Course Title: Record sound on location

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: VART6211C

Course Title: Record sound on location

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5216 - Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Course Administrator

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Matt Voigt

+61 3 9925 4815

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 you will learn skills and knowledge required to record sound on location for screen productions.

Sound recordists and boom operators apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They are responsible for recording sound effects and location atmosphere. They are also responsible for using boom mounted microphones and radio microphones to record dialogue in both outdoor and indoor locations. The operation of the boom requires precision and some physical stamina to ensure that the optimum quality sound is captured without interfering with camera operation or the movement of actors

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU406A Record sound on location


1. Prepare for location recording

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Confirm recording requirements in consultation with relevant personnel and with reference to scripts and other production documentation
1.2 Check that sound equipment and accessories are in working order prior to shoots
1.3 Ensure adequate supply of consumables is available for duration of sound recordings


2. Capture dialogue

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Participate in technical run-throughs or rehearsals to determine optimum positioning of boom and microphone for recording shots
2.2 Rig sound equipment and accessories in line with safety, technical and production requirements
2.3 Attach radio or clip microphones to actors' clothing as required
2.4 Ensure run-up time is sufficient and synchronisation codes are referenced to allow stable sound recording
2.5 Move boom according to scripted shots and respond to direction
2.6 Follow the actions and anticipate movements of relevant personnel
2.7 Ensure movement of boom is unobtrusive and sympathetic to actions of relevant personnel and does not generate unwanted noise
2.8 Monitor sound through headphones to ensure unwanted sounds are not being captured
2.9 Communicate with relevant personnel with minimal disruption to operations
2.10 Correct equipment failures with minimal disruption to operations


3. Capture sound effects

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Record background location sound for use in post-production
3.2 Place multiple microphones in different positions to capture sound perspective of effects being recorded
3.3 Listen critically to recorded sound and re-record as required to achieve desired effect


4. Finalise sound-recording operations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Save recordings in the appropriate format and log/file in line with organisational procedures
4.2 Make safety copies or backups in line with organisational procedures
4.3 De-rig, check and clean sound equipment and accessories
4.4 Leave locations clean and restored to their pre-recording condition
4.5 Evaluate own performance against technical and creative criteria and note areas for improvement.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to record sound on location for screen productions.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in the classrom and on locations where sound will be recorded. Activities will include, but not limited to,

Practical industry style tasks

Teaching Schedule


Week          Class contentAssessment due
Week 2- Introduction to the subject and assessment tasks
- Basics of sound (Sine waves, phase, acoustics)
- Class activity to demonstrate phase the way sound reacts in a room
- Introduction to equipment
Week 3- Introduction to the recording equipment cont.
- Overview of microphones (Videos on different shotgun mics)
- Difference between mic and line devices / level
- Cables and connectors
- Practice using equipment
Week 4- Getting good recording levels
- Awareness of different noises in the recording and where they could come from
- Class activity – setting up cameras and microphones and recording audio in different locations. Playback and listen to results
Week 5- Introduction to the concept of Sound Designs (Video’s on Sound Designs and location recording)
- Recording Sound Effects and Atmos
- Discuss the difference between recording sound on location vs in a controlled environment
- listen to the difference between atmosphere tracks and sound effects.
- Practice recording sound effects
Week 6- Discussion about other recording devices and setups.
- File management and identifying sound recordings
Assessment 01 - Recording Sound Effects and Atmos. Ungraded
Week 7- The tricks to Boom operating
- Practice setting up for Mock interview assessment task
Week 8- Simulated interview pracs Assessment 02 - Simulated interview pracs. Undraded

Week 9

- Simulated interview pracs Assessment 02 - Simulated interview pracs. Ungraded
Weeksm10-14Production of location interviews for assessment, attendance on location required 
Week 15- Review of completed interview productions including written evaluationsAssessment 03 location interview recording. Graded
Week 16- Review of completed interview productionsincluding written evaluations Assessment 03 location interview recording. Graded

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Video Production Handbook Jim Owens & Gerald Millerson Focal Press.


Other Resources

Sound recording equipment and camcorders will be supplied.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

- Practical tasks
- location recording project including a written component.
- direct observation & questionsing.

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 where indicated, you will receive a grade. Graded assessment tasks are equally weighted and will determine your final result for this course.

- Assessment 01 - Recording Sound Effects and Atmos - Due week 6
- Assessment 02 - Simulated location interview recording - Due week 8-9

- Assessment 03 - Location interview recording - Due week 15-16.

Grading criteria for the graded assessment can be found on the course Blackboard site. 
You will be assessed using the following grades:

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 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:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications

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

You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.  Student feedback at RMIT

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

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. Special consideration, appeals and discipline :

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.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview