Creating music on iOS devices is easier than ever. The number of apps constantly grows and the apps aren’t limited by the genre. As the iPad has evolved over time and the accessories that the device can support for recording and output during performance, it’s a tool that many musicians have found very useful. From the causal to professional music creator, this list of apps can help you make music that you can share.
There are definitely more apps catered to electronic musicians rather than customary guitar and drums. These are a sample of what’s available in the App Store. Keep in mind though, some of these apps are expensive or use in-app purchases to expand the library of tools.
The first party music app is still the most popular among amateur musicians. It’s also a great tool to create demos for songs. The free app (but with in-app purchase) has different instruments to use. The multi-touch gestures are used to record piano, guitar, and drums. If manually recording tracks is too time consuming, then you can use Smart Instruments to manipulate blocks of music.
Guitarists have a particular advantage because Garageband can record directly into the app if you have the right accessories. As a first party app, you can always expect the app to be updated. Certain features like 32 tracks are locked to newer devices and an in-app purchase may be necessary if you want the complete set of instruments and sounds.
If you are interested in learning how to DJ, then Traktor DJ is the best tool for you. The app is from Native Instruments who develop professional DJ software. By accessing your iTunes music library, you can use your music when creating mixes. Even though you’re not creating truly original music, the skill involved in manipulating music is important.
Learning all the features of Traktor DJ will take some time, but mastering the app will likely help you polish your skills when it comes to working as a DJ. The $19.99 price might make you wary, but it’s worth the investment.
A little like GarageBand, Tabletop is a freemium music creation app. Unlike GarageBand which focuses samplers, mixers, effect, and sequencers. Supported with in-app purchases for new “gear” it’s great for a mix-and-match of digital sources. It’s likely that some experience with synthesizer and electronica creation tools is necessary to understand all the facets of Tabletop.
Tabletop is directed at musicians who have knowledge of using these tool and the amateur may be overwhelmed.
Bridging the amateur and experienced musician, Aurora Sound Studio HD uses pattern-based sequencing to create music. In simple mode, you can pick and choose placement of notes and the app makes sure it’s in tune. Advanced users can access advanced modes to edit sound in real-time. A nice feature is that the app can record instruments through the microphone to use in song creation.
Supporting 14 instrument tracks, 3 effects per track, and 9 overall effects on the surface, Aurora Sound Studio HD might be the best starting point to use the iPad to create music. The app is more expensive at $39.99 so there’s a big decision to make before purchasing the app.
Creating a full band sound through apps is a little limited, but GarageBand is the best bet. DJs and electronic producers have the best options because a lot of apps are designed to use samples, sequencers, and MIDI tools. Starting with GarageBand is the best option for the novice music creator but once you’re familiar with creating music you can move on to a more advanced app.
[Original article from June 2011]