Camperell is the Founder & Creative Director at Empty Sea Audio and its sister company,
The Library by Empty Sea. Mark’s direction, along with his ability to assemble uniquely talented audio teams, is positioning Empty Sea as a leader in creative audio services ranging from sound effects libraries to original music composition to full service post audio packages. In addition to his position at Empty Sea, Mark is also a freelance Supervising Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer and Music Producer with over 100 titles under his belt. Mark is an active member of the Motion Picture Sound Editors and Motion Picture Editors Guild.

The Library by Empty Sea:

  • Drones & Moods Dronos Play Track 154 sounds included, 154 mins total $25 $20

    Brand New Sci-Fi Ambiences from The Library by Empty Sea. 6+ GB, 150+ sounds, almost 3 hours of material, all 96k, all looped for easy use.

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  • Foley Gateway – Part 1, 2 & 3 Play Track 600-3200+ sounds included From: $25 From: $20

    Tired of those same old door knobs and hinge squeaks that you hear in every single game, film and TV show? Well, Gateway aims to remedy that issue while providing you with a brand new palette of sounds.

    Gateway comes packed with doors, doors and more doors! Low end, high end, slow horror creaks and squeaks, huge slams and impacts, tiny compartment doors.

    The Gateway family now includes the just-released Gateway Part 3, with more than 1400 new sounds.

    Doors, gates, overhead rollups, cabinets, closets, drawers, garage doors, fireplaces, sheds, you name it!

    Latches and knobs, wrought iron and chain link! Metal, wood, glass and MORE! All of these doors were acoustically captured in the real world. You won’t find anything synthesized here!

    Did we mention doors? Yeah, Gateway has those too.

    Gateway Part 1 features 675 files, 1200+ sounds

    Gateway Part 2 features 365 files, 600+ sounds

    Gateway Part 3 features 772 files, 1400+ sounds

    The Gateway 1-3 Bundle features 1812 files, 3200+ sounds

    Special offer:Do you already have Gateway Part 1 or 2? Send a message here for a special upgrade offer for part 3.

    Choose your preferred version below – or land some great savings by getting all three in one handy package!

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  • Mechanical Robobiotics Play Track 3600+ sounds included $120 $90

    Robobiotics is an exciting new sound effects collection from The Library by Empty Sea. It delivers 3600+ original sound effects for scifi and robots. We’re talking about almost 3 hours of material here.

    We spent over a year recording and designing Lasers, Robot Vox, Impacts, Servos, Ratcheting Metal, Ambiances, Transformations, Foley, Vehicle Bys and much much more!

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  • Animals & Creatures Sea Monsters Play Track 4000 sounds included $65 $50

    Sea Monsters from The Library by Empty Sea is a collection containing over 4000 sound effects for creature vocals. This collection weighs in at a whopping 9GB!

    A must-have for any sound designer looking to level up on creature sound design.

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  • User Interface (UI) Ui One Play Track 1400 sounds included $35 $27

    This collection contains over 1400 original sound effects for user interfaces, telemetry, gadgetry and more.

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  • Retro 8 Bit Sounds is a perfect collection of 1001 retro game sound effects. Whether you are making a 2D platformer, space shooter on any type of retro 8 bit themed project, these sounds will be very useful.

    ALL sounds from Retro 8 Bit Sounds are already included in our complete sound package Pro Sound Collection, so if you need more sounds be sure to check it out before purchasing.

    Add to cart
  • Destruction & Impact Fireworks (KB) Play Track 211 sounds included, 27 mins total $60 $30

    Fireworks frankly are a difficult thing to record due to a mixture of legal restrictions, location, and price. This little collection are all sorts of novelty and aerial fireworks shot in a very remote desert with no birds, bugs, cars or anything of the sort, recorded at 192 with a spaces pair of Sanken CO100k microphones in close proximity for pitch and speed manipulation.

    No microphones were hurt in the making of this library

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  • Materials & Texture Explainer Video Sound Kit Play Track 1222 sounds included, 120 mins total $96 $59

    Skip all the hassle and wasted time trying to find the right sounds. Explainer Video Sound Kit has everything you need to create dynamic sound tracks for video ads, commercials, animations, marketing and explainer videos. Importantly, it’s all royalty-free and an unbeatable time saving value.

    As you know, creators of motion graphics, animations and explainer videos struggle mightily with finding the right sound effects for their projects. Sadly, wasting lots of time and energy. That’s why we created the Explainer Video Sound Kit. It’s an all-in-one power pack that gets your project done fast. 1200 designed sounds, cinematic elements, transitions, Foley, natural and organic sounds and a sweet selection of background music all ready to go.

    Instantly take your production to a new level of engaging sound. Create compelling audio/video experiences easier than ever. Save time and level up your audio skills like a pro with the Explainer Video sound library!

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Whooshes liftFX Play Track 275+ sounds included $89 $71.20

    AWE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH RISERS, BUILD-UPS, DROPS AND MORE.
    Risers, build-ups, drops, breaks, downlifters, swells, sweeps, falls – it has never been so easy to hype your audience. Forget samples, just turn the knob or let liftFX even do that for you, automatically, in beat sync at the length you need it to be.

    KEY FEATURES:

    • Playable in real-time with instant auditive and visual feedback
    • Any length, tempo, pitch range and root note possible
    • Tempo sync or time (s) duration
    • Control key parameters independently or automatically (+ reversed)
    • Automation and modwheel (cc1) support for each parameter
    • 275 nifty presets included
    • Optional time lock and control lock to try different presets with current setting
    • High cut and low cut filters, reverb and delay
    • Lightweight plug-in, as it relies on synthesis
    USE CASES:

    • Build captivating uplifters, downlifters, drops, rhythmic, percussive builds and more effects out of the box
    • Any electronic genre such as EDM, Trap, Dubstep, Pop, Hip Hop, Drum’n’Bass, House, Techno, and more
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    • Beef up your synthesizers with tonal layers or harmonic overtones to achieve a fat, rich sound
    • liftFX requires a free iLok account (click to learn more)
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  • Sci-Fi Sci-Fi Interface Data Processing Sounds Play Track 170 sounds included, 11 mins total $22

    With DATA sound library Sound Response brings you high quality collection of meticulously designed data processing and readout sci-fi sound effects!

    If you’re looking for those futuristic-sounding, hi-tech processing interface sound effects, and the sounds of sci-fi computer readouts, calculations, sensors and scanning sound effects, this soundpack will provide you with diverse arsenal of various high tech data processing sound effects to suit your needs. With DATA sound library at your disposal you’ll have the right audio tool to create that sophisticated, futuristic, sci-fi sound for your game, movie, trailer, video, or any other project that you’re working on!

    DATA soundpack contains 403MB (170 sound effects) of high definition 24bit/96khz Stereo WAV files, embedded with metadata to speed up your workflow.

  • Horror Spooky Halloween Audio Bundle Play Track 170 sounds included, 107 mins total $249.99 $199.99

    Scare and Entertain your audience with this hugeDISCOUNTED BUNDLE of cutting edge horror sounds and haunting Halloween music , expertly recorded, designed, composed, mixed, and mastered to immerse your audience in a spooky cinematic experience the likes of which they will never forget! 

    Includes over 50 exceptionally eerie music tracks andhundreds of sound effects, all together coveringnearly 2 hours of highest quality scary audio, inspired by Hollywood Halloween classics such as “Monster House”, “Halloween”, “Goosebumps”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Corpse Bride”, “Casper”, “Adams Family” and the darkest of Disney fairy-tails including “Hocus Pocus”, “Maleficent”, “Into the Woods”, “The Haunted Mansion”, “Tower of Terror” and many more!

    No matter what you're on working on, whether it's a horror video-game, a creepy cartoon, a spooky app for children, or even a huge Halloween party, this ghostly gathering of ready-to-use sound effects is guaranteed to send a shiver through your project!

    Need to go even darker? You'll love the Gore sounds and Creepy music tracks we've included, such as those you may heard in classic and modern horror such as Resident Evil, SAW, The Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    MUSIC: FOREGROUND AND BACKGROUND
    ——————————————————————
    Whether you need to shock your audience with sudden stings, awe them with memorable themes, or introduce some subtle spookiness into your project with unobtrusive background loops, everything you need is here!

    SOUND EFFECTS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED
    ——————————————————————
    Whether you’re looking for creepy CHARACTER VOICES such as GHOSTS, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES and SCREAMS, intense ACTION SOUNDS including BUBBLING CAULDRONS, CREAKY DOORS, KNIFE ATTACKS and GORE SPLATTERS, EVIL LAUGHTER or spooky AMBIENCES like HOWLING WINDS, CREEPY CLOCKS and CHURCH BELLS, you're sure to be spooked by the huge range of sounds to be found inside!

    MUSIC: ENDLESS OPTIONS
    —————————————–
    With moods ranging from WHIMSICAL to TERRIFYING, plus MULTIPLE INTENSITY LEVELS, LOOPING and NON-LOOPING versions, and LENGTH VARIANTS, whatever the situation – we've got you covered!

    SOUND EFFECTS: BETTER THAN CANDY
    ————————————————————–
    Immerse yourself in over 500 audio files of expertly designed sounds, supplied in high-quality MP3 + SD and HD WAV formats, meticulously labelled for effortless searching. Each and every audio file in this phantasmal collection has been expertly mixed and mastered to fit into ANY audio environment – just drag, drop, and let the spooky festivities commence!

    MUSIC: WHENEVER, WHEREVER
    ————————————————-
    Each track has been meticulously designed to fit seamlessly into any project, including LIVE EVENTS, CARTOONS/ANIMATIONS, GAMES, APPS, EDUCATION, FILMS, YOUTUBE VIDEOS, HALLOWEEN PARTIES, and more!

    SOUND EFFECTS: STILL HERE? ACCEPT OUR GIFT!
    ——————————————————————————
    With FREE UPDATES, FOREVER! and 35 FREE BONUS SOUNDS from our Best Sellers: Zombie Voices and Blood, Guts & Gore, there’s no better time to scare your audience with this ONE OF A KIND spooky sound pack!

    Hurry! Buy now to prepare the perfect paranormal project in time for next Halloween!

    PERFECT FOR:

    • Video Games
    • Slot Games
    • Film / Animation
    • Ads / Trailers
    • YouTube videos
    • Live Events
    • Sound Design

    …and all other audio-visual productions

    KEY FEATURES: 

    • Huge variety of cutting edge music and sound effects for every spooky scene or situation.
    • Multiple variants and intensities for your convenience and additional edit options (lengths, looping versions and more)
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labelling or splicing.
    • Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • All SFX files are included in Hi-Rez WAV, High-Quality WAV and MP3 formats
    • All music files are included in High-Quality WAV and MP3 formats
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

    TECHNICAL DETAILS:

    • 510 Sound Effect Files (170 original sounds)
    • 110 Music Files (55 original music tracks)
    • WAV Format: 24 Bit/96 kHz and 16 Bit/44.1 kHz
    • MP3 Format: 320 Kbps
    • Unpacked Size: 1.35 GB
    • Total Run Time: 1h 47m 26s

    INCLUDED PRODUCTS IN THIS BUNDLE:

    • Spooky Halloween Sound Effects Library
    • Spooky Halloween Music Library
    • BONUS #1, Selection from Gore Sounds
    • BONUS #2, Selection from Zombie Voices

    Thank you for your purchase!

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  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Cartoon Monsters Play Track 2131 sounds included, 165 mins total $99.99 $74.99

    Delight your users with your very own collection of funny, cute, and silly creature voices to bring all of your characters to life and keep your audience captivated! From big scary monsters to small loveable creatures, from screams and dying to laughing and crying, common interjections like “yes,” “no,” “what,” and even gibberish in fictional languages, CARTOON MONSTERS is the perfect choice to animate the playfulness of any creature your project will ever need!

    If you’re looking for hilarious vocal sounds for spooky ghosts, cute aliens, adorable zombies and more, look no further than this massive library of over 2,130 original high quality samples to give the silly characters in your project unforgettable charm and zest.

    CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

    Top animation studios know that exceptional voice acting is key to building strong emotional bonds between audience and characters. That’s why CARTOON MONSTERS relies on professional voice actors to bring dynamic personality to any character in your project, creating lasting impressions your audience will not forget.

    ANY PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER DESIGN

    Whether you need evil spooky villains or pure of heart angels, strong and dominant leaders or weak and cowardly servants, smart and curious observers or stupid and blundering idiots, CARTOON MONSTERS is packed with personalities of all shapes and sizes, with character designs that include giants, Martians, gremlins, mutants, and many more.

    ENDLESS EMOTIONS AND EXPRESSIONS

    This incredibly rich vocal sound library offers every emotion, whether it’s happy, sad, surprised, scared, or angry, while also providing situations like eating, sleeping, attacking, being hit, or even dying. What’s more, included are pitches ranging from squeaky highs to resonant lows with endless forms of expression, like spoken interjections, roars, cries, laughs, and even burps.

    PERFECT FOR:

    • Video Games
    • Slot Games
    • Film / Animation
    • Ads / Trailers
    • YouTube Videos
    • Live Events
    • Sound Design
    • Music Production

    …and all other audio-visual productions

    KEY FEATURES:

    • Huge variety of grunts, shouts, screams, yells, spoken interjections, roars, cries, laughs, and even burps
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labelling or splicing. Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • FREE BONUS – numerous high-quality voice samples from our Halloween Sound Pack
    • All files are included in Hi-Rez WAV, SD WAV and HQ MP3 formats
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

    TECHNICAL DETAILS:

    • 6,393 Audio Files (2,131 original sounds)
    • WAV Format: 24 Bit, 96 kHz, 24 Bit, 48 kHz and 16 Bit, 44.1 kHz
    • MP3 Format: 320 Kbps
    • Unpacked Size: 1.56 GB
    • Total Run Time: 2h 45m 29s

    Thank you for your purchase!

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  • Horror Supernatural Ghosts Play Track 262 sounds included, 62 mins total $40

    Supernatural Ghosts provides the sounds of spirits in multiple variations, allowing you to construct entire horror scenes and suggest ghostly presence. To bring you this horrifying library, we recorded and designed human voices, abstract instruments such as the waterphone, thunder tube, harmonica all in 24Bit 96kHz allowing for further manipulation.

    All of the human voices are provided with dry variations to enable you to apply your own effects to taste.

    Here are the included folders:

    Ghostly Breaths: This folder consists of male and female inhales, exhales and angry breaths all with a cold and ghostly performance.

    Ghostly Voices: A collection of phrases by male and female ghosts, perfect for giving a voice to a supernatural being within your scene.

    Ghostly Presence: This category contains haunting ambiances, sure to leave your audience with their neck hairs standing up.

    Production Elements: piercing risers, booming cinematic impacts, ultrasonic and infrasonic sounds, perfect for accenting your most gruesome moments.

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