Rockschool

Learn Music Production

Rockschool Music Production – Coursework Edition provides aspiring producers and engineers with the most accessible music production graded syllabus. On completion of a Rockschool Music Production grade, every candidate will own a wealth of technical, practical and theoretical knowledge that they can apply to real-world scenarios – whether it’s in audio production, electronic music production, mixing, editing, mastering or sound for media.

Rockschool Academic

Unrivalled Academic Grounding

Rockschool Music Production was built with academic grounding and industry relevance in mind. Every practical, theoretical and aural test has been written and developed by industry professionals to give students an unrivalled level of academic grounding.

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Choose Your Area of Specialism

From Grades 6 to 8 candidates can tailor their learning to their strengths, choosing their area of specialism, from Audio Production, Electronic Music Production and Sound for Media, whilst earning valuable UCAS points for entry to higher education.

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Enhance Your Skills

Designed to meet the needs of all aspiring recording engineers, electronic music producers, mix & mastering engineers; this syllabus caters for anyone interested in understanding the complete range of skills essential to modern music production.

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Unparalleled Industry Relevance

From a diverse range of production techniques, to highly relevant technical DAW skills, the Rockschool Music Production syllabus gives aspiring engineers and producers everything they need to progress and succeed in the industry.

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DAW Agnostic

We recognise that Graded Music Exams should be accessible and relevant to a range of backgrounds and abilities so the coursework / exams are suitable for all music production software.

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Study in Your Own Time

Rockschool Music Production has been designed so you can study in your own time, giving you ample time to develop a wealth of skills and techniques that are highly relevant to today’s industry.

Discover Rockschool Music Production

Rockschool Music Production: Coursework Edition expands on our 25+ year history of innovation throughout music education, providing aspiring producers and engineers with the most accessible music production graded syllabus.

How it works

Whether you’re learning music production independently or with a music teacher, it’s easy to get started learning with Rockschool.

01

Download the syllabus and buy your grade book

Our publications provide you with everything you need: a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

02

Get producing: complete your coursework task

Demonstrate your skills and creativity in a simulated professional situation. Crank your production techniques to the max and smash the task at hand in your own time. 

03

Submit your work and reap your rewards

Want to achieve your Rockschool qualification? You’ve done your task, and now’s the time to complete your listening skills and music production theory tests in an online exam environment.

Music Production
Grade 1

The Grade 1 Music Production exam is for candidates who have been learning between six months – one year and are competent in the foundations of music production.

Estimated Examination Time: 45 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 1 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 1 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 1

Music Production Grade 1

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 1 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 1 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 1 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as identifying studio hardware, physical audio formats, analogue connectivity, computer & digital technology, DAW basics, microphones, MIDI basics, basic audio technology and the fundamentals of mono & stereo sound.

At Grade 1 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify images of studio equipment to include mixing desks, microphones, DAWs, drum kits, cables
  • Identify images of physical formats to include CD, vinyl, cassette tape, Mini-disc, DAT
  • Identify images of analogue connections to include Jack, XLR, Phono / RCA, DIN, Speakon
  • Identify images of computer peripherals to include Audio Interfaces, MIDI keyboards, computer mouse, computer keyboard, computer monitor
  • Identify images of the different DAWs, including Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools, Cubase, FL Studio
  • Identify images of popular microphone models, to include Shure SM58, Shure SM57, AKG D112, Neumann U87, AKG C451
  • Identify images of specific DAW work-spaces, including arrange window, mix window, sample editor, plugins, software instruments
  • Identify the function of music production technology from an image, including channel faders, pan, mute, routing, headphone volume
  • Briefly describe sound and acoustic terms, including mono, stereo, surround, high fidelity, units of sound level (Db)

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying instruments in isolation and within a mix.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying relative pitch & basic note lengths.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 1 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify instruments in isolation: Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Acoustic Drums, Piano
  • Identify a specific instrument within a mix from those listed above e.g. name the instrument playing the melody
  • Identify when an instrument is missing from one version of a mix
    Identify consecutive notes as either higher or lower in pitch
  • Identify basic note lengths: whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes
  • Identify common Western music genres from a choice of two: pop and rock

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 1 the technical skills will centre around session creation and basic inputting of notes using a software instrument.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 1 the scenario will require candidates to import a backing track into their DAW, record a melody, and bounce the resulting mix to a new stereo audio file.

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screenshots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload
  • Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 2

The Grade 2 Music Production exam is for candidates who have acquired basic music production knowledge and skills.

Estimated Examination Time: 45 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 2 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 2 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 2

Music Production Grade 2

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 2 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 2 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 2 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as identifying studio hardware, digital file formats, digital connectivity, software components, DAW concepts & capabilities, microphones, non-linear editing concepts, EQ controls and hearing physiology.

At Grade 2 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify studio equipment from descriptions, to include mixing desks, computers, microphones, patchbays, outboard effects
  • Identify file formats from their suffix, to include Waveform, Audio Interchange File Format, Mpeg-2 layer 3, Logic Pro, Pro Tools
  • Identify connections to include Phono/RCA, XLR, ADAT lightpipe, USB, 5 pin DIN
  • Identify software and functions, to include operating systems, system preferences, Apple App store, Apple Mac Finder
  • Identify the purpose of a DAW
  • Identify types of microphone, to include Dynamic, Condenser, Valve, Ribbon
  • Identify appropriate purposes for types of microphone, such as for gig vocals, kick drums, and appropriate use of phantom power
  • Identify the different types of DAW track, to include Audio Track, Instrument Track, MIDI Track, Auxiliary Track, Automation
  • Identify basic editing functions to include cut, copy, paste, delete, duplicate
  • Identify both natural and electrical sound sources and receptors, including the meaning of the word ‘Transducer’

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying timing and tuning flaws in a performance.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying major and minor triads and basic time signatures.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 2 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify which instrument within a mix is out of tune with the other musicians
  • Identify which instrument within a mix is out of time with the other musicians
  • Identify out of time drum loops
  • Identify major and minor triads
  • Identify basic time signatures: 4/4 & 3/4
  • Identify common Western music genres from a choice of two: blues and metal

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 2 the technical skills will centre around MIDI programming using software instruments and basic mix technique.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 2 the scenario will require candidates to rearrange provided audio and MIDI loops.

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screen shots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 3

The Grade 3 Music Production exam is for candidates who have a good understanding of the core components of modern music production.

Estimated Examination Time: 45 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 3 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 3 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 3

Music Production Grade 3

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 3 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 3 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 3 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as interpreting the functions of studio hardware, digital protocols, analogue connectivity, computer memory & storage, microphones, using loops, the MIDI protocol, dynamic processing and frequency.

At Grade 3 candidates will be expected to:

  • Interpret functions of a mixing desk, to include gain, EQ, auxiliaries, faders, pan
  • Interpret and identify digital transfer protocols, including their relative data transfer rates, including USB, Thunderbolt, MADI, SPDIF, ADAT
  • Interpret analogue connections and their purpose, to include XLR, ¼” Jack, Mini Jack, Phono/RCA, D-Sub
  • Interpret the purpose and advantages of computer systems, to include RAM, Hard Disks, Solid State Drives, including choosing the appropriate option in relation to data transfer rates
  • Interpret appropriate use for DAW functions, to include templates, markers, bounce, piano roll / MIDI editors, quantise
  • Briefly explain what a microphone is for and how it works
  • Briefly explain the creation, use and advantages of audio loops
  • Understand MIDI, including what the acronym stands for, what it is, and how it works from a user perspective
  • Interpret and briefly explain audio technology, including compression, limiting, gating, expanding
  • Understand frequency, including its units of measurement, the difference between Hz and kHz, human hearing range

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Distinguishing between mono and stereo recordings and hearing different stereo widths.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying major, minor and blues scales and eighth note triplets.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 3 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify the difference between Mono and Stereo recordings
  • Identify the difference between Mono and Stereo mixes
  • Identify differences in stereo width
  • Identify major, natural minor and blues scales
  • Identify eighth note triplets in 4/4
  • Identify common Western music genres from a choice of two: reggae and soul

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 3 the technical skills will centre around creating audio loops from provided material.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 3 the scenario will require candidates to programme a simple backing track using a set chord structure. Therefore candidates must be confident in creating chords in the key of C major and G major.

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screen shots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 4

The Grade 4 Music Production exam is for candidates who have a detailed understanding of modern music production.

Estimated Examination Time:

45 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 4 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 4 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 4

Music Production Grade 4

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 4 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 4 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 4 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as describing equipment controls, surround formats, wireless connectivity, backing up files, plugin concepts, stereo microphone techniques, non-linear editing, software instruments, side-chaining and sound propagation.

At Grade 4 candidates will be expected to:

  • Describe the controls on studio equipment, to include threshold, ratio, attack, release, hold, on compressors, gates and expanders
  • Describe sound formats including mono, stereo, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, quadraphonic
  • Describe the importance of file management and backing up
  • Describe plugins, what they are for, their advantages and formats
  • Describe stereo microphone techniques, to include XY, AB, MS
  • Describe linear and non-linear editing, destructive and non-destructive editing
  • Describe software instruments, their purpose, formats and common uses including synths, samplers and real instrument emulation
  • Describe production techniques to include side-chaining, de-essing, including both dedicated plugins/devices, and using standard equipment to achieve the same result
  • Describe basic acoustic concepts, including how sound travels through air/solids, sound waves, compression/rarefaction

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying use of compression on instruments and mixes.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying semi tones and tones and compound time signatures.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 4 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify the difference between compressed and uncompressed audio recordings
  • Identify the difference between compressed and uncompressed mixes
  • Identify when a compressor is being controlled by a side-chain
  • Identify semi tones (chromaticism) and whole tones
  • Identify compound time signatures: 6/8 and 12/8
  • Identify common western music genres from a choice of two: country and funk

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 4 the technical skills will centre around use of equalisation (EQ) for corrective/creative purposes.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 4 the scenario will require candidates to remove unwanted noise from a recording using appropriate techniques such as manual editing, gating, crossfades.

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screenshots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 5

The Grade 5 Music Production exam is for candidates who have practical experience of modern music production.

Estimated Examination Time:

50 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 5 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 5 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 5

Music Production Grade 5

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 5 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 5 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 5 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as signal routing, the Compact Disc format, patch bays, networking, file sharing, ambient microphone technique, multitrack recording, MIDI controllers, PCM theory and constructive interference.

At Grade 5 candidates will be expected to:

  • Outline functions of studio equipment, to include routing, buses, auxiliaries, inserts, patchbays
  • Outline the Compact Disc format and its associated standards, to include bit depth, sample rate, history, data and audio capacities
  • Outline studio connectivity in the studio, including the function of the patchbay, normalisation, open / closed connections and hard wiring
  • Outline computer networking technology, including LAN, WAN, Ethernet, network standards, Wifi standards
  • Outline routing techniques within a Digital Audio Workstation
  • Outline multi-microphone techniques, such as recording kick drums, snares, tom toms, hi-hats, overheads and ambience
  • Outline multitrack recording, its advantages, disadvantages, history and limitations
  • Outline MIDI technologies, including controller keyboards, MIDI pickups, electronic drum triggers

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying resonant frequencies.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying seventh chords and swung rhythms.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 5 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify the frequency range that has been boosted in a provided recording
  • Identify the frequency range that has been boosted in a provided mix
  • Identify the frequency range of a sine wav
  • Identify maj7, dom7 and min7 chords
  • Identify swung rhythms in 4/4
  • Identify common Western music genres from a choice of two: jazz and hip-hop

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 5 the technical skills will centre around session management and organisation such as creating, naming and colour coding tracks, creating markers, session file management.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 5 the scenario will require candidates to add musical layers to material using software instruments. Candidates are encouraged to practice listening to and duplicating melodies.

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screen shots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 6

The Grade 6 Music Production exam is for candidates who have mastered basic music production technique and can use creativity to enhance their productions.

Estimated Examination Time:

70 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 6 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 6 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 6

Music Production Grade 6

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 6 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 6 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 6 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as creative uses for studio hardware, lossy audio formats, balanced audio, cloud storage, plugins, multi microphone technique, automation, basic software synthesis, dynamic range and sound isolation.

At Grade 6 candidates will be expected to:

  • Explain how to use studio equipment for creative purposes, to include adding reverberation, creating a pumping sound with a compressor, ducking
  • Explain the terms ‘lossy’ and lossless audio formats, naming examples of each
  • Explain balanced audio, its purpose, advantages, technology
  • Explain cloud storage, its purpose, advantages, disadvantages
  • Explain creative uses of specified plugins, to include EQ, reverb, delay, compressors, gates, pitch correction
  • Explain stereo ambient microphone techniques, to include enhancing drum recordings, specifying appropriate technique
  • Explain automation, its purpose, advantages, and techniques
  • Explain the basics of sound synthesis, including oscillators, low frequency oscillators, envelopes, amplifiers
  • Explain dynamic range, headroom and signal to noise ratio

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying industry standard effects.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identify diminished and augmented triads and genre specific drum grooves.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 6 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify the difference between spatial effects: reverb and delay
  • Identify the difference between phase effects: chorus and flanger
  • Identify multiple effects stacked on one sound
  • Identify diminished and augmented triads
  • Identify genre by solo drum grooves alone
  • Introducing modern electronic music genres – house and modern R’n’B

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 6 the technical skills will centre around adding effects using buses and auxiliaries.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 6 the candidate may choose to specialise in Audio Production, Electronic Music Production or Sound for Media:

  • Audio Production: The scenario will require the use of automation to fix a dynamically uneven vocal recording
  • Electronic Music Production: The scenario will require the creation of an original synth patch that works with the provided drum groove
  • Sound for Media: The scenario will require the candidate to create a suitable sonic or musical atmosphere to the provided image

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screen shots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 7

The Grade 7 Music Production exam is for candidates who are competent in music production technique, and are capable of overcoming challenging situations.

Estimated Examination Time:

70 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 7 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 7 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 7

Music Production Grade 7

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 7 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 7 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 7 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as working around equipment faults, format incompatibility, connectivity faults, software optimisation, latency, phase, stereo width, groove/quantisation, signal noise and studio monitoring.

At Grade 7 candidates will be expected to:

  • Explain how to overcome technical challenges, such as faulty cables, faulty microphones
  • Explain how to overcome format incompatibility, to include transferring projects between different
  • Digital Audio Workstations using OMFs
  • Explain how to find a fault in chain of devices, such as a drop in level, low frequency hum
  • Explain how to optimise operating systems for audio work
  • Explain latency and how to overcome it
  • Explain phase issues and how to overcome them
  • Explain how to add stereo width, using techniques to include the HAAS effect, dedicated plugins, manual use of delays and phase effects
  • Explain quantisation and groove templates
  • Explain how to minimise noise, through matching level and impedance
  • Explain studio monitor designs, and how to set monitor speakers for optimum listening experience

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying stereo phase issues on instrument and full mix recordings.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying harmonic & melodic minor scales, son and rumba clave.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 7 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify phase issues in a recording
  • Identify phase issues within a mix
  • Identify harmonic and melodic minor scales
  • Identify son and rumba claves (3:2 & 2:3)
  • Introducing modern electronic music genres – drum & bass and techno

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 7 the technical skills will centre around correcting the timing in a performance.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 7 the candidate may choose to specialise in Audio Production, Electronic Music Production or Sound for Media:

  • Audio Production: The scenario will focus on creating a harmony to a vocal performance from a range of software techniques
  • Electronic Music Production: The scenario will require a drum break to be edited and re-timed to a new tempo
  • Sound for Media: The scenario will require the candidate to create a sonic solution to an animated logo

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screen shots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

Music Production
Grade 8

The Grade 8 Music Production exam is for candidates who have mastered music production and are capable of critiquing their own work; therefore achieving a professional finish to their productions.

Estimated Examination Time:

70 minutes (approx.)

RS-Instruments-Production

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 8 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 8 exam in one essential book, featuring a diverse range of production techniques, highly relevant technical DAW skills, and the fundamental music theory needed to succeed in today’s industry.

Music Production Exam: Grade 8

Music Production Grade 8

The Rockschool Music Production Grade 8 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 8 ex...

Theoretical Written Exam

This will assess the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the following two sections.

  • Music Production Terminology
  • Sound & Audio Fundamentals

At Grade 8 the theory content covered will include subject areas such as comparing studio hardware, audio file formats, analogue vs. digital technology, microphone technique choice, vocal comping, triggered samples, balanced audio advantages and acoustic room design.

At Grade 8 candidates will be expected to:

  • Compare two pieces of studio equipment, making reference to differences in specification
  • Compare two audio file formats
  • Compare analogue and digital connectivity, stating advantages and disadvantages
  • Evaluate the impact that digital technology has had on music production
  • Evaluate the impact that the Digital Audio Workstation has had on music production
  • Choose appropriate microphone techniques for a given situation
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of audio editing, to include compositing vocals, drum timing versus re-recording
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using MIDI triggered samples
  • Evaluate the advantages of using balanced audio, and how to connect balanced and unbalanced devices together in the same audio system
  • Explain acoustic terms to include standing waves, room modes, diffusion, absorption

Listening Test

The listening test will present candidates with questions relating to sonic fidelity, music theory and harmony and stylistic awareness. Audio files will be presented to the candidates and questions will relate specifically to the relevant audio file. This will assess the candidate’s ability to hear and interpret:

Sonic Fidelity
Identifying high and low resolution audio files.

Music Theory & Harmony
Identifying modes of the major scale and irregular time signatures.

Stylistic Awareness
Identifying specific genres.

At Grade 8 candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify the difference between MP3 and Wav versions of the same recording
  • Identify the difference between MP3 and Wav versions of the same full mix
  • Identify the difference between 128Kbps and 320Kbps MP3’s
  • Identify three modes of the major scale – Dorian, Mixolydian and Lydian
  • Identify irregular time signatures – 5/4, 7/8
  • Introducing modern electronic music genres from a choice of two: dubstep and edm

Candidates are advised to practice these techniques using the mock assessment files available from your secure area.

Coursework Task

The Coursework Task combines:

Technical Skills

At Grade 8 the technical skills will centre around creative music production technique such as parallel compression.

Coursework Task

The candidate will be presented with a situation and must choose and implement appropriate technique to resolve the scenario. At Grade 8 the candidate may choose to specialise in Audio Production, Electronic Music Production or Sound for Media:

  • Audio Production: The scenario will focus on mastering a final mix with EQ, compressors and limiters
  • Electronic Music Production: The scenario will focus on creating a remix using the supplied vocal sample
  • Sound for Media: The scenario will require the candidate to synchronise sound effects, including foley, to the provided video

Candidates must complete the Coursework Task before their exam and will be asked to upload the Task and the screenshots specified in the Coursework Task, during the exam. The completed session files must be appropriately named, saved and shared with your examiner as instructed, including all associated audio files. It is vital that candidates are able to accurately save their work as failure to do so will result in an unclassified mark.

Candidates will need to answer questions regarding the Task during the exam. These will focus on:

  • The skills used to complete the Task
  • How candidates approached the professional nature of the Task
  • How candidates interpreted the creative elements

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack (Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam)
  • A hard copy of the Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase
  • Your Coursework Task and screenshots to upload

Your exam centre will provide 1 x computer.

Candidates can take the exam on the computer provided at the examination centre or on their own laptop within the invigilated environment.

Assessment Structure

The graded examinations in Music Production are assessed via an examination. The examination is divided into the following sections:

A written examination covering knowledge of:

  • Music production terminology
  • Sound and audio fundamentals

A listening test divided into three sections:

  • Sonic fidelity
  • Music theory and harmony
  • Stylistic awareness

A Coursework Task, including technical skills, which candidates must complete before the exam and upload during the exam.

 

Assessment
Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks and underpinning theoretical assessment
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the title, unit code, credit level, credit value, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, grade descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Assessment There are four bands of assessment (distinction, merit, pass and unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Grading Criteria

Part A: Terminology and Fundamentals

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-14 15-18 19-20 21-25
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio between 75% and 84% of the time Demonstrated an understanding of the key terminology used in modern music production and the fundamentals of sound and audio more than 84% of the time.

Part B: Listening Skills

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0–8 9–10 11–12 13–15
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production less than 60% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 60% and 74% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production between 75% and 84% of the time. Demonstrated effective listening skills relevant to modern music production more than 84% of the time.

Part C: Coursework Task

Attainment Band Unclassified Pass Merit Distinction
Mark Range 0-35 36-44 45-50 51-60
Grade Descriptor Demonstrated effective music production technique in less than 60% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 60% and 74% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in between 75% and 84% of the coursework task. Demonstrated effective music production technique in more than 84% of the coursework task.

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