How do you like to make your music? Perhaps you’re a fan of the old-school instrumental way where you just grab a guitar or keyboard and hammer out some ideas until one tickles your eardrums in a big way. Others like to compose on a purely theoretical basis, even mathematically by using numbers and sequences to create repetitive patterns as in the case of some minimalist composers. The rise of smartphones in recent years has seen a rise to prominence of the opportunity to produce and compose music electronically in the palm of your hand, effectively allowing you some components of full-scale studios on your phone or tablet. There are a lot of music making and music production apps available out there for both iPhone and Android, so the intention of this list is to tel you about some of the very best that you can get your hands on.
FL Studio Mobile
Compatablity: iPhone, Android
Formerly known as Fruity Loops in its early days, this music production app is simply the very best mobile music production software that money can buy. Giving you the ability to create entire music projects comprised of multiple tracks on either your iOS or Android appliance, FL Studio has an extremely professional interface with a huge choice of instruments and even a MIDI out option with tracks exported in either WAV or AAC format.
Yet another huge name in the music production world, this touch-screen optimised version of Cubase feels like it was destined for the iPad. With support for virtual MIDI and unlimited tracks as well as touch-screen editing of tracks, you can mix virtual instruments with recordings of true instruments with this app, whose only drawback is the fairly hefty price tag at £34.99
Blip Interactive NanoStudio
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
The £10.49 that this app costs gets you a great deal of music creation power. Though you cannot actually edit existing songs with the app, this software allows you to create songs from scratch without requiring any additional external input.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
With a healthy selection of instruments, an 8-track sequencer, and a great choice of different guitar amplification sound and other effects, this iOS-based music making app offers a great deal of power for such a low price. This one will set you back only £2.99, though it is limited due to its lack of MIDI support.
G-Stomper Beat Studio
This app combines various features like a drum machine, sample and track bouncing, live sample modulation, and a huge variety of sounds and samples to make a brilliant electronic music application with an accessible interface.
Though not strictly a music production app on the scale of Ableton that professionals would dare to consider, Musyc incorporates a game-like interface with the ability to create a variety of tones and effects, making music as you move the shapes around the screen.
Don’t let the fairly complex interface repel you from the potential of this app: Caustic 2 is an extremely powerful piece of music production/editing software that has the visual style and interface of mounted synthesisers. It is free to use , though you’ll have to pay $7.99 for the opportunity to export your songs.
Compatibility: iOS, Android
This isn’t a comprehensive music production tool but it does combine a synth, a sequencer, and a great sampler to create a brilliant music-creation package. With a minimalist interface, this app won’t even cause problems for the low-powered devices and will run smoothly regardless of your processing power.
This is another piece of software that isn’t geared towards music production but rather melody creation with an innovative and fun-to-use interface. It consists of a 16 x 16 matrix of dots that you simply tap to make each one emit a different kind of melody.
Everyone needs an autotuner in their list of music apps, and I refuse to let T-Pain’s I Am T-Pain autotuner app take a position here. iVoxel is a synthesiser that responds to voice input and also contains an auto-tuner as well.