Make sound recordings

Business Sectors (Suites): Sound Production (Film & TV)
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Jan 2017


This Standard is about making sound recordings in a studio or on location using either a camera, a mixer and/or a recorder.  It involves recording line-up to the technical standards required, and including the codes and information in the recorded line-up that are needed to reproduce the recording.  It also includes testing recordings, monitoring quality of recorded sound, solving any problems that occur during recording and controlling the recording so that it meets production requirements.

This Standard is applicable for anyone making sound recordings. 

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. confirm that recorded line-up is at a level that meets agreed standards and expected frequency response
  2. confirm that recordings have required signal-to-noise ratio, are free from audible defects, and maintain the phase relationship of line-up signals
  3. make sure identifying codes and information needed for reproduction in recorded line-ups are included
  4. supply, monitor and check line-up tone at either camera, mixer and/or recorder against requirements
  5. provide, or ensure availability of, suitable equipment for any reasonable audio requirements likely to arise within expected parameters of productions
  6. report to appropriate people any problems that may prevent the making of acceptable recordings
  7. make test recordings, using typical programme material, which are free from audible defects
  8. make sure the recording mediums have sufficient capacity for the expected duration of recordings
  9. ensure previous recordings that may be needed are not lost or recorded over
  10. confirm at regular intervals that any synchronisation system is suitable, sufficiently accurate and functioning as it should
  11. maintain the compatibility of format types
  12. control inappropriate background sound levels to be consistent and suitable for the subsequent use of recordings
  13. confirm at appropriate times that audio is being recorded at the agreed frame rate and as per specification
  14. advise appropriate people of possible solutions in the event of system failure and mechanical breakdown
  15. produce required sound in desired formats, at the required level, and with the dynamic range appropriate for the recording medium or technology
  16. record sufficient sound at the beginning and end of takes to allow smooth transitions to adjacent material
  17. complete records of, and produce labels for, recordings which are accurate, legible, up-to-date, readily accessible and which meets production requirements
  18. identify all recording by logging metadata,  in a way that is acceptable and understandable by subsequent users in editing and post-production

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the technical and aesthetic requirements of the production

  2. the operational and technical limitations of the medium being used

  3. what production techniques and requirements apply

  4. the use of microphones and techniques for microphone placement

  5. the effects that positioning of microphones have on shots

  6. the proper use and care of sound recording equipment

  7. how to make sound recordings that meet technical and artistic parameters

  8. how to assess acoustic characteristics 

  9. techniques to help minimise unwanted extraneous noise  

  10. the importance of audibility of dialogue especially with regards to the impaired hearing of an ageing population

  11.  effective strategies to enhance dialogue audibility 

  12. natural and artificial lighting techniques being used and  how these may affect the use of booms, microphone placement and recording

  13. how recording affects editing and post-production processes

  14. the significance of signal-to-noise ratio, signal phase, and control of audio level and headroom

  15. decibel units and the use of different types of metering systems

  16. the correct alignment and configuration of recording equipment 

  17. customer requirements and how to comply with them

  18. techniques for microphone placement and recording for automated dialogue replacement (ADR)

  19. digital standards, their compatibility and how to comply with them

  20. how to maintain compatibility of format types

  21. use of timecode and standards in relevant applications

  22. the principles of synchronisation and reference systems and how they apply to recording

  23. methods for confirming audio is being recorded correctly including monitoring of recorded signal and other means

  24. the types of recording formats and file standards

  25. what to do in the event of system failures and mechanical breakdown

  26. appropriate people to contact about system failure,  mechanical breakdown and other problems that may prevent the making of acceptable recordings 

  27. the duration or capacity of recording media at the speed or sample rate used

  28. record keeping and labelling requirements 

  29. metadata requirements

  30. how to dispose safely of waste material, including batteries


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative Skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Sound Production Professionals (Film & TV)

SOC Code



sound; production; film; tv; recording; recorded; quality