Five iOS Apps for Music-Makers
Reese Jones often talks about new technology, computer graphics, startup companies and communication technologies. Her other passions include playing Call of Duty and she’s always available on Twitter.
iOS is an absolutely incredible platform for musicians, and it’s popular for the same reason that you’ll see Macbooks on stage at a lot of concerts – Apple know that their customers are often creatively inclined. For this reason, if you’ve got an iOS device to hand, you’ll want to jump right into this list of five great music-making apps – all of which can be used by themselves or combined at the editing stage to create incredible, memorable tracks. Right! Start the metronome.
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PixiTracker is one of my personal favourites, because it combines the wonderful retro sounds of old game consoles with a competent and easy-to-understand sequencer right on iPhone. It also throws in a visualisation option that’s enjoyable to watch as your song plays out. You’ve got access to a virtual keyboard, a lot of instruments, and even a waveform editor to allow you to really mess with the sounds. The songs can also be exported as either pixi files or .wavs, so you can take them from platform to platform if need be.
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This particular app is Apple-made, which means one thing right off the bat – it’s extremely high quality. If you’re not familiar with GarageBand, it’s an audio editing suite with preloaded instruments you can use to make new sounds in addition to working with old ones. Ideal for anything from podcasts to dance music, it’s a real gem. In fact, its “smart” instruments are built around accessibility and are so smart that the iOS GarageBand may actually be even better than the original.
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This drum machine has such depth that you could practically call it a synthesizer. With the ability to make easy patterns and align them into full songs, a load of instruments preloaded into the app and a clear and enjoyable user interface, there’s a lot to love here. Bonus points if you find yourself nodding your head to whatever beat you end up creating.
4) Korg iMS-20
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The Korg MS-20 is a legendary synthesiser, and Korg have endeavoured to simulate it in its entirety on iOS. The dedication to detail here is impressive – you can even attach leads between different sockets. Now, the synth’s sequencer aside, what really takes it from impressive to simply fantastic is Korg’s inclusion of not one, but TWO Kaossilator pads, which are an absolute dream to play around with and turn this app into an actual live instrument.
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As mentioned above, the Kaossilator is one of Korg’s finest instruments, and for musicians who want to mess around with audio, it couldn’t be any more enjoyable. It’s essentially a square that operates as an interactive graph. Set the X and Y to frequency, pitch and so on, drop some music in, and start dragging your finger around the square to see what effect it has on the audio. It’s a fantastic way of playing around with music live, and if you’re an EDM producer it could be a good way of mixing things up if you’re playing a pre-selected, ready-made tunes.