Produce sound recordings

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to produce a musical recording.


Music producers and sound engineers apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They are responsible for working collaboratively and creatively with artists and performers to produce musical recordings which can be distributed through record companies and in a range of media, such as television, film, video and the internet.

Even though their particular focus is on performers and their skills to produce a creative work, they are responsible also for the quality and balance of the final recording. In addition, they need a range of musical, technical, personal, business and management skills.

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

CUSSOU602A Manage production of sound recordings.


Not applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Confirm concept for recording project

1.1 Apply knowledge of commercial music trends, market niches, new musical styles and artists to develop the musical vision and concept for a recording project

1.2 Establish and discuss production requirements with relevant personnel

1.3 Apply musicianship knowledge and awareness of sound design possibilities to develop the underlying artistic style and creative concept for the recording

1.4 Discuss and confirm vision for sound concepts with relevant personnel to achieve consensus on artistic values and agreed project outcomes

1.5 Address copyright requirements to ensure that the recording process and product comply with legislation

2. Confirm recording project arrangements

2.1 Confirm repertoire, artists, project vision and operational details in consultation with relevant personnel

2.2 In collaboration with artists, ensure that adequate time and facilities are provided to achieve the agreed performance standard within time and budget constraints

2.3 Plan and agree on communication processes and time schedules with artists and technical production personnel

2.4 Ensure that time schedules are drawn up and distributed to each artist for all proposed rehearsal and recording sessions

2.5 Liaise with technical staff regarding appropriate recording sites

3. Manage recording sessions

3.1 Confirm that sessions are scheduled to allow adequate rehearsal and sound testing prior to main recording sessions

3.2 Ensure recording site, sound equipment and recording formats are appropriate for the media and project requirements

3.3 Communicate criticism of performers' work in a balanced, constructive and supportive manner that includes positive and achievable options for meeting desired artistic goals

3.4 Ensure that individual perspectives are considered and conflicting requirements are recognised and constructively negotiated

3.5 Continuously monitor all aspects of the recording and ensure that any necessary adjustments are made in line with creative and technical requirements

3.6 Collaborate with relevant personnel to ensure that sound balances are artistically appropriate

4. Evaluate the recording process and product

4.1 Discuss and obtain agreement on evaluation techniques for evaluating the recording process and completed product

4.2 Seek and obtain feedback from relevant personnel to assess the recording process and product

4.3 Evaluate own role in the production of recordings and note areas for improvement

4.4 Use evaluation results to improve future practice

Required Skills

Required skills

communication and teamwork skills sufficient to:

interpret and clarify written proposals and creative briefs

understand artists' requirements

work effectively with artists and sound engineers

work constructively with group dynamics

identify and deal effectively with conflict

direct and monitor the work of others

listening skills sufficient to:

use aural imagination to develop coherent and innovative artistic sound outcomes within the scope of planned artistic and commercial objectives

discriminate and enhance texture and tone colour in line with objectives

understand appropriate intonation, dynamics, phrasing, rhythm and expression to produce the required sound

listen critically to the creative and technical work of others

listen critically to and adjust performance of others to achieve the required sound

continuously evaluate and adjust the production of musical work

planning and organisational skills sufficient to:

clarify roles

work within budgets and timeframes

plan recording projects

use time-management strategies to set priorities

develop systems for required documentation

initiative, enterprise and creative skills sufficient to:

demonstrate artistic leadership

use innovative approaches to recording to enhance the interpretation and performance of music or to create new possibilities through artistic and technical effects

interpret music appropriately to ensure a sympathetic and appropriate approach to sound production

technical skills sufficient to apply knowledge of acoustics:

in sound production to recording projects

to instruments/voices in placements and settings for sound balance in recording

Required knowledge

well-developed understanding of psychoacoustic principles, including:

spatial hearing

direct sound

early sound

reverberant sound

studio and control room design


industry knowledge, including:

varied characteristics of sound in a range of recording and performance environments

musical repertoire, styles, forms, systems, practices and customs

appropriate styles of musical interpretation and sound production

relevant musical terminology

features and characteristics of a range of instruments

performance customs of music genres relevant to selected area of music recording

copyright law and permissions

issues and challenges that arise in the context of producing musical recordings

sound understanding of recording techniques, such as:

microphone and instrument/voice placement

application of effects

mixing sound sources

issues and challenges that typically arise in the context of producing sound recordings

OHS principles of safe listening, including safeguards against hearing loss

Evidence Required

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:

produce at least two sound recordings that demonstrate:

well-developed critical-listening and aural-discrimination skills

a creative and appropriate musical concept that demonstrates knowledge of musicianship, repertoire, recording techniques and an awareness of sound design possibilities

work creatively, collaboratively and constructively with performers to produce a sound recording.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to:

relevant instruments and equipment

scores, charts or other written music resources

participants, such as performers and technical crew

appropriate recording facilities with adequate space and acoustic qualities

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:

observation of a recording session where the candidate is the producer

written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required knowledge section of this unit

authenticated musical recordings where the candidate was the producer

authenticated samples of project plans prepared by the candidate

case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion about issues and challenges that arise in the context of producing musical recordings.

Guidance information for assessment

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

BSBPMG510A Manage projects

CUFCMP501A Manage and exploit copyright arrangements

CUSSOU504A Create a final sound balance

CUSSOU603A Manage production of sound recordings.

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.

Recording projects may be for:

solo artists

solo artists with backing



vocal and instrumental

instrumental, acoustic and/or electronic.

Production requirements may include:









contractual arrangements



direct quotes


intellectual property






Relevant personnel may include:


artists, musicians and performers



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


re-recording mixers


broadcast engineers.

Copyright requirements may include:

provisions of current Copyright Act

copyright permission procedures


moral rights and performer's rights

negotiating with copyright organisations, such as:

owners of copyright: publishers, composers, etc.

Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)

Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited (PPCA)

Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)


Recording site may include:

dubbing theatre

on location, including interior and exterior

outside broadcast

post-production studio

recording studio

sound stage.

Sound equipment and accessories may include:


analogue to digital converters


compact disc (CD) and digital versatile disc (DVD) players and burners

computer technology and associated software

recording devices:

hard disk recorder, e.g. digital audio workstation (DAW)

digital audiotape recorder, e.g. S-DAT and R-DAT

digital videotape recorder (DVTR)

mini disc recorder (MD)

modular digital multi-track recorder (MDM)

digital audio players, such as:




microphones and accessories

mixing consoles and desks

monitors and speakers

signal processors and plug-ins.

Formats may include:

quarter inch audiotape



Apple Lossless






Media may include:





computer hard drive


mobile device


Evaluation techniques may include:




focus groups

demographic data



evaluation may include:


record companies



project personnel



Media and entertainment production - audio/sound

Employability Skills

Not applicable

Licensing Information

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