Course Title: Record sound

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: VART6073C

Course Title: Record sound

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4276 - Certificate IV in Sound Production

Course Contact : program Administration

Course Contact Phone: 03 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Tim Johnston
Phone: 03 9925 4325

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


Course Description

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to record sound, including the supervision of sound-recording operations.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSSOU401A Record sound


1Prepare for sound recording

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Clarify recording requirements with reference to production documentation and in consultation with relevant personnel
1.2 Prepare a team work plan as required and brief personnel accordingly
1.3 Check that sound equipment and accessories are in working order for recording sessions
1.4 Ensure that sound equipment and accessories are set up, connected and aligned according to safety, technical and production requirements
1.5 Ensure that the selection of sound equipment and accessories meets required standards
1.6 Ensure that recording devices have sufficient capacity for expected duration of recordings
1.7 Anticipate problems that may arise during the recording process and plan accordingly
1.8 Ensure adequate supply of consumables is available for duration of sound recordings


2Place microphones and test record line-up

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select, power and position microphones and microphone accessories according to safety, technical and production requirements
2.2 Apply principles of microphone operation when placing and moving microphones
2.3 Ensure placement of microphones and microphone accessories is safe, unobtrusive and avoids extraneous and unwanted noise
2.4 Conduct a sound check to ensure quality of recording will meet required standards
2.5 Test signal flow of connected sound equipment and accessories


3Make sound recordings

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Ensure run-up time is sufficient to allow stable sound recording
3.2 Apply appropriate signal processing for optimal sound quality and make test recordings to ensure no audible defects are present
3.3 Continuously monitor sound recording for quality, audible defects and extraneous background sound
3.4 Critically listen to recording and provide feedback on appropriate recording techniques to record line-up
3.5 Ensure recorded sound supports and enhances production requirements
3.6 Complete recording sessions in line with production timelines


4Finalise sound-recording operations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Ensure that recordings are saved in the appropriate format and logged/filed in line with organisational procedures
4.2 Make safety copies or backups as required
4.3 Prepare accurate production set-up reports
4.4 Ensure that sound equipment and accessories are
de-rigged, checked and cleaned appropriately
4.5 Ensure that work environments are cleaned after use
and restored to their pre-recording condition
4.6 Provide feedback to other team members as required
4.7 Evaluate own performance against technical and creative
criteria and note areas for improvement

Learning Outcomes

Achieve the skills and knowledge required to record sound, including the supervision of sound-recording operations.

Details of Learning Activities

In class activities may include:
• lectures
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• online research
• independent project based work
• teacher directed group activities/projects

Out of class activities may include:
• online research
• independent project based work

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.

Class content Other Elements
Week1 Physics of Sound
Course overview
What is sound, sound wave propagation, Wavelength, Frequency, Phase, Envelope, Velocity. 1,2


The ear
Pinna, auditory canal, tympanic membrane, Basilar membrane.
Reflection & diffraction of sound
Week3 Decibels & SPL
Application of basic formulae
Amplitude, Sound Levels, and Decibels
Inverse Square Law
Sound Intensity, SPL
Week4 Decibels & Hearing
Threshold of Hearing
Threshold of Feeling
Threshold of Pain
Equal Loudness contours.
Week5 Reverberation
Early reflections & Echoes
Pre delay & RT60
Intelligibility of rooms & idealised reverb times.
Sabine’s formula
Week6 Acoustics Theory
Standing Waves/ Eigentones/ Room modes
Room mode calculations. Axial, tangential, oblique
Week7 Acoustics Theory
Introduction to Building Acoustics
Membrane Absorbers, Porous Absorbers, Diffusers.
Week8 Design & Building Acoustics
Noise criteria and Transmission Loss.
Room Acoustics and design requirements.
Week9 Practical session for Assignment & Revision   1
Week10 Written Test   1

Class content Other
Practical Assignment – Recording in studio (10 x 4 hour sessions)                                   1,2,3,4



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

"Modern Recording Techniques" (7th Edition), Huber and Runstein, Focal Press. 0240810694


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

External firewire/USB hard drive
1 pair of high quality headphones

Overview of Assessment

Course assessment tasks will include class based practical exercises and project work undertaken in the computer lab for submission.

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 assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

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

Formative Assessment:
Semester 1
1. Application of appropriate formulae/calculations – Week1-10

2. Organise and coordinate personnel for recording – Week 12-16
3. Plan and itemise equipment and signal chain to be used in the recording – Week 12-16

Semester 2
4. Select and place microphones based on principles of microphone operation. – Week 1-14
5. Implement appropriate dynamic processing
 - Week 1-16
6. Monitor and control stereo image and depth
 - Week 1-16
7. Apply appropriate use of effects processing
 - Week 1-16
8. Deliver appropriate output level of pre master final mix
 - Week 1-16

Summative Assessment:
Semester 1
- Written multiple choice and short answer theory paper
- Week 10

- Research, analyse, calculate and submit findings on acoustic properties of a recording environment

- Week 14 

Semester 2
 - Submit portfolio with presentation and labeling to industry
standard – Week 16

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      Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC      Not Yet Competent
DNS      Did Not Submit for Assessment


Assessment of this unit is integrated with the assessments for the following units:

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VART 6071C Operate Professional Audio Equipment



Late submissions will only be able to be able to be assessed at a maximum result of CAG (competent / pass). and will not be eligible for a higher grade.

Late submissions will require application for Special Consideration before due date:

 Note that Special Consideration process is not moderated by program staff, so approval is not guaranteed


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