How to prepare your video and assets for sound design—checklist included!

Hiring a good sound designer to work on your video project is critical to its success. Sound designers are responsible for providing all of the project’s sound effects. It’s very important that you find a sound designer as soon as you can and find one that you can trust with your project’s sound elements.

After reading this article, you will have a few tips for finding the right sound designer freelancer for your project. Additionally, we’ll help you through the process of preparing your video and assets for your chosen sound designer. At the end of the article, we’ll provide you with a checklist you can follow that’ll ensure you will package your project’s assets correctly every time.

How to locate and hire the perfect sound designer

Start looking now

It’s best to start looking for a sound designer as soon as possible. A lot of major projects hire their sound designers right at the beginning of a project. Usually, the director handpicks the sound designer. While you can use an agency to locate sound designers, many opt to use Fiverr instead. There are hundreds of freelancers available on Fiverr and are ready to work right away. That might seem like a lot to sort through, but you can use the site’s search filters and categories to sort out sound designers that are relevant to you. You can search using filters like kill level, delivery time, cost, even the type of work they do. In this case, you would look for sound design.

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Message all potential freelancers

Communication plays a key role in not just the hiring process, but also for the actual job as well. We recommend you message all potential freelancers you find in your searches. Even if you think you found the perfect sound designer, message a few different options. It’s important to do because you will get to experience their response time, you’ll also see how well they communicate. Talk about the project you were messaging them about and determine if this freelancer is right for you and your project.

Make a decision

Once you’ve talked with a few freelancers, it’s time to make a decision on who you’re going to hire. Take into account things like their communication style, skill and star rating. Remember, a 5-star freelancer reviewed by 10 people might not be as good as an option as a freelancer with a 4-star rating average with 200 reviews. Also, determine what price you’re willing to pay and what is reasonable for the kind and amount of work you’re asking for.

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After hiring your sound designer, identify what needs to be done

First and foremost, communicate with your sound designer about what they will need. After you hire your sound designer, take notes of everything they will require you to do and send. Keeping up excellent communication throughout the entire process is critical. The better you communicate with your sound designers, the better they’ll understand what you are trying to achieve with your project. Effective and consistent communication will likely lead to an end product that fulfills your vision.

Remove all processing

What works for the project as it currently is might not be beneficial to the final result. When it comes down to it, the plug-ins you are currently using might not work with your sound designer. There’s a high probability that your sound designer will not even have the same plug-ins as you. Instead, communicate what you want to accomplish with the project. This communication will give your sound designer more flexibility to address issues if any arise.

Label all files and folders appropriately

It is easy to forget to set up a comprehensive naming system when handling and sending files and assets for a project. However, you need to name your files with unique names. While it’s good practice for you to do this in your workflow, as it will help you find assets quicker, your sound designer needs to be able to find the assets too. While you may know where files are, your sound designer will not.

It’s imperative that you give your files unique names, but they need more than just a name. Make sure to name your files with descriptions of what they are. The more information you add, the easier it will be to re-construct if needed.

Send only what’s needed

You may think the more you send to your sound designer, the better. However, that is not the case. It is better only to send what is needed to complete the project. Do not include anything unnecessary to the project. Compile everything required into one folder, ensuring everything has an appropriate name. Sending everything in one big file will make it easier to send. Subfolders are acceptable. However, be sure they are appropriately named as well.

Additionally, you need to output a final video. The sound designer should not need the full cut of your video. Instead, give them a single video file. That means timelines will not be required. If you already have some sound effects with timing you would like to give to the sound designer, export in a universal audio format like OMF—Open Media Framework. Unfortunately, this does not always work flawlessly, so you should plan to set aside time to troubleshoot.

Before you send off your project, make sure you have everything needed. You might miss something, and that will set back production. Also, test opening your file before you send it. Doing this will ensure you know you did everything correctly on your side.

Review the work

Once the sound designer finishes their work, it is time for you to review it. When reviewing the work they have done, identify any problems you may have. Make a checklist and make sure it is clear. This way, your sound designer can make the changes without confusion. Timecodes would be very helpful, so they will know what part you are referring to in the project.

When critiquing, it is good to point out something good at first. Doing this will keep the project’s morale high and give the sound designer a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve. Once you have determined what needs changing, follow up with your sound designer. End with another good aspect of the work, too. Again, this will keep morale high. Additionally, it will make it easier to accept the changes and reinforce the sound designer’s good work.

Ready for your next project? Get more done with Fiverr.

Check out our video Managing post production using Fiverr Episode 1 – VFX and Sound Design

Click here to learn the essential steps you need to take to find and work with a FVX freelancer on Fiverr

Good luck!

You now have the knowledge you need to prepare your project for a sound designer. For quick reference, here is a checklist for you to use for your next project.

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