iOS audio effects apps roundup – Part 1; conventional audio effects

In the world of computer-based recording – whether that computer is a desktop, laptop or tablet – software emulations of audio effects are a key element in the overall software toolkit. Most of the popular iOS recording apps – Cubasis, Auria, Garageband and the like – include a selection of such audio effects but, as on the desktop, you can also add other – often better and/or more powerful – from 3rd party developers. These can, of course, be used via Audiobus but, equally, if IAA support is … [Read more...]

iOS MIDI Performance app roundup – apps as an alternative to playing a MIDI keyboard

As I’ve written elsewhere, the touchscreen has introduced a whole range of new ways to create music. However, perhaps one of the less-than-perfect experiences of an iOS virtual synth is playing complex keyboard parts via a virtual touchscreen piano keyboard. Don’t get me wrong – these are great to have when you want to make some music on the move and only have access to your iPad – but, even for accomplished keyboard players, it’s not the same as playing a real, physical, set of keys. The … [Read more...]

iOS generative music apps roundup – apps that make music for you

Pretty much since the early days of music software for computers, developers have been making software that, in one way or another, attempts to write its own music. In some cases this might be just one element of he application while in others it is its reason for being. And in some cases the results have been quite successful while in others…. well, let’s just say that flesh and blood composers are not in danger of becoming extinct just jet. Software with a ‘generative’ element is, however, … [Read more...]

iOS all-in-one electronic music production apps roundup

When it comes to making music – whether the platform is hardware based, desktop-based or mobile-based – there are limitless different ways you can get the job done. However, for electronic music production, where the focus is placed upon synths, samples and sequencing, there are all sorts of software options that can allow you to do the whole task within a single environment. On the desktop, perhaps the classic example of this is Propellerhead’s Reason. While Reason now includes audio … [Read more...]

iOS virtual instrument apps roundup

If you have subscribed to the Music App Blog email newsletter then you will have obtained a copy of our free guide titled ’25 iOS music apps to get you started’. This guide is now in its second edition (I updated it in May 2014) but, as keen eyed readers will have noted (err….  or anyone who can actually count) there are actually rather more than 25 apps listed in the guide. The reason for this is (a) quite simple and (b) rather wonderful. It’s simple because the iTunes App Store has a … [Read more...]

Master the muse – building an ‘ever-ready’ music app toolkit for your iPhone

If you subscribe to the Music App Blog email newsletter you might recall that a couple of weeks ago I asked subscribers to let me know what they thought was the biggest bottleneck to their iOS music creativity. I got a whole raft of different answers but there were two themes that cropped up above all the others as causes of productivity blocks. First, several readers suggested their key issue was being able to capture an idea quickly before the tiny spark of inspiration slipped away. … [Read more...]

What’s the best iOS guitar amp sim?

I had a couple of visitors to the blog contact me in a similar position and with a similar question in the last week. Both were (a) new to music technology, (b) fairly new to iOS and (c) primarily guitar players. Their question boiled down to ‘what’s the best iOS guitar amp sim app?’ and, quite naturally, they were looking guidance, advice or recommendations. Now, as any non-blinkered member of the guitar playing community will know, guitar tones are a very personal thing; one player’s sonic … [Read more...]

What’s the best iOS recording app?

There has been an interesting conversation going on on the iPad Musician Facebook page today in response to a question from a member who asked for advice on the best app for serious music production on an iPad. This is an interesting – if rather difficult to answer – question because the answer itself depends upon a large number of factors. The responses I read touched upon a number of these factors. For example, what might we mean by ‘serious’ music production? What’s the difference between … [Read more...]

iOS DAW roundup – which recording app should you choose?

If you fancy turning your iPad into a multi-track recording studio, aside from all the other bits of hardware or other apps you might need, you need a DAW (digital audio workstation) app. There are quite a number of potential DAW apps available in the iTunes App Store that you might use. The question is, however, which of these DAW apps is right for you? While I've no intention of making this a comprehensive list, here's a quick roundup of some of the contenders that would be on my personal … [Read more...]