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Unit outline_

CMPN5006: Recording Portfolio

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit provides a practical overview of the sound recording process. Aspects of creative production are examined alongside project planning, management and the professional delivery of master recordings to professional standards. Students will gain insight into the recording process through practical recording projects taking advantage of the concert venues and studios and will integrate into the existing musical activities that occur at the Conservatorium

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Composition and Music Technology
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Daniel Blinkhorn,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Folio proposal
Written assessment
10% Week 06 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation Presentation and progress report
Presentation and progress report to make adjustments for final submission
30% Week 11 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Creative assessment / demonstration Recording portfolio
60% Week 13 4500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Folio proposal: Students will be required to create a recording folio which comprises 3 recordings. The recordings must explore different production approaches/techniques and/or be different instrumental groupings. Students are required to submit a proposal outlining the planned projects for the semester.
  • Presentation and progress report: Students will be required to present their folio progress to the class whereby they play at least one of the recordings. The purpose of this exercise is for students to learn from each other’s experiences and to compare and contrast the various ensembles recorded and techniques involved in the reciording. Students will need to reflect on the project, discussing the challenges and successes of the project.
  • Recording portfolio: The recordings must be recorded and post produced and
    presented as digital audio files accompanied by a written evaluation and discussion. The audio files must be comprehensively labelled with track titles, student group names, etc.. The folio must be accompanied by thorough documentation outlining the entire recording and production process. It is extremely important that you prepare thoroughly for your recording sessions. Ensure you have the necessary equipment and rooms booked ahead of time and make sure that you liaise with and communicate with the people you are recording. It is important that the people you record receive a copy of the recording you make. Evidence of poor preparation will result
    in loss of marks.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The following assessment criteria are used for performance work in this unit of study:

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Comprehensive and outstanding technical control and musical integrity in relation to developmental expectations. Musical individuality consistently projected to create a persuasive personal representation of the work. Performance flair indicative of soloist standard. A mark of 95 or above indicates extraordinary technical virtuosity and musical artistry.


75 - 84

Excellent technical, musical and stylistic achievement. Consistently coherent and expressive performance. Some personal interpretation of the work suggesting soloist potential. 


65 - 74

Confident technique with evidence of solid musicality and some stylistic achievement. Occasional lapses indicative of unresolved technical, artistic and/or stylistic issues. Projects potential for further development.


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of preparation and musical engagement. Some inconsistencies in musicianship, style and/or technique. Musical imagination and overall performance sense developing though some insecurity in this area.


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory technical achievement and/or unsatisfactory level of musical and artistic engagement. Limitations may be of such a scale and consistency as to call into question the student’s future direction in the programme.

The following assessment criteria are used for written work in this unit of study:

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Demonstrates high level of initiative in research and reading; sophisticated critical analysis of evidence; high level engagement with theoretical issues, innovative use of reading/research material and impressive command of underlying debates and assumptions; properly documented and written with style, originality and precision.


75 - 84

Demonstrates initiative in research and wide, appropriate reading; complex understanding of question and ability to critically review material in relation to underlying assumptions and values; analyses material in relation to empirical and theoretical contexts; properly documented; clear, well-developed structure and argument with some signs of literary style.


65 - 74

Evidence of broader understanding than pass level; offers synthesis with some critical evaluation of material; coherent argument using a range of relevant evidence; some evidence of independent thought, good referencing. A high credit (70-74) shows some evidence of ability to problematise and think conceptually.


50 - 64

Written work meets basic requirements in terms of reading/research; relevant material; tendency to descriptive summary rather than critical argument; makes a reasonable attempt to avoid paraphrasing; reasonably coherent structure; often has weaknesses in particular areas, especially in terms of narrow or underdeveloped treatment of question; acceptable documentation.


0 - 49

Work may fail for any or all of the following reasons: Unacceptable paraphrasing; irrelevance of content; poor spelling; poor presentation; grammar or structure so sloppy it cannot be understood; failure to demonstrate understanding of content; insufficient or overlong word length.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Overview of recording technology at SCM Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO5
Week 02 Microphone design and techniques (part 1) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Microphone design and techniques (part 2) Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Project proposal Field trip (2 hr) LO3 LO5
Week 05 Instrument miking Block teaching (2 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 06 Sound spatialisation and localisation Workshop (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 07 EQ and compression Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 08 1. Mixing multi-channel sound; 2. Multichannel reverbs and other digital effects Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 09 Surround sound Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO5
Week 11 Visualising and analysing audio signals + lab session for final submission preparation Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 12 Portfolio consultation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Lecture recording: Lectures for this unit of study will be recorded and made available to students via the Learning Management System (LMS)

  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned. The Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90%.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Develop a proficiency with equipment commonly found in the (home) recording studio environment
  • LO2. develop skills to effectively use microphones and recording devices to record solo instruments, ensembles, field recording etc
  • LO3. develop organisational skills and learn to communicate effectively with the people involved in the recording process such as musicians, conductors, managers, etc.
  • LO4. edit and produce recordings using industry standard software within the home, and professional studio environments
  • LO5. develop the capacity to think creatively about the recording process.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

Alignment with Competency standards

Outcomes Competency standards
National Standard of Competency for Architects - AACA
1.3. Assessment of project budget and timeframe against project requirements and objectives.
2.1. Identification, analysis and integration of information relevant to siting of project.

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

I have undertaken some slight modifications to content delivery as suggested via the uss


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