CQUniversity Unit Profile
MUSC11379 Audio Recording Techniques
Audio Recording Techniques
All details in this unit profile for MUSC11379 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This introductory unit, utilising industry preferred audio design tools, provides training in recording, mixing and mastering music. Students undertaking this unit will plan and undertake a small recording project that requires them to record live instruments and edit, mix and master audio. Students undertaking this unit via flexible delivery may be required to own some computer based recording equipment and software. Students interested in enrolling in the unit should contact the unit coordinator before enrolling.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 8
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 2 - 2021

Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student evaluation data

Feedback

More flexibility with the choice of software

Recommendation

Review assessment tasks with a view on providing more flexibility with submission options

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of current recording technologies and equipment
  2. demonstrate an ability to design a detailed plan for recording a project
  3. demonstrate ability to record and manage a recording project from beginning to end.
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Written Assessment - 40%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 20%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
10 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment - 40%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 20%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Audio Interface (See Term-Specific Information)
  • A Digital Audio Workstation - Pro Tools recommended (see Term-Specific Information)
  • A microphone for recording (see Term-Specific Information)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
David Reaston Unit Coordinator
d.reaston@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 12 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Unit Overview - Fundamentals of Audio Recording

Equalisation

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 19 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Panning

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 26 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Compression

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 02 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Reverb

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 09 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Recording: Fundamentals of Sound

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 16 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 23 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Microphone Types and Application

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Music Production Tasks Due: Week 6 Monday (23 Aug 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 7 Begin Date: 30 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Recording Vocals

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 8 Begin Date: 06 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Recording Drum Kit/Acoustic Percussion

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 13 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Recording Guitar

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10 Begin Date: 20 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Recording Bass/Keys/DI'ed instruments

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 27 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Recording Horns/Woodwinds and Recording Acoustic Music Live

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 04 Oct 2021

Module/Topic

Conclusion

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 11 Oct 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Recording Assignment Due: Review/Exam Week Wednesday (13 Oct 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Recording Process Discussion Due: Review/Exam Week Wednesday (13 Oct 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 18 Oct 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Term Specific Information

This is a practical unit about audio recording. Because of this, you will need to have access to the following:

  • A Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) - Pro Tools recommended
  • An audio interface
  • A microphone, or microphones for recording
  • Music/musicians to record

Pro Tools is released by AVID: https://www.avid.com/. You will need to use Pro Tools (or another approved D.A.W.) in order to complete the first two assessment tasks. If you would like to use another D.A.W. please consult with the Unit Coordinator prior to term, but be aware that all the learning materials for this unit have been created with Pro Tools. Please refer to the unit's Moodle website for download links.

Because you will be recording, you also need to have some kind of audio interface that accepts 1/4" jacks and XLR cables (for recording lines and microphones).

Access to a microphone is also crucial, as you must be able to capture sound. During this unit you will learn about different types of microphones as well as microphone technique and placement.

During this unit, you will be required to record some music for Assessment 2. Depending on what you decide to record, you may have to source musicians for this recording.

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Music Production Tasks

Task Description

You will be required to complete five short music production tasks in a Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) (Pro Tools recommended) using specified raw, unmixed audio tracks. These tasks require you to manipulate:

  • Equalisation
  • Panning
  • Compression
  • Reverb
  • Balance

In addition, you will also be required to write an 1,000 word essay (200 words per task) discussing your application of each tool/plug-in used, and the reasoning behind your mixing decisions.

Assessment submission and presentation

You must submit:

  • Five Pro Tools sessions (including Audio Files) (one for each task)*
  • 1,000 word** essay as a Microsoft Word Document (.docx) which must use 12 point Times New Roman font, 1.5 spacing for the body of the assignment, include your name and student number, and adhere to the CQUniversity APA Style Guide.

*If using another approved D.A.W., you will need to submit audio stems for each task instead of Pro Tools sessions. If the session consists of multiple tracks, you will need to bounce each track separately and submit the individual tracks as well as the Master. Your essay will need to include screenshots/images of all your settings in order to meet the assessment criteria.

**The word count is considered from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the conclusion. It excludes the cover page, abstract, contents page, reference page and appendices. It includes in-text references and direct quotations.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Monday (23 Aug 2021) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 9 Monday (13 Sept 2021)


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

Task 1 (Vocal)

  • Application and effective use of equalisation (5%)
  • Application and effective use of compression (5%)
  • Application and effective use of reverb (5%)
  • Appropriate balance and effective use of panning (5%)

Task 2 (Bass)

  • Application and effective use of equalisation (5%)
  • Application and effective use of compression (5%)

Task 3 (Guitar)

  • Application and effective use of equalisation (5%)
  • Application and effective use of compression (5%)
  • Application and effective use of reverb (5%)
  • Appropriate balance and effective use of panning (5%)

Task 4 (Keyboard)

  • Application and effective use of equalisation (5%)
  • Application and effective use of compression (5%)
  • Application and effective use of reverb (5%)

Task 5 (Drums)

  • Application and effective use of equalisation (5%)
  • Application and effective use of compression (5%)
  • Application and effective use of reverb (5%)
  • Appropriate balance and effective use of panning (5%)

Discussion

  • Discussion is thoughtful and considered (10%)
  • Discussion uses correct spelling, grammar and punctuation (5%)


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • demonstrate an understanding of current recording technologies and equipment
  • demonstrate an ability to design a detailed plan for recording a project


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Recording Assignment

Task Description

You are to record and mix a song of your own choice.

  • The recording should be approximately 3-4 minutes long
  • The recording must have a minimum of three different instruments in addition to at least one vocal track (for example: Piano, electric bass, acoustic guitar and vocals)
  • Each instrument must be recorded on a separate track.

You may record all parts separately to a click track or multi-track everything. However, if you decide to multi-track, every instrument must have it's own channel. A reasonable amount of 'bleed' is acceptable, but too much and it will hinder your ability to mix effectively.

You must submit:

  • An audio file (.mp3, .wav etc.) of the final mastered project
  • The Pro Tools session for the song (including all the Audio Files)*

*If using another approved D.A.W., you will need to submit audio stems of your session instead of a Pro Tools session. Each individual track will need to be bounced/exported twice: once with the plug-ins engaged, and another without (the raw track). Your essay component (Assessment 3) will need to include screenshots/images of all your settings in order to meet the assessment criteria (mix and edit windows, and each plug-in used).


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Wednesday (13 Oct 2021) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Assessment will be returned at the end of term


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

Recording

  • Recording demonstrates knowledge of appropriate microphone placement (35%)
  • Tracks are recorded at an appropriate level (20%)
  • Audio signal is clean on all tracks (15%)

Mixing

  • Balance is achieved throughout the recording (6%)
  • Equalisation is well-implemented and effective (6%)
  • Panning is well-implemented and effective (6%)
  • Compression is well-implemented and effective (6%)
  • Reverb is well-implemented and effective (6%)


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • demonstrate an understanding of current recording technologies and equipment
  • demonstrate ability to record and manage a recording project from beginning to end.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Recording Process Discussion

Task Description

Minimum 1000 words*

In addition to the finished track in Assessment 2, you must submit a recording process overview discussing the recording process from start to finish.

You must include technical information such as:
  • Microphones used
  • Microphone placement
  • Effects used
  • D.I.'s used
  • Audio interface used
  • Plugins used

In this document, you must embed photographs from your recording process giving clear indication of how each instrument was mic'ed and the thought process that went into the mic placement. Discuss any recording techniques that you attempted, but didn't have the desired effect. If you are using another approved D.A.W. besides Pro Tools, you will need to include screenshots/images of all your settings (mix and edit windows, and each plug-in used).

You must also discuss the creative elements of the recording process including:

  • Challenges you faced recording and mixing/mastering
  • Why you chose certain microphones for certain instruments
  • How you created balance and space in the mix
  • How you used effects

Assessment submission and presentation

Your assessment must be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document (.docx) with photos embedded (do not submit photos separately), and must use 12 point Times New Roman font, 1.5 spacing for the body of the assignment, include your name and student number, and adhere to the CQUniversity APA Style Guide.

*The word count is considered from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the conclusion. It excludes the cover page, abstract, contents page, reference page and appendices. It includes in-text references and direct quotations.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Wednesday (13 Oct 2021) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Assessment will be returned at the end of term


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

Technical Discussion

  • Technical information is relevant and complete (30%)
  • Clear photographs have been provided for each mic'ed instrument showing application of microphone placement (15%)

Creative Discussion

  • Discussion is thoughtful and considered (30%)

General

  • Accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar; clarity of writing style (20%)
  • Meeting delivery requirements (presentation, word count, style guide) (5%)


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
To be sumitted on the Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • demonstrate an understanding of current recording technologies and equipment


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?