Course Title: Record sound

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

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
  • practical studio sessions
  • peer teaching
  • group discussion
  • online research
  • independent project based work
  • teacher directed group activities/projects

Out of class activities may include:

  • online research
  • written assignments
  • 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.


Week                 Class Content
Assessment Due                                         
Week 1 Physics of Sound
Course overview
What is sound, sound wave propagation, Wavelength, Frequency, Phase, Envelope, Velocity 1,2
Discussion of OH&S principles



Week 2

The ear
Pinna, auditory canal, tympanic membrane, Basilar membrane.
Reflection & diffraction of sound
  1, 2


Week 3 Decibels & SPL
Application of basic formulae
Amplitude, Sound Levels, and Decibels
Inverse Square Law
Sound Intensity, SPL
  1, 2


Week 4 Decibels & Hearing
Threshold of Hearing
Threshold of Feeling
Threshold of Pain
Equal Loudness Contours.
  1, 2
Week 5 Reverberation
Early reflections & Echoes
Pre delay & RT60
Intelligibility of rooms & idealised reverb times
Sabine’s formula
  1, 2


Week 6 Acoustics Theory
Standing Waves/ Eigentones/ Room modes
Room mode calculations. Axial, tangential, oblique
  1, 2


Week 7 Acoustics Theory
Introduction to Building Acoustics
Membrane Absorbers, Porous Absorbers, Diffusers
  1, 2


Week 8 Design & Building Acoustics
Noise criteria and Transmission Loss
Room Acoustics and design requirements
  1, 2


Week 9

Microphone positioning
Revision for Assessment 1
Practical session for Assessment 2


1, 2


Week 10 In class written test
Assessment 1 due
Assessment 1 due



Week 11 to 14

Analysing and calculating the acoustic properties of a recording environment

Working on Assessment 2.

Assessment 2 due 3, 4
Weeks 15 to 19 You will be applying knowledge and skills gained in a substantial practical recording project. Working in a supervised environment, you will be making a professional recording in an industry standard sound studio. You will working in groups of approximately 5 students and recording session times will be timetabled by your teachers in consultation with your group.
You will complete a total of 10 recording sessions in the studio, and also have access to additional editing time as required in edit suite.
  3, 4
Week 20 Final mix to be completed
Assessment 3 due
Assessment 3 due  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

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. Full assessment briefs will be provided and can be found on My RMIT.
You will receive feedback on all assessment and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 3 (refer to MyRMIT for grading rubric).

Assessment 1: Theory test
Written multiple choice and short answer theory paper

Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 10

Assessment 2: Report on acoustic properties
For this assessment you will research, analyse and calculate the acoustic properties of a recording environment

. You will submit your findings in a written report of a minimum of 500 words, including appropriate diagrams.
Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 14

Assessment 3: Recording project (This is a graded assessment )
This assessment is conducted alongside the assessment for the following units of competency:

  • CUSSOU405A - Mix Recorded Music
  • CUESOU03C -  Operate Professional Audio Equipment
  • CUETEM03C -  Establish & Manage Production Requirements
  • BSBWOR401A - Establish effective workplace relationships

You will be assessed separately against each of these individual units of competency.

For this assesment you will be working together in groups of approximately 5 people to make a sound recording of an artist(s)’ work. You will be expected to coordinate the artists, schedule the recording sessions, organize the necessary equipment and set up the recording process. Over five recording sessions, you will record the artist, and over the following five recording sessions you will complete the post-production process.

This is a group assessment but you will be assessed individually.

To complete the assessment satisfactorily for the unit Record Sound, you will need to work collaboratively to make sound recordings that meet production requirements and demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

  • prerecording checks
  • microphone positioning
  • testing record line-ups
  • OHS principles in relation to safe sound levels

For this assessment you will submit a recording portfolio with presentation and labeling to industry standard – This will include final mixes from major recording project studio 1 sessions - see blackboard for details  
Due: Week 20
Graded Assessment

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 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 you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

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 will 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