Course Title: Manage audio input sources

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2018

Course Code: VART6414C

Course Title: Manage audio input sources

School: 345H Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5378 - Diploma of Music Industry (Sound Production)

Course Contact: Paul Thomas

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 30

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 select and manage audio input sources and the audio signals these devices create.  This unit goes beyond the general knowledge and use of microphones and applies to those technicians who create and implement complex microphone plots.  As such it requires a detailed knowledge of microphone and input source technology.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUASOU402 Manage audio input sources


1. Organise input sources

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Determine audio requirements and timelines in consultation with relevant personnel and with reference to production documentation 1.2 Assess venues to determine input source options based on acoustic analyses that take physical limitations into account 1.3 Take acoustic sources of audio into account when identifying preferred microphone placement 1.4 Clarify the backline needs of musical groups as required and organise microphones and other input sources accordingly 1.5 Keep up-to-date with developments in audio technology to ensure the most appropriate selection of microphones and the best approach to audio operations 1.6 Reach agreement on placement and organisation of microphones and other audio input sources prior to technical run-throughs or rehearsals


2. Maximise gain on stage

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Place and connect microphones in desired locations using safe work practices 2.2 Position microphones appropriately to achieve required gain 2.3 Increase gain before feedback through effective use of equalisation options and effects equipment


3. Manage inputs

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Prepare and implement appropriate microphone plots 3.2 Patch microphone signals to audio mixing desk, including multiple signals as required 3.3 Prepare and maintain an input signal failure plan 3.4 Test input sources, identify problems promptly and take appropriate action to rectify 3.5 In consultation with relevant personnel, evaluate quality of audio set-up and note areas for future improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of different types of microphone and their applications, including different audio pick up patterns, microphone behaviour in different environments, acoustic consequences of signal phase problems and the use of phantom power 
  • Apply microphone requirements for different types of environments, including live sound, studio recording and live broadcast
  • Demonstrate techniques for preparation of a microphone plot, including key elements and relevant issues for consideration
  • Demonstrate techniques for preparation of an input signal failure plan, including key elements and issues for consideration
  • Demonstrate techniques for management of diverse input signal types, including limitations

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities for this course include:

  • Class tutorials/ lectures
  • Studio practical classes
  • Simulated workplace activities
  • Comparative listening exercises
  • Research

Teaching Schedule


Introduction to course and expectations
Explanation of assessments
Cable rolling practice/mic stand operating procedures
Introduction to microphone operating principles




Cable rolling practice
More Operating Prinicples
Set-up Procedures




Polar Patterns



CLASS 4Microphone Specifications


CLASS 5Specialist Microphones



CLASS 6Microphone Applications


CLASS 7Stereo Microphone Techniques


CLASS 8Listening Exercises and Microphone Comparisons


CLASS 9Revision


CLASS 10Final Graded Assessment




Week 12-14



Studio Prac 2 Acoustic Recordings


Week 14

 Week 14 -18


RMIT Microphone Kit Research Assessment Due


Studio Prac 4 Drum Kit Recording





Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Resources are constantly updated.

Your lecture will provide you with the current selection of resources.

Overview of Assessment

Course assessment tasks include studio practicals testing of underpinning knowledge.

Assessment Tasks

To 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 4 (refer to MyRMIT for grading rubric).

Assessment Tasks (ungraded)

Assessment  1.  Small recording of a solo artist. (Ungraded) Week 12 - 14

                        As a group of 3- 5 members, you will record and mix a solo artist of your choice.

Assessment  2.  Drum Kit recording. (Ungraded) Week 14 -18

                        As a group of 3- 5 members, you will record a live drummer and their drum kit. You will select appropriate microphones and preamps and record into Pro Tools for later editing.

Assessment  3.  Research assessment. (Ungraded) Week 14

                        Students must research the RMIT University microphones list.

Assessment Task (Graded) 

Assessment  4.  Theory Test. (Graded) Week 10

                        Students must demonstrate their knowledge on the theory of microphones by answering written questions.

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.



Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to:


  • set up and test complex microphone plots and other audio input sources for at least two productions or events
  • apply in-depth knowledge of microphone technology and product options to work activities
  • manage a range of microphone and other audio inputs during technical run-throughs or rehearsals on at least two occasions
  • correctly use terminology associated with input source management
  • work collaboratively.


Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided for each of the above points at least once.

Knowledge Evidence

To complete the unit requirements the individual must:


  • explain the features of a range of different microphone and the contexts in which they are best used
  • explain the acoustic consequences of signal phase problems and when to use phantom power
  • provide examples of current trends in microphone development and the availability of products
  • provide examples of issues and challenges that typically arise when managing audio input sources, along with solutions to address them
  • provide example of issues to consider when preparing microphone plots and input signal failure plans.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview