Unit of competency details

CUSSOU503A - Implement sound designs (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Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASOU505 - Implement sound designsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to performance criteria to clarify intent. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUSSOU22A - Implement sound designUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUSSOU22A. 28/Oct/2010

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CUS60209 - Advanced Diploma of Sound ProductionAdvanced Diploma of Sound Production 1-2 
CUS50209 - Diploma of Sound ProductionDiploma of Sound Production 1-2 
CUF60107 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and MediaAdvanced Diploma of Screen and Media 
CUF50207 - Diploma of Interactive Digital MediaDiploma of Interactive Digital Media 
CUF50107 - Diploma of Screen and MediaDiploma of Screen and Media 
CUE60303 - Advanced Diploma of Stage ManagementAdvanced Diploma of Stage Management 1-2 
CUE60203 - Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production) 1-2 
CUE60103 - Advanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and EventsAdvanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and Events 1-2 
CUE50303 - Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production) 1-2 
CUA60213 - Advanced Diploma of Live Production and Management ServicesAdvanced Diploma of Live Production and Management Services 
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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 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 implement sound designs. Thorough understanding of a wide range of sound equipment and sound effects is required, along with the ability to supervise others, including sound mixers, sound editors and other studio technicians. The ability to solve problems that arise in the context of implementing sound designs is essential.

Application of the Unit

Sound engineers or producers apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They work in live theatre, film, television and radio and are responsible for collaborating with other creative and technical personnel to implement sound designs.

Skills associated with managing the process of sound design are covered in:

  • CUSSOU601A Manage production of sound designs.

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. Confirm sound-design specifications

1.1 In consultation with relevant personnel  confirm sound-design specifications, ensuring that they meet production requirements 

1.2 Identify and confirm personnel needed to meet production  briefs

1.3 Confirm requirements with regard to content, quality and duration of sound components 

1.4 Identify and meet copyright requirements 

1.5 Hold ongoing discussions with relevant personnel to consider, confirm and incorporate additional or changed production requirements and new ideas as required

2. Oversee the sound-production process

2.1 Devise and/or obtain sound components to meet creative and technical requirements according to sound-design specifications 

2.2 Ensure that sound effects are recorded as required

2.3 Ensure that the manipulation of sound components achieves the desired sonic finish and style

2.4 Identify any changes to sound components in conjunction with relevant personnel

2.5 Obtain feedback from relevant personnel about work in progress and modify as required

2.6 Provide direction, advice and assistance to technical staff as required

2.7 Ensure that the final product is delivered in the required format  for playback media 

2.8 Make backup copies of recordings in line with enterprise procedures

3. Finalise operations

3.1 Ensure that documentation  is prepared and updated as required

3.2 Ensure that recorded masters, version copies and backups are logged, labelled and stored in a secure and safe place

3.3 In consultation with relevant personnel, identify aspects of sound-design implementation that worked well and those that could be improved

3.4 Evaluate own role in operations and note areas for improvement

3.5 Provide feedback to team members on their performance as required

3.6 Document evaluation of operations in line with enterprise procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • literacy skills sufficient to:
  • read and interpret sound design concept specifications
  • write reports documenting the evaluation of the sound-design implementation
  • initiative, enterprise and creativity in the context of:
  • listening critically to sound recordings and continuously evaluating and adjusting the sound balance
  • using aural imagination to develop coherent and innovative artistic sound outcomes within the scope of productions
  • accurately identifying and enhancing the characteristics of sound sources
  • listening critically to the creative and technical work of others
  • communication skills sufficient to:
  • communicate the production vision and concept within the constraints of production requirements
  • provide feedback to recording personnel on appropriate recording and production techniques
  • clearly explain/offer suitable alternatives when production recording difficulties cannot be resolved within operational constraints
  • planning and organisational skills sufficient to prioritise work tasksand meet deadlines
  • problem-solving skills sufficient to promptly and effectively rectify performance, performance environment and other technical issues that may affect the implementation of sound-design specifications
  • teamwork skills sufficient to work cooperatively with and provide leadership to personnel involved in sound-design implementation
  • technology skills sufficient to work with a variety of sound recording, production and playback equipment
  • self-management skills sufficient toprovide appropriate and timely documentation

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed understanding of psychoacoustic principles, including:
  • spatial hearing
  • direct sound
  • early sound
  • reverberant sound
  • studio and control room design
  • ergonomics
  • industry knowledge, including:
  • varied characteristics of sound in a range of recording and performance environments
  • operational knowledge of a range of sound recording, production and playback equipment
  • understanding compatibility in mono, stereo or multi-channel systems
  • principles and techniques involved in achieving a simultaneous balance
  • computer technologies relevant to sound production
  • copyright legislation and permissions
  • styles of musical interpretation and sound production
  • relevant musical terminology
  • well-developed knowledge of recording techniques, such as:
  • microphone and instrument/voice placement
  • application of special effects
  • mixing sound sources
  • issues and challenges that typically arise in the context of implementing sound designs
  • 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:

  • implement sound designs on at least two occasions that creatively and technically meet sound-design specifications
  • work creatively and collaboratively with others on implementing sound designs.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to productions that require the implementation of sound designs
  • 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:

  • evaluation of soundaspects of productions implemented by candidate and of their quality in terms of meeting specifications
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies to assess ability to implementsound designs for different types of productions or events
  • authenticated recordings of productions where the candidate implemented sound designs.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUFCMP501A Manage and exploit copyright arrangements
  • CUSSOU401A Record sound
  • CUSSOU407A Coordinate location sound recording
  • CUSSOU501A Develop sound designs
  • CUSSOU504A Create a final sound balance.

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:

  • clients
  • artists, musicians and performers
  • directors
  • producers
  • post-production personnel
  • program managers
  • sound designers and editors
  • video and sound recorders
  • audio personnel:
  • sound engineers
  • sound technicians
  • sound editors
  • sound designers
  • sound effects personnel
  • post-production editors
  • foldback mixers
  • front-of-house mixers
  • recordists
  • re-recording mixers
  • audio stagehands
  • broadcasters
  • broadcast engineers
  • stage managers
  • floor managers
  • film/video crew.

Production requirements  may include:

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

Productions  may include:

  • live performance or event
  • commercial
  • print advertisement
  • corporate video
  • feature film and/or video
  • filmed event and/or performance
  • interactive media product
  • internet production
  • electronic game 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 components  are sound sources specified in designs and may include:

  • dialogues and voice-overs
  • special effects
  • music
  • walla
  • ambient sound
  • atmospheric sound
  • foley.

Copyright requirements  may include:

  • provisions of current Copyright Act
  • copyright permission procedures
  • attribution
  • moral rights and performer's rights
  • negotiating with copyright organisations, such as:
  • owners of copyright, e.g. publishers, composers
  • Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)
  • Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited (PPCA)
  • Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)
  • Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)
  • archives.

Specifications  may include:

  • dubbing charts
  • cue sheets
  • scripts
  • storyboards
  • scores
  • oral descriptions
  • recording formats.

Formats  may include:

  • quarter inch audiotape
  • WAV
  • AIFF
  • Apple Lossless
  • WMA
  • MP3
  • Vorbis
  • AAC.

Media  may include:

  • radio
  • video
  • CD
  • DVD
  • computer hard drive
  • internet
  • mobile device
  • film.

Documentation  may include:

  • pre-mix scripts
  • mixing sheets
  • track sheets
  • de-noising documents
  • cue sheets
  • dubbing sheets
  • queries
  • notes
  • manuals.

Unit Sector(s)

Media and entertainment production - audio/sound

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