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Setting standard rates for new tech -like real time noise reduction


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Hi, following threads about the use of real time noise reduction plugins or hardware in our field, and the debates around the introduction of pay-per-plugin new business model by Sound Devices (and others?), I have noticed several members here claim they managed to charge production for the specific use of the noise reduction on their machine. 

 

Since it is a not-yet standard tech I believe there are no standard rate for it so I am interested to see what are the rates applied in real life production interactions, and discuss about it. 

 

What rate are you asking for real time noise reduction (plug in or hardware) in film and TV production, or what do you think would be a fair rate?

 

How about rental companies, are they charging more for renting a Scorpio including a Cedar NR plugin? To me it would be fair, but then how about renting the same Scorpio but you do not need this feature? I do not think the plug-ins can be un-installed and re-installed on demand, can they?

 

By the way, maybe another discussion, since all new tech starts being non standard how to collectively agree on an international standard rate?

 

Thanks for all inputs.

Fred

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At least in the US freelancing is still solidly a sh*tshow, so who knows how much anybody pays for anything. I assume it will go down like every other rate where some people actually get what they ask, some low ball, and some make deals. Unless people get real leftist real fast I don't see anyway to really organize this.

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I've seen it on a rate card for another mixer, and they charged $50/day for it. So maybe that's a rough guideline. I personally don't know a producer who would see that and know what it is -- much less know why it's worth paying extra for.

 

On a production where I know my sound is going to an editor and not to a dedicated sound designer (instagram ads, mainly) I'd probably sell production on paying extra for it. On narrative projects, I usually will not charge for it and just use it at a very low level (like -2-3db) for the comtek/playback feed, since they should really throw it out in post anyway.

 

That being said I have the nosieassist for the mixpre and not cedar, and I mainly work on low budget indies and not major projects.

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  • 1 month later...

This has been discussed elsewhere and I agree with those who say that charging to use extra features, tracks, channels etc as opposed to charging for the straight-up hardware is not very viable. It's like a camera owner charging to shoot at a higher framerate to me. If you can make extra money for it, great, but I don't see it becoming a standard practice nor do I think it should.

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4 hours ago, BAB414 said:

nor do I think it should

So you don’t think that people should charge for additional tools that you have to pay for? Just because it’s a plugin, doesn't make it’s cost any less real, nor does it make it less real than a physical one. I think that if you are paying for a tool that production wants you to use, that is something beyond the basic tools needed to capture sound (much the same way that time code boxes and slates are) that aren’t included in a standard setup, they should be charged for. If we don’t charge for extras, clients will begin to expect them for free. 
 

Ive had some clients think that camera sends, lockits, IFB, etc. were included in a standard “basic” sound package, even though the consensus among sound mixers is that a “basic” package includes two wireless, boom, and mixer/recorder. Everything else is charged à la carte. That tells me that whomever has been working with those clients has been throwing in a lot of extra equipment that they should have been charging for. I for one will not stand to be required to provide additional equipment without compensation. I doubt many will be ok with clients suddenly requiring special tools like this for free, possibly as a term of employment. 

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6 hours ago, BAB414 said:

I don't see it becoming a standard practice nor do I think it should.

Wow, that's kinda like doing it for a hobby right?  Production should never get anything for free and those who are giving it away are s***ing in the communal bed.

 

But you are right about it being a discussion forever.  And, some things never change.

 

D.

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1 hour ago, JonG said:

So you don’t think that people should charge for additional tools that you have to pay for? Just because it’s a plugin, doesn't make it’s cost any less real, nor does it make it less real than a physical one. I think that if you are paying for a tool that production wants you to use, that is something beyond the basic tools needed to capture sound (much the same way that time code boxes and slates are) that aren’t included in a standard setup, they should be charged for. If we don’t charge for extras, clients will begin to expect them for free. 
 

Ive had some clients think that camera sends, lockits, IFB, etc. were included in a standard “basic” sound package, even though the consensus among sound mixers is that a “basic” package includes two wireless, boom, and mixer/recorder. Everything else is charged à la carte. That tells me that whomever has been working with those clients has been throwing in a lot of extra equipment that they should have been charging for. I for one will not stand to be required to provide additional equipment without compensation. I doubt many will be ok with clients suddenly requiring special tools like this for free, possibly as a term of employment. 

Additional tools, yes. Extra features, not necessarily. Do people who use Zax transmitters charge extra when they decide to record with them? Or do Lectro owners charge more when they have to bump up the power to 250mW? Or tuning a wideband transmitter to a different block of freqs? To me it's a slippery slope. However, these are PAID plugins Sound Devices has offered up instead of free firmware updates, so I totally understand the argument. Why invest money into something you can't make additional profit on? The thing is, the producers don't know or care which features are free and which cost extra. They just want the job done.

 

All that said, I think everyone should charge whatever they can get for their gear and services and I support people trying to maximize their revenue.

 

31 minutes ago, tourtelot said:

Wow, that's kinda like doing it for a hobby right?  Production should never get anything for free and those who are giving it away are s***ing in the communal bed.

 

But you are right about it being a discussion forever.  And, some things never change.

 

D.

 

I don't see it as free. I see it as expanded functionality of the same piece of hardware they are already renting. Would you all be making the same argument if these plugins were free firmware updates?

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4 minutes ago, BAB414 said:

Would you all be making the same argument if these plugins were free firmware updates?

I think I would. And for those using built in recorders in their tx, I wish people would charge for that as well. I definitely see your argument, but there’s a line for sure between expanded capability and an all new tool. Even if the tool is firmware. I don’t consider noise reduction to be expanded capability in the same way that a wideband wireless system is. I definitely see it as a new tool that costs money, and should be charged for. 

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16 hours ago, BAB414 said:

This has been discussed elsewhere

sorry, I searched and did not find any discussion regarding rate for real time noise reduction tools.

 

9 hours ago, BAB414 said:

Additional tools, yes. Extra features, not necessarily. Do people who use Zax transmitters charge extra when they decide to record with them? Or do Lectro owners charge more when they have to bump up the power to 250mW?

It seems to me that real time noise reduction for production sound is an additional tool and is most likely to reduce cost of post-production isn't it?

Also, I do not have these Zax Tx, nor Lectro Tx that can be boosted to 250mW, but if the director and I think that a specific scene is going to require one of these feature, we will ask production to rent some, and if we are convincing enough (😄) they will !

 

I really think it is important that we charge accordingly if there is a demand from production to use real-time noise reduction. Whether it is via a plugin within the recorder or a separate hardware, I don't see no difference since we have to buy them both.

My question is how much?

Shall we base it on the rate for an hardware Cedar dns? What is the standard rate for it in the USA and UK? I have not seen it used in France so have no idea.

Thanks

 

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