Course Title: Record sound

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: VART6411C

Course Title: Record sound

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 03 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

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 record sound and supervise sound recording operations.

It applies to individuals who work as part of a production team to record sound in a recording studio environment.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUASOU405 Record sound


1. Prepare for sound recording operations

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Interpret production documentation to identify recording requirements, and confirm with relevant people

1.2 Prepare a recording plan as required and brief people accordingly, including work health and safety (WHS) procedures and safe work practices

1.3 Confirm sound equipment and accessories are in working order

1.4 Confirm sound equipment and accessories are set up, connected and aligned according to safety, technical and production requirements

1.5 Confirm selected sound equipment and accessories meet required standards

1.6 Confirm recording media have sufficient capacity for expected duration of sound recording

1.7 Check that other consumables required are available for duration of sound recording

1.8 Anticipate problems that may arise during sound recording and plan accordingly


2. Place microphones and test recorded line-up

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select microphones to suit the sound source and give the desired tonal and dynamic quality to the recording

2.2 Place and move microphones to capture the sound with the desired quality and to reject unwanted sounds

2.3 Confirm microphone placement is safe and unobtrusive, and avoids extraneous and unwanted noise

2.4 Check that microphones and other equipment in the signal path are operating correctly.

2.5 Conduct a check with artists to ensure that the sound will be recorded with sufficient level and signal-to-noise ratio and the desired quality

2.6 Listen critically to the acoustic characteristics of the recording environment, and adjust microphone position as required


3. Make sound recordings

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Apply signal processing for optimal sound quality, and make test recordings to ensure no audible defects are present

3.2 Continuously monitor sound recording for quality, audible defects and extraneous background sound

3.3 Confirm recorded sound supports and enhances production requirements

3.4 Complete recording sessions in line with production timelines.


4. Finalise sound recording operations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Label and log sound recording according to production requirements

4.2 Produce master and backup copies of sound recording in required format

4.3 Prepare set-up report according to production requirements

4.4 Confirm sound equipment and accessories are de-rigged, checked and cleaned according to safety and production requirements

4.5 Confirm work environment is cleaned and restored to pre-recording condition

4.6 Provide feedback to production team members as required

4.7 Evaluate own performance against production requirements, 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. Achieve the skills and knowledge required to record sound, including the supervision of sound-recording operations.

Details of Learning Activities

In class activities may include:

  • lectures
  • practical studio sessions
  • peer teaching
  • group discussion
  • online research
  • independent project based work
  • teacher directed group activities/projects

Out of class activities may include:

  • online research
  • written assignments
  • independent project based work

Teaching Schedule





Week 1

Physics of Sound 
Course overview 
What is sound, sound wave propagation, Wavelength, Frequency, Phase, Envelope, Velocity. 1,2 
Discussion of OH&S principles




Week 2

The ear 
Pinna, auditory canal, tympanic membrane, Basilar membrane. 
Reflection & diffraction of sound


1, 2


Week 3

Decibels & SPL 
Application of basic formulae 
Amplitude, Sound Levels, and Decibels 
Inverse Square Law 
Sound Intensity, SPL


1, 2


Week 4

Decibels & Hearing 
Threshold of Hearing 
Threshold of Feeling 
Threshold of Pain 
Equal Loudness contours.


1, 2

Week 5

Early reflections & Echoes 
Pre delay & RT60 
Intelligibility of rooms & idealised reverb times. 
Sabine’s formula


1, 2


Week 6

Acoustics Theory 
Standing Waves/ Eigentones/ Room modes 
Room mode calculations. Axial, tangential, oblique


1, 2


Week 7

Acoustics Theory 
Introduction to Building Acoustics 
Membrane Absorbers, Porous Absorbers, Diffusers.


1, 2


Week 8

Design & Building Acoustics 
Noise criteria and Transmission Loss. 
Room Acoustics and design requirements.


1, 2


Week 9

Revision for Assessment 1 and Practical session for Assignment 2


1, 2


Week 10

In class written test

Assessment 1 due



Week 11 to 13

Analysing and calculating the acoustic properties of a recording environment

. Working on assessment 2.



Week 14

Assignment Submission

Assessment 2 due


Week 15 to 21

Working in a supervised environment, you will be making a professional recording in an industry standard sound studio. You will be working in groups of approximately 5 students and recording session times will be timetabled by your teachers in consultation with your group - see blackboard for studio sessions. 


1, 2, 3, 4.

Week 22

Final mix to be completed.

Assessment 3 due


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Prescribed Texts

"Modern Recording Techniques" (7th Edition), Huber and Runstein, Focal Press. 0240810694


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information. Students are expected to make full use of the Library facilities.

Other Resources

External firewire/USB hard drive

1 pair of high quality headphones

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course, and will involve a sound studio based practical recording project, and submissions of portfolio work to be assessed by a panel of teachers.

Assessment Tasks

o demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard.
You will receive feedback on all assessment and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 5 (refer to MyRMIT for grading rubric).

Assessment Tasks (Graded)

Assessment 1: Theory test

Written multiple choice and short answer theory paper
 - Due Week 10


Assessment 2: Report on acoustic properties

For this assessment you will research, analyse and calculate the acoustic properties of a recording environment

. You will submit your findings in a written report of a minimum of 500 words with appropriate calculations and diagrams. Due Week 14


Assessment 3: Recording project 

For this assessment you will be working together in groups of approximately 5 people to make a sound recording of an artist(s)’ work. You will be expected to coordinate the artists, schedule the recording sessions, organize the necessary equipment and set up the recording process. Over a period of 5 weeks, you will record the artist and over the following 5 weeks, you will complete the post-production process.

This is a group project but you will be assessed individually.

For this assessment you will submit a recording portfolio with presentation and labelling to industry standard – This will include final mixes from major recording project studio 1 sessions - see blackboard for details - Due Week 22

This assessment is conducted alongside the assessment for the following units of competency:

  • VART6413C - Mix Recorded Music
  • VART6410C -  Undertake Live Audio Operation
  • BUSM8789C -  Apply Time Management Techniques

You will be assessed separately against each of these individual units of competency.

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

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration.

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