Unit of competency details

CUSSOU201A - Assist with sound recordings (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 02/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) Replaced29/Oct/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASOU203 - Assist with sound recordingsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to performance criteria. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUSSOU04A - Record soundUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUSSOU04A. 28/Oct/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  02/Aug/2010 
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Modification History



Release 2

Created to fix formatting errors only.

Released with CUS09 Music Training Package version 1.2

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assist with sound recordings using a variety of recording equipment in a studio or live environment.

Application of the Unit

Studio assistants, audio stagehands, boom operators and others who assist supervising sound technicians to record sound, apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They could be working in a variety of creative arts industry sectors, including stage productions, music recording studios, television, radio, film, video or online environments.

Under close supervision and guidance, they are responsible for assisting with setting up recording equipment, doing sound checks, monitoring the quality of recorded sound, labelling/logging recordings, and solving routine problems that occur during the recording.

The advanced application of sound recording is covered in:

  • CUSSOU401A Record sound
  • CUSSOU406A Record sound on location.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


Not applicable

Employability Skills Information

Not applicable

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. Assist with prerecording checks

1.1 Clarify documentation  and consumables  for recording production  with appropriate persons

1.2 Connect sound equipment and accessories  according to safety, technical and production requirements 

1.3 Refer faults and problems to appropriate persons 

2. Contribute to recording operations

2.1 Follow directions about the placement and movement  of microphones  and microphone accessories 

2.2 Assist with sound check  to ensure levels and characteristics of recorded sound  meet required standards

2.3 Confirm signal -processing  requirements with appropriate persons and make test recordings to ensure no audible defects are present

2.4 Listen to sound recording for audible defects and extraneous background sound and communicate problems to appropriate persons

2.5 Log recordings and ensure labelling is accurate, legible, current and within production requirements

2.6 Disconnect sound equipment and accessories according to safety, technical and production requirements

2.7 Communicate appropriately with other team members, performers or customers during the completion of tasks

2.8 Clean work environment  after use and restore to pre-recording condition

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • literacy skills sufficient to:
  • log and label recorded material
  • note and report system faults and problems
  • read and understand recording documentation
  • numeracy skills sufficient to calculate duration and capacity of recording media
  • communication skills sufficient to:
  • liaise with sound production/recording personnel
  • understand and follow instructions
  • respond positively to constructive feedback on own performance
  • learning skills sufficient to maintain currency of knowledge of recording equipment upgrades
  • planning and organisational skills sufficient to:
  • prioritise work tasks
  • meet deadlines
  • seek expert assistance when problems arise
  • problem-solving skills sufficient to identify and refer system faults and problems to sound-production personnel
  • teamwork skills sufficient to work effectively with sound-production personnel
  • technology skills sufficient to work with a variety of sound-recording equipment

Required knowledge 

  • basic principles and techniques of sound recording, including:
  • audible defects in analogue and digital technologies
  • identification/logging requirements
  • operational principles of microphones, including microphone placement
  • operational/technical limitations of recording mediums
  • recording formats and technical standards
  • signal-to-noise ratio, signal phase and audio level/headroom control
  • OHS principles of safe listening, including safeguards against hearing loss

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 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • apply OHS principles of safe listening to day-to-day work activities
  • use a range of industry-current sound equipment and accessories
  • work cooperatively in a production environment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to a range of work environments and productions where sound is recorded
  • access to industry-current sound equipment and accessories
  • use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are appropriate for this unit:

  • case studies to assess candidate's ability to apply OHS principles of safe listening to day-to-day work activities
  • evaluation of a range of live, acoustic and/or sequenced recordingsin which candidate assisted asound technician or engineer
  • observation of the candidate assisting with sound recordings
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge of basic principles and techniques of sound recording.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUFIND201ADevelop and apply creative arts industry knowledge
  • CUFSOU204A Perform basic sound editing
  • CUSMLT201A Develop and apply musical ideas and listening skills
  • CUSSOU202A Mix sound in a broadcasting environment.

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.

Documentation  may include:

  • cue sheets and track sheets
  • dubbing charts
  • equipment instructions
  • OHS requirements
  • organisational standards
  • performers' requirements
  • production schedule and set-up reports
  • shot lists
  • sound and audio reports
  • storyboards
  • technical manuals.

Consumables  may include:

  • audiotape
  • compact discs (CDs)
  • cue sheets and track sheets
  • digital versatile discs (DVDs)
  • masking tape, marker pens and labels
  • memory cards
  • mini discs (MDs).

Recording production  may include:

  • commercial
  • print advertisement
  • corporate video
  • feature film and/or video
  • filmed event and/or performance
  • interactive digital media product
  • internet production
  • music recording and/or video
  • promotional trailer
  • radio broadcast
  • short film and/or video
  • television program
  • training film and/or video
  • voice-over.

Sound equipment and accessories  may include:

  • amplifiers
  • analogue to digital converters
  • cables
  • computer technology and associated software
  • digital and analogue recording devices
  • digital audio players
  • headphones
  • microphones and accessories
  • mixing consoles and desks
  • monitors and speakers
  • signal processors and plug-ins.

Production requirements  may include:

  • attributions
  • audience
  • budget
  • confidentiality
  • content
  • contractual arrangements
  • copyright
  • deadlines
  • direct quotes
  • duration
  • intellectual property
  • interviews
  • location
  • purpose
  • schedule
  • style.

Appropriate persons  may include:

  • artists, musicians and performers
  • audio and sound engineers
  • audio and sound technicians
  • dubbing machine operators
  • broadcasters
  • directors, producers and photographers
  • post-production editors and mixers
  • program managers
  • sound designers and editors
  • sound effects personnel
  • video and sound recorders.

Placement and movement  of equipment may involve:

  • observing safety and technical requirements
  • avoiding extraneous and unwanted noise, e.g. from cables
  • with screen productions:
  • avoiding shadows and reflections
  • ensuring that equipment is not in frame
  • aiming a boom microphone upwards or downwards depending on the shot
  • placing microphones in more than one position to capture the required sound perspective.

Microphones  may include:

  • boundary (PZM)
  • capacitor/condenser
  • contact
  • digital
  • directional
  • dual-element
  • dynamic
  • headset
  • lapel
  • low and/or high impedance
  • microphone systems
  • noise cancelling
  • shotgun.

Microphone accessories  may include:

  • boom poles
  • cables
  • clips
  • connectors
  • housing
  • pop filters
  • shock mounts
  • stands
  • windscreens.

Sound check  may include checking:

  • levels
  • frequency response
  • phase relationships
  • signal-to-noise ratio.

Characteristics of recorded sound  may include:

  • frequency response
  • phase relationships
  • signal-to-noise ratio level
  • mono/stereo/5.1 surround sound
  • spatial position and image
  • balance
  • tonal quality
  • perspective
  • acoustic
  • dynamic range.

Signal processing  may include:

  • amplitude (dynamic) signal processing
  • noise processing
  • spectrum signal processing
  • time signal processing.

Work environment  may include:

  • dubbing theatre
  • on location
  • outside broadcast
  • post-production studio
  • recording studio
  • sound stage.

Unit Sector(s)

Media and entertainment production - audio/sound

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