Unit of competency details

CUESOU03C - Operate professional audio equipment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASOU301 - Undertake live audio operationsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUESOU03B - Operate professional audio equipmentUpdated and equivalent 13/Nov/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 29/Oct/2010

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CUE60303 - Advanced Diploma of Stage ManagementAdvanced Diploma of Stage Management1-2 
CUE30203 - Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Operations)Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Operations)1-2 
CUS30109 - Certificate III in MusicCertificate III in Music1-2 
CUS30209 - Certificate III in Technical ProductionCertificate III in Technical Production1-2 
CUE40303 - Certificate IV in Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Operations)Certificate IV in Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Operations)1-2 
CUE50303 - Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)1-2 
CUS40209 - Certificate IV in Sound ProductionCertificate IV in Sound Production1-2 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 28/Apr/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge to operate audio equipment during any type of live performance/presentation.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

People working as sound technicians apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They are responsible for interpreting audio production requirements and participating in technical run-throughs prior to operating professional audio equipment during a live performance or event.

The work often involves long or irregular hours and can be physically demanding. The ability to work cooperatively as part of a production team is essential.

It is strongly recommended that this unit be assessed with or after the following unit:

  • CUESOU07B Apply a general knowledge of audio to work activities.

This unit also has linkages to a range of other audio units and combined assessment and/or training with those units may be appropriate, e.g.:

  • CUSSOU303A Set up and disassemble audio equipment
  • CUESOU04C Mix live audio.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Participate in technical or creative run-through

1.1. Liaise with relevant personnel  and accurately interpret documentation  to determine audio  requirements

1.2. Position and prepare equipment  in accordance with requirements

1.3. Plot and run through cues on direction from relevant colleagues and in accordance with equipment, sequencing, timing and speed requirements

1.4. Implement appropriate changes to audio operation and document in accordance with organisational procedures

1.5. Communicate appropriate technical information to performers/presenters

2. Prepare for audio operation

2.1. Power up equipment at the appropriate time and check to ensure correct functioning

2.2. Complete audio check and implement and document any adjustments in accordance with organisational procedures

2.3. Promptly identify, rectify and/or refer any equipment faults/problems to the relevant personnel as required

3. Operate audio equipment

3.1. Execute all audio cues in accordance with the running sheet, directions from colleagues and performance requirements

3.2. Promptly identify the need for change during the performance and modify cues as required to cater for unexpected events and to minimise negative impact on the performance

3.3. Operate console to produce the required technical level and tonal balances

3.4. Adjust equalisation for required tonal balance

3.5. Balance signal levels appropriately

3.6. Maintain overall audio level within the requirements of the venue

3.7. Play back audio effects at the required level through the appropriate speakers

3.8. Monitor equipment for correct operation throughout the performance and identify and action any problems appropriately

4. Complete post-performance procedures

4.1. Safely power down equipment at the appropriate time in accordance with manufacturer instructions and organisational procedures

4.2. Identify and complete necessary equipment adjustments, including maintenance and re-setting where appropriate in preparation for the next performance

4.3. Make accurate changes to documentation and process in accordance with organisational procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • numeracy skills sufficient to complete required calculations for audio operation
  • literacy skills sufficient to interpret audio production documentation and make modifications to documentation

Required knowledge 

  • features, formats and meaning of audio production documentation and plans, including cue sheets and audio plans
  • features and operating procedures of audio mixing consoles, amplifiers, speakers and equalisers
  • knowledge of varied characteristics of sound in a range of environments
  • use of sound shaping effects
  • knowledge of types of signal distortions that occur in amplifiers
  • techniques for amplifying music to suit varying live environment conditions
  • typical faults and problems that may occur in a live audio environment and ways of addressing these
  • relevant organisational and legislative occupational health and safety requirements, in particular in relation to working with electricity and safe noise levels

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The following evidence is critical to the judgement of competence in this unit:

  • correct and safe operation of professional audio equipment to meet production requirements
  • knowledge of relevant audio equipment and operating procedures
  • effective communication with colleagues during the production.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

The assessment context must provide for:

  • practical demonstration of skills through the operation of audio for more than one live production
  • involvement of and interaction with a production team to reflect the collaborative nature of the process
  • use of industry-current equipment.

Method of assessment 

Assessment may incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of essential underpinning knowledge, and might include:

  • evaluation of the audio aspects of a production for which the candidate is responsible
  • direct observation of the candidate operating audio equipment during a production
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of equipment and operating procedures
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities, and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment of this unit requires access to:

  • a range of audio equipment and material as identified in the Range Statement
  • venue location for the staging of a production/event.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • designer
  • director
  • stage manager
  • other technical staff

Documentation  may include:

  • audio plots
  • design, director's and sound specifications
  • manufacturer specifications
  • occupational health and safety requirements
  • organisation standards
  • performers' requirements
  • production and venue requirements
  • production schedule
  • stage plans
  • text requirement

Audio  equipment to be operated must include:

  • amplifiers
  • audio input sources
  • equaliser
  • mixing console
  • speakers

Audio equipment  to be operated may include:

  • DAT machine
  • DVD
  • mini disc
  • sequencer/sampler
  • tape machines
  • turntables

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - audio/sound

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units