Our Policies

A general overview of our policies.




We consider a consultation to be any face-to-face interaction with an individual or group that pertains to business within the scope of the services we offer. This includes in-person meetings and video calls. Phone calls, text messages, and emails are not considered consultations.


We consider any project that takes less than 80 hours (or 10 days, whichever comes first) to complete to be a short-term project.
We consider any project that takes more than 80 hours (or 10 days, whichever comes first) to complete to be a long-term project.


We consider a change order to be any amendment made to an existing work contract, agreed upon between Speed of Sound and a customer. A change order may or may not affect the completion date of a project and/or the cost to the customer.


For purposes of our policies, an installation is defined as any project that requires Speed of Sound to install, set up, or otherwise configure any equipment at your location (or your client’s location, for projects managed by a contractor) for permanent use.


For purposes of our policies, we consider a live event project to be any project requiring equipment to be set up for temporary use for the purposes of live sound reinforcement.


For purposes of interpreting our policies, we consider an agreement to be a document detailing the services to be rendered to a client by Speed of Sound that has been signed by both the client and Speed of Sound.




By enlisting Speed of Sound for any services, you agree be bound by our policies and subject to fees for any services we provide to you. By signing any agreement with us, you agree to be bound by the terms of that agreement in addition to our policies. For more information on those fees and our policies, please read below.


Any installation performed for you by Speed of Sound is final. This means that any changes to a project will require a change-order agreement be signed by the customer. Once an installation is finished, Speed of Sound will inspect the work we performed. If our work passes our inspection, we will consider the installation completed and any changes beyond that point will be subject to additional labor fees.


All installations come with 45 days of complimentary servicing. This means that should you need to contact us to work out any issues with the system we installed, any and all labor fees for this will be waived for a period of 45 days following the completion of the installation project. However, should any parts or equipment be required, you will be responsible for paying for this equipment in full before it can be ordered in. You may opt to purchase any needed equipment yourself. We encourage you to check the warranty status of any equipment installed to determine if it can be returned to the vendor or manufacturer.


Speed of Sound provides repair services for many different kinds of equipment. By leaving your equipment with us for repair, you agree to not hold Speed of Sound liable for any damage to or theft of your equipment. You also agree to make payment in full for any repairs we do for you before we return your equipment to you. In the event of an on-site repair (us coming to your location to repair your equipment), you agree to make payment in full for the repair immediately after the repair is finished. For information regarding our payment policies, please read below.


Unless otherwise stated or agreed upon, payment for services is required immediately upon the completion of any service provided on the day the service was provided. Exceptions to this policy may be made on a situational basis and must be agreed upon in writing. Our standard labor rate is $60 per hour, billed in 15-minute increments (rounded to the nearest subsequent 15-minute interval), with a minimum of one hour billed. For more information on our general payment policy, please read below.


A flat rate (cost) for a project may be agreed upon. This may mean either a singular fee for an entire project, or a per-component fee. A flat rate must be stated in a signed agreement, otherwise our standard per-hour labor rate will be billed for the entirety of that project. In the event of a flat rate, a certain amount of the total cost will be due prior to any work being done on that project. Unless otherwise specified in a signed agreement, that amount will be 100% if the total cost is less than $1000, 75% if the total cost is between $1000 and $5000, and 50% if the total cost is over $5000. Unless otherwise specified a signed agreement, any remaining amount (that was not paid in advance) will be due (to be paid to Speed of Sound) immediately upon completion of the project.


Your first consultation appointment is always free (limited to one hour maximum), regardless of whether you hire Speed of Sound to perform services for yourself or your company/organization. All subsequent consultations will be billed to you at a rate of $75 per hour of consultation, with a minimum of one hour billed per appointment. Any consultations that take place outside of our office may be subject to trip fees which will be billed to you at a rate of $2 per mile driven from Speed of Sound’s office to your location.

Estimate fees may be waived as a courtesy should you choose to enlist Speed of Sound to perform services for yourself or your company/organization. However, should you choose to not hire (enlist, or sign an agreement with) Speed of Sound, estimates are billed at a rate of $150 per estimate and $75 per revision. Speed of Sound will send you a bill for estimates and revisions.


  • Any equipment to be set up or installed must be paid for by the customer in advance. This includes any equipment to be ordered for installation (speakers, mixers, amplifiers, cables, etc.) and any equipment to be rented for live events.

    • If you are a customer for installation, you have three options for paying for equipment.

      1. After reviewing the estimate, you may order the equipment yourself and have it shipped to your location.

      2. After reviewing the estimate, you may pay the full equipment cost to Speed of Sound, at which point we will order the equipment. You may still opt to have it shipped to your location, as this can be safer for the equipment (less physical handling). Or, you may have it shipped to Speed of Sound, and have us bring it to your location. This may result in additional fees for storage and handling.

      3. If you are working with a general contractor who will be providing payment for equipment and labor, Speed of Sound would be happy to communicate with them regarding various payment options.



Payment for any product built in our custom shop (or designed by us and built by a third party) must be made in full before the product will be given to you. If we have agreed upon a fixed price for the product, payment must be made in full before the product is built. Should you request a custom design from Speed of Sound but later decline to have us build you the product, a design fee will be billed to you at a rate of $60 per hour spent on the initial design. You will also be billed for any revisions made to the design, at a rate of $75 per revision. If this design or product is part of an installation or live event project, it may appear on your total bill as “custom shop.”


Payment for audio production services is due in full before the finished product (e.g. masters) or any part or component of the project (e.g. stems, tracks, samples, etc.) will be transferred to you. If we have agreed upon a fixed price for the project, payment must be made in full prior to the beginning of the project unless otherwise agreed upon in a written agreement. A fixed rate may be agreed upon for an audio production project, otherwise labor will be billed to you at a rate of $25/hr (as opposed to our standard labor rate of $60/hr) for time spent by you in Speed of Sound’s studio, plus our per-track rates for mixing and mastering, for the full term of the project.

Unless otherwise specified, Speed of Sound charges the following fees for fixed-rate audio production projects:


Single (one track): $500 per track
2-3 tracks: $400 per track
4-5 tracks: $325 per track
6-10 tracks: $275 per track
10+ tracks: $275 per track with one track free


Single: $250 per track
2-3 tracks: $225 per track
4-5 tracks: $200 per track
6+ tracks: $175 per track


Live recordings starting at:
15-40 minute set: $500
45-60 minute set: $750
Over 60 minutes: $1000


Re-tracking various components of a live recording during post-production are billed as follows:

$25 per component, per song for elements that are not drum kits.
$100 setup fee plus $50 per song for re-tracking of drum kits.

Alternatively, re-tracking may be billed at our standard hourly rate. Drum setup fees will still be included.


Speed of Sound’s live recording services are designed with gigs in mind. That is, the idea is to record your set during a live gig. However, you aren’t necessarily limited to just recording your gig. We would consider a live recording not done at a gig to be “non-traditional.” You can do your live recording in an empty venue, or our location, or any location of your choosing. In this case, a NTRS (non-traditional recording setup) fee of $100 may apply. This is to account for the additional time required to set up for the live recording. Additionally, depending on the accessibility of the location (physical accessibility as well as financial accessibility [rental or reservation fees, etc.]), there may be an access fee.

There are multiple post-production options for live recordings as well. Base rates for live recordings include the recording, mixing, and mastering of a live session. Post-production additions, such as blending in samples or audio clips, as well as the creation of any non-original element using original elements, will be billed at a rate of $25 per hour. Any post-production editing, such as time stretching, cut-and-drag editing, “syncing”, or pitch correction will also be billed at a rate of $25 per hour.


Should any part of an audio production project need to be outsourced or subcontracted out to a third party, you may be subject to any fees associated with that. These fees include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: $30 convenience fee per-component (charged by Speed of Sound), and any fees charged by the third party to Speed of Sound.


If any special tools or equipment are needed to safely and/or properly complete a project, Speed of Sound may need to rent this equipment. This cost of rental may be factored into the cost of labor and charged to you. This includes any special tools or equipment required to set up a system for a live event, install a sound and/or lighting system, complete an audio production project, or any additional contracting or sub-contracting necessary to complete a project. You may opt to rent this equipment yourself, or hire additional contractors as needed if you choose to do so. No fee will ever be charged to you for tools or equipment used for an installation project that are already owned by Speed of Sound.


RBS fees may appear on your final bill for more complicated jobs. These are calculated based on the length of a project and how complicated a particular task is, as well as any unexpected obstacles encountered in completing that task. Additionally, RBS fees may be applied for any project or service period that exceeds 30 days in length at a rate of $100 per 30-day period following an initial consultation (unless a length longer than 30 days is specified in a signed agreement prior to the beginning of the project).


If at any point during a project (custom shop, live event, audio production, or installation) either of us feel that something needs to change for the project, a bilateral agreement can be made to change the original contract. A new contract will need to be signed by both you (the customer) and us (Speed of Sound) before changes to the project can take effect. A change order may affect the cost of a project and the time it takes to complete. Change-order fees, if applied, will generally show up on your bill grouped under RBS fees.


Speed of Sound accepts payment in the form of check, cash, cryptocurrency, and debit/credit cards only. Credit/debit card transactions may be subject to additional convenience fees. Checks should be made out to Speed of Sound LLC. Cash, check, or debit/credit card payments must be in the form of US dollars. Cryptocurrency transactions will be calculated and billed by Speed of Sound based on our assessment of current value (in US dollars, within 10 minutes of the transaction) and subject to a 15% convenience fee. Speed of Sound reserves the right to deny cryptocurrency payment for any reason. Should we deny a cryptocurrency payment, you will still be required to pay via any of our other accepted methods.


Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, payment for services is due immediately after the service is performed. Payment must be made within 7 days after you receive a bill or invoice from us. If you cannot make payment, you must contact Speed of Sound to discuss a payment plan with us within 7 days of receiving your bill. Otherwise you will be subject to the following:

1) After 7 days of no payment, 10% interest will be applied to your bill and an adjusted bill will be sent to you.
2) After 30 days of no payment, 20% interest will be applied to your adjusted bill, and a new bill will be sent to you.
3) For every 30 days of non-payment, 20% interest will be compounded onto your bill and a new bill will be sent to you.
4) After 90 days of non-payment, a civil case (lawsuit) will be filed against you by Speed of Sound with the appropriate claims court.

In the state of Iowa, theft of services is a crime. As explained in Iowa Chapter 714, theft of services occurs when an individual:

Obtains the labor or services of another...by deception. Where compensation for goods and services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the obtaining of such goods or the rendering of such services, the refusal to pay or leaving the premises without payment or offer to pay or without having obtained from the owner or operator the right to pay subsequent to leaving the premises gives rise to an inference that the goods or services were obtained by deception.

Failure to make payment for services may result in criminal charges being pressed against you.

We will attempt to make contact with you at least once per week of non-payment. This attempted contact will be documented on our end. Exception to our non-payment policy may be made in event of a NSF ("bounced") check.

Additionally, in the event of an audio production project, failure to make payment for a period of 90 days will result in your forfeiture of all legal rights to any and all components of that project, including (but not limited to) intellectual property and distribution rights, to Speed of Sound.



Returned checks (also referred to as NSF or “bounced”) will be subject to a returned check fee. This fee will be added to your bill and a new bill will be sent to you. A returned check will also be considered as failure to make payment and will thus render your bill as immediately subject to our policies regarding failure to make payment.

Every state has varying procedures in the event of an NSF check. However, in the state of Iowa (as of August 2018):

Writing a bad check is a criminal offense. Depending on the check amount, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony and face varying levels of incarceration as well as varying amounts of fines. If your check bounces and you do not pay us in full (including additional RBS fees we apply to your bill) within 10 days, Speed of Sound may press criminal charges against you. After 30 days of non-payment following a bounced check, Speed of Sound may file a lawsuit against you. Your financial institution may also charge you additional fees and pursue legal or civil action against you.



Any project that requires a custom piece of equipment to be made by us will also be subject to fees from our custom shop. These include design fees, construction fees, and sub-contracting fees. Design and construction fees are to be billed at a rate of $60 per hour, with a minimum of one-hour billed. Sub-contracting fees will apply should Speed of Sound need to hire out the construction of any custom product to any third party. Should the third party choose to charge higher labor fees than Speed of Sound, those labor fees will be applied to your bill as well as any additional fees that they may charge.


All custom shop sales are final. Speed of Sound has a no-return and no-refund policy for custom products made in our shop. If a custom product is made by a third party, you can contact that third party to inquire about their return policies, but we will not accept returns to Speed of Sound for custom-made products.


Any project which enlists our audio production services will be subject to our audio production policies and fees, as well as the rest of our general policies. Unless otherwise specified (in a contract), audio production fees will be billed at a rate of $60 per hour of labor involved in an audio production project. This includes (but is not limited to) time spent doing any of the following in relation to an audio production project: preparing our studio for a project, setting up for recording, recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and listening.


Any audio production project may fall under one of two categories.

STUDIO projects are considered to be more in-depth and generally involve tracking individual components (or instruments) of a project one-at-a-time. This generally allows a cleaner recording experience that allows more flexibility during post production. Multiple takes are generally used for each element to ensure an adequate number of performance options to choose from during post production to ensure that only the most favorable performance makes it into the final product. You may choose to track multiple elements simultaneously during a studio project if you wish.

LIVE projects are considered to be less in-depth. The method of “initial” recording in a live project is limited to tracking every element simultaneously, for the entirety of the project. Live recording sessions are limited to ONE day, and unless specified in a signed agreement, are also limited to ONE take. Live projects do include mixing and mastering work. You may choose to re-track any elements of your project during post-production. Re-tracking and additional post-production work will be subject to additional fees.


“Recording” is defined here as using microphones and other audio equipment to capture a live sound.

“Editing” is defined here as any manipulation of a source sound. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to: pitch correction and/or pitch shifting, time stretching, trimming, and “chopping” up parts of a recorded sound and “sliding” those parts around to fit a defined “beat” pattern.

“Mixing” is defined here as adjusting effects such as equalization, compression, reverb, delay, etc. as well as adjusting the levels of individual recorded elements to blend together for a completed audio track.

“Mastering” is defined here as the final stage of the production process in which a completed mix is then equalized, compressed, and maximized to achieve maximum volume output and optimal balance across the frequency spectrum. Mastering is the creation of the final audio file.

“Post production” is defined here as the stage of the production process in which editing is done. Additionally, post production may involve the introduction of elements not originally captured during the recording stage of the project. These elements may include audio clips and audio samples.


You may request for Speed of Sound to introduce audio clips and audio samples into your project. You, the client, are legally responsible for any clips you request to be added to the project. This includes television, movie, radio, and any other audio clips you wish included. By requesting Speed of Sound to use non-original audio clips in your projects, you accept full legal responsibility for any copyright, trademark, or intellectual property conflicts that may arise as a result of the use of such clips. You are therefore urged to investigate and ensure the legality of using any non-original content in your project.



At Speed of Sound, we value your privacy. We do not record our phone calls. Emails are stored confidentially. Any information you disclose to us via electronic communication will never be made available to non-company individuals except for legal purposes. Even within the company, only authorized individuals will ever have access to email records.


Speed of Sound reserves the right to make any changes to our policies for any reason. Should we make changes to policies during any project, you will remain immune to those policy changes until the termination of service (the completion of a project, for example). However, should you choose to enlist our services again after a project has ended, and we have updated our policies, you will need to sign an updated general service agreement.


Speed of Sound reserves the right to refuse service and business to anyone for any reason.



Headings, titles, and other “catch phrases” on this website are meant for illustrative purposes only and are not to be taken into consideration when interpreting these policies.