Course Title: Select and manage microphone and other audio input sources

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: VART6078C

Course Title: Select and manage microphone and other audio input sources

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4276 - Certificate IV in Sound Production

Course Contact : Program adminsitration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher:    Paul Thomas


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

There are no pre requisites or co-requisites for this course.

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:

CUESOU08B Select and manage microphone and other audio input sources


Element 1  Select microphones and other input sources according to application

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Analyse performance outline and liaise with appropriate colleagues to determine audio requirements

1.2 Assess the venue/location to determine input source options based on acoustic analysis and any physical limitations.

1.3 Assess the acoustic source of the audio to identify the preferred microphone placement

1.4 Identify and select the most appropriate microphone options, including consideration of microphones for specific purposes


Element 2  Maximise gain on stage

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Electrically connect and mechanically set microphones in a desired location using safe work practices

2.2 Position microphone appropriately to achieve required gain

2.3 Implement appropriate equalisation options and introduce relevant effects equipment to increase gain before feedback


Element 3  Manage inputs

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Prepare and implement an appropriate microphone plot

3.2 Patch microphone signals to the audio mixing desk, including multiple signals where required

3.3 Prepare and maintain an input signal failure plan

3.4 Test input sources, identify any problems promptly and take action to rectify as appropriate

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

In class lerning activities include, but are not limited to:
*  classroom tutorials and class presentations
*  studio practical sessions
*  listening/comparison exercises

Out of class activities include, but are not limited to:
*  exploration and application of microphones

Teaching Schedule

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.

<thead> <th scope="col">Class</th> <th scope="col">Class Content</th> <th scope="col">Elements</th> </thead>

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

1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4

2Cable rolling practice
More Operating Prinicples
Set-up Procedures
1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
3Polar Patterns1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
4Microphone Specifications1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
5Specialist Microphones1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
6Microphone Applications1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
7Stereo Microphone Techniques1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
8Listening Exercises and Microphone Comparisons
1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
9Revision1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4
10Final Summative Assessment1.1 - 1.4
2.1 - 2.3
3.1 - 3.4

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

On-line resources

Microphone Manufacturer's Websites


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 Materials for taking notes in class.

Other Resources

Materials for taking notes in class

Overview of Assessment

Course assessment tasks include studio practicals testing of underpinning knowledge. 

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.

For further information on the assessments and grading criteria, please refer to the couse Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Formative Assessment

1. Set-up pack down task. This involves set-up and pack down of microphones, stands and cables. Assessed during Studio Pracs 3 and 4. To be completed from classes 3 to 9.

Summative Assessment

The summative assessment consist of two practical recording sessions in Studio 1 and a test on microphone theory. Please see following for details of the various components of this. 

1. Studio Prac 3. Studio recording exercise with solo performer. To be completed in classes 3 to 9.

2. Studio Prac 4. Studio recording exercise of a drum kit. Classes 5 to 9.

3. Microphone Recognition Test in class 8

4. Theory test. Multiple choice test on the theory and application of microphones and other input sources. Class 10.

Assessments 1 & 2 will be made in conjunction with unit BUSM6224C

The details on these assessments and the grading criteria for this competency can be found on the course Blackboard site.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

CHD         Competent with High Distinction

CDI           Competent with Distinction

CC            Competent with Credit

CAG          Competence Achieved -Graded

NYC          Not Yet Competent

DNS          Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are
available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
All students must complete a submission cover sheet for each piece of submitted work.

Plagiarism - RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

All students have access to the myRMIT copyright shell. The myRMIT copyright shell contains information on copyright, plus also examples on how to use copyright works as part of your projects and assignments.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:

Student Progress Committee
This committee promotes the early identification of students who are not achieving acceptable academic performance. The committee provides identified students with assistance and seeks to ensure such students are aware of the range of support services available to them at the University. Student Progress Committee (SPC)

Student Feedback
Students are offered opportunities to provide feedback through a variety of mechanisms including online surveys conducted at the end of each course or semester, student complaints and Student Staff Consultative Committees

Course Overview: Access Course Overview