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The next deadline is 8 November

Music Production Grade 2

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

Key Features at Grade 2

What you'll learn at Grade 2:

  • Music Production Theory
  • Listening Skills
  • Practical Skills

How the exam is assessed

Candidates are required to complete a written exam, a listening test and two practical tasks.These are designed to explore theoretical knowledge of the subject and practical skills using a Digital Audio Workstation. The Grade 2 exam is divided into 3 sections:

Section 1 - 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, hearing physiology.

At Grade 2, candidates will be expected to:

  • Identify studio equipment from descriptions, such as mixing desks, computers, microphones, patchbays, outboard effects
  • Identify file formats from their suffix, such as Waveform, Audio Interchange File Format, Mpeg2 layer 3, Logic Pro, Pro Tools
  • Identify connections such as Phono / RCA, XLR, ADAT lightpipe, USB, 5 pin DIN
  • Identify software and functions, such as operating systems, system preferences, Apple App store, Apple Mac Finder
  • Identify the purpose of a DAW
  • Identify types of microphone, such as 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, such as Audio Track, Instrument Track, MIDI Track, Auxiliary Track, Automation
  • Identify basic editing functions such as cut, copy, paste, delete, duplicate
  • Identify both natural and electrical sound sources and receptors, including the meaning of the word 'Transducer'

Section 2 - 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.

Section 3 - Practical assessment

The Practical Assessment is divided into two sections as detailed below:

  • Technical Skills: The candidate will be asked to complete a series of specified tasks, which must be completed using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). At Grade 2 the task will centre around MIDI programming using software instruments and basic mix technique.
  • Professional Scenario: 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.

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 immediately result in a unclassified mark.


The exam lasts 90 minutes.

Equipment information

On your exam day, you must bring:

  • 1 x closed headphones with a ¼ inch jack *
  • A hard copy of your Music Production syllabus book or your proof of digital purchase

Info: * Candidates without their own headphones will be unable to sit the exam.

Your exam centre will provide:

  • 1 x computer; running either of the latest two versions of Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton Live or GarageBand
  • 1 x midi controller keyboard – minimum 4 octaves, including a sustain pedal and pitch wheel

Info: GarageBand, Cubase Elements and Cubase LE are only suitable for grades 1 to 5.

Books for Music Production Grade 2

  • Music Production Grade 2 Book Cover Music Production Grade 2

    The Music Production Grade 2 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 2 exam.

  • Piano Grade 2 Book Cover Piano Grade 2

    The Rockschool Grade 2 Piano book is the ideal preparation for your Grade 2 exam.

  • Guidebook Debut - Grade 5 Book Cover Guidebook Debut - Grade 5

    Rockschool's Guidebooks are the ideal introduction to music theory for musicians, composers, students and teachers.

  • Workbook Grade 2 Book Cover Workbook Grade 2

    The Rockschool Grade 1 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 1 theory exam.