Course Title: Set up, operate and de-rig portable sound recording equipment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: VART5664C

Course Title: Set up, operate and de-rig portable sound recording equipment

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4112 - Certificate IV in Screen

Course Contact : Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4976

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 35

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

In this course, students learn the skills and knowledge required to set up, operate and de-rig a range of portable sound recording equipment for a production

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU13A Set up, operate and de-rig portable sound recording equipment


 Pack sound equipment

Performance Criteria:

- Ensure that containers are suitable for the storage and carriage of the equipment in a safe and secure manner
- Ensure that packing of hazardous items complies with current regulations
- Label containers accurately, clearly and ensure durability
- Complete storage and packing of equipment neatly and within the planned timescale
- Ensure documentation for packed equipment is accurate and legible
- Complete documentation on equipment as and where required


Determine production requirements

Performance Criteria:

- Read and interpret appropriate materials and discuss creative and practical considerations with relevant personnel to fulfil production requirements 
-  Discuss and confirm suitable portable sound equipment requirements with the relevant personnel and document all requirements
- Where necessary, survey locations to ascertain external noise interference, and sound proofing requirements
- Obtain equipment and accessories and ensure consistency with the production requirements before commencement of production


Disassemble sound equipment after use

Performance Criteria:

- Disassemble equipment safely and with consideration of other production requirements
- Ensure that all equipment and accessories are packed and stored according to safety regulations and production requirements
- Check hired equipment against inventory before packing and report any lost or damaged equipment to the appropriate personnel
- Clean working environment after use and restore environment to previous condition


Operate sound equipment

Performance Criteria:

- Ensure that sound levels and dynamic range are appropriate for the production requirements
- Assess sound quality and ensure that it has the expected signal-to-noise ratio and is free from distortion and other audible defects
- Ensure that background sounds are consistent and suitable to meet relevant production requirements
- Ensure that run-up time of recording devices is sufficient to allow synchronisation, where necessary
- Execute sound cues in accordance with the requirements of the production
- Ensure that beginning and end of recording is sufficient to allow a smooth transition
- Monitor equipment for correct operation throughout the production
- Rectify any faults/problems and/or refer to the appropriate personnel throughout the production
- Identify and log all recordings accurately and complete any other necessary documentation according to organisational and production requirements


Prepare for sound operation

Performance Criteria:

- Check all operational aspects of the sound equipment to ensure that it is ready for commencement of production
- Check that where batteries are to be used they are in good condition and fully charged, and ready for the anticipated length of use in accordance with production requirements
- Check that microphones enhance performance and production quality according to the production requirements
- Test all operational aspects of the sound recording equipment according to production requirements
- Where microphones may be required to be fitted to personnel ensure that: 
  1. safety procedures are followed 
  2. position and connection of aerial optimises pick-up 
  3. choice of transmitter frequency minimises interference with nearby channels in the frequency band 
  4. transmitters have appropriate sensitivity 
  5. rigging of microphone is achieved within the relevant constraints 
  6. connection of aerial and related cabling is secure 
  7. transmitter-receiver location is unobtrusive and comfortable for relevant personnel 
  8. transmitter-receiver location produces optimum output 
  9. interaction with relevant personnel is discreet, tactful and causes minimum disruption 
  10. items that may negatively affect transmission are not present on relevant personnel


Set up sound equipment

Performance Criteria:

- Position and connect equipment according to safety and production requirements 
- Set up equipment and cabling according to safety and production requirements
- Achieve set up within the constraints of time, budget, working environment and production requirements
- Position microphones, mountings and cabling according to safety procedures and within the organisational and production requirements
- Ensure that microphone mounting and cabling are mechanically sound and do not transmit vibration to the microphone, ensuring optimum sound quality
- Label equipment appropriately and clearly according to organisational requirements
- Conduct sound check and implement and document all adjustments according to organisational procedures
- Operate equipment according to safety and production requirements

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

Location sound recordings comprise most of the sound track in the majority of non Hollywood film and video productions.  Location or “Production” tracks generally contain; the dialogue, the atmospheric sounds, wild tracks (audio heard off camera) and sound effects specific to that location.
The difference between well recorded and badly recorded location sound can mean the difference between a good film and an amateur film.

This course is designed to give film and video students the necessary skills and knowledge to record good quality sound for film and video productions.  

Teaching Schedule

TAFE week 1

TAFE week 2
Introduction to the course.
A look at the audio equipment we will be using.

TAFE week 3
How to set a microphone level on a digital video camera, basic boom handling technique.

TAFE week 4
Sound and acoustics.
How sound travels through the air.
Listening exercise. Harmonics.

TAFE week 5
Sound and acoustics.
Practical exercise 1.
Ass 1. (10%)

TAFE week 6
Practical exercises

TAFE week 7
Sound and acoustics.
Acoustic environments.

TAFE week 8
Sound and acoustics.
Practical exercise 2.
Ass 2. (15%)

TAFE week 9
Polar Patterns.

TAFE week 10
Practical Exercise.
Ass. 3 (20%)

TAFE week 11
Gain Structure and Basic audio electronics
Cables, Connectors. Analogue/Digital audio
The decibel. Meters.

TAFE week 12
Gain Structure.
Practical exercise. ENG mixers
Ass 4. (25%)

TAFE week 13
Acoustics, basic audio electronics, microphones & gain structure.

TAFE week 14
Acoustics, basic audio electronics, microphones & gain structure.
Ass. 5. (30%)
Test (Multiple Choice)

TAFE week 15
The Sound Track.
Music, Sound FX, Dialogue.
Editing Sound.
Tips and Tricks in FCP
The Television Studio.

TAFE week 16
Procedures and Protocols of the television sound department.

TAFE week 17

TAFE week 18
Review & survey

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Producing Videos: A Complete Guide. Martha Mollison. Allen & Unwin



No prescribed text

Other Resources

N/A refer to teacher

Overview of Assessment

Sound and acoustics - practical exercise 1 – 10%
Sound and acoustics - practical exercise 2 – 15%
Microphones - practical exercise – 20%
Gain structure – practical exercise – 25%
Test – 30%

Assessment Tasks

ll assessments are to be submitted on or prior to the due date. If assessments are handed after the due date; 1% will be deducted for each day the submission is late, after two weeks late submissions will only be assessed as a pass/fail grade. All assessments are to be submitted in accordance with the “SCREEN course guide” guide lines.
Assessment 1.  Practical exercise Due Week 5 & 6. (10%)
This assessment is to be completed during class time in week 5.
Assessment 2.  Practical exercise Due Week 8.  (15%)
This assessment is to be completed during class time in week 7.
Assessment 3.  Practical exercise Due Week 10.  (20%)
This assessment is to be completed during class time in week 9.
Assessment 4.  Practical exercise Due Week 12.  (25%)
This assessment is to be completed during class time in week 11.
Assessment 5. Test (Multiple choice) Week 14.  (30%)
This test will provide evidence of knowledge of sound and acoustics, basic electronics, microphones and gain structure.

Assessment Matrix

N/A refer to teacher

Other Information

N/A refer to teacher

Course Overview: Access Course Overview