Course Title: Mix live audio

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: VART6343C

Course Title: Mix live audio

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4372 - Certificate IV in Music Industry (Sound Production)

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 140

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to mix audio for live performance. As such it builds on other units dealing with the set-up and operation of basic audio equipment. With a focus on the basic practical approaches required to work in today’s entry level live sound environment, you will be exposed to a range of preparatory process, audio hardware and interconnectivity standards. The unit defines a minimum standard for the mixing of live audio. This unit will set-up essential approaches to you to develop their own skills.

This course includes a WIL experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a workplace context.

As part of this course you are required to undertake approximately 8 hours of learning/assessment in an industry area agreed to through consultation with staff, gaining invaluable experience and industry contacts.

Workplace Assessment Requirements
An agreement including schedule and relevant insurance documentation is required to be completed before commencing each assessment placement. In the case where a placement ends early, please refer to 6. Early Termination of Placements in the Work Integrated Learning Procedure.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUASOU401 Mix live audio


1. Prepare for live audio mixing

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Review production documentation and confirm scope of audio mixing requirements with relevant personnel

1.2 Ensure that audio equipment is set up and operational in line with production requirements

1.3 Anticipate problems that could arise during shows and plan accordingly


2. Undertake pre-show operations

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Match interfaces between audio and destination in accordance with level, impedance, phase and frequency

2.2 Line check all inputs and outputs for continuity and patching and route test signals to correct signal paths

2.3 Perform time and phase alignment of audio equipment and adjust as required

2.4 Check that audio levels and controls meet acoustic and dynamic requirements

2.5 Take action to ensure that faults and problems identified during testing are rectified promptly

2.6 Complete audio check and document changes according to organisational requirements

2.7 Operate front of house and monitor consoles during dress rehearsals or sound checks to establish appropriate mix to produce the required technical level, tonal balances and frequency response

2.8 Discuss audio issues with relevant personnel during rehearsals and adjust mix as required


3. Mix audio sources for live shows

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Manage signal control of level, equalisation and dynamic parameters to achieve a balanced sound mix

3.2 Apply effects according to production requirements

3.3 Produce transitions between sound signals that are technically accurate and produce the required effect

3.4 Ensure that the level of the composite signal is within technical limits and desired dynamic range

3.5 Observe and manage sound pressure levels according to venue requirements and safe noise levels

3.6 Resolve audio operational problems with minimal disruption to performances


4. Complete post-show operations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Execute power down and disassemble equipment safely

4.2 Pack and store equipment and accessories according to safety regulations and production requirements

4.3 Clean work environment after use and restore environment to original condition

4.4 Contribute to evaluations of productions and implement recommendations aimed at improving overall effectiveness of audio operations

4.5 Seek feedback from relevant personnel on own work performance and note areas for improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements. You will acquire the essential approaches and skills for live sound production and operation of associated equipment.

Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Class-based group and individual training, discussion & demonstrations
  • Hands-on practical activities in small groups
  • Location/venue exposure to skill application and development


Out of class learning activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Reading of provided notes/excerpts of industry publications & online links
  • Blogs

Teaching Schedule

Class 1

Repair & Maintain cabling - intro

Class 2

Construction of TS connector & cable

Class 3

Construction of TRS connector & cable

Class 4

Construction of XLR connector & cable

Class 5

Construction of Y-cable

Class 6

Feedback & Review

Class 7

Intro, overview, toolkit, resources – handout – Essential documents and in-class assessment of Line-List completion

Class 8

Intro to Tuning, review active speaker, mixer & rack processing

1-on-1 Graphic Tuning

Class 9

Tuning cont’d, Intro to FOH w/ Sub & monitor tuning – small team set-up with role swap

Class 10

Intro to Digital mixers – Presonus Studio Live, Analog FOH Patch

Class 11

Digital mixers cont’d (QU24, Presonus + Analog patch)

Class 12

Alternative Microphone systems and mix review

Class 13

Passive sound system practical + amps + processor, 3-way FOH

Class 14

Location workshop - Venue



Class 1 

Blackboard overview

Software overview: Ableton

Introduction to

Arrangement View


Class 2

Warping and time

manipulation in Ableton Live.

Using Midi Controllers and

mapping MIDI

Class 3

Instrument racks

Macro Controls and Mapping

Class 4

Assessment performance

class and feedback session

Class 5

Editing, mixing, and

arranging live sets in Session


Class 6

DJ'ing with Ableton

Collaborative techniques

Class 7

Samplers, vocoders and


Class 8

Sound design and

composition techniques in


Class 9

Assessment 5: Progress


Class 10

Studio Class

Class 11

Studio Class

Class 12

Exploration of further


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks include practical exercises in cable repair & maintenance and microphone-handling , setting up and tuning a speaker system, audio mixing and operating live audio production software and produciton of live sound reinforcement.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are a combination of ungraded completion tasks and graded tasks.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive a final grade as a result of the successful completion of all tasks as listed below.

For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.
Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment:

CHD - Competent with High Distinction
CDI - Competent with Distinction
CC - Competent with Credit
CAG - Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment



Soldering Assessment 

  1. Construction of TRS connector & cable

Due Class 3 

  1. Construction of XLR connector & cable

Due Class 4 

  1. Construction of Y-cable

Due Class 5


MLA Assessment Written

  1. Line List – you will complete an example document to reflect planning and set-up for a show – this list shall be derived from the contents of this Survival Guide – this is completed in.



  1. Quiz – you will complete a series of Quiz sheets –You will need to find the responses to the quizzes within this Survival Guide and are intentionally provided to get you to read these notes. These quizzes will be completed generally within classes whilst practical activities are being juggled - a copy of the quizzes is included in course handout at the rear. Quizzes must be either sighted and signed or handed in to your teacher.

Due CLASS 3/4/5/6


  1. Links to these are on Blackboard in Interactive Assessment Folder

On-Line Video’s & Quiz – you will respond to questions regarding a presentation on-line & attached discussion requiring you to reflect on your viewing experience.

 A. Setting Up a Band PA – Ausmusic Video – QUIZ via Google Docs – Must be completed. (video is also on youtube)

 B. View LYNDA video for extensive overview of all live sound aspects using a touring system as the example.

WWW.LYNDA.COM - Live Sound Engineering Techniques: On Tour with Rush (don’t let the band put you off! J )



  1. Blog – Each student is to enter a blog (gig diary) entry reflecting on at least 3 separate Live Sound experiences – these can be gigs, events from whatever area of work you can find exposure to that offers live sound reinforcement activities. You must approach these blogs from an engineering perspective – reflect on production, gear, sound (mix), venue etc. approx. 250-300 words per post. Posts to be entered via supplied RMIT blackboard Blog host



MLA Assessment - Practical

Practical Audio Mixing Skills will be assessed via hands-on practical set-ups in the following key procedures;

a. Handle, Store and Roll Cable – this involves demonstration of your cable rolling skills and must be completed to a suitable standard for immediate industry use. BOTH Microphone cable + Multicore rolling must be demonstrated for this assessment.

b. Tune Speakers with Microphone and Equaliser – this involves demonstration of your ability to use your voice and microphone to tune a speaker to improve clarity, reduce feedback and obtain best gain-before-feedback. (To equalise a stage monitor wedge with due regard to tonal balance/quality and gain-before-feedback using voice & sm58)

c. Set-up Audio System Components Speakers, Stands, Cabling, Desk/Rack this involves exposure to various components and demonstration of your ability to set-up a sound system including mixing audio. This will be broken down within various classes including the following practical sessions, Analog Patch, Presonus mix, QU24 mix and Passive System patch.



  1. Mapped Ableton Parameters to Midi Keyboard
  2. Mapped Ableton Parameters to Computer Keyboard
  3. Demonstrated Mappings in a Live Performance Setting
  4. Demonstrated use of Midi Controller(s)
  5. Demonstrated Understanding of Session View
  6. Demonstrated application of Ableton features (eg, drum racks, automation, FX routing, etc)
  7. Performance Included Improvised/Collaborative Elements


EACH STUDENT IS ADVISED TO ATTEND ALL CLASSES TO COMPLETE THESE EXERCISES – poor attendance will reduce actual instruction opportunity and will impact on ability to complete all assessments and may impact on course completion

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. The assessment matrix for this course can be found on Blackboard or from your teacher.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback:

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress:

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview