Course Title: Operate sound mixing console

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: VART5723C

Course Title: Operate sound mixing console

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4128 - Certificate IV in Music Industry (Technical Production)

Course Contact : Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4976

Course Contact Email:adam.lovell@rmit.edu.au


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

None

Course Description

Students will learn the skills and knowledge to operate a basic sound studio including, sound mixing console/desk, major outboard sound processing equipment and develop basic skills to monitor sound quality and develop creative and technical judgements.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU11A Operate sound mixing console

Element:

Complete work operations, including all studio outboard and mixing console

Performance Criteria:

- Complete all necessary documentation in accordance with organisational procedures and production requirements
- Finalise operations in accordance with OHS requirements
- Ensure that any equipment is handled, cleaned, maintained and stored in accordance with organisational and/or production requirements
- Ensure that the work environment is clean and restored to its original condition in readiness for the next user

Element:

Monitor technical quality of all studio equipment during production

Performance Criteria:

- Monitor the level of sources and mix and balance them so that relative loudness of sources in the output is within the required technical limits, and satisfies the creative requirements
- Monitor sources and outputs both aurally and visually to meet with accepted safety standards and production requirements
- Where required, allow audio signals to be processed, adding desired effects or other signal processing where necessary
- Monitor phantom power supply to ensure that microphones are operational at all times
- Provide communication facilities with relevant personnel, when required, throughout the production

Element:

Operate console and additional studio processing during production

Performance Criteria:

- Observe OHS requirements for operating the sound mixing console
- Provide amplification from microphones and other sources as required to meet sound production requirements
- Operate faders to produce a level appropriate to the required sound
- Adjust equalisers to produce an appropriate tonal quality
- Operate sound controls to produce perspective, acoustic, dynamic range appropriate to production requirements
- Implement computerised or manual fader systems appropriately
- Interpret and evaluate relevant documentation and take appropriate action as required

Element:

Prepare sound mixing console and outboard studio processing for operation

Performance Criteria:

- Liaise with relevant personnel and/or read production documents to interpret and confirm the sound requirements so that technical and creative requirements are met
- Match interfaces between source and destination according to level, impedance, phase and frequency
- Route test signals to the correct signal path and check that level of test signal is correct to meet production requirements
- Check that sound mixing equipment is operational according to safety requirements and organisational procedures
- Provide phantom power at microphone sockets, where necessary, and check that the phasing of all microphones is correct, according to production requirements


Learning Outcomes


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Details of Learning Activities

Students explore the major studio equipment - theory of operation and practical application, through a series of class based lectures/tutorials/discussion.
The central emphasis will be on mixing console and outboard processing equipment,  use and applications to achieve usable industry acceptable results.
Students will have the opportunity to gain practical insights into operational functions and user tips and tricks within class activities, and these will form the foundation of skills that will underpin the various Tasks and assessments throughout the semester.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              .


Teaching Schedule

WEEK
TOPIC
DESCRIPTION
1
INTRODUCTION
Introduction to tutor / background / present industry involvement
Introduction to class/expectations/start-finish times/subject and overview of topics.
2MIXER DESIGN
Split-monitor v’s In-Line
Off tape monitoring – how, why.
Mackie Manual handout
3MACKIE
Commence review of Mackie mixer with reference to the Mackie console user guide handout.
Front panel controls / layout
Channel Strip
Controls

Commence Assessment Task 1.2
4
MACKIE
Continue front panel definitions via manual
Master Output Section
8 Subgroup master busses
Monitor Section
H/P Masters – what options for HP mixes in RMIT studio 1
AUX – what do they do – when to use them
Mix-B – description and examples of application
5
SIGNAL FLOWIntroduction to reading Block Diagrams
Commence review of Mackie Block Diagram.

6
SIGNAL FLOW Cont’d
Channel Path/Mix-B pathway features and applications.
7SIGNAL FLOW REVISION  +   
PATCHBAYS
ANALOG/DIGITAL
Balanced/Unbalanced
Why required/advantages/concerns
Types/Sizes/configurations
Bantam (TT)
Jack 1/4”, 6.5mm.
Normalling modes
Applications
Examples of patches

          
8
ANALOG Tape Construction + Formats/sizes/speed/length
Basic machine tape path and travel
Head layouts
Basic alignment issues  
Path cleaning
Basic SMPTE frame rates
9EQWhy/when to apply
Studio/Live applications
Types
Parameters
Variations between software and hardware (patching points/plug-in location)
    
Applications
Rec/mix/master
Considerations/restrictions
Freq revision
Description of effect
10
DYNAMICS    
Part 1
Compressors/Limiters
VCA, Opto
Types
Differences
Parameters

Commence Assessment Task 1.1
11
DYNAMICS      
Part II
Gates/Expanders
Setup guidelines
Applications
Considerations

In-class practical of gating, comp and Side-chain processing
12TIME BASED FX Delay FX
Reverb FX
Harmonizers/Pitch Shifters/Correction Tools
13FX & MIXING APPLICATIONSFX continued with Parameters
Setup
Applications

In studio examples within Pro Tools of how a mix can be completed including application of FX and general revue of mix strategies.
14
FX & MIXING APPLICATIONSIn studio examples within Pro Tools of how a mix can be completed including application of FX and general revue of mix strategies.

Review of Studio Etiquitte
THE STUDIO/GENERAL
    Monitoring set-up – speaker control and options
    Power up/down procedures
    Preamp options and general differences
    Headphone mixes and amp options
    Session etiquettes (neutralize desk, collapse stands etc..)
15
 
 THEORY EXAMINATION 
 
Assessment Task 2.1
THEORY EXAMINATION 
   
   
   
   


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References

"Modern Recording Techniques" (6th Edition), Huber and Runstein, Focal Press

0240806255

"Sound Reinforcement Handbook", Davis and Jones, Yamaha

0881889008

"Audio For Media", Alten, Wadsworth

0534630464


Other Resources

HANDOUTS
Learners will be provided subject/course material handouts in class.
    -These will form a critical component of the course work and will be crucial in preparing for assessment.
    -Only ONE (1) copy per student will be allocated - DO NOT LOOSE THEM!
    -Bring them to all classes.
    -DO NOT LOOSE THEM!

PRACTICAL RESOURCES
Each learner MUST provide the following items:-
• Professional quality headphones
• External firewire hard drive - formated to be Mac/PC compatible (ask if unsure)
• CD-R + DVD-R media as required in studio sessions to back-up and submit material.

WORLD WIDE WEB
(these are just the beginning - take the time to look at each and every site listed below, some will provide very valuable resources for the months/years ahead)
www.digidesign.com
www.mackie.com
www.recordingconsoles.com
www.harddisklife.com
www.prosoundweb.com
www.apple.com.au
www.allen-heath.com
www.remixmag.com
www.mixonline.com
www.mixbooks.com
www.record-producer.com
www.audiomedia.com

MAGAZINES
Tape Op (USA)
Audio Technology (AUS)
CX (AUS)
Mix (USA)
Sound On Sound (EUR)
Future Music (UK)
Audio Media (UK/USA)


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will incorporate a variety of methods including one-on-one practical assessment, studio based practical tasks and written assessment.
Students are advised that some tasks will be conducted in Semester 2 to allow sufficient familiarisation of practical facilities.


Assessment Tasks

Task 1.    Practical competency assessment
                Task 1.1        10% - In-class creation of an advertisement for broadcast.
                                                   a. 2% - develop concept
                                                   b. 2% - complete recording and edit
                                                   c. 3% - mix material to standards required for format
                                                   d. 3% - submit for assessment as per guidelines required

                Task 1.2        10% - Completion of supervised studio tasks - Competency based assessment to check individual performance within group activites.
                                                   
                Task 1.2        10% - One-on-One practical studio assessment covering basic studio navigation
                                                    (to allow learner sufficient familiarisation time - this is held in Semester 2)

Task 2.    Written examination (held at end of Semester 1)
                Task 2.1      70% -    Written multiple choice and short answer question paper covering major theory and practical material.


Assessment Matrix

Not Applicable

Other Information

   

Course Overview: Access Course Overview