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I have an opportunity to do some editing (and possibly some mastering) of some lines for a video game. it's all broken down in such a way that it will all be cut into single line sound files. there will be a given number of lines, say in the thousands. I'm also sure that there will be very specific instructions involved. My question is, as I have never done this before, how much should I charge? For editing? For mastering? For both? Per line? Per hour? for the job? Any insight would be helpful, as I am just starting my career and this could be a great boost resume, demo reel and bank account. Cheers

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You're looking at about $650/day max, but with a bulk amount of work you may be offered a flat fee instead, say $5000. all in, or something like that. Totally depends on the company you're working for. The larger companies, such as EA, Sony or Blizzard, will be able to pay more than the smaller ones.

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I was just reading a thread that mentioned a reasonable per/line price of $.75 or $.85. It shows the client it's worth your while personally to have a quick turn-around while also giving a realistic rate that scales with the project.

Also note that they were speaking just about editing, normalizing and renaming files. No eq or other mastering.

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My advice would be: estimate how much time you'll need to do this and think accordingly. Here's a little check list I always have in mind:

  • Ask how many words (or lines?) you have to edit.
  • What kind of game is it ? Editing VO from a RPG is more complex than a RTS or a game with shorter lines.
  • Do you have to apply some post-process or do a batch ? SFX ? RMS ?
  • Can you work out the deadline ?
  • Is it a big company ? Is it a subcontractor ?
  • Are you on your own on this project or is there somebody competent and ready to answer your questions in case of big problems (like an Art Director or a fellow designer)

I'm in the EU and as a sound designer, I was taught that you can charge between 300€ and 800€ max/day, depending on your experience and reputation.

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Another important thing to find out is if the speech will be stitched together. In sports games lines are broken up into sections such as actions and player names (simplifying that a whole bunch). If that's the case the editing needs to be done so that it all fits back together and will take more time to check.

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What we used to do at previous company I worked with was to count the amount of words and lines the project included. We also kept very precise workbook on each step of the process and got some really accurate quotation models that relied on the previous projects we had done. Our calculations were based on 100 word chunks / per VO and we got really accurate estimations of the project budget.

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