What do you charge/pay for music?


For anyone that has paid a freelancing composer to create the music for a game/software or for any composer that did freelancing work for someone, what were the rates like? If I am hired to compose for a project how do I know what to charge? I don't want to suggest something too steep that will cause a potential employer to opt for someone else, nor do I want to charge so little that I would actually be ripping myself off.

What is the usual process when discussing payment or the average rates per minute of music?

Thank you!


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    I don't really work in audio, but in case this helps at all:

    There's a stock music site called The Audio Network that has some really pro work on there that I really like playing in the background of my prototypes to figure out the look-and-feel for what I'm going for.

    I mailed them about what their licences would cost for a video game (because it's nowhere on the site, which mostly assumes the music will be used for ads or things on YouTube or Vimeo and would be taking ad commission), and they told me that it would be £225+VAT. It's a bit awkward, because on the one hand it's just stock music, so it's not personalised to my games, and can't really be changed (although they do offer the audio broken out into different parts that you can combine yourself), but on the other hand the quality of work there is generally really high. (A lot of things I've found elsewhere I personally feel sound amateur in comparison.)

    More generally, back when I did freelance I went with an hourly rate that I had in mind that I'd change quite liberally based on how much I thought I'd enjoy the work, whether the work looked like something similar to some personal project I planned to do anyway, whether the client seemed like they'd be difficult to work with, and how busy I was in general. Every time something new came up that I couldn't take because I had too much work, I'd raise my rates. If nobody was hiring and I thought my rate was low, then I'd spend the extra time on up-skilling and making personal work to put in an updated portfolio. I was luckyish in that for the most part I at least had a game dev day-job, so that even when that wasn't paying particularly well it was usually enough that I could be a bit pickier about what jobs I'd take.
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