Asbjoern Andersen


When it comes to sound projects, sometimes the hardest part is getting the price right: You’ll want to find that sweet spot where your sound pricing allows your business to thrive and grow – while keeping it fair, competitive and transparent for your customers too.

So how do you do it? I’d noticed Kate Finan from Boom Box Post doing some great writing on the business side of sound, so I decided to hear if she had any insights on how to get pricing right. And she did indeed:

Here are Kate Finan’s 7 steps to setting the right price for sound work – including planning, rates & the initial bid + four clever alternatives to just giving a discount. Hope you find it useful!

Few people would truly describe themselves as a level-headed business person and innovative creative mind. It’s difficult to wear both hats well. As sound designers, we pride ourselves in approaching design challenges from new and exciting angles and using our creativity to elevate projects from ordinary to spectacular. We don’t generally relish wearing the business hat. Yet, most of us would still like to get paid.

That’s the crux–how do you set a price for something you love to do? The answer is: quite simply. Follow these seven steps, and you’ll find out how.
 

Step 1: Establish the services necessary for the project.

As a freelance sound designer, you will often be approached to give a “sound package.” This can include any combination of the following services:

• sound supervision (spotting, previewing, fixes, mix supervision, client correspondence)
• dialogue editorial
• sound effects design and editorial
• foley
• re-recording mix
• deliverables

Inquire as to which services they would like. Often the client will not know what they need. In that case, it is your job to either watch an early cut of the project and advise, or decide based on a verbal description of the project. A basic package for any film should include most or all of the above items.

Someone has to do all of the above jobs, the only question is: are you that person?

Don’t let the clients talk you into cutting out dialogue editorial if no one else has been hired to tackle that. Someone has to do all of the above jobs, the only question is: are you that person?

Being able to provide a list of all services you will provide rather that just giving a price for the “sound package” gives you to opportunity to express to your clients exactly how much they are getting for their money. It educates them on what goes into the process. It is also the only way that you can make an exact calculation of how much it will cost you to take the work.
 

Step 2: Decide how many hours/days of each service will be necessary.

As stated above, in order to produce a professional final product, you will need to provide most or all of the above services. If a potential client comes to you with a very low price in mind, do not negotiate by cutting services entirely. As mentioned above, someone needs to provide all of those services, so you’ll likely end up providing them for free in that case.

However, you should evaluate each project based on the length, scope, and overall budget, and then assign appropriate time for each service accordingly. For example, a two-minute student animated comedy short will require vastly different amounts of time spent on each service than a 90-minute live action World War II major studio feature film. Before bidding on a project, always ask these questions:

• What is the total run time of the project?
• What is your ideal turn around time for the project?
• What genre is it?
• Is it action-heavy or dialogue-heavy?
• What is your expected distribution? Internet, theatrical, Netflix?

Use their answers to inform your idea of the overall budget and scope of the project.
 

Step 3: Set a rate for yourself.

Here is the toughest part of the equation for most creatives: how do you set your own rate? You don’t want to come in too low and feel undervalued, but you also don’t want to come in too high and lose the bid. However, setting your rate is actually surprisingly simple. I suggest looking up the union rates for sound professionals in your country or area.

For the United States, you can find that information here.

Now, ask yourself truthfully: on a scale of talent and experience, where do I lie between complete novice and that person?

Then, assume that those rates are for the most qualified industry professionals working at a major motion picture studio on relatively high-budget projects. Now, ask yourself truthfully: on a scale of talent and experience, where do I lie between complete novice and that person? Hopefully, this will keep you from accepting jobs which pay nothing merely for the experience long after you know what you’re doing. It should also keep you from charging an exorbitant rate and constantly disappointing your clientele.

Step 4: Research rates for contractors and vendors.

There will likely be services that you need to outsource depending on the scope of each project. If you hire another freelance professional to provide a service, that person is a contractor. If you rent a facility for a service (such as a stage), that company is a vendor.

Does your film need foley? Then you need to hire a foley walker and mixer as contractors, and rent a foley stage from a vendor. Do you need to rent a large re-recording stage to accomodate the number of clients attending the mix? Do you hate editing dialogue and want to hand that part to someone else? Is the timeline so short that the project requires you to split the sound effects editorial with another person? All answers tell you which rates you will want to research.

For each item you are outsourcing, get several quotes. Inquire about stages and personnel both in your area and outside of it. With the internet, you can send the work anywhere. But, consider that hiring contractors or using vendors in areas without a large amount of sound work will be cheaper, but the people involved very well may be less experienced and need more direction from you.

Consolidate all of these quotes into one document that you save for future bids. You don’t want to have to search through your email each you are creating a new bid.
 

Step 5: Create a bid spreadsheet.

This spreadsheet is for you to keep track of the number of services, time allotted for each, the subsequent cost to you, and percent profit for the project.

Here is a sample spreadsheet that I have created using Google Drive.
sound pricing spreadsheet

Please feel free to open it and save a copy to your personal Google Drive (here it is). On that copy, you can easily enter in your information for days, rate/day, and it will calculate your individual and overall cost of services. Once you have your total cost of services, enter a package price and adjust accordingly to reach your target percent profit.

The key element of this part of the process is to establish your ideal percent profit, then mold the bid to reach it while still maintaining a total package price which seems reasonable to you. Why do you need to make a profit on top of your rate? You need it to cover electricity used, high-speed internet costs, gear, ProTools updates, that extra bedroom or office space you rent. All of these costs of running a business (and, as a freelancer, you are a business!) should be factored into the cost of each project. Once you’ve come to a package price in your spreadsheet, ask yourself: does this number make sense for the level/length of project? If not, chip away at services.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Miniature, get a mini-nature collection of ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear Roosevelt Elk clack antlers and bugle as they fight for the chance to mate. Hear Pacific Wrens joyous chirps as they dance on rotten logs. Hear the massive sparseness of forests filled with 200-300 foot douglas fir and spruce. Hear haunting reverberations as ravens caw in groves of titans and the Hoh River’s soothing wash, the perfect sound to lull you off to peaceful dreams.
    • This library offers you a small collection of both quiet and active nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year, and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Featuring Roosevelt Elk
    • Hear two full grown Roosevelt Elk clacking antlers and bugling!
    • Distant elk trumpeting deep in the forest.
    • Varied ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park
    • Sparse ambiences with minimal wildlife
    • Active ambiences with twittering songbirds
    • One extended 35-minute quiet nature ambience
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:


    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.

    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in Browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
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    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
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    • Included wildlife: Roosevelt Elk, American Crow, Common Raven, Pacific Wren, Brown Creeper, Barred Owl, chipmunks, and various other distant murmuring songbirds
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Quiet Nature, get a peaceful collection of ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear the massive sparseness of one of the last pristine quiet places in the Continental US. Hear the natural cathedrals of sound created by Douglas fir and spruce. Hear wind gusts pluck autumn maple leaves and waft them to rest on forest floors. Hear massive halls of wet wood that envelop and transport you to a long-lost time when giant trees covered millions of acres of the Pacific Northwest.
    • This library offers you a large collection of quiet nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year, and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Sparse ambiences with minimal wildlife
    • Distant twittering songbirds high in the canopy
    • Mornings and afternoons in 300 ft forests
    • Eerie nights in old-growth titans
    • Barred Owl hoots
    • Sporadic drips and light soothing wind
    • One long unbroken natural soundscape. Thirty-five minute of natural silence!
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:

    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.

    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in Browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
    • fauna sparse
    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
    • flora and fauna sparse
    • flora and fauna constant
    • Included wildlife: Barred Owl, Pacific Wren, Hairy Woodpecker, Ruffed Grouse, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, chipmunk, Douglas Squirrel, and ultrasonic insects. Overall, wildlife is very sparse during fall in the Hoh River valley.
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Active Nature, get an expansive collection of active ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear lonely frogs croakings and syncopated drips from moss covered branches. Hear high twittering songbirds’ joyous chirps twittering from canopy perches. Hear the soothing rush of the Hoh River from close and distant perspectives as it divides the valley and flows to the Pacific. Hear the Magical Dripping Tree, a majestic big-leaf maple covered head to toe in fog soaked moss. Hear massive drops from canopy mosses make rich plopping transients, pinging and enlivening the space of the old-growth forest.
    • This library offers you a large collection of active nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Active ambiences with energetic wildlife, canopy moss drips, and close running water
    • Energetic twittering songbirds
    • Distant frogs croaking
    • Lush and lively moss drips from the Magical Dripping Tree
    • Normally, rain would be next to impossible to record rain in the middle of a forest. However, these moss drips enabled me to capture a rich rain-like density of drips when it wasn’t actually raining!
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:
    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
    • fauna sparse
    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
    • flora and fauna sparse
    • flora and fauna constant
    • Included wildlife: Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Belted Kingfisher, ducks, Common Raven, American Crow, Ruffed Grouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, frogs
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • Water & Oceans Pacific Northwest: Storm Waves Play Track 35+ sounds included, 171 mins total $39

    • In Pacific Northwest: Storm Waves, get an expansive collection of storm waves from Rialto Beach, a driftwood filled shoreline of Olympic National Park. Hear massive 25 ft swells breaking and sea foam froth sloshing on rounded pebbles. Hear violent slurping as water is sucked out after each massive wave. Hear wave resonance tuned to perfection by driftwood logs a millennium old. Hear distant storm buoys droning their ominous warning and bats circling with ultrasonic clicks. Hear a coastline gradually eroded by Pacific waves. A place where massive spruce stumps are still rooted in the beach, desperately holding to the earth as the soil is stripped from their roots. Press a contact mic to one of those stumps and hear the heartbeat of the oceanThe vibrations from crashing waves move through rocks and roots to create stunning resonances in the wood!  I hope this library gives you a chance to hear the ocean in a way you haven’t heard it before. Enjoy listening to a large collection of storm waves from one of the most iconic beaches in North America.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Massive 25 ft swells
    • Rocky coastlines and pebble-filled beaches
    • Driftwood resonances
    • Contact microphones on dead spruce stumps rooted in the beach
    • Frothy impacts
    • Roaring bass
    • Storm buoys droning their ominous warning
    • A thirty-minute clip of the slowly approaching tide. This clip is broken into three, ten-minute clips with no fade ins/outs so it can be used in parts or as one long seamless clip!

    TEXT MARKERS:
    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.
    FILE LIST:
    • File List: View in Browser or Download CSV 
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 

    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Aquarian Audio H2a-XLR hydrophone (used as contact mic)
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • Whooshes Tiny Transitions 2 Play Track 320-670 sounds included From: $29.20 From: $21.90

    “Tiny Transitions 2” is the successor to the very popular Tiny Transitions sound effects library.

    If you already knew the first library you know what to expect: even more, even better and more versatile to bring instant sonic support for all kinds of small animations, motion graphics, pass-bys, menues, projectiles and more.

    Re-load your ammo belt with not-so-intrusive production elements that come in very handy for any Sound Designer, All-In-One Film Editor or Web-, App- and Game-Developers.

    All the small motion elements that you need in your everyday work for games, apps, commercial, films or general motion designs.

    You get 350 ready to use designed sounds+ a composite selection of 320 cleaned and edited source soundsthat were used to design the Tiny Transitions. These sounds are mostly different props that are scraping or sliding on different surfaces and also some vocalized whoosh attempts.

    If you don't need the extra source sounds you can grab the “Designed Sounds only” pack.

    All source sounds were recorded with Sonosax SX-R4+ with a Sennheiser MKH8050+MKH30 M/S rig, a Sound Devices MixPre-6 with a MK8060+ATE208 M/S rig and a Sony PCM-D100. All sounds come with embedded Metadata.

    Metadata embedded by “The Audioville – India”

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Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

Step 6: Create a bid for the clients.

Once you have a package price which includes the necessary services and gives you a decent profit margin, you will want to create a professional-looking bid to send to your clients as a .pdf. You can make this is Quickbooks, or there are plenty of templates for invoices in Pages. Just be sure that it is clearly marked as a bid or estimate rather than a bill.

You should include a line item for each service so that they know everything you are proposing to provide. Obviously, you will not list your profit as a line item. So, remember to increase the price of each line item by the percent profit on this document. Think about shopping at a store–the price tag doesn’t tell you the factory direct price at which the store purchased the item. It tells you the price that they need you to pay in order to turn a profit.

Round each number to the closest $50 to keep it looking professional. Don’t worry about getting the total price exactly to the package price. Go ahead and let it come out a little more expensive, then add in a discount. People love discounts!

Save both the spreadsheet from step five and this .pdf bid for your records.

Bonus Expert Advice:
Create spreadsheets and .pdf estimates for common types of projects

If you often receive bid requests for similar projects, it is a great idea to create a standard spreadsheet and .pdf bid for that type of project. That way, if someone cold calls you and asks for an estimate, you can simply ask a few key questions, make easy adjustments to fine tune the services, and send it along. Knowing the minimum you will need to charge in order to break even (or, hopefully, turn a profit) off the top of your head will also allow you to easily separate the projects that will be a frustrating time-suck from the interesting creative endeavors that are worth your time.

 

Step 7: Send the bid to the clients with a professional email and hope for the best!

At this point, you are ready to send your bid to the clients with a professionally worded email. They will either accept, decline, or begin to negotiate.

If you receive an email response asking for a lower package price, it is best not to simply lower it by giving a discount. In step five, you already established that in order to provide the services listed and make a profit, this is what the package price must be. Instead, this is the time to engage in a negotiation. You may negotiate based on several tactics.

First: you can alter one or more service. If they would like a lower price, then offer to mix it at your home studio rather than at a rented facility. They may need to agree to bring fewer clients to the mix, but this may well be a sacrifice they’re willing to make to save money. You can also offer to do less of a certain service, like less custom design work or recording.

Second: you can add extra services for the same price. Maybe throw in that M&E stem for the same package amount. If you know that they will need this added service in the end, they may appreciate the foresight, and sometimes it’s less expensive for you to do everything at once.

Third: Think outside the box and negotiate with things other than money or services. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is a great idea to lower your price, but ask for something else in return. A good friend of mine often throws plug-ins and sound effects libraries into the negotiation. If you’re asked to work on a WWII tank movie, and they want an extremely low budget, ask for them to buy you that WWII period vehicle and gun SFX library and tell them it will save them on the design and recording side of things. You would likely buy it anyway, and this takes it out of your list of costs. Is the documentary you’re bidding on riddled with bad dialogue recordings?

Items like this may not exactly equal the amount of money in question, but you will get to keep them forever

Ask for them to splurge on Izotope RX for you, and tell them that it will save you tons of editorial time. Just be sure that all licenses are in your name. Items like this may not exactly equal the amount of money in question, but you will get to keep them forever. And, often productions are more willing to spend on software and other tools than wages.

Fourth: you can bundle services. This is an advanced negotiation tactic, but it really works. It makes it less clear who’s gaining or losing, which means both parties are more likely to walk away feeling it was a win/win scenario. An great example of bundling that I recently used occurred when I was asked to work on a short film that was going to be used to garner investment toward a feature of the same name. In a scenario like this, you can hold firm on your short film bid but say that if they bring the feature to you, you will deduct the price of the short from that. This makes them more likely to bring you the feature, and also saves them a considerable amount of money on the feature.

Working for the Experience

Finally, a note on working for free or, as it is often posed to us, “for the experience”/”for the credit.” Think back to step three when you set a realistic rate for yourself based on talent, knowledge, and experience. Knowledge, experience, and credits are an important form of payment when you first start working as a sound designer. Even with a sound engineering degree, I will openly say that I learned the entire profession of sound design on the job, and that took some time. Building up your portfolio, your IMDB credit list, or your experience with tackling different technical, creative, and logistical challenges and seeing the process through from start to finish are very important steps toward getting that high rate in the future.

Even with a sound engineering degree, I will openly say that I learned the entire profession of sound design on the job, and that took some time

However, after a few big projects, you should begin to be compensated for the knowledge and experience that you bring to each project.

In the freelance world, we enjoy many freedoms. The most important one is the freedom to choose whether you are perceived as a professional or a novice, and that is expressed first and foremost by your rate. Don’t short change yourself. The more you charge, the more your time and experience will be valued. That is, if you can back it up with truly solid design work.

 

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A big thanks to Kate Finan for sharing her 7 steps to setting the right price for sound work. Do you have any tips or ideas on how to do it? Please share your insights in the comments below:

Kate Finan is the co-owner of Boom Box Post, a post production sound studio in Burbank, CA. Follow Boom Box Post on Twitter and please visit www.boomboxpost.com where she and co-owner Jeff Shiffman blog regularly about creative sound design.

 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Game Audio Packs & Bundles Ancient Game Play Track 1508 sounds included, 72 mins total $99 $49

    Get ready for adventure: Ancient Game gets you 1500+ designed and source MMO / game-ready audio assets. Step into a world of fantasy with Ancient Game – The Legendary RPG Adventure Game Sound Library by Epic Stock Media! Includes Magic, Warfare, Gore, Treasures, Mechanisms, Monsters, Loop-able ambiences and more! All in 96k / 24 Bit for optimum clarity and supernatural sound.

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    CRACKS is a large exploration of different cracking sound sources – cracking, crunching, breaking and creaking.

    I have recorded a number of different materials, designed and processed to create some more aggressive, powerful and ready-to-use sounds. The library contains over 300 sound files – around 2 hours of sounds included in total. Originally recorded at 192 kHz with two Sennheiser MKH8040 and a Sound devices 702, and fully metatagged.

  • The “Screams & Shouts 2 – Humans” sound effects library brings you over 1.200 human shouts of pain and death, disturbing screams plus grunts of anger, struggle and attack from several men, women and children.

    All sounds have been edited precisely and cut clean for instant use in your projects.

 
Explore the full, unique collection here
 
Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Miniature, get a mini-nature collection of ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear Roosevelt Elk clack antlers and bugle as they fight for the chance to mate. Hear Pacific Wrens joyous chirps as they dance on rotten logs. Hear the massive sparseness of forests filled with 200-300 foot douglas fir and spruce. Hear haunting reverberations as ravens caw in groves of titans and the Hoh River’s soothing wash, the perfect sound to lull you off to peaceful dreams.
    • This library offers you a small collection of both quiet and active nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year, and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Featuring Roosevelt Elk
    • Hear two full grown Roosevelt Elk clacking antlers and bugling!
    • Distant elk trumpeting deep in the forest.
    • Varied ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park
    • Sparse ambiences with minimal wildlife
    • Active ambiences with twittering songbirds
    • One extended 35-minute quiet nature ambience
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:


    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.

    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in Browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
    • fauna sparse
    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
    • flora and fauna sparse
    • flora and fauna constant
    • Included wildlife: Roosevelt Elk, American Crow, Common Raven, Pacific Wren, Brown Creeper, Barred Owl, chipmunks, and various other distant murmuring songbirds
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Quiet Nature, get a peaceful collection of ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear the massive sparseness of one of the last pristine quiet places in the Continental US. Hear the natural cathedrals of sound created by Douglas fir and spruce. Hear wind gusts pluck autumn maple leaves and waft them to rest on forest floors. Hear massive halls of wet wood that envelop and transport you to a long-lost time when giant trees covered millions of acres of the Pacific Northwest.
    • This library offers you a large collection of quiet nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year, and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Sparse ambiences with minimal wildlife
    • Distant twittering songbirds high in the canopy
    • Mornings and afternoons in 300 ft forests
    • Eerie nights in old-growth titans
    • Barred Owl hoots
    • Sporadic drips and light soothing wind
    • One long unbroken natural soundscape. Thirty-five minute of natural silence!
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:

    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.

    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in Browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
    • fauna sparse
    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
    • flora and fauna sparse
    • flora and fauna constant
    • Included wildlife: Barred Owl, Pacific Wren, Hairy Woodpecker, Ruffed Grouse, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, chipmunk, Douglas Squirrel, and ultrasonic insects. Overall, wildlife is very sparse during fall in the Hoh River valley.
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • • In Pacific Northwest: Active Nature, get an expansive collection of active ambiences from the Hoh Rainforest, a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Hear lonely frogs croakings and syncopated drips from moss covered branches. Hear high twittering songbirds’ joyous chirps twittering from canopy perches. Hear the soothing rush of the Hoh River from close and distant perspectives as it divides the valley and flows to the Pacific. Hear the Magical Dripping Tree, a majestic big-leaf maple covered head to toe in fog soaked moss. Hear massive drops from canopy mosses make rich plopping transients, pinging and enlivening the space of the old-growth forest.
    • This library offers you a large collection of active nature sounds from one of the wettest forests in North America. Some places on the Olympic Peninsula get over 200 inches of precipitation per year and that abundance of moisture makes for a magical fern and moss filled ecosystem brimming with soothing ambiences.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Recorded near the One Square Inch of Silence
    • Active ambiences with energetic wildlife, canopy moss drips, and close running water
    • Energetic twittering songbirds
    • Distant frogs croaking
    • Lush and lively moss drips from the Magical Dripping Tree
    • Normally, rain would be next to impossible to record rain in the middle of a forest. However, these moss drips enabled me to capture a rich rain-like density of drips when it wasn’t actually raining!
    • This library is a portrait of the Hoh Rainforest. The rainforest is in a long river valley, so the distant soothing wash of the Hoh River can be heard in all recordings.
    TEXT MARKERS:
    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View in browser or Download CSV
    • Flora (plants) and Fauna (animals) are described in these terms:
    • fauna sparse
    • fauna constant
    • flora sparse
    • flora constant
    • flora and fauna sparse
    • flora and fauna constant
    • Included wildlife: Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Belted Kingfisher, ducks, Common Raven, American Crow, Ruffed Grouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, frogs
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • Water & Oceans Pacific Northwest: Storm Waves Play Track 35+ sounds included, 171 mins total $39

    • In Pacific Northwest: Storm Waves, get an expansive collection of storm waves from Rialto Beach, a driftwood filled shoreline of Olympic National Park. Hear massive 25 ft swells breaking and sea foam froth sloshing on rounded pebbles. Hear violent slurping as water is sucked out after each massive wave. Hear wave resonance tuned to perfection by driftwood logs a millennium old. Hear distant storm buoys droning their ominous warning and bats circling with ultrasonic clicks. Hear a coastline gradually eroded by Pacific waves. A place where massive spruce stumps are still rooted in the beach, desperately holding to the earth as the soil is stripped from their roots. Press a contact mic to one of those stumps and hear the heartbeat of the oceanThe vibrations from crashing waves move through rocks and roots to create stunning resonances in the wood!  I hope this library gives you a chance to hear the ocean in a way you haven’t heard it before. Enjoy listening to a large collection of storm waves from one of the most iconic beaches in North America.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased for the Pacific Northwest Series. Field Recording travel for these libraries was carbon neutral!

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Massive 25 ft swells
    • Rocky coastlines and pebble-filled beaches
    • Driftwood resonances
    • Contact microphones on dead spruce stumps rooted in the beach
    • Frothy impacts
    • Roaring bass
    • Storm buoys droning their ominous warning
    • A thirty-minute clip of the slowly approaching tide. This clip is broken into three, ten-minute clips with no fade ins/outs so it can be used in parts or as one long seamless clip!

    TEXT MARKERS:
    • Named markers are included in each file to help find interesting events in an otherwise uniform waveform!
    • Marker text included in the Soundminer description and BWAV description fields.
    FILE LIST:
    • File List: View in Browser or Download CSV 
    BLOG POST:
    • Read the full story on the A Sound Effect Blog – Sounds from the Quietest Place in the Continental US 
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 30+ user reviews for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files. 

    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Pair in ORTF
    • Aquarian Audio H2a-XLR hydrophone (used as contact mic)
    • Sound Devices 702
    • Rycote ORTF Blimp
  • Whooshes Tiny Transitions 2 Play Track 320-670 sounds included From: $29.20 From: $21.90

    “Tiny Transitions 2” is the successor to the very popular Tiny Transitions sound effects library.

    If you already knew the first library you know what to expect: even more, even better and more versatile to bring instant sonic support for all kinds of small animations, motion graphics, pass-bys, menues, projectiles and more.

    Re-load your ammo belt with not-so-intrusive production elements that come in very handy for any Sound Designer, All-In-One Film Editor or Web-, App- and Game-Developers.

    All the small motion elements that you need in your everyday work for games, apps, commercial, films or general motion designs.

    You get 350 ready to use designed sounds+ a composite selection of 320 cleaned and edited source soundsthat were used to design the Tiny Transitions. These sounds are mostly different props that are scraping or sliding on different surfaces and also some vocalized whoosh attempts.

    If you don't need the extra source sounds you can grab the “Designed Sounds only” pack.

    All source sounds were recorded with Sonosax SX-R4+ with a Sennheiser MKH8050+MKH30 M/S rig, a Sound Devices MixPre-6 with a MK8060+ATE208 M/S rig and a Sony PCM-D100. All sounds come with embedded Metadata.

    Metadata embedded by “The Audioville – India”

    25 %
    OFF
    Ends 1531000800
 
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6 thoughts on “How to Set (and Get) the Right Price for Your Audio Work

  1. This was very insightful! Thank you for the great article and sharing the spreadsheet.

    I have a question / discussion that I would like to add in. Often we spend many hours on meetings with the director (or producer or whatever crew might be) or even sending emails back and forth. On a lot of cases it seems that there is a tendency to “ignore” that also this is time consuming (if time is money…). One “trick” I have been using when I feel that the director / producer acts like we are permanently available, is to sharply but sort of enthusiastically say “I have 30 minutes available, can we meet then?”. More than not, it´s not uncommon to spend altogether an entire work day with meetings that are technically not payed.
    So, I wonder how fellow sound designers out there deal with these situations – are you somehow including that time in the rounded numbers, thinking about it on the profit percentage or any other way? Let´s say one earns $50 / hour, that is how much we are “loosing” in one hour meeting, for example. Or is it an investment?
    Even though that is certainly a variety of cases and contexts, it would be great to have a feedback on this. :)

  2. Thanks for reading, Matthew and Melissa! I’m very glad that you enjoyed the post. Melissa, I love that you bring up how difficult it is to budget (both time and money) for client interactions. The only interactions that I consider to be “investments” are the ones pertaining to making and presenting the bid. Once a project bid is accepted, I consider all of my time (including spots, previews, re-recording mixes, and any other client interactions) to be part of the bid price. Generally, I list those interactions under the Sound Supervision line item. For that reason, it’s VERY important to take those interactions into consideration when you’re creating the bid. Depending on the length and scope of each project, in general I allow at least half a day for meeting the clients and spotting, half to a full day to put the project together and tweak things (if you are hiring others and need to compile their work, a full day for the client preview and fixes, and a full day for any re-recording mixes you plan to attend. When I first speak with new clients and present my bid, I also go over what each of these meetings will accomplish and when in the process they will happen to ensure that the clients know that there are set times at which they should give notes. In general that keeps them from emailing single notes on a daily basis. I also schedule all of these meetings and send out calendar appointments so that we have an exact in and out time. I believe that this saves everyone a lot of time and will truly present you as a professional. I hope that helps!

  3. Hi, Kate!

    Thank you so much for all the additional information. This is truly helpful and assures any sound designer how worth their time is.

  4. Kate,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. It helped me tremendously. I just moved to Portland, OR a year ago and there aren’t many sound design studios here (only 2), so I haven’t had much luck with meeting other sound designers to network with and learn best business practices. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    Warm Regards,
    Christiann A. Burch

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