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

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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

* recording exercises

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.


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

Element 1

Element 2

Element 3



Cable rolling practice
More Operating Prinicples
Set-up Procedures

Element 1

Element 2

Element 3




Polar Patterns

Element 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 4Microphone SpecificationsElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 5Specialist MicrophonesElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 6Microphone ApplicationsElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 7Stereo Microphone TechniquesElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 8Listening Exercises and Microphone Comparisons
Element 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 9RevisionElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


CLASS 10Final Graded AssessmentElement 1

Element 2

Element 3




Week 12-14



Studio Prac 2 Acoustic Recordings

Element 2


Week 14


RMIT Microphone Kit Research Assessment DueElement 1

Element 2

Element 3


Week 14-18


Studio Prac 4 Drum Kit recording

Element 2

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

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessments to a satisfactory standard.
You will receive feedback on all assessment and where indicated, you will receive a grade. Graded assessment tasks will determine your final result for this course.

UNGRADED Assessment

* Set-up pack down task including cable rolling and microphone handling and care. This involves set-up and pack down of microphones, stands and cables. Assessed during Studio Pracs 3 and 4. To be completed by the end of semester one.

* Studio Prac 2. Studio recording exercise with solo performer. To be completed by the end of semester one.

* Studio Prac 4. Studio recording exercise of a drum kit. To be completed by the end of semester one.

GRADED Assessment

Microphone Theory and application Test assessment.

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

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

This unit is holistically assessed in conjunction with BUSM6224C Manage Production Requirements, through the use of the "Studio Pracs" 2 & 4 to assess practical microphone use.

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

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:



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. Non-attendance may seriously jeopardise the chances of success in a course. Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. Where visa conditions apply, attendance is compulsory.

Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (web link)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which people can gain entry to, or credit in, recognised courses based on competencies gained. The competencies may have been gained through experience in the workplace, in voluntary work, in social or domestic activities or through informal or formal training or other life experiences. Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies if a student has previously successfully completed the requirements of a unit of competency or module and is now required to be reassessed to ensure that the competency has been maintained.

Assessment and Feedback (web link)

You will receive verbal feedback during scheduled class times, and written feedback from teachers on your work . Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress (web link)

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.

Special consideration for Late Submission (web link)

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. You can apply in writing for up to a week’s extension from your course teacher. If you need a longer extension, you wil need to apply for special consideration.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism (web link)

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview