Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


MEDA100 - Making Digital Movies OR MEDA103 Introduction to Screen and Sound Production


MEDA200 - Making Track: an Introduction to Audio Production, MEDA206 - Radio Production, MEDA207 - Sound to Screen

Unit rationale, description and aim

Australians are voraciously consuming audio content. At the time this rationale was composed, three-quarters of Australians regularly listen to audio content online. More than 90% of Australians know what a podcast is, and more than half of Gen Z and Gen Y say they are willing to pay for them. Audio provides unique opportunities for storytelling in a fast-paced and mobile world, as we engage with audio content at home, at work, in the car, whilst jogging, on public transport, etc almost anywhere that we and our mobile phone companions can go!

This unit approaches audio as a medium of communication and also as a means of creative expression. The unit assumes a basic working knowledge of microphones and audio editing (as acquired through MEDA103), and workshop exercises are scaffolded to develop higher-order skills in audio recording, editing, and mixing.

The aim of this unit is to provide a foundation in audio that will enable you to go on to explore forms such as podcasting, drama and documentary, art installation, and sound design for the visual image.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Use a range of microphone types in situations appropriate to their specific characteristics and creative potential (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO2 - Use a portable mixer and/or digital audio recorder to demonstrate a working understanding of signal flow and signal level (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate a working understanding of at least one representative example of currently available audio editing software (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Produce works that engage audio’s creative and communicative potential (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Through a series of structured exercises, students will have the opportunity to explore a range of audio production equipment to produce a series of short sound pieces. Examples of such productions may be soundscapes, sound installations, radio advertisements, sound design for film and stage, radio drama, and radio documentaries. Students will be introduced to print and web-based resources for audio, and learn the basic principles of acoustics, sound waves, sound reinforcement, microphone techniques for speech and music, multi-tracking, mixing and metering.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A hybrid lecture/workshop format is utilised, whereby short fragments of lecture (of approx. 10-15mins in length) will be mixed with practical exercises designed to provide you with an opportunity to immediately put your newly acquired understandings into practice. This strategy encourages knowledge transformation and application (Meyers & Nulty 2009, p567), rather than mere recollection.

 Workshops and assessments are sequenced in accordance with constructivist principles, and loosely model audio industry production practices. You will be asked to complete short exercises first, in the controlled environment of the recording studio, before moving on to tasks of greater complexity and autonomy (i.e. longer forms, noisier recording environments, more sonic elements, etc.).

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, you will be asked to demonstrate your engagement with audio software, technology and associated cultural forms.

All assessment tasks are based upon authentic (Ashford-Rowe 2014) production practices and genres (e.g. commercial, artistic, factual and dramatic content). A foundational task is completed first, designed to develop and test basic competencies in microphone and recorder use, before you are invited to explore the expressive and communicative capabilities of audio in longer and more complex productions. This progression mimics Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Krathwohl 2002). Assessment task 2 develops your audio acuity in a stand-alone feature/podcast before you will be asked to apply that acuity to the design of a soundtrack for a visual image.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Advertisement (microphone and mixer fundamentals)

This task is designed to make sure that you have the foundational skills necessary to complete subsequent audio assignments. These skills include elementary microphone selection and operation, plus technical facility with the mixers and digital audio recorders that are available for loan at ACU.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10

Assessment 2: Project 1 Stand-alone audio feature

This task is designed to introduce you to the expressive potential of sound. You will learn how to conceive and plan a sound design with reference to both its formal and cultural characteristics (i.e., what is the 'stuff' I am working with, and how do I make 'meaning' with it?). You will also learn how to make your own field recordings and use an industry-standard DAW (digital audio workstation) to edit and mix those recordings.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3: Project 2 Soundtrack for the visual images

This task will invite you to apply the recording and editing skills acquired through the completion of assignments 1 and 2 to the design and execution of a soundtrack for a short visual sequence. After completing this task, it is hoped that you will be better placed to consider the creative potential of sound in your audio-visual work.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Armet, V 2014, The Foley Grail, 2nd ed., Focal Press, Burlington.

Buhler, J & Neumeyer, D 2016, Hearing the Movies, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, New York.

Crinch, T 2017, Recording Tips for Engineers for Cleaner Brighter Tracks, 4th ed., Routledge, NY.

DeLouise, A, Ottenritter, C 2020, Nonfiction Sound and Story for Film and Video: a practical guide for filmmakers and digital content creators, Routledge, NY.

Holman, T 2018, Sound for Film and Television, 3rd ed., Focal Press, Boston.

Horowitz, S & Looney, S 2014, The Essential Guide to Game Audio: The Theory and Practice of Sound for Games, Focal Press, Burlington.

Izhaki, R 2018, Mixing Audio: concepts, practices and tools, 3rd ed., Routledge New York.

Owsinski, B 2017, The Recording Engineer’s Handbook, 4th ed., Bobby Owsinski Media Group, Burbank.

Rose, J 2015, Producing Great Sound for Film and Video: Expert Tips from Preproduction to Final Mix, 4th edn., Focal Press, London.

Wilcox, J 2014, Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success, 2nd edn., Skyhorse Publishing.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs