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

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 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
Phone:      9925 4815

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 learning 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 the course and course expectations
Explanation of assessments
Cable rolling practice/microphone 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 Techniques

Element 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 AssessmentElement 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

It is essential that you bring with you materials for note taking 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.

Assessment Task 1: 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.
Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 8

Assessment Task 2: Studio Prac 2. Studio recording exercise with solo performer. To be completed by the end of semester one.
Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 12 - 14

Assessment Task 3: Studio Prac 4. Studio recording exercise of a drum kit. To be completed by the end of semester one.
Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 14 - 18

Assessment Task 4: Microphone Theory and application Test
Multiple choice test on the theory and application of microphones and other input sources.
Graded Assessment
Due: Class 10

Assessment Task 5: RMIT Microphone Kit Research Assessment
Ungraded Assessment
Due: Week 14

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:

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.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview