Urgent Question about rates in the UK


Hey Friends of Sound in Great Britain.

I've picked up a job from London based animation studio doing a 5 minute film and I've budgeted 5 days for recording, editing, tracklay, revisions and mix. The question is now, what should I charge?

I've looked around on the net and it seems that quite a number of London based studios are charging between £250 to £300 per day for a edit suite with operator. Bearing in mind that the majority of these studios have really top-notch facilities, PT HD, super networked FX libraries etc and my setup is little more humble, do you think that £1000, i.e. £200 per day is reasonable?

I live in Switzerland and that translates to a less than what a sound editor would charge here...but then again everything costs more here.

Your advice is much appreciated,


Kurt Human

Posted 2010-12-02T10:24:34.177

Reputation: 825



An operator just means someone to work the equipment with minimal or no creative input. If you are doing a full design for them I would charge closer to your normal going rate. As with everything it is down to how much you need the work. My advice is charge what you normally charge. Believe it or not people will genuinely think that the work is better if you charge a realistic rate.


Posted 2010-12-02T10:24:34.177


@Iain Good advice. In the case of this particular client, I have already done two 'no-money' jobs for them, so this current job is the first 'real' job, as it were. I did manage to get a good rate, in the end though, in line with what I had seen on various websites. I did however, ask this question as I am still running a very small setup out of my spare bedroom at home etc and I am fully aware that it is in within the rate of a sound designer with 'better' facilities (and a coffe machine) to charge more than what a newbie like me would charge. – Kurt Human – 2010-12-17T08:02:49.597

@Iain Pt2: By newbie (referring to myself) I mean my experience: my first 3 paid sound design jobs in the bag(!) 5 'free' films, including one 25 minuter. (sound design and location sound) a few TV inserts/programs/tv commercials and corporate vids as sound recordist. a few demo pieces. – Kurt Human – 2010-12-17T08:08:24.140


I would highly recommend charging your normal rate. Your rate should reflect your experience but also your expenses. Also, hopefully the client will become a repeat client and so it is better to establish a higher rate from the get-go rather than trying to up your rate down the road.

Matthew Freed Audio

Posted 2010-12-02T10:24:34.177

Reputation: 1 160

@Matthew Nice work on the 'Star Wars' mock up. Really nice. – Kurt Human – 2010-12-17T08:18:16.143


£250/day for an edit suite + operator, in a studio, sounds a tad too little.


Posted 2010-12-02T10:24:34.177

Reputation: 5 521

@georgi.m Then what price would you recommend in this case? (btw, The film is to be shown online and at events) – Kurt Human – 2010-12-02T14:41:18.510