GarageBand update – Apple bring some Alchemy to their iOS DAW/sequencer

While I'm more than happy to recommend recording apps such as Cubasis, Auria Pro or Gadget to more experienced iOS musicians, if you are just taking your first steps with the platform (and particularly if it represents your first serious encounter with recording/music technology in any form), Apple's GarageBand for iOS is actually pretty hard to beat. Even if you just use it as an audio sketchpad, it would be worth the price of entry and, if you also happen to use GarageBand or Logic Pro X on … [Read more...]

iOS music in 2017 – the Music App Blog wishlist

Well, that was different wasn’t it? For some (OK, not all), 2016 is welcome to exit – stage left – never to be seen again. It has been a year of political uncertainty that, wherever you live in the world, the ripples are going to reach you in some form or another and at some stage during 2017. We also lost some significant musical talent starting with David Bowie in January and ending with George Michael in December. Whatever your musical tastes, the odds are that we lost someone whose work you … [Read more...]

Music App Blog ’25 apps’ guide updated – free guide for email subscribers now in 4th edition :-)

The Music App Blog has an email newsletter system and, if you want to get a weekly fix of iOS music news and a concise round-up of news, views and reviews from the blog - plus automatic entry into all our promo code giveaway draws - then you can sign up to receive all of this in a convenient email format. Anyway, one of the incentives offered for becoming a subscriber is the Music App Blog guide '25 iOS music apps to get you started' and, if you are new to the wonderful world of iOS music … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 4 – Can you buy a mixing magic bullet?

I posted a short series of articles on the blog recently loosely connected around a 'less is more' theme....  the idea being that getting great results within an iOS-based music production system doesn't always require an extensive - or expensive - list of equipment. As I mentioned in the most recent of those articles, I had a few other ideas around which I thought I could explore that theme a bit further....  so, as I'm travelling away from the Music Blog HQ at present, and had a little … [Read more...]

SongSheet for iPhone – Ghostdust bring an iPhone version of their song and setlist manager app

Whether you are a songwriter, or a musician who plays in a gigging band doing lots of functions (weddings, parties, etc.) and have to have access to a wide repertoire of songs to suit the occasion (or requests from the floor), trying to keep all those songs – and all those chord charts – in your head is an accident waiting to happen. Most of us resort to a notebook or binder/folder of some sort. This is safe... well, safe-ish until you leave it somewhere. The alternative is to use a computer; … [Read more...]

SynthPatcher website – cool teeshirts for the committed synth fan

Regular iOS musicians - particularly those with an addiction to all things synthersizer - will be well aware of the SynthPatcher website. The site has a strong iOS following and provides a focus for any musicians who want to connect, collaborate and share patches, sounds and samples for use in their music production, whether that's iOS or otherwise. The site requires you to register to use the full range of features and there is a subscription fee of UK£1/month (i.e. pocket money pricing so … [Read more...]

Feature presentation – what’s your wishlist for your favourite iOS music apps?

One of the things that I love about music production using my iPad is that, if I choose, I can make music using software that doesn’t make my head explode with its complexity. Don’t get me wrong – I think there is most certainly a time and a place for sophisticated, feature-rich, software – but it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the intricacies of the toolset at the expense of getting creative if that toolset is overly complex for the job in hand. Tangentially, this is a point that … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 3 – a minimalist iPad recording studio on a budget

I posted a couple of articles (here and here) last week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps and, in particular, a set of apps aimed at recording applications. In this third instalment, I want to pick up where I left off in part 2…. Before I do, however, let’s remind ourselves that this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 2 – a compact iOS music app collection for recording

I posted an article earlier this week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps. As I commented in that post, this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under some other sort of workflow constraints. The bottom line here is that access to shed-loads of ‘gear’ is not what limits musical creativity for most of us; it’s our skill level in … [Read more...]